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I’ve checked the Ubuntu Software center for hosting my commercial (closed source) app. It appears that the store does not have any DRM support, to protect against copying the bought application to other PCs. This may be OK, because I have my own license key generation mechanism.

The problem is that my license key generation is not Microsoft-like, I can not pre-generate a bunch of keys in advance, because the key stores the user name and other data within it.

The question is how to integrate my license key mechanism with your store? As a fallback, can I host my app as “free” instead because it has lite/trial mode when installed without the license key?

Any other idea to resolve the issue?

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

No, there is no DRM support currently.

No, unfortunately if you can't load a set of pre-generated keys in the interface, then the myapps service can't (yet) sell your licenses [1].

Yes, you can add your demo/trial app - especially if you have another way for people to purchase license keys that will unlock it. [2]

[1] If you can create a bug with your needs at https://bugs.launchpad.net/developer-portal/+bugs the team will be able to start prioritising the various needs, but I'd assume storing other data within the key itself may be hard to support generally?

[2] Recently support was added for adding a demo/trial versions within the one application (ie. so software center won't show two separate applications, but one with options to install the trial or purchase), but it is not yet released - https://bugs.launchpad.net/developer-portal/+bug/830309

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Thanks for the details, [1] can be implemented with a simple mail notification to me on each sale (stating user name), then I can email the user with the key. All other eCommerce sites like kagi.com or plimus.com use this or similar mechanism. –  Adriatic Dec 19 '11 at 20:31
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As per this, this does not seem possible. As far as I'm aware there is no restriction against submitting a free-as-in-beer app if you later intend to submit a similar paid app with more functionality.

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Thanks for the answer, I'm sorry to hear it though. Software center does not seem flexible enough for me. –  Adriatic Dec 18 '11 at 14:25
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