Levels of source code protection
0 – Prevent access to the source code
In the case of Microsoft VBA, this means setting a password. The problem is that there are many examples of how to break this password. Anyway, it is a first protection measure that can be easily set in the window IDE > Tools > VBAProjectProperties
1 – Obfuscate the source code
This is the aim of this obfuscat.org program.
Code Inspection and Escrow: Will the code be safe for the Licensee’s computing environment? Will the code work even in case of business contingencies? Will the code be protected against malicious third parties? Let the code be inspected by the Licensee’s IT security officer, preferably with your help as Licensor. Then obfuscate the code for distribution on the Licensee’s computers. The original source code would be deposited in a sealed storage, either at the Licensee’s premises or at a software escrow service.
2 – To have evidence that the source code already existed.
The aim is to demonstrate first authorship of a source code. It is not even necessary to publish the source code. Let the SHA-224 (or stronger) hash value of a source code be public in some indelible record. For example, with a simple Tweet. In a court of law, you can prove that the hash value corresponds unambiguously to your source code. Our specialised partner Computer Forensics Ltd. can guide you to escrow your code.
3 – Legal deposit of source code.
We recommend a law-enforced official source code deposit. All the countries follow the rules of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It is a legal process that requires formal documentation, avoiding prohibited references (such as third-party references). By depositing the source code in the clear in a public registry, it can be consulted in certain cases. It takes several weeks with regulatory fees alone starting in €1000. Our legal advisors Perez-Holanda International can assist you in the process.
4 – Code Inspection and Escrow.
Will the code be safe for the Licensee’s computing environment? Will the code work even in case of business contingencies? Will the code be protected against malicious third parties? Let the code be inspected by the Licensee’s IT security officer, with our help as Licensor. Then the code is obfuscated for distribution on the Licensee’s computers. The original source code will be deposited in a sealed storage, may be at the Licensee’s premises.