Difference between revisions of "Shareware"

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imported>Tom Morris
(New page: {{subpages}} '''Shareware''' is a software distribution practice whereby a piece of software is distributed freely, and sharing of that software is encouraged. Some shareware is f...)
 
imported>John H. Jackson
(Expanded, wikified version)
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'''Shareware''' is a software distribution practice whereby a piece of [[software]] is distributed freely, and sharing of that [[software]] is encouraged. Some shareware is fully featured, while some is either time-limited, has built-in limitations (often called ''[[crippleware]]''). Users of shareware are then encouraged to register the [[software]], either to get a full and unrestricted copy, or just to support the author. Unlike ''[[freeware]]'', you are expected to pay if you use the [[software]], and unlike [[open source]] [[software]], you are not allowed to modify the software. Unlike [[public domain]] [[software]], the [[software]] is [[Copyright|copyrighted]] and that particular copyright is owned by the author. A good analogy for shareware software is "try before you buy". Shareware is very often used for [[computer game|computer games]].
'''Shareware''' is software that is distributed for free, but with a [[software license]] that often requires the end-user to either pay for, or "register" the software after a set period of time, or remove the software.  
 
===History of shareware===
[http://www.asp-shareware.org/users/history-of-shareware.asp, According] to the [[http://www.asp-shareware.org,Association of Shareware Professionals], Jim Knopf created the concept of shareware in 1982.
 
===Licensing===
All shareware includes some sort of license agreement, stating among other things how long you can use the software and generally forbidden [reverse engineering] or [decompilation], since doing so would allow for the program to be altered so that the shareware limitations are removed or the expiration times are extended.
 
===Early protection methods==
Shareware employs a variety of different protection methods. Early on, some shareware was released with the missing functionality not even in the shareware executable file. If the user wanted the full program, they were required to contact the author of the software and arrange for payment. They would then receive the full version of the program in whatever format was in use at the time.
 
===Newer protection methods===
While executable files without the full feature set were very secure, this practice was more tedious for the potential shareware customer. This fact, coupled with increases in security toolkits, made it possible for software developers to release shareware with the full feature set in the distributed program, but with certain features turned off or time limits placed on the software. In order to unlock the full features of the program, users still had to register their software. Instead of receiving a new program file, a license key was given to the user to enter on a specific screen.
 
===Shareware hacking & keygens===
Once registration keys came into common use, the hacker culture started figuring our how to bypass the registration key checks. Inspection of the binary executable file often yielded the algorithm used to generate the registration key, allowing for key generator programs to be written and distributed across the internet. Some hackers implanted [computer virus]es or other types of malicious software into their key generators. Other sites listed the license keys.

Revision as of 11:03, 25 August 2009

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Shareware is software that is distributed for free, but with a software license that often requires the end-user to either pay for, or "register" the software after a set period of time, or remove the software.

History of shareware

According to the [of Shareware Professionals, Jim Knopf created the concept of shareware in 1982.

Licensing

All shareware includes some sort of license agreement, stating among other things how long you can use the software and generally forbidden [reverse engineering] or [decompilation], since doing so would allow for the program to be altered so that the shareware limitations are removed or the expiration times are extended.

=Early protection methods

Shareware employs a variety of different protection methods. Early on, some shareware was released with the missing functionality not even in the shareware executable file. If the user wanted the full program, they were required to contact the author of the software and arrange for payment. They would then receive the full version of the program in whatever format was in use at the time.

Newer protection methods

While executable files without the full feature set were very secure, this practice was more tedious for the potential shareware customer. This fact, coupled with increases in security toolkits, made it possible for software developers to release shareware with the full feature set in the distributed program, but with certain features turned off or time limits placed on the software. In order to unlock the full features of the program, users still had to register their software. Instead of receiving a new program file, a license key was given to the user to enter on a specific screen.

Shareware hacking & keygens

Once registration keys came into common use, the hacker culture started figuring our how to bypass the registration key checks. Inspection of the binary executable file often yielded the algorithm used to generate the registration key, allowing for key generator programs to be written and distributed across the internet. Some hackers implanted [computer virus]es or other types of malicious software into their key generators. Other sites listed the license keys.