program protection on a CD

By Ididmyc600
Jan 25, 2007
  1. Hi

    Now dont worry, its not what it sounds like, let me explain.

    I have a program I use and I want to distribute it on CD, the program is a small dos based thing with a 3 choice menu and no way out, but obviously all someone has to do is to pop it in a PC and read the contents and copy it.

    So can I make the disk so that under windows and DOS it wont show the disk contents at all.

    Basically I just want to protect the batch files I wrote as the main program is in the public domain.

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Uhm.. How would someone run the program if the files are not accessible?

    Is it OK to run the program when booting from CD? If yes, then you could construct a bootable DOS floppy that runs the program at startup (you have to figure out a way to prevent anyone from pressing F5 or F8 at startup - maybe use an older version of DOS) and then make a bootable CD out of that floppy.

    The contents of this "boot image" on the CD will be invisible to a normal user in any OS. Of course, the data can be extracted with some special tools and knowledge.
  3. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    steganos will encrypt and on load will ask to put small exe to run the engine
    then when pass is put in it will open the drive showing contents
    or make a exe with autoplay this can be password protected as well
    I go with autoplay as it looks more pro and does not put anything on machine
  4. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,415

    Sorry all I realised a mistake in my post.

    Let me start again

    The program is on a CD and is a DOS based program, designed to be booted from, run then exit, the user would remove the disk and then boot up as normal, at the moment the program contents of the disk can be read in windows, as I said the actual program is public domain, but the batch files were written by myself and took many hours, I know that once this disk goes out people will be able to copy the disk, this I dont mind however I dont want them to alter the batch files I have written and make a claim for them.

    Hope thats a bit clearer

  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    See my post above?

    Anyway, the batch files are your copyright and anyone claiming ownership to them (or close derivatives) is breaking the law. You can put some legalese in the files to remind people if you like. You can attach GPL or some other "poisoning" licence that says that any derived work has to give credit to you.

    You cannot completely prevent people from reading the files - in order to run a program, it must be readable by the user.

    There are many programs that can convert batch files to .exe or .com. This will make the contents more difficult to extract.
  6. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,415

    Hi Nodsu, cheers for the replies. I suppose your right, anyone with a bit of cred can get round any protection, I will add some copyright details in the batch files and see how I go. I know how professional software writers feel when people hack and crack their software...kind of disheartening.

  7. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    personally I'm kind of old school on this. If you're not selling the software, I'm a firm believer that programs should be public domain. While I understand the effort you have put in, there are always improvements, better and more efficient ways that other people might want to add or come up with and I think that they should be able to.

    I really don't think it is worth the effort of trying to put some kind of copy protection on your batch files. It really aggravates users and may backfire on you. Users may not even want to use your software if it is difficult or cumbersome. In any case, good luck.
  8. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,415

    Hi Tedster

    Guess your right about that, will leave it alone and just let it go, its not something I was selling, just something I have on my site, which I found on the net a while back on ebay being sold...kinds bugged me that my hardwork was earning someone else some money, however I did contact the seller in question and he has agreed to remove the programs and just add a link to the site instead.

    Thanks for all the replies...

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