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Old 02-11-2011, 02:49 AM   #1
manya
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generating software license key for linux based applications


Hey All,

My application is an integration of all the open source components with customized heavily including OS. I would need to know how to generate license keys for my application.
Does any one have any clue?

Please share your thoughts
 
Old 02-11-2011, 06:50 AM   #2
Hangdog42
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I think we need a much better explanation of what you are trying to do. You say that your software is an integration of open source components. What components?

The reason I'm asking is that there are a couple of possibilities that we can't help you with. First, if you've integrated a bunch of FOSS software, I suspect the original licensing would prohibit use of license keys. Second, if the original software does use license keys, odds are you don't have the rights to re-distribute it.

So please, provide us with a clear explanation of what you're trying to accomplish.
 
Old 02-13-2011, 10:52 PM   #3
xeleema
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Greetingz!

This depends on why you want to generate license keys. If it's a matter of validating customers that have purchased a support agreement, then there's a few avenues you could use. The most prominent version I would suggest would be the commercial FLEXnet (previously FLEXlm) product line.
However, keep in mind that most "Open Source" software license (GNU GPL v2, v3, GNU LGLP the MPL, the BSD-like licenses, etc) don't appreciate it when you violate their terms (and can open you, and your company up to legal action).

To get a better understanding about such licenses, check to see if there's a FAQ available. For example, the GNU GPL site has one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangdog42 View Post
First, if you've integrated a bunch of FOSS software, I suspect the original licensing would prohibit use of license keys.
Although I personally have not seen licenses that specifically mention a restriction on license keys, Hangdog42 is right that there may be other "gotchas" (such as rights to redistrubte). If you're really interested in going downt this path, I would ultimatly suggest you seek legal advice from a qualified attorney's office.

Last edited by xeleema; 02-13-2011 at 10:57 PM.
 
Old 02-14-2011, 08:28 AM   #4
allend
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I note the sig
Quote:
"Great Power Comes Great Responsibility"
Do you not think that it is irresponsible to use the great power of the open source software you have integrated and and then abuse the intent of open source licensing by creating license keys to protect your derivative work?

Then again, I may be naive, as I never went to Harvard business school.
 
Old 02-15-2011, 01:35 AM   #5
DJ Shaji
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Also, if you just steal somebody's code and try to make money off of it, they will come after you with a vengeance.
 
Old 02-15-2011, 05:45 AM   #6
Dark_Helmet
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Well, before the pitchforks and torches come out, I'd like to point out a few things.

1. The OP said "open source." Open source is much broader than any single license. Perhaps the OP's product is built around/on BSD licensed code or public domain code. GPL is not the only game in town when it comes to open source licensing.

2. The meaning is muddy, but the OP said "My application is an integration of all the open source components with customized heavily including OS." How do you interpret that? You cannot read it literally because it's not possible to have "all the open source components." So some interpretation is required.

I can interpret it to mean that the open source components are unmodified and that the OS is heavily customized (where the OS may be a custom-built OS). Or, it might also be interpreted to mean that there's a heavily customized layer of integration between the open source components and the OS--a "gasket" layer so to speak. Neither of these interpretations would run afoul of the GPL because no modified GPL code was being redistributed.

3. As xeleema pointed out, perhaps the keys are for a service/support agreement rather than the software itself.

4. Lastly, the GPL does not prohibit selling modified GPL code. Assuming that the open source software is GPL'd and assuming that the OP modified that code, you can sell the modified code as long as the modified source is made available on request. There is no requirement that GPL'd code be free (as in cost) or that the code be supplied on delivery of the software product--unless the GPL has changed since I last read it. Depending on the type of customer, it may be extremely unlikely to ever receive a request for the source.

With all that said, I stand with xeleema's suggestion: the OP probably needs to sit down with a legal representative to discuss any possible legal obligations before selling the software. It's my opinion that anyone should do that before they decide to start running a business of any sort. There can be some very costly mistakes for the unprepared business owner.

Last edited by Dark_Helmet; 02-15-2011 at 06:11 AM.
 
Old 02-16-2011, 09:31 PM   #7
DJ Shaji
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I think DarkHelmet is right. In any case, it would be fruitless to put together open source software under a proprietary licence, because users can just use the original software. And meanwhile, the vendor will be ridiculed by the industry. This will leave the vendor open to litigation by the original developers as well.

That said, OP, if you only require a bunch of "license keys", just generate random numbers using standard library functions. You can manipulate them in many different ways, like insert alphabets in between digits. Or you can write an algorithm to generate sequential random numbers. Have a look at the GNU C library source code - another open source component you'll use, by the way.
 
  


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