May 9, 2011
Selling digital products online is a great idea!
Why? Because you produce 1 digital product and you can sell it 1,000,000 times or more!
How? You need to use a secure platform that will allow your customers to download the product a limited # of times. This is accomplished by using a unique ID or link that has an expiration date. Some shopping carts will allow you to set an expiration by date or by number of downloads or a combination of both (which ever happens first).
Protecting Digital Products
Depending on the kind of product you want to sell, you will need to look into security and antipiracy techniques. Some of them can include copy protection or print protection (for documents for example).
Protecting Images from Being Downloaded Illegally
This is some of the hardest things to accomplish and we have to be honest; even some of the most sophisticated websites can still get hit by illegal downloads or copies of their artwork. We suggest showing only a low resolution sample of the image with maybe one corner at full resolution to show the quality of the product and add a watermark on top of the sample. We have seen websites using Flash to try to mask the image behind it and after a few minutes we were able to show clients how it can still be downloaded at a decent resolution without paying for it. So, people will still be able to download something to their hard drive, the best you can do is get credit for it with the watermark and make available ONLY a low resolution image. Loyal customers WILL pay for the real, full resolution image.
ALWAYS include a copyright notice with any purchase and mention any international laws that may apply to your products. Your copyright notice should also appear on the footer of your site so it transpires to every single page of your online store.