Perpetual License meaning - New Steinberg Licensing

Firstly, thanks to Steinberg for considering users’ concerns and adjusting the upcoming licensing policy based on feedback.

I would just like clarification of one line: “As before, your perpetual license applies only to the current major version of the product: e.g., if you purchase a license for Dorico 4, your license will not apply to Dorico 5 or any later version.”

My understanding is that as usual, if I want to get a perpetual license for a future version, I can upgrade my existing perpetual license without needing to purchase a new full license. Is that correct?

Thank you.

Yes, of course you will be able to buy an update in the future, as always.

The quote was just clarifying that a “perpetual” license means just perpetual for the current bought/activated version. It does not mean perpetual as in infinity for all future major versions as well, without actually buying an update. So that nobody can make that argument.

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Yes, it’s correct, but not entirely, because there’s no such thing as a perpetual license for future versions. When you buy a license, that license is for the current version (and previous versions, if you buy a license for Dorico 3.5).

Starting with Dorico 4, the bought license (as a new customer) will work only with Dorico 4 and – when you’ll update to Dorico 5 (or buy Dorico 5 as a new customer) – you will be able to run previous versions, but not the ones that require a USB eLicenser (a Steinberg Key).

Please note that upgrading and updating are two separate things.
Upgrading is when you switch, for example, from Cubase Artist to Cubase Pro, while updating is when you switch to a newer version (Cubase 10 Pro → Cubase 11 Pro).

I think we learned from the liason/elision discussion that trying to define words like upgrade/update is best left (in this case) to those who issue the updates/upgrades and control the licensing.


@alin89c is absolutely right: in Steinberg’s slightly tortured world of nomenclature, “update” means to go from one generation of a particular product to a later one, e.g. to go from Dorico Pro 3.5 to Dorico Pro 4, while “upgrade” means to go from one variant of a product to a higher level of functionality (and may also include going from one generation to a later one), e.g. to go from Dorico Elements 3.5 to Dorico Pro 4.


@dspreadbury Thank you for giving the official word so we do not have endless semantic arguments.

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Oh, I’ll bet you any amount you want to risk that we will STILL have endless semantic arguments! (No matter HOW MANY clarifying official words we get.)


It’s a pretty standard nomenclature.

It helps if you think of it like cars.

If you trade in your 2018 Audi A3 on a 2021 Audi A3 it’s an update. (you go up in date)
If you trade in your 2021 Audi A3 on a 2021 Audi S8 it’s an upgrade. (you go up in grade)

So I like cars :slight_smile:


I think it’s easier to just speak in terms of paid or non-paid updates based on point version.
Alternatively, everything is an “up.” :slight_smile:

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