Licensing question (i,e. the new system)

Forgive me if this has been asked before

Under the new licensing system:

For now everything seems rosy:

However, if your system goes down and you can’t get into Windows and are forced to do a clean install, what happens to your Cubase 12, Wavelab 11 etc. license? How do we get it back? Do we have to prove to Steinberg that we are not making it up?

This was never a problem with the e-Licenser dongle

The new system allows you to activate your license on up to 3 computers simultaneously. If for some reason you can’t deactivate one of the licenses manually, such as in the situation you described, you can contact support through your MySteinberg to request your activations to be reset.

In the meanwhile, you’ll be able to continue working as normal using this computer for as long as you had at least 1 activation free before the incident, or by deactivating a license in use on another computer. You can freely deactivate your licenses as necessary.

And providing you have an internet connection. Interesting, how that work if you were on the road playing in some remote area in the middle of nowhere! Sorry to be negative but you have to look at worst case scenarios! Not all countries’ I.T. infrastructure is as developed as others…

In my opinion something more sinister could be behind this whole movement away from the eLicenser thing from Steinberg’s perspective. Is it the cost of implementing it to combat the pirates vs having a certain amount of control over the user’s pc. I don’t like the Big Brother aspect one bit. What is stored in an Activation? Has that ever been properly explained by Steinberg in layman’s terms?

You only need to be connected to the internet for license operations. If you licensed a program on a machine, you need no connection to the servers anymore. It works completely offline.

The Steinberg Activation Manager can be used to generate an offline license file, which can be put on an USB drive to activate a computer, even if it was never connected to the internet.

The eLicenser was dropped because the software and the server became antiquated and unmaintainable. There were multiple server outages over the past 2 years which were only going to get worse if Steinberg decided to stick with the eLicenser system.

The current system was almost entirely designed based on user feedback. Your assumptions are odd given that this system is similar or in many cases more liberal for the user compared to the licensing solutions employed by other major players in the pro audio industry.


Plus most folks that use Cubase live or when traveling asked for the dongle to be removed as it was a single point of failure for them and could be easily damaged.


Lots of issues with downloading the Activation Manager for people so no system is flawless

Steinberg Activation Manager download from website failed - Cubase - Steinberg Forums

I call Bullshit!

Many Cubase users can’t log a Support Request directly to Steinberg but get directed to a ‘Local’ distributor., who in my case (and many others as reported in the forum) won’t respond to email requests. Even then there is no indication they have the capability to reset licenses.

There should be a self-service portal where you can reset your licenses when you upgrade hardware and / or BIOS. Plenty of other vendors have this facility with online licensing.

This is the most sucky part of running Steinberg products, no true Customer Support for paid software.

Yep. And with people working from home…

I don’t know any… it’s always with support involved, and it needs time as well.
ilok (Eventide), Waves, Arturia, Native Instruments just to name the vendors whose products I regularly use.