BitBoost Python code obfuscator

How I Made Sure a Freelancing Client Would Pay Me For My Work,
By Using Python Obfuscation

The Opportunity…and the Problem

I had the opportunity to do an interesting project for a local business. I was solving an urgent problem, writing code to enable the business to scale up and create jobs for local salespeople. Hooray! Boost the economy! And I would get paid at a good rate.

Sounds good so far.

But when I looked at the client’s first payment, the check didn’t have my name on it! The payee name was wrong.

Not so good.

My original gut instinct said that the people I was dealing with were most likely good for the money. But my logic told me that a check with the wrong name on it is pretty suspicious. When I delivered the final version of the project code, would I ever get paid the full amount that we originally agreed on?

Fortunately, I was using Python to develop my solution for the client…and I happened to have Python obfuscation technology readily available to me.

I set up a simple build script to run an obfuscator on the project’s source code and byte-compile the obfuscated source code.

The client’s staff would be able to run the obfuscated, byte-compiled code on their own servers using the normal Python interpreter. But the first time the client needed the code changed, they would need to talk to me again. And if the client had decided not to pay me….oh well. The client would find out that it’s difficult to change code that’s obfuscated and byte-compiled, if you didn’t pay the original developer so you never got the source code.

Just to make sure the client would need continued cooperation at some point, I put some of the project’s advanced configuration settings into an obfuscated, compiled Python file within the code.

So now I could focus on solving the client’s problems, with less distraction from worrying about whether the client would try to freeload on my hard work.

So what happened?

After some days of understandable process delay, the client supplied a full set of checks with the right name and dollar amounts. The checks cleared, with no reverses.

I think the client would have paid me in any case. But with Python obfuscation, I was able to have more peace of mind and better concentrate on solving the client’s problems.

When the paid-up client needed complete source code, I handed it over immediately. Soon afterwards, that code was running at the client’s customer sites across the United States, with a possibility of future expansion into other countries.

This happy ending was brought about partly by the power that Python obfuscation can apply to protect a freelancer’s negotiating leverage and peace of mind.