By the way, a philosophical note regarding software licensing technologies. I pay the bills as a professional software developer, so I’m all too familiar with the attitude towards piracy. A great many people these days don’t feel like they should have to pay for intellectual property (just look at the music industry). The way I see it, if I should work for free, then so should my plumber. We both have a right to earn a living.
Unfortunately, I can’t steal a plumber’s work, but he can steal mine. Bottom line, the Internet has shown conclusively that if people can take something without paying for it and get away with it, they will. In massive numbers. Consequently, programmers who want to stay in business have to use copy protection because while there are honorable people in the world (this forum is full of them), a huge number ar not and would quickly put you out of business.
All copy protection is a super-sized PITA. Dongles. Challenge / response. Internet activation / phone home. I don’t like any of them, but no one’s come up with a better way to make sure that people get paid for their products. Having been through the entire list with one product or another, I’ve grudgingly come to prefer dongles. There are just too many things that can get screwed up with soft authorization, and they always happen at 2 am when tech support is asleep and you’re on a deadline.
A dongle just works. And it’s like a guitar. If you want to use it in more than one place, yes, you have to take it with you. Once upon a time, a recording studio meant a 24 track tape machine. You had to carry that with you as well if you wanted to do remote recording. So I’m okay with the fairness of a dongle. I bought one copy of Cubase. If I want to have a guitar in the studio and one in my living room, I need to buy two. Same with Cubase.
It’s occasionally a nuisance. But not nearly as much of a nuisance as Steinberg going out of business, which is what happened to a great many software companys (not to mention record labels) who failed to protect their work and insure that they got paid. I realize supporting copy protection is an unpopular position but I write software, music and books. If there’s no way to make sure I get paid for the creation of intellectual property, I’m screwed. So are you, by the way.
Sorry for the ramble. It’s early and I’m on my first cup of coffee.