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Product activation is unobtrusive, secure and flexible - if one does it right. This paper describes some obvious, and some not-so-obvious, issues for software developers to consider. Product activation is a popular approach for securing software licenses. However, software developers need to consider all the requirements for a capable activation system, from the license models they'll need to support to how they'll deal with the corner-case customer environments. The basic activation process is typically as follows. Upon purchase the software vendor sends a unique product serial number to the user.
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