Browse Prior Art Database

Control of Software Use

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000036934D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Evans, DA: AUTHOR

Abstract

In a system consisting of a host computer controlling multiple intelligent work stations (IWS), software is supplied with a licence to use a specified number of copies. The authorization coding is stored in the host, but is not accessible to the customer. When a copy is downloaded to an IWS, the specified number in the coding is decremented. Additional coding is arranged to prevent another IWS using the already downloaded copy and so preventing use of the software without decrementing the number.

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Control of Software Use

In a system consisting of a host computer controlling multiple intelligent work stations (IWS), software is supplied with a licence to use a specified number of copies. The authorization coding is stored in the host, but is not accessible to the customer. When a copy is downloaded to an IWS, the specified number in the coding is decremented. Additional coding is arranged to prevent another IWS using the already downloaded copy and so preventing use of the software without decrementing the number.

The authorization for multiple copies received from the supplier is a set of alphanumeric characters which encodes the host serial number, the approved number of copies, the date of the customer's order and the order acknowledgement number and any other numbers as necessary. This is put into the host machine and stored in an area which is not accessible to the customer on CE tracks of host DASD by the maintenance processor. When a request for a download is received, the processor recodes the original number and issues another unique number to each copy of the downloaded code. The number of permitted copies is decremented by the maintenance processor as is normal until the licenced number is exhausted when further requests for download will be refused.

Thus, each downloaded IWS copy has a unique copy number, and, if replicated, the encoded copy number is also copied. Accordingly, when an IWS first makes access to its host machine for a session, the...