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Periodic License Confirmation. Why You Need It

Pavel Korobov
Pavel Korobov
Specialist of Marketing and PR at StarForce Technologies
9 Feb 2017

If you create unique software products or documents, it is natural to have a wish to control their distribution. There are many tools to protect information from unauthorized actions of unscrupulous users. One of them is the periodic license confirmation.

Let's see what a license is and where it comes from. A license gives you a right to use a protected product (software, games, training courses, documents, etc.). A seller/developer/distributor gives a user a serial number, which contains license information.

What is it and how does it work?

You can see from the title “periodic license confirmation” that this function is performed by checking a license on the end-user device after a specified number of days. It works in the following way. When an end user enters a serial number, the protected product connects with the license management. And it sends the parameters of the license (expiration date, regional restrictions, etc.) to the protected application.

With the periodic license confirmation function, a protected product connects with the license management server to compare these parameters with data stored on the server. If everything is OK, an application will continue to work normally.

However, if parameters of a license do not match with those that stored on the server (for example, if a serial number has been blacklisted), a user will receive a special notification about it, and a protected product will stop working.

The periodic license confirmation function has been developed by StarForce Technologies to control the use of protected products.

License revocation

A publisher can add a serial number to the blacklist, and the access of the user to the protected product will be blocked. For example, when you use electronic payment systems, a dishonest buyer can make a refund after the activation of the product's serial number. We often face with this type of fraud. If you choose the parameter "Periodic license confirmation" at the time of generation of a serial number, you will be able to add a fraudster ‘s serial number to the blacklist and when the time to check will come, the access to the protected product will be blocked.

Changing license parameters

In addition, the periodic confirmation is necessary if you intend to make changes in the setting of a serial number after you have given it to a user. In some cases you need to change the duration of a license, for example, you want to block access on a specific day, or open it for a particular region. You may simply change the required data, and a protected product with the periodic license confirmation function will update new parameters automatically on a user's device. It greatly simplifies and accelerates the process of interaction between a user and a publisher.

You can change the following parameters:

  • Serial number validity after activation.
  • License expiration date.
  • Regional settings.
  • Maximum number of runs.
  • Continuous run.
  • Maximum number of connected users.

StarForce products use it

Periodic license confirmation is used for protected products intended for distribution over the Internet. This function is a part of StarForce DRM system and available for the following StarForce products:

  • StarForce Audio/Video – protection of audio and video materials.
  • StarForce Content – protection of electronic documents.
  • StarForce ProActive – protection of business programs, computer games, educational, entertainment and other end user software.
  • StarForce ProActive for Business – protection of business applications that are designed to work in either a “thin client-server”/”fat client-server” configuration, or as a stand-alone application, running on a server or a workstation.
  • StarForce ProActive for Traders – protection of MQL scripts.
  • StarForce Universal – protection of software with both binding objects: to a disc and to a personal computer under one license.

Types of verification

StarForce protection system currently allows to use the two types of verification.

Standard verification

The verification with popup messages. An end user is be notified that he/she needs to verify the license. This type is currently in use by default.

"Silent" verification

"Silent" means that the system will not display pop-up messages for end users if the comparison of license parameters is successful. In fact, users will not see the verification process, because it takes place in the background. It allows to detect and block users who illegally use protected products not bothering honest clients. These pop-up messages are displayed only if the attempt to check was unsuccessful (no internet connection, the expiration of the license by any parameters, etc.). For now, you can switch it on with the help of StarForce technical support service.

Periodic license confirmation along with a "silent" verification provides maximum convenience of using a protected product for an end user, bypassing the problem of annoying pop-ups, problems with hot changing the parameters of a serial number; for publishers it brings an ability to quickly respond to problems in the case of violation of the license terms and conditions.

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