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Preventing CMS Code Theft


I'm in the process of developing a CMS. Once complete I would like to offer my application as either:

1) A hosted solution
2) A solution hosted by the clients themselves

What is the best way to prevent clients with PHP knowledge from taking my codebase and modifying/rebranding it, then selling it on as 'their own'?

How could one prevent this from happening? Encryption springs to mind but I'm not a fan! Are there any other methods one can use to prevent clients/users with PHP knowledge from sealing all my hard work?

[eluser]Mahmoud M. Abdel-Fattah[/eluser]
I prefer using ionCube Encryption !
they've a good licensing options :

Besides, I think it's the hard one to decode yet !

Here is another one...



Best encoder is SourceGuardian version 8.1. As far as I know, the last decoder for SG was for version 2. Those who claim they can decode SG, they maybe will decode it partially, or something like that. But that code will never work. This tip about SG to me when I asked Trioxx (admin of a encode/decode/nulled scripts forum), search on google "Trioxx", and read.

He is able to decode everything, except SG. Event the guys from qInvent(http://www.qinvent.com/cyrj/deZender/index-en.php) those who made the first decoder, can't decode SG 8. so your script can be 99% safe.

I hate to cast a negative light, but I would never buy CMS software that I couldn't modify or know what was going on internally. I have purchased components for Microsoft IIS in the past only because I had no other choice. But with drupal, wordpress, joomla being open source (and free) and even ExpressionEngine providing the source unencrypted when you purchase it, unless you have a substantially better CMS (or niche,) I'd choose the source code versions in a heartbeat. This is just my opinion, but I think at some point you have to trust your customer base that they will be honest (of course all of them will not be.)

I think it's ironic you want to encrypt what you made, the easy stuff, and sell it on top of CodeIgniter, the hard stuff. Bet you're using a CSS and jScript framework too?

@bretticus. 100% ... developers would (in most cases) always opt for 'the source code versions in a heartbeat'. The CMS I'm developing targets a small niche market. Many players in this market don't know their 'ass-from-their-elbow' when it comes to CMS's etc. so the source code version would not be on their shopping list. I would however still like to safeguard my hard work as best I can.

@port22. Not sure how your post relates to the question? I'll leave it at that ...

Thanks for the input everyone. ;O)

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