On line product registration/activation is really the compromise
between the two extremes. The developer can have a mysql database that
keeps track of the number of times the software has been registered in a
given amount of time, and tell the program weather to go ahead and
register the product or not. If you have a "unregister" option in the
game you can unregister it which would add one more installation to the
server's mysql database. That way if someone is willing to hand out his
or her keys they might think twice if that means giving it to a buddy
means using up one of their existing installations. This doesn't stop
piracy, of course, but it does restrict the number of copies that can be
activated at any given time using that key.
How I would do it if I were considering an internet based product
activation system is when the person purchases the game he or she would
recieve two keys with his/her product purchase. They could install the
game on two systems such as a desktop/laptop, or they might use one, and
keep the other as a backup. If they buy a new computer they can
unregister the software on their old computer and reregister it on the
new system. If they happen to need more than two keys they can buy
additional keys for some nominal fee like $5.00 each. That way if they
do start handing them out to friends the developer still makes something
off the pirated copies while being fair to his/her customers.
It doesn't come up with Hal either that I've noticed, and my computers
have been through account crashes, registry issues and all sorts of
fun without messing up Hal. Pluss, dolphin give you a free extra
registration every six months just in case you do have a problem.
I'll say that's another advantage of online registration as opposed
from having it on a Cd, ---- when it does need doing, it can be done
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