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Provision of Hardware Keys on Floppy Diskettes for Copy Protection

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000042013D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-03

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Authors:
Comerford, LD White, SR [+details]

Abstract

To provide copy protection for software written on floppy diskettes, hardware keys represented by variably spaced code holes are formed in the diskettes, each set of such holes having a pattern of relative angular spacings which is unique to its diskette. This type of key is transparent to the software user and can be used to prevent unauthorized copying of the program on the diskette. Copy-protection methods which use hardware keys are more effective than those which are software-based, because hardware keys are more costly to duplicate than software. Hardware keys customarily reside in the machine hardware and are interrogated by the programs which are to be protected. The present copy-protection method takes a more convenient approach by encoding the hardware key directly onto the diskette carrying the protected software.