The original directory structure for a DOS program or EXE file is altered or manipulated in the program's compiled 32-bit or 64-bit executable file format, it can use protective and other components that are embedded in the original file structure. It is also called source porting. Bits of the original file are either deleted, moved around, or retained within the new file, occasionally encrypted or truncated. In some cases this can result in two or more distinct files that are considered to be the same application (i.e., the same program) by most operating systems or user interfaces, or display the application in a limited way. (i.e. the windowed interface or AppContainer). The changes can be made to one of several file types, and often run-time loaded components are redistributed with the program.
Many programs, especially those used primarily for non-commercial purposes, use licensing as a barrier to piracy. Proprietary software tends to be more strictly protected than freeware, and other open source software. In particular, Windows operating systems support copy protection in several ways. The main method is by restricting the number of floppy discs a single user can use.
License keys are serial numbers that a user must enter to use software. (Alternatively, a user may have a license key for many software of a single company, which is sometimes referred to as a school, institution, or network license.)
In order to determine the status of any given copy of your product, you need to know the combination of serial number and licensing key. Without that information, you cannot determine the current status of the software. A client needs this information to establish a baseline for the product. Keeping that information proprietary is a good thing. d2c66b5586