License management and the future of the eLicenser – changes ahead

Thanks for replying.

In your mind, what do you envisage the best solution when Steinberg move away from the dongle? I guess something similar to the enterprise offline activations that Adobe use for Creative Cloud?

I work in a similar environment but very much smaller than those names above and local to us, but what was imposed on us were AES128 encryption, routine external security audits, internal server log reviews, and a big no to any kind of USB mass storage even being in the room, let alone near a machine.

In fact the whole process for approval was incredibly drawn out, and with remote working enforced last year there’s some real grey areas that exist now. Daily work became a muddle of VPNs and handheld PIN devices. Doing the actual work feels like a secondary priority at times. :slight_smile:

However that’s deviating. What i wanted to say is that our client machines connect via a firewall that would allow non-content critical apps through - i.e. such as licensing and project planning software.

I’m guessing what you’re dealing with is far stricter and doesn’t even allow that? i.e. would your policies currently allow the eLCC software to connect, but restrict the app (Cubase/Nuendo)?

Puh - just a decade? Its been very successful for me as well - for over 30 years! :wink:

Cubase VST originally used a floppy disc authoriser - I have NO problems with copy protection. But I’m afraid its a fact that the dongle is constantly being checked as you run a Steinberg app - as are all the other eLicenser, iLok and disc based authorised plugins you’re using within it. This all adds up

Hello dear Steinberg team, I am a new user from Chinese, I want to try Dorico, so I just bought a dongle, but what I didn’t expect is that I bought Steinberg for a month and would give up so soon. I use a dongle. If Steinberg’s future license verification requires the Internet, it will be very inconvenient for a Chinese user like me. In my own imagination, the best thing is that the combination of dongle and network authentication can give a user a wide range The right to choose, this is the ideal way


Nice move. Very important question:

Will it be possible to activate and use Cubase Pro on a PC that has no internet with the new license system?

Basically no. we really are not allowed to do that. However Elicenser as it is is no hindrance as uploads can be downloaded, checked and greenlit and placed on the server. Getting single machine access is something else.

What I hope they do is just reflash the eLicenser to make it more secure.

I go to a friends house with my C 11 USB eLicenser when we record there, otherwise he has C 11 LE.

If I’m stuck on one machine with my C 11 that will be a pain in the ass.

Offline Activation (

Ok i appreciate that, what baffles is me that in the past i’ve copied the very latest eLCC software and latest Cubase software from server share to my offline machine (Offline in the sense that it exists behind a local firewall), Then installed both eLCC & Cubase.

However, Cubase wouldn’t pass authorisation until the eLCC was able to go online and run maintenance check on that local machine.

You’ve never experienced anything like that i’m guessing? People i’ve spoken to say it’s common for them also which is why i’m not a great fan of this halfway house that we find ourselves in.

But perhaps we’re doing something wrong if you’re smooth sailing. :frowning:

We can’t say with absolute certainty since there remain a lot of open questions in terms of exactly what the eventual solution will look like, but I can say that it is absolutely our intention to provide a means of activating the software offline without requiring the machine itself to connect to the Internet.

One way in which it might work (and I stress that this is only one possibility) is that you would generate some kind of hardware identification key on the air-gapped machine on which you want to run the software, copy that onto removable storage, and walk it over to another computer that can connect to the Internet. You’d then use that hardware identification key to generate a software authorization that you copy back onto the removable storage, and walk it back over to the air-gapped computer, and install the authorization. That computer would then be authorized to run the software for the duration of that license. Precisely how long that authorization would be able to last without being renewed (a year? longer?) and exactly what that process would look like are open questions at this stage.

But please know that we are well aware that our products are used in environments like these, and we have no intention of leaving any of our customers out in the cold.

For the avoidance of doubt, this would not be the method required by most users, since the vast majority of users connect their computers to the internet periodically, but those users for whom it is impractical to connect their computers to the internet will not be left behind.


Thanks for your response , surely if you have purchased the licence then the licence is for life ? Unless you upgrade of course ?

Ok sorry ive just reread what your saying , that could work from here

I still have other than Steinberg licenses on my elisencer. Will I still need the dongle for those or will they move (automatically) together with Steinberg to the “new system” ?

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You’ll need to wait and see what the manufacturers of those products decide to do. Vienna Symphonic Library, for example, have already announced that they will be transitioning to using iLok. We will continue to maintain the eLicenser servers for a while after the introduction of the new license management system, allowing time for your other licenses to be transitioned.



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Hello Ed and Matthias,

I think it’s great news and I look forward to find out what the solution will be. I myself had no issue with the dongle - it was/is reliable and I liked the red “blinky” :smiley: The only time I didn’t like it was when I had to go to the store to pick one up - that was a bit of a waste of time, but other than that, I was fine with it. And for those who were whining about it taking up USB space: I have mine on a USB hub and that works - so no biggie. Cheers, Roland

Perfect! I don’t connect my computer to the internet when working. Also, glad to hear no subscription. Looking forward to a new solution. I hope it’s an innovative and fresh new way to approach licensing.

I’d recommend folks stop making threats to leave and just wait to find out what Steinberg comes up with. Good grief.

Great to hear! I hope it’s a simple MFA with google authenticator or something similar.

Well to be honest we are still in the early stages of our high security work so we have been able to have the machines with internet acess outside of the periods where we worked on these shows, so I haven’t fully tried offline method,it SHOULD work with the current elicenser, so your comment is a bit worrying…

But I am confident that any new system will, after the initial issues a transition like this always have, then it will be good. Steinberg devs are clever folks. I am quite sure they won’t make our lives harder on purpose.

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Thank you all for your initial feedback. As already mentioned we are early in the process so your ideas and concerns will be considered when mapping out the new system.

This is the most important project for Steinberg in a long time and you can be assured that we are doing our utmost to find a good and forward-looking solution.

We will close this thread for now, but we will hopefully be able to provide more information as soon as the course is set.