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I am releasing free C# softwares I've created using Visual Studio. In the future, some of these softwares might become Paid. I was wondering if I need to purchase any kind of license for them ?

I understand that it's good to have a certificate for your website (SSL?), if your trying to sell your software but what about your applications ?

I just don't want anti-virus/browsers flagging my application as not trusted. Any suggestion is appreciated.

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Are you confusing the terms license and certificate in the first sentence? They are two very disparate things. – Latty Nov 5 '12 at 3:48
I don't think so, I'm pretty sure I know what type of license to use on my program. I'm not sure about this either but I thought a lot application has a certificate that proves they are "valid" and trust able applications, is that wrong ? Sometime Google Chrome points my .zip files as "Untrusted application", that's why I am asking. – e e Nov 5 '12 at 4:09
I was referring to the line 'I was wondering if I need to purchase any kind of license for them ?' - what license? – Latty Nov 5 '12 at 10:18
up vote 6 down vote accepted

It sounds like what need is to have your programs digitally signed (i.e. Code Signing). This is similar in concept to an SSL certificate, in that it proves that the program is from whomever the certificate was issued to & has not been modified (e.g. malicious code added).

The key to understanding Code Signing though, is that the certificates are seperate from SSL certificates - they're specifically called code signing certificates.

I've used VeriSign in the past when going through the Microsoft Logo Certification program, but found that their certificates are much more expensive than those available from GoDaddy or Comodo.


Also, there's an article on MSDN: Introduction to Code Signing that you may find useful too.

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do you think it's required in order to sell software ? I am already protecting my code with obfuscator. – e e Nov 5 '12 at 5:58
Signing is not required to sell software. But there may be vendors who will only sell signed software. – GrandmasterB Nov 5 '12 at 6:14
While it's not required to digitally sign your code, I do think it's a good idea to do so. Consider the price of the certificate vs. losing sales because customers aren't confident that your software is safe to use (e.g. the messages you mentioned, as well as UAC in Windows). Plus, it gives your applications a nice, professional look when your company name is displayed as the publisher instead of "Unknown Publisher". – Alexander Nov 5 '12 at 6:17

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