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The Importance of Protecting Your PHP Source Code
Posted on August 23rd 2010 at 12:27pm by
Why is it so important to protect your PHP source code? Well, computer coding work is among the easiest of all information products to steal. Clearly, code of any programming language is much easier to steal than a tangible page or book. Often all it takes is the press of a button or two; a quick copy-paste. That is the reality of how easy theft of online text and coding can be. 
In the minds of many, cyber data theft does not seem as bad as physical theft, but those who have been a victim of it know that it ultimately amounts to the same thing. If you write a great, original novel and it is stolen and published in someone else’s name, it is terribly hard to get over. Online theft of code is the exact equivalent. Sometimes, coding a great program can be even harder than writing a good book. It takes a great deal of the coder’s thought, sweat and creativity to make an ideal and efficient program. To have your work stolen is among the most frustrating experience possible for any professional coder.
Developers can lose huge sums of money by failing to protect their work. It is absolutely crucial to fully encrypt your PHP source code, especially if it is worth a lot. On the internet, you can lose control of your work in a second. It really is essential to protect your code as early as possible to safeguard against opportunists and lurking code thieves.
Unfortunately, because of the non-tangible nature of code theft, it doesn’t get reported or publicized greatly, but the reality is that it occurs every minute of every day. At any one time, there are millions of people surfing the internet. Many of these are looking for code. Most of them are just being lazy and hoping for a quick way to get their project produced on time, so they go down the easy route of copying someone else’s code. Others are specifically looking for good code for reasons of profitable gain. In any case, their purpose or level of intent is irrelevant. Whoever is replicating your code, shouldn’t be. Your code is your work.
Freelance coders, working on projects for others, are particularly at risk of losing out. If they just hand over their software unprotected, they have no guarantee of getting paid. But if they protect their software with a good PHP encoder, they can offer their program to be used and tested by the employer with the source code encrypted. Following payment, they can pass on the encryption key to the employer so that the source files can be viewed and used to their full potential.
The importance of authorship and intellectual property should not be underestimated, and coders and developers should take all of the steps necessary to protect their PHP source code, and protect their time and financial investment in any project that they do.
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