Machine Binding

What Does Machine Binding Mean?

Machine binding is a software-binding or licensure-stopping software that works to prevent the software from being used on multiple computers.


Mechanisms for machine binding include building serial numbers into hardware that can be accessed and matched to serial numbers within the software to provide an authorization match.

Machine binding ties a licensure to a specific machine or user and is used for digital software distribution. It also prohibits changes in the system installed on a particular computer. Licensing activities can include the machine binding process. Machine-bound software can be highly tamper resistant.

Techopedia Explains Machine Binding

Machine binding ensures that the person who is licensed to use a software is the only one able to use it. Machine binding of firmware is common as it prevents the installation of incorrect upgrades, which can permanently debilitate hardware.

Machine-bound software can also make it difficult for users to maintain their legal rights while upgrading their systems. Sometimes to obtain certain digital licensures, the potential user must agree to machine binding agreements. These may include an agreement to download the specific software product onto one PC. Software content owners are usually in favor of machine binding, as it makes it nearly impossible to copy or distribute their copyrighted works.

Machine binding is less advantageous for consumers purchasing a new PC or peripheral, as they may find themselves experiencing difficulties or an outright inability to use their software. Even though technology experts believe that machine binding is often unpredictable, software manufacturers use it quite often.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…