Licence for the number of devices


Hi guys, I would like to sell my educational game to schools. There is one problem. The price of my product depends on the number of computers and tablets that the game will be installed. For example, if the school wants to install it on one PC it would cost 15 $, but if they want to use it on 3 PCs ( or 1 PC and 2 tablets) it will cost 45 $. What should I do to prevent the school from buying the app only per one device and then copy it to others? Is there any mechanism that helps with that? What do you recommend guys? Will be very grateful for help.



šŸ§ *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
The simplest way is to just assume they're honest people and will pay for as many licenses as they need. Usually works, and schools don't usually hire the brightest hackers around (NSA gets them first, followed by IT companies and the embedded software industry) so they might not even notice they HAVE the option to pirate the app and just assume you've implemented DRM to prevent them from copypasting it.

This approach lets you spend 0 time on implementing DRM (i.e. less production cost), and can be supplanted by having a minimum number of licenses per order (e.g. you need to buy at least 10 licenses, so even if they pirate your app you get at least $150, which is better than $15) so that you're guaranteed a comfortable amount of money even if they're doing bad stuff behind your back.

State of the art commercial DRM currently will get you at most 1 week of protection before it's cracked (typically faster the bigger and more anticipated the release is - you'd get extra security by obscurity being a small indie dev, but it also means less sales are being lost because you have less sales, so it probably evens out), so if you don't expect the first week of release to be the vast majority of sales, you don't really gain a lot of business opportunity by having it. (Not having DRM could also let you use "DRM free" as a selling point, but again, I don't think school personell are in the group of people that appreciate that)

One thing you could do going for the "honest" approach - have your app "phone home" with some info about what PC it's used on, perhaps with one unique ID per place you've licensed them to (make a special build for each school that buys it, adding the unique ID but no other changes). If a school uses an app from more PCs than they've paid for licenses, give them a friendly reminder about the licensing terms and casually bring up that you've got a good lawyer :)
(remember that doing this kind of stuff can be illegal unless people are informed about it in a reasonable way, and be careful not to steal more information than you absolutely need)
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