apdl wrote>However, for the benefit of others please remember we're not just talking about a "normal" piece of software but also a complete commercial operating system with many add-ons and extensions and lots of other (licensed) 3rd party software and IPR, so it's a lot more complicated than simply working out how to do it with some sort of hardware dongle.
While on the surface that *might* appear true in practice it isn't is it ? As I *keep* writing VA system are *not* the native platform, the "OS" (so called) is simply data used by the VRPC emulator to present the RISC OS "experience" on a non-native (x86) platform. If VA's activation system works then ONLY legit VRPC systems can be run - and they're the *only ones* that could benefit from having the RISC OS data and 3rd party "software".
Point is if you prevent VRPC from running (e.g., if it doesn't have a legit dongle) then ANY and ALL other software supplied with it (including RISC OS) would be useless to a PC user. Simply being able to copy it would acchieve the person copying it nothing as VRPC (copied) would still *not* run without the license key. Having a single "strangle hold" over execution of the emulator controls the use of ALL the software used in the emulated environment.