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How are app(lication)s published through this service protected against piracy? I mean, if they are managed through the package system then it is easy to find out what files are included and repackage them for distribution through a different channel. is there any kind of digital protection system available to developers? Thank you.

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DRM doesn't work, it's broken by design. If people want to steal your software, they are going to find a way. The only thing DRM does is make it a minor inconvenience to rip you off, and annoy the legitimate users of your software. –  tgm4883 Mar 14 '12 at 14:29
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Really: DRM doesn't work. You might want to read this: markshuttleworth.com/archives/96 –  xubuntix Mar 14 '12 at 15:48

3 Answers 3

There is support for license keys using https://myapps.developer.ubuntu.com/dev/

The developer can then manage these keys, but they have to build license key verification in to the application themselves.

http://developer.ubuntu.com/publish/licence-key-infrastructure/

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What could prevent a user from copying the license file and passing it around? This only works if the app connects to a licensing server every time it runs. While I think DRM is here to stay, there are alternatives, e.g., restricting user access to the file system the way it is done on mobile devices. Ultimately, developers should be able to choose how to distribute their work. –  user50588 Mar 14 '12 at 14:21
    
There is no way to restrict access to the file system on a PC-based operating system, and even less so when the OS is open source. –  JanC Jun 16 '12 at 17:09
    
@user50588 Restricting filesystem access is a terrible idea, the reason I hate iOS. I do agree that DRM is in general, a very bad system though. –  Razick Oct 10 '12 at 21:20

There's nothing built into the package system so yes, you could just dpkg -L <package> to find the files and move them over. Hell, it'd probably just be easier to intercept the actual package (it'll be cached) and move that around.

There are various protection mechanisms in certain applications, but there's nothing sitting in Ubuntu watching over everything.

That's the way it should be if you ask me but I don't distribute software and I've been on the receiving end of some absolutely terrible DRM, so I'm probably a little biased.

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As has been explained by others (and shown over and over again if you follow IT news a bit), there is no way to make any digital data that you distribute 100% copy-proof. One way around that is by running the software on a server and only "run" the UI bits on the user's system (basically, how web sites work).

But I suggest you also try a more "social" protection system: make sure your users want to pay for your application (because it's easy to use, virtually bug-free, and frequently updated with new features), build a community around it, … and they will also be less likely to pass packages and/or keys around.

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