software protection/registration/license

what will Dorico use? soft e-license? or a Cubase-like dongle? (if so, I would almost certainly not buy it, having for years found that to be the most annoying feature of Cubase)
I had also hoped that Dorico would somehow seamlessly work with Cubase, but apparently not, though (yet?)

Dorico will use the soft-eLicenser.

Our Director of Product Planning, Clyde Sendke, tells me that all of our existing soft-eLicenser products are limited to activation on a single computer only. As things stand today, if you need to run Dorico on more than one computer, you would need to move your soft-eLicenser onto a hardware USB-eLicenser (which can be done via the eLicenser Control Centre application), which then allows you to run Dorico on any computer to which your hardware USB-eLicenser is connected.

Regarding integration with Cubase and Nuendo, please see

thanks, good news! no problem, using only one computer. Dorico looks very interesting so far.
will there be a demo version soon?
will the final product be available as a download? or a physical CD/DVD?

As you know Daniel a lot of people disliked the way Avid/Sibelius handled licensing (Activation’s) prior to Sibelius 7.5.1. And, I myself have liked the way Finale does their’s within the application itself over the internet. You could have it on as my systems as you chose to and activate or deactivate at will, but only two activation’s allowed at a time. This USB-eLicenser you speak of sounds like the ILok I use for ProTools. If that is the case this will be acceptable for my use.
Could you please fill us in a little further?

I have no experience with Steinberg products. Is the USB-eLicenser a Steinberg supplied dongle? Or is it a user-provided flash memory device that Steinberg software turns into a dongle? Or something else?

Is if possible to move from computer to computer by deactivating the soft eLicenser on one computer and activating it on another, or is that an arduous process?

Dorico uses the soft-eLicenser, which is a challenge-response system: you receive an Activation Code when you buy Dorico, either as a download or as a boxed product, and after installation, you run the eLicenser Control Center (eLCC), into which you type your Activation Code. eLCC phones home to Steinberg’s activation servers, and licenses your software so that it will run thereafter without needing to check with our servers.

At the present time, a soft-eLicenser locks the license for Dorico to a single computer, and you can’t easily de-authorise from one computer in order to install and activate on another computer. So if you need to run Dorico on multiple computers, you can transfer your soft-eLicenser to a hardware USB-eLicenser, colloquially known as a dongle. The USB-eLicenser plugs into the USB port on your computer and using eLCC you can simply drag the Dorico license from your soft-eLicenser to the USB-eLicenser. Thereafter Dorico will run only when the USB-eLicenser is connected to the computer you’re trying to run the software on.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the soft-eLicenser can be found here:

No demo version until the release, I’m afraid!

You will be able to buy Dorico both as a boxed product from our network of distributors and resellers, or as a download from the Steinberg online shop.

Hi Daniel:

I’m no expert on copyright protection, but would this be an idea:

As you know Pro Tools has an iLok protection, which in itself works well enough, but there’s always the issue of losing your iLok (or someone stealing it) – leaving it in a safe place and then logging in remotely provides some peace of mind.

If you’re using the standard soft-eLicenser, there’s no need for anything like VirtualHere as the license is simply stored safely and directly on your computer. I don’t know whether VirtualHere works with the USB-eLicenser; even if it does, I’d be surprised if it were recommended or supported by our support team.

Limited to one computer? Hardware dongles? In 2016? The Adobe Creative Cloud developers manage to licence their product purely in software, and they allow use of the suite on two computers. This is eminently reasonable. Why should we be restricted to one computer for Dorico? Would Steinberg like to consider a more friendly approach to licencing?

This is clearly a business decision, not a technical difficulty. I am not going to pay the significant cost of entry to be restricted thus in my use of a product. The restriction of freedoms that Steinberg wants to impose are precisely those that the Open Source movement so strongly object to, with good cause. I am not suggesting Steinberg release Dorico as open source - although, why not, actually? - but they could relax their antediluvian and harsh approach to licencing.

From my experience with Steinberg products, although it isn’t impossible to transfer a product to a new computer, it isn’t nearly as easy as the online deregister/register procedure Sibelius users are used to. And you can forget routine licence transferrals between two currently-used computers. Many of us will have to swallow the dongle. And maybe even buy a second dongle, if our Cubase machine won’t always also be our Dorico computer.

Hard luck for those whose second machine is a super-slim portable computer with just one USB port.

Cubase users are, of course, used to the dongle. But I wonder how many Cubasers routinely work on two computers? My Cubase lives on the “big” computer, plugged in to my keyboards, microphones and other recording gear. My notation work is far more mobile.

I suspect there is a better venue than the Dorico Forum to present these ideas to Steinberg. (I doubt Daniel’s team has much say over Steinberg business policies that extend over multiple products.)

Where should we discuss such topics?

So, to clarify, if one already has a Steinberg Dongle with Cubase on it, the Dorico licence will simply sit amongst the other registered software there?

Yes, if you choose to download it to the already available USB-eLicenser, then this is perfectly fine.

We do not have any experience with VirtualHere so far and thus this solution is not supported by us. However, if it works well despite certain dongle call latencies that will most likely be introduced using such a solution, that’s up to you and at your own risk to use.

I have just bought a new pc running Windows 8 to replace my old Windows 7 machine - both 64 bit. Have a USB Dongle, registered with Steinberg, and licences for Steinberg software including Cubase 8.5. Am having terrible problems trying to install Cubase 8.5 on my new pc (haven’t even bothered trying to install anything else yet). Downloaded the software from Steinberg website and installed. Downloaded elicenser software and installed. Put in my activation code but get message that I have no licence. The elicenser software sometimes reads and displays my licences, sometimes just comes up with an error message USB Device OS - Finish expected but received. Have run maintenance routine but that too gets interrupted by the same error message. Driving me nuts!!! What is worse, Cubase 8 and the elicenser are working perfectly with my USB Dongle on my old pc. Anyone got any ideas?

Paul, you might be better off asking in the Cubase 8 forum. I’m sorry that I’m unable to help you with your eLicenser problem. See here:

Just listened to the Soundnotion interview from another thread and just want to add (as had been said by others) I really hope that a solution is enacted where it will be easy and convenient for customers to use Dorico on (at minumum) a home or studio desktop plus a laptop as well. Need to have on the go access, along with the power and flexibility of a high power desktop. Just one will be extremely limiting for a lot of users.

I really don’t want to be negative, after all the hard work the team has put in to what sounds like a fantastic new product. However, just reading the eLicenser FAQ sounds like a whole bag of hurt. I really hope you can come up with a 2 license solution that doesn’t involve a dongle. I know it sounds reactionary, but for me that would simply cause more headaches than it’s worth… one reason I took the plunge and paid my $89 the other day. It really sounds like a brilliant, revolutionary piece of software being held back by archaic licensing.

I have just posted a statement concerning exactly how the licensing for Dorico 1.0 will work:

That announcement topic is locked, so we welcome further comments and discussion here or in other new threads.