If you ever needed to open an old project in a legacy version of Cubase, the new license will only support C12 onwards. As a Cubase owner you get all previous versions as part of your license, so you’ll lose that ability.
If you update to C12, Your current C11 is supplied back to yourself as NFR. This means that accepting the terms of the license you cant be distributing it to another person, as it’s tied to your C12 update and licensed to you as an individual.
You’re basically asking the question as to why someone wouldn’t adhere to software license terms? I mean, let’s be honest, if you’re talking about offline machines you could activate C12 on the new licensing, take the machine offline and then contact Steinberg to have the license deactivated as the machine had failed.
Likewise you could just activate a friends machine with the new C12 system too. There’s loopholes wherever you want to seek them out. If we want a flexible system then it falls on us to morally adhere to the terms - or such benefits will have to be removed, sadly.
People were cheating with the current dongle, as you can register one as stolen and then use it in an offline machine. So people will and always have made ‘copies’ of legal licenses in such manners, users who are desperate for offline use ‘for security reasons’ no doubt carries a percentage of who are bypassing licensing terms in such ways.
Seen it on this forum in the past week where people are wondering how the new licensing is going to work with their current method of ‘sharing’ the dongle between machines and users. Technically, they’ve been in violation of licensing previously.
So yes, this is quite a gamble for Steinberg - particularly the new change to only require a single activation for the life of a machine, and 3 machines under that banner. It’s a massive risk for them.
However, look around at other DAWs that are freely pirated so maybe they’re weighing up the pros and cons and thinking getting Cubase under as many people’s noses is for the better good as they can be transformed into paying customers?!
i.e. Is it all that bad if there’s a load more C11 users in the pipeline with newer products to sell them?
It’s not going to affect sales like you think, I’d expect things to go the other way as Cubase now becomes much more accessible for people to use across desktop and laptops, and demo the product without needing to buy hardware. That’s basically the desired upshoot.