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From "Jeffrey Janner" <>
Subject RE: [OT] Securing Tomcat Applications from Reverse Engineering
Date Mon, 25 Jan 2010 18:08:57 GMT
Good points all around.  We had the same issues with our CEO worrying about copies of the app
being passed around when we started targeting markets where piracy is fairly common.  Eventually,
we convinced him the best way to address them was via legal and marketing techniques.  That
is, a very tight license and convincing the customer that our product provides a unique tactical
advantage that they would want to give to their competitors. We did make a few technical product
changes to aid in the license compliance arena, one of which was incorporating a license key
that is uniquely and obviously tied to the company licensing the product and stored along
with the data.  The theory being that a customer (or his employee) might be willing to fork
over a copy of the code, but not their proprietary data.
It's not perfect, but it seems to get the job done.

-----Original Message-----
From: André Warnier [] 
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 4:56 PM
To: Tomcat Users List
Subject: Re: [OT] Securing Tomcat Applications from Reverse Engineering

Jeffrey Janner wrote:
> André -
> Welcome to the world of small business, for-profit software development.
> This is a more common attitude that you might be aware.

I was being somewhat ironic.  Being myself a small for-profit software 
development business, I am well aware of the circumstances.
But here are another few arguments (apart from the ones I already 
mentioned in another post) :
If you are a small software business whose customers are businesses that 
use your product, and your product is good and your prices are 
reasonable, chances are good that none of your customers is even going 
to bother taking the time to try to copy your product.  If they 
themselves are small/medium businesses, what would they do with it ? 
They have their own business to run.  They are not a software company, 
you are.
And if they are big, they will never risk their reputation and their 
money trying it.
And, agreeing with another post by Leon, you are probably much better 
off spending your time improving and supporting your product, than 
developing ways to try protecting it from unfair copying.
Things would be different of course if your product was something 
destined for the mass-market, or if you intend to sell it through 
resellers, or if your customers are themselves software companies.
I will not mention the fact that in all of the above cases, your highest 
level of risk is probably inside, not outside.
And if you really insist on protecting your code, then I am afraid that 
Java is not the best choice of tool.
And I'll finish with another sarcastic note about code obfuscation : in 
my experience, it is not really necessary to put a lot of effort into 
this.  Other people's code tends to be naturally obfuscated, all by itself.

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