Cubase 5 Activation Issue

I’m sorry for this post because I’m sure it gets asked a lot…just looking to see if there are avenues that are not being yet pursued and I couldn’t quite find the same kind of scenario in a forum search.

I purchased a used Cubase 5 Education Version from a Craigslist seller in original packaging with USB eLicenser, documentation, original install DVD, additional VST content and a full version of the Halion Symphonic Orchestra (4 discs) all original media. The seller says everything that was sent was all the original documentation, media and packaging that came with it when she bought it. She has been very responsive and is willing to take it back for a full refund if we can’t get this resolved so I honestly don’t think I’ve been duped.

Anyway, it installed fine, but there is no Activation Code so I’ve got 19 days left. The eLicenser has no licenses on it, and I can’t register the software because the web registration page responds that the software has already been registered. The seller is confused because she says she never registered it as the computer she was using didn’t have web access. She says it was ready to go out of the box. She has submitted a support request issue with Steinberg and is waiting to hear back.

I’m wondering if somehow she needs to transfer the registration or request an activation code? She says it didn’t come with an activation code…again, that it was ready to go out of the box. I asked if she purchased it new and from an authorized dealer and she says she purchased new and that she believes it was an authorized retailer as she had to send proof of her student status in order to qualify for the education version.

Anything I am missing?

I could be wrong, but I don’t think the dongle is ready to use out of the box. At least with the latest releases of Cubase 6 and 7 you would receive an empty USB key and a card with a license number on it.
Now if the person you bought it from has used the software, she has used that number to put the license on the USB key. If the USB key is now empty then she either transferred the license to another key, or that’s not the key she used.

By the way, I’m not sure what the rules are for reselling EDU licenses, is that allowed?

Okay. So here’s the deal.

It looks like the original owner from whom I purchased the software never transferred the license to the eLicenser. She used the activation code that came with the software to activate it without an Internet connection. That paper copy of the code has gone AWOL. She doesn’t even remember seeing it, but agrees she must have used it to activate the software in the first place.

And I can confirm this isn’t a transaction that was ill-intended by the seller because she has been talking with Steinberg about this to try and get it resolved. It doesn’t look good and she’s indicating that if I want she’ll refund my money and even let me keep all the media. She feels bad about what’s happened.

I have a support request in to Steinberg, but my hopes aren’t high. It is correct that education version licenses cannot be transferred, and on top of that it seems as though Steinberg does what it can to drive customers toward their latest product. That’s all fine and well…it’s their prerogative…but my entire studio is built around Windows XP dependent hardware (i.e. Yamaha 01X and i88x), so Cubase 7 is not an option for me. It’s just frustrating when I know they could allow my software to be activated, but their policy will dictate otherwise. And it’s not like I’m looking to get something for free. I expect to and am happy to have to pay for the license.


If you want you could also buy a Cubase 7 license and use whichever Cubase version you want. As long as the version you want to run is older as your license, it will be covered. IE: You can run Cubase 5 with a Cubase 7 license.