EAL is a new module we are integrating into the Signal Magician web panel. It is available in the 1.9.8 version which will be released later in 2019. We will offer this EA Licensing module (EAL) as an extra upgrade and it will be limited to the number of products and license keys you can have on the system.
“EA Licensing” system (EAL) allows you to protect MT4 Expert Advisors and Indicators with a License Key which has an expiry date and is limited to work only on a certain amount of MT4 accounts.
“EA Licensing” is an additional module of the Signal Magician system, which means you will not only be able to protect your MT4 apps but also offer trade copier services and trading signals via email and SMS.
All customers in the system can have access to any of your Expert Advisors, Indicators or copy trading signals because everything is on the same portal. For example, if the user purchases only EA, he won’t get access to trade copier signals. If the user subscribes only to a trade copier, he won’t get the EA. And of course, users will be able to purchase access to multiple services too so they can enjoy your trade copier signals, Expert Advisors and Indicators at the same time under one username.
The EAL system is fully automated, and you can connect it with Stripe, ClickBank or PayPal hosted buttons. Right after purchase, a Welcome email is sent automatically with the information on how to access the product.
To protect your EAs and indicators with a License Key, you link them to the Signal Magician system by adding an MQL4 code snippet to your EA. You do not need to reveal your EA source code to anyone. EA will be locked per MT4 account basis which means you set the amount of how many MT4 accounts are allowed for each EA license.
For example, you can create one EA license type “Standard” and set it to allow 1 Live MT4 account and 2 Demo accounts. Then you create another EA license type “Premium” which can work on 5 Live MT4 accounts and 10 Demo accounts.
EAL system will give you an MQL4 code that you copy/paste into your EA, and you can add and protect many Expert Advisors and Indicators (depends on your Signal Magician subscription plan).
You can sell lifetime licenses or rent EAs on a monthly or annual basis. Once people stop paying, cancel or refund, their EA will stop working.
MT4 will convert your EA source code (.mq4) to encrypted and protected EX4 file which is what your clients will get. It means your EA trading logic and algorithm will always be safe and secret.
EAL works only on MT4.
EAL module does not require increasing web-server capacity because it does not use many resources. EAs connect once every hour which means it does not add much extra server usage and I expect regular web-server (1 CPU and 2 GB of RAM) should handle 1000 License Keys. But apparently, as more and more users subscribe you will need to upgrade.
Why EA Licensing system locks EAs to MT4 account number instead of locking to a PC?
There are multiple reasons why the EAL system locks EAs to MT4 account number only. The process becomes more comfortable and convenient, the software becomes much more compatible, and you get paid fairly.
Benefits of locking EA per MT4 account basis:
- Works for Windows & MAC users – more compatibility = more users can use your EA.
- Works on any Windows OS – fewer issues for customers.
- MT4 does not need to run in ADMIN mode – fewer problems for customers.
- Users always need to buy extra licenses because they cannot create accounts with the same MT4 account number to fool the system. You get paid fairly.
Example, you issue an EA and limit the license to work on 2x MT4 accounts (demo or real). The user always has an option to log in to SM web-panel and manage his activations. So if the user locks EA to 2 MT4 accounts, it won’t work on more accounts at the same time. But for example, if he wants to change the 1st account, then he can deactivate it from the 1st account and activate on another MT4.
Also, it makes sense to lock to MT4 account because if your EA makes money and the user has two accounts already connected, then he will need to buy more licenses from you to trade on more accounts. So even if someone is managing MT4 accounts for their friends, then you will get paid for every license as he will need to buy more licenses of your EA.
The most significant problem we face when locking EA to PC is that it becomes less compatible, there are more possibilities for errors, and you do not get paid fairly. For example, if you lock EA to a PC, then one person can have 100 MT4 accounts on a VPS server, and you just get paid for 1x license. Imagine someone with a powerful VPS server running 100 instances of MT4 with your EA and paying you €12 EUR per month for one EA license. If you lock to MT4 account number, then this user would have to pay for multiple licenses or be motivated to buy a more expensive software license which is designed to work on 100 MT4 accounts.
Problems we face and avoid when locking EA to PC using Machine GUID or Unique Computer ID:
- Unique computer ID usually can only be retrieved if MT4 is running in ADMIN mode. It makes it very inconvenient for the customer and adds an unreasonable chance for software failure.
- Unique computer ID usually exists only on new Windows editions like Windows 8 and 10. It does not exist on older Windows editions (XP, Vista, 7, etc.) and programmers have to improvise by using the physical address of a network card, CPU serial numbers and other parameters that are usually not available or not retrievable on some computers. It is another chance for software failure.
- On most computers, users can change Unique Computer ID or Machine GUID. It means anyone can set the same value on another machine and use the software without limitation. Yes, I know, users might not know which parameters they need to change exactly, but as a software provider, I would have to explain how EA license locks itself to a computer which means this information will be accessible to people and can be quickly leaked, etc. I see this as another chance for software failure and security reputation failure as well.
- It won’t work for MAC users.
Those are the reasons why EA Licensing module locks EAs to MT4 account number instead of locking to a PC.