I've build a large model in the ArcGIS ModelBuilder and I want to share this toolbox with some other people BUT I don´t want to lose control over it. The first step was to set a password to my script, but this only protects the script not the functionality. If someone have my toolbox, he could use it when and where he wants and share it with others like he wants. That's not the way I want it.

Is there a way to build something like my own license file? My idea was to use python (or any other option) at the beginning of the model to check if there is an license file on my Gdrive account, something like an *.txt or *.html. The model only should work, if this file was found (I´ve done that on a local machine - and it works - but not with using the cloud).

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't do this, especially not with some home-brewed license "server".

If you're certain your IP is valuable enough to protect by licensing, you should purchase a commercial licensing solution.

But I don't think this is necessarily the best solution as any form of DRM only inconveniences legitimate users and will not stop determined people reverse engineering your work. Consider how easy it is to get a pirated version of Windows...

I recommend you simply require users to agree to a license agreement. This will have the same effect as DRM - i.e legitimate users will respect it and pirates will break it.

If you are absolutely determined to retain complete control of your source, then you can not release your work, at all. Instead, set up an ArcGIS Server instance and publish your model as a geoprocessing service. That way your source never leaves your control and you can easily restrict who has access to the service.

  • Commercial licensing is a little bit over the top, I don't want to save my IP against commercial piracy, only against unauthorized non-expert users within the company. You're right, this is not a "high-end" copy protection and there is no 100% secure way to keep my IP, but this never was my goal. To hope that my work is respected with a kind of license agreement is one thing, to believe in is a whole different thing. I answered my self: Yes, it is possible to wirte a python script which checks a license file on Gdrive with the urllib module, for example. Works greate for my requirements.
    – André
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 20:07

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