short sighted pricing

I bought my copy of Dorico at a discounted price as I already have Sibelius. As we all know I can have Sibelius on my desktop and my laptop. To keep this functionality with Dorico I emailed Steinberg to purchase a 2nd license so I could run it on my laptop too. They said I could have the 2nd license for £452! so much for rewarding loyalty! I instead bought a Dongle for £16 which is already proving to be a pain and not an acceptable solution at all. All that has happened now is that Steinberg took just £16 instead of the £225 and the other 25 licences in my organisation have all said they are staying with Sibelius. Ridiculous

You could have cross-graded to Notion, and then cross-graded to Dorico for less I suppose… just sayin’ (I’m not disagreeing with your conclusion…)

Maybe you should move your license to usb key and then you can simply use it on both machines…


There have been many threads about this, but for better or worse the dongle is the way Steinberg does things, at least at the moment and has been doing it this way with Cubase for a long time.

At least if you only use one computer you don’t have to use a dongle, and if you want to use it on more than the Sibelius 2 license limit (i.e. 3+ computers) then you can still use the same dongle.

I bought a dongle, but have delayed using it, as I should prefer not to have to. According to the sticky topic, one cannot yet move back to the software licence once having activated the dongle, though this is apparently in the works. Is there any news yet about being able to revert from the dongle to the soft e-licence?


I appreciate Steinberg’s long history with the dongle and its commitment to find a “better way” to protect its interest in the future. However, in the meantime, I wonder if Steinberg couldn’t allow customers who need Dorico on at least two computers (one of which is a laptop that needs to work without a dongle) to pay the cross-grade price for both licenses? I am an enthusiastic user and supporter of Dorico and don’t want to start a series of complaints here but hope my suggestion might help improve relations between the company and the numerous users who want Dorico on a dongle-less laptop.

It’s customary for most software manufacturers to allow 2 installs of software per license. One can argue this is antiquated but it is customer-centric and seems an acceptable way to provide customers a way to use the software on both a laptop and a desktop. Most are not going to use both installs at once!

Sibelius uses an online licensing scheme that allows one to register/deregister the software at will. The central server presumable checks to make sure the license is only installed for the allotted number of installs and it’s a fairly quick and seamless process.

I’d like Steinberg to consider adopting these customer-centric practices for Dorico. Most of us are not thieves, nor will we likely use the software on more than one computer at a time.


DRM only serves to irritate legitimate customers. Pirates have no difficulty circumventing it.

A good point is made above about laptops. I am currently trying to buy a new laptop and finding that the lighter ones have few USB-A ports these days, and are also increasingly providing USB-C (Apple and others provide only one of these). I need the ports for mouse and hard drive, and to have one blocked by another dongle is for me a waste of a port. If it were the case that the only program I ever used were Dorico, that would be fine: but it is far from true! I have dongles that authorise plugins too. Dongles are yet more things to carry that can easily be lost. A licence for two machines, as with other software would be fair.


Everyone seem to agree with that — but still no news from Steinberg…

We haven’t been able to change anything since my above post, sorry.

The Steinberg dongle (that Cubase also uses) apparently hasn’t been circumvented in many a year (the hacked versions online are phising attempts for malware afaik).
Some new Apple laptops have few or no USB ports.
The dongle is still a way for most people to use Dorico on as many computers as they like, work, home, laptop - not just a limit of two.
If you move your license to a dongle you still can’t currently move it off again (to answer david-p).
If you were to enable Dorico using an online system, then we also have to consider those who aren’t connected all the time (less common these days, but affects some people).

We are looking into it, we are obviously aware of what other notation programs allow, but it’s not going to be a quick fix or change e.g. just by releasing a new version of Dorico.

Though I see the drawback of dongles, I’d hate a system that relied on an internet connection - we sometimes lose our broadband connection for hours at a time. Also, I do like being able to buy a new computer, or reformat the hard disc, without having to worry about authorisations.

I am certainly preaching to the choir when I agree with ChrisW that authentication by an always-on Internet connection would be a very backward step. One big advantage of a laptop, for instance, is that you can take it on a plane, to the beach, up a mountain, and still work on it as long as the battery holds out. Any work or emails that need to be sent by Internet can be transmitted later when one re-joins so-called civilization. I feel the same about desktop computers. A computer that is not connected to the Internet enables one to work in safety and without distractions. Most recording studios connect their DAWs to the Internet only when absolutely essential. Seeing so many people in public transport with eyes and ears glued to their phones, and tripping over them on the street, quite rightly encourages some of us to “get a life”!


The Steinberg dongle (that Cubase also uses) apparently hasn’t been circumvented in many a year (the hacked versions online are phising attempts for malware afaik).

This is surprising and is good news for users if Steinberg has really prevented piracy. This may be one reason why they could plow money into Dorico’s development. It really does warm my heart that every Dorico user has paid for it.
OTOH, I’ve got thousands of pounds of software with iLok authorisation and I often simply use something else because I can’t be bothered to get the iLok. I almost never use it when travelling. This means that Dorico has to raise the notation bar much higher for it to be used over other software. I have a feeling it might.

I have seen this said a few times here in different forms. I would not like an internet ONLY solution. Of course that would be fraught with problems…BUT I would like the dongle solution we have presently AND an internet authorised solution (linked to your account) for the times when internet access is available and the dongle is safely at home.

Seems simples…


Yes, that would be the best solution Al - hopefully Steinberg will come up with something like this one day.


It would seem that the internet connection would not have to be ALL the time, but only for installation/registration. Once that is accomplished, the “key” would be authorized for that computer, whether online or not. It would solve the laptop issue (non-connected usage). Or a usage certificate which expires in 30 days unless connected online again. Just a suggestion.

Is there a cheeper second licence avaliable?

At VSL you can get a second library licence for another computer (laptop/slave…) for about half the price.

Is there a similar model at Steinberg?

I’m afraid there is no such model at the moment.

Its just a usb dongle, stick it in and get to work …