Cross-account licences - Steinberg Activation Manager

Hi Steinberg team,

This is going to both a request and a rant… I’m putting that in Cubase because it is my main software, but this covers pretty much any of your product covered by Steinberg Activation Manager.

I’m a french composer/sound designer (so excuse my potential english mistakes). I’ve been using Cubase since forever… legitimately. On my dad’s computer when I was 9 on Atari for the first release… obviously at the time to discover the tool, have fun, as a hobby (and a kid who doesn’t really understand what he does)… to Cubase 13 today as a professionnal for my everyday work.

The licence system has pretty much never failed me from a UX perspective.

Now comes the time of the wonderful Steinberg Activation Manager. This is for me, the worst move you ever made from a user / client perspective.

I’m using several accounts for personal licences and professional licences. This was working perfectly with the physical system. With the activation manager it falls apart drastically.

I’m in a situation today where I can’t use some softwares… like for instance SpectraLayers when using Cubase 13 because you can’t have two accounts logged at the same time. In my case, obviously, C13 is on one account, SL is on another.

Of course, crack teams being extremely good at circumventing software licences, it got cracked faster than the speed of light.

Today, I’m a loyal Steinberg user. I have spend a lot of money in your products both personally and the companies I have worked with/I’m working with. And I’m in a position where my current workflow is impacted by having an actual properly licenced software.

If right now, I would switch to a non-legal version of any of my softwares, I would have a better time working with those versions than the ones I paid for. This is proposterous.

Beyond the fact that I’m suspecting the licencing system changed because you either have not the internal resources anymore to keep the elicenser system… or that you don’t want to keep licensing servers running…

…the decision of changing the licensing system without supporting the ability of handling multiple accounts for your clients (like it was the case before) is a complete lack of respect for your user base.

So, I hope you are actually working on fixing that, and if not, considering putting that on the todo list and move it at the top of the list for the priority… because I’m considering dropping your products alltogether.

Your time like mine is precious in a professional situation. I won’t spend mine trying to compensate for a lack of investment in your licencing system.

You can use the software on three independent machines.
And a licence transfer to one account should be easy managable.

Hi st10ss,

I don’t see how it’s relevant? Prior to the new licence system, I could work with multiple softwares from multiple accounts on a single machine.

I don’t see how having multiple machines or transferring licences would improve my workflow ( and if licences are on specific accounts, that’s for a reason ).

So yes, Steinberg will change it, just for you.
I believe…

Hi Oliver and welcome to the forums!

I don’t think anyone in this user forum will be able to help you with your licensing issue. Only a Steinberg employee or representative would be able to give you a definite answer.

Well, transferring licenses to a single account would solve your issue, but I’m sure you already knew that.

What reason would that be?
I believe that Steinberg products are by default singe-user licenses, so to me it would make sense to have them all in the same account. But I don’t know your specific situation.

@st10ss thank you Steffen for your great interventions that makes this conversation go forward. I’m obviously completely out of line thinking that a company could eventually listen to customer feedbacks and improve upon ideas.

But maybe that’s just me. Just like maybe it’s just me thinking that people on a music production board could have a constructive and interesting discussion instead of relying on pointless sarcasm.

Hi @mlib ! Thank you! nice to meet you : )

Yup you’re right, transferring would solve my issue, but as you said, I knew that and can’t do that.

The reason behind that is because as mentionned, I’m working with several professional accounts. If you prefer, I could use an analogy: imagine I’m working with 3 companies, each one of them buy a licence for a software. And I’ve got the USB key (or SAM account for the new stuffs). The day I stop working with them, I give them back their key / account, and they can transfer it to someone else or use it themselves.

A simple as that : )

Beyond that, I do understand people trying to navigate with (or around) the “current state” of the licensing system. But it still kind of weird that a new licence system is kind of “downgraded” compared to its previous version. If you know what I mean?

That is still possible. You need to log in with different credentials. That easy.