E-licenser guarantee

There will be some more news about the new licensing system in the next couple of weeks. Lots more information is coming, so please be patient.


Hello Daniel,

Thanks for your reply.

To resume :

a. have the possibility to transfer my Dorico license to the new system at no cost or at 59,99 ?

  • new licensing system will only come along a new version of Dorico then it’s a paid update;

b. still be abble to run Dorico 3.5 on High Sierra with my e-licenser key and / or the new licensing system (could a Dorico update using the new system break my Dorico 3.5 license on my e-licenser) ?

  • the new licensing system will come along a new version of Dorico;
  • as a consequence, Dorico 3.5 on High Sierra is working only if nothing happens to my key (again), in the other case I have 1/2 chance to backup my license.

c. after license transfer to the new system, updatable / registered Dorico version is now tied to my Steinberg account; as a consequence I shouldn’t have to worry about the key anymore, just have internet connexion and hope the servers hosting the new licensing system to be fully reliable, right ?

d. However, what happen if I my eLicenser dongle is lost or broken before I decided to pay a Dorico update (with new system) in the situation where Steinberg would refuse to replace my Dorico 3.5 license ?

  • I’ve to pay the full license again, 559,99 for instance, or :
  • Having registered Dorico 3.5 in MySteinberg, I’m abble to just buy the latest update which allows me to use any previous versions, including Dorico 4.x (in a VM with Windows 10) ?
  • …including 3.5, 2, 1 also (assuming the liense control center at that time is compatible with Windows 10) ?

While I’ll be patient to know all the details, could you confirm some points in a, b, c or d if you please ? Thank you in advance !

Have a good day !


Ch_B, I think it might a good idea to relax and be a little patient in this case.
there is only one thing guarantied in this world - and it is the same for everybody.


I thought there were two… death and taxes…

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not for the very rich… :wink:

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completely forgot about the latter - as I just did mine for 2020 yesterday…

You will not be able to transfer your existing Dorico 3.5 license to the new licensing system: each product will transition to the new licensing system at the time of a major version update, and your license will transition onto the new system as and when you decide to update to a version that uses the new licensing system. You will not pay anything to transition your license: you will simply pay for the update as normal.

You will be able to continue running Dorico 3.5 using your eLicenser indefinitely. If you are currently using the Soft-eLicenser and want to ensure that you can run the software for as long as possible into the future, you should consider moving your license to the USB-eLicenser, as this is more reliable than the Soft-eLicenser.

If you lose or break your USB-eLicenser either now or in the future, provided we or our network of resellers still have stock, you can buy a replacement USB-eLicenser and benefit from the Steinberg Zero Downtime process to obtain new licenses for your replacement USB-eLicenser.


Thank you Daniel for your response.

I will not insist however I find it a little sad that purchased and registered e-licenser keys cannot be recovered unconditionally.

" * Nous nous réservons le droit de refuser un remplacement de licence pour des demandes répétées." https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/fr/articles/206532304-Steinberg-Zero-Downtime

I just don’t want to let chance decide whether to pay for a new license or upgrade overnight.

That’s all!

Good development for Dorico 4 and thank you for listening.
All the Best

I really think you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill here.

You aren’t in the habit of losing your key. Steinberg isn’t in the habit of turning people away. They simply have to legally reserve the right to say ‘no’ just in case. Further still, you know that within ~60 days, the whole old system will be scrapped and replaced with one that doesn’t require a dongle anyway.

Just relax a little bit.


I appreciate more information is coming shortly, @dspreadbury, but I hope for some clarification on this policy. The reasons why I ask this question are below, but the question is “Will Steinberg move away from only major (paid) version updates triggering a transition to the new licensing system once the new system has matured, especially if the product has recently had a major version update or is rarely/never updated?”. I expect all that you can say now is “wait for the announcement”, but wanted to raise my concern nevertheless.

It is clear from what you say that products stay on eLicenser unless and until Steinberg issues an update moving them to the new licensing system. It makes sense not to have an eLicenser compatibility layer in the new system as this would increase fragility, mean a sensitive subsystem has a broader attack surface and fail to eliminate technical debt.

Understandably, the rollout of the new system will start with products that are about to undergo a major version transition - presumably Dorico 4, as well as paid updates to Cubase and Nuendo that will likely arrive in the next couple of months. Perhaps Dorico 4 will be the first product on the new system, limiting the initial rollout to a smaller number of customers than a Cubase update. Once the new system launches, presumably all new Steinberg releases will use the new licensing system.

However, other Steinberg products on less regular release cycles have recently undergone a major version transition - notably WaveLab 11 and Absolute 5. Spectralayers undergoes fairly frequent major version updates, though Spectralayers 8 is also a fairly recent release. I asked the question about transition other than at a major version update particularly with these products in mind.

I own numerous Steinberg licenses on my system, including WaveLab Pro 11, Absolute 5 and Spectralayers Pro 8. I understand I will likely have licences on both the old and new systems during the transitional period. However, I hope that I can move these products to the new licensing system within six months of its launch, rather than having to wait perhaps eighteen to twenty-four months for a new WaveLab major release.

In particular, I was hoping to use the very recently released WaveLab Pro 11 on my main system and my Surface Pro without the current requirement to move a USB eLicenser between the two systems once the new licensing system arrives.

Some products rarely, if ever, undergo a paid major version change, especially extensions. Presumably, licences for extension products will transition to the new licensing system at the same time as the parent application, so, for example, Iconica and TGuitar licences will move systems when HALion / HALion Sonic move to the new system.

John Barron already told me that Dorico 4 will be sans-eLicenser.

P.S.: You can attend Dorico beta program to see what is going on with the license system of Dorico 4. However, everthing, every piece of intel offered there is confidential under the NDA.

@ShikiSuen, in fact it is not possible to apply to join the Dorico 4 beta programme, and even if it were, simply applying to join the programme is no guarantee of acceptance into the programme.

@David_W, I do understand your concerns. It will be up to each product team in the company to determine the point at which they feel it is best to move to the new licensing system, and it may well end up being more nuanced than my assertion that products will move to the new system at the time of a paid release; of course it will be possible for each product team to transition at whatever time makes sense for them. However, I think it is natural to tie this up with a major version update, since changing the license system is not a small task for the engineering and testing teams. It is certainly in our interests, and the interests of our users, to transition our main applications and plug-ins over to the new system as quickly as possible, but there are many factors that go into determining what that definition of “possible” is for each team and each product.


Are you telling us the release time for Dorico 4?

James is going off the assumption that Dorico 4 will be released before the end of 2021, which aligns with what I’ve said previously. There will be some news about this next week.


Thanks for the reassurance that there will likely be a more nuanced position eventually, @dspreadbury. My concern with a rigid “transition only at major version updates” strategy is that I would have some of my Steinberg products stuck on eLicenser for perhaps another two years.

I am glad to hear that the WaveLab team could decide to switch licensing systems at a minor version release if they feel that move is in customers’ best interests. Their position is likely to become clearer once the new licensing system has bedded down, especially once Cubase and Nuendo have transitioned at a future major version update. Of course, I appreciate you cannot speak for other teams, and, for now, it is a case of “wait and see”.

I look forward to the upcoming announcements about Dorico. Thanks to you and the team for your continued hard work and exemplary customer engagement.

Anxiously waiting for those news… :wink:



Stay tuned for tomorrow. To try to tamp down unrealistic expectations: Dorico 4 will not be announced or released tomorrow.


Dorico will jump directly to version 5!!!

Hahah! Just Kidding!

Just in case you’ve missed the other thread or come to this thread days later when the other one isn’t pinned anymore: