LightBurn's Creative method of discouraging theft

When I purchased Lightburn, I found it mentioned in another forum and found your web site. I just did a quick scan this morning after reading the initial message. Damaging a system is a felony, there are laws that protect both the software developer and the consumer. Proving intent, is not at the software developers discretion, its the sole responsibility of a judge, so that option really isn’t viable; ask FTDI. They bricked counterfeit boards and got into serious trouble with the US government. That stopped them very quickly. You seem to have a pretty secure way of handling licenses, it would surprise me that you cannot simply disable Lightburn from executing after a number of executions, or simply deleting itself.
While there is no question that piracy is a problem, it has become less of a problem that it was 40 years ago. When software was sold on floppy disks it was a real big problem. I wasn’t intending to be nasty, just suggesting other ways of handling the situation with something less than a baseball bat to the users face. If they want to waste four dollars on a piece of software that prints that message, they already learned a lesson. I just figured that may have been a good reason for them to buy the software without making them look worse than they made themselves look. They have to get a program from someone, it may as well be the choice they originally made.

Anything that I do that has a “hard action” like that makes it MUCH easier for a pirate to find and remove. The way it is now, the only clue you get is when the job is run on material, and by then the code that generated the job is long done. If I made it simply quit, self delete, or anything else that a hacker could just put a breakpoint on, it’d be trivial to remove. We’ve discussed a few hundred different ways to handle this internally, and settled on this as the best approach.


So I know most of you folks are WAY too young to remember Visicalc. But the original “copy protection” schema for Visicalc (a forerunner to Excel) was, if the software was copied and they detected it, they turned on and off all of the devices and internal structures of your PC simultaneously - and blew out your power supply! They were forced (legally) to take it down and that kind of punitive protection scheme was not used again. But oh, those were the good old days! :slight_smile:

  • Gary

Unless the unit was very poorly designed, I seriously doubt that it would “blow out” a power supply. But your point is understood. There is NO WAY to protect software from people wanting to crack it. The level of competence may need to be increased to do the hack, but code by it’s very nature, is always vulnerable to internal attacks. You can spin your wheels for decades and still not be bullet proof. So, put in what will discourage the vast majority of hackers. There is no profit to go after a low cost product generally, they tend to attack the big dollar ones. Enough to keep honest people honest, and wannabe hackers at arm length.

I think that punishment fits the crime. It’s pretty self descriptive. The only thing dumber then wasting the $4 was posting a phot of the message in the forum. That should have been embarrassment enough. You could change the message to “I tried to steal Lightburn, and all I got is this message and printed” and only engrave on a white T-shirt. I think that wearing that T-shirt would advertise one message and create some Lightburn sales.


We’re talking about 1980 computers - before IBM was in the game…the very first ones — and yes, power was a problem and the units had to ration their devices. It didn’t last long but it was actually quite effective.

LightBurn came with my wife’s Aeon laser, I was so impressed with it’s tracing facility I bought another licence for my works computer. Can’t believe people are spending hundreds if not thousands on lasers and then stealing an £80.00 piece of software to drive it.
Keep up the good work.


Where’s Jason in the Organization? Early Betas felt like pure Apple.

Oz == Jason (IE, me)

It’s funny that you say that - I’ve been a PC developer for decades, and only started working on Macs fairly recently.

We talked about that early on. It’s the only reason I delayed jumping in with both feet in Production until recently. Since migrating, we’ve only had a couple of glitches and your Team has been both quick and thorough in responding. As I’ve told you multiple times, I don’t care what you want to charge for the production versions–we’ll continue to use your product.


I still like my idea: engrave 95% of the job before printing this over the top of it. For vector jobs, run just enough of the job to waste the material, then print this.

How do you like the dark side?

I still prefer PC’s to develop on, mostly because of familiarity, but I do like Apple products. Macs are much more like an appliance than a PC - in general, you turn them on and they “just work”, and Apple is really on their game with overall integration of products and features - I can be looking at a web page on my phone and just click a button to bring it up on my desktop. Things like that are really nice.

Lets face it, they learned a valuable lesson for less than the cost of a lunch. I think they got off easy.

I’ve got a couple of lasers, you guys are the go-to for laser engraving. Much like Vcarve is for my cnc router! Keep up the great work!

I think its an excellent, funny and fairly harmless way to “advise” people to check their version.
Having used other laser software for years, Lightburn is way good value for money so the price is viable - even for hobbyists.
Keep up the good work guys - just downloaded the recent updates.

I started the one month trial but purchased after just one day. Bargain.

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Thanks to all who have developed this software. I recently watched a Youtube of a particular laser project procedure using a well known expensive software package. Basically I got lost in all the steps I would have to take. Lightburn, is so intuitive and easy to follow and pick up it really seems to me as a “one stop shop”. Most impressed. I’m so glad my laser developer/manufacturer has a great working relationship with the Lightburn developers.


“Slow roasted”

Now I’m not trying to start a holy war here, but that’s the benefit of building the only hardware your software runs on. Controlling the whole ecosystem has that inherent advantage.