V.i. Labs: Helping ISVs Battle Software Piracy
Software piracy is a costly problem for independent software vendors (ISVs) and their channel partners. Short of a bout of conscience or an outside network audit, there’s very little chance of that lost revenue getting recovered. V.i. Labs thinks it has a solution, aptly named CodeArmor. Here are the details.
CodeArmor is V.i. Labs’ flagship product, and it’s designed to give ISVs a better picture of what happens once their code leaves their hands, according to Victor DeMarines, VP of products, V.i. Labs. It has two facets: CodeArmor Protection, which guards code from known cracking techniques. The other, CodeArmor Intelligence, takes a much different approach to recovering revenue from piracy.
Built into a finished bit of software, CodeArmor Intelligence lays dormant until it detects evidence of tampering with the program, at which point it reports back a smorgasbord of usage statistics, including a Google Map of the location of offending business.
This, DeMarines says, is the real key to recovering revenue from piracy: not the cracker who breaks the software but the company who runs, knowingly or unknowingly, stolen enterprise software. Moreover, by giving ISVs and VARs the kind of intelligence that proves a business is stealing their product, DeMarines says companies can avoid internal witch hunts and campaigns urging employees to snitch on each other for pirated software.
So what does all this mean for the channel? When a company realizes that they or their employees have been using pirated software, they often handle the matter internally — and then look for a local reseller of the product in question, DeMarines says. Basically, rather than the unproven methods of threatening or cajoling, CodeArmor is intended to give developers the intelligence they need to make the business decisions to fight piracy.
“It’s a better approach to learn than to scare,” DeMarines says.