Some Thoughts About Dorico

Hello Dorico team and colleagues,
Some thoughts about Dorico passing through my mind and I decided to share them… :slight_smile:
I hope something positive may come out of them!

Let’s imagine that Dorico Pro becomes open source and (or at least) free… Why not?!

We already have enough successful examples for that…

  1. Muse Score owned by Ultimate Guitar - the core team is well paid and in addition they have volunteer programmers who help them. I suppose the core team isn’t smaller than the one behind Dorico.
  • They have paid cloud service where people share scores and the download costs money.
  • Also they have donations.
  1. Cakewalk which is owned by BandLab, and the DAW became free.
  • The team behind Cakewalk is surely much bigger than the one behind Dorico.
  • Most probably is well paid
  • BandLab looses nothing.

I believe Yamaha and Steinberg are enough powerful and successful companies to afford to make one of their Pro products free, or even open source.

  • Surely many volunteer programmers will join and help the development of this great app.
  • Donation option could be added, and surely many people will donate.
  • Once Dorico has serious integration with Cubase/Nuendo, which are paid, some Dorico users will invest money for a DAW
  • Surely much more educational and other musical institutions will be interested to adopt Dorico as their main notation software, which will also open the doors for the other Steinberg and Yamaha products.
  • For the institutions could be some obligatory donation.
  • An online store, where Dorico users can sell their works could be opened and Steinberg could earn from small commissions. For sure many people will be interested in selling their works that way. Just somehow copyrights should be guaranteed to the authors of the music, arrangement, or orchestration… That way Steinberg could even help many people to get paid for their musical work and to establish contacts.

I suppose all these things would even increase the Steinberg’s income from Dorico. :slight_smile:

I hope that we could start some fruitful discussion on this topic with the Dorico team, and the head of Steinberg! :slight_smile:

Best wishes,

That sounds a lot like messages to songwriters: “We’re not going to pay you royalties for your copyrights any more–but you can always sell T-shirts at concerts.”

I like the business model Dorico has now.


If Dorico became free, it could no doubt attract many high-level professional engravers, like the Other Free Program. :smirk:


@Derrek hello,
Seems that you didn’t understand the point. Your thoughts are completely in the wrong direction.
I wrote this:

Of course the royalties must be paid! :slight_smile:
I’m sure that contracts could be signed online between the sides for certain amount of performances of some piece.

I’m not sure, but probably Steinberg could sign a contract with copyright company which will look after the rights of published works, or everyone who wants to sell his music on the platform, should be a member of a copyright company in his/her country. After all these companies collecting the royalties for their members.
Just such platform should be well thought with help of lawyers and copyright companies.
I’m sure there are possible ways this to be realized. :slight_smile:

I hope now I’m more clear to you! :slight_smile:

Some discussion should happen and people with better knowledge in copyright to join. :slight_smile:

I’m sharing just basic thoughts that surely will be very beneficial for both sides Steinberg and the users.
I hope now you are not against such idea! :slight_smile:

Best regards,

Corporations are rarely benevolent charities. They deserve to earn fair returns on their investments.


@dankreider hello,
Well not everyone who is using Dorico is “fighting” for the publishing business. :wink:
If someone is good at engraving what will be the difference if the software is free, or not?!
Steinberg surely will increase their income. After all if there is a platform for selling music they will receive commission for that service… :slight_smile:

Best wishes,

In both Muse Group and Bandlab’s cases, there’s a business model that involves making money out of a cloud library. I’m not sure whether either of them is actually profitable, and, particularly in Muse Group’s case, I doubt you’d be able to tell me that with any certainty. And consider that Ultimate Guitar and built their offering via piracy, only legitimising in recent years. Yamaha/Steinberg could not go down that route, as the sheet music world seems to have caught up.

Either way, are you not basically suggesting that Steinberg come up with a new cloud-based library - a new business in order to support Dorico - while simultaneously doing something to bring Dorico and Cubase together, continuing development at pace on what is still a relatively new product, and seeing to feature requests such as the lengthy list you posted earlier on today?

I think I’d rather pay them to do something that they’ve proved that they’re good at, repeatedly, than not pay them to try doing something different.


@dandaiuto hello,
Well, Ultimate Guitar and BandLab are also serious corporations…
And I already mentioned some ideas how Steinberg could earn even more money + they will be in help of their users. :slight_smile:
No one is loosing something here, but both sides will benefit a lot. :slight_smile:

Best regards,

@pianoleo hello,
I don’t expect these things to be done by the Dorico team, nor the teams behind Cubase and Nuendo…
There are another groups of people who are responsible for the cloud services, website and the servers. They should be the ones to build such platform.
As I mentioned above such platform should be created legally with the assistance of lawyers and copyright companies. :slight_smile: Which means - no piracy, no unpaid royalties. For every uploaded piece declaration for authorship should be signed. The authorship should be separated for composition, arrangement, orchestration, text/libretto and everyone involved should receive his/her royalties.
Nothing unfair… :slight_smile:

I hope now you understand my point better! :slight_smile:

Best regards,

Even Steinberg could earn additional income from advertising user’s profiles on such platform. Just like facebook does when advertising pages. $10 - $30 for one week if remember correctly.
When someone wants to buy your music, or arrangement, or ochestration he/she has to contact you first via chat or mail.
The platform should allow upload of score sheet watermarked preview and exported MP3 file. Just the preview should be in some format that will allow to be signed by Dorico, which will guarantee that the score is produced by this Software and Author. :slight_smile:

I understood your point perfectly. I just don’t agree with your assumption that it’s a win for both sides with no downside.

It’s an unproven business model. Other companies may appear to make it work, but it’s nigh-on impossible to know whether Muse Group (formerly Ultimate Guitar) is actually profitable - they’re a private company with an opaque corporate structure.

It’s also a crowded space, with outfits such as MuseScore, Newzik and nkoda operating on the legitimate side and the likes of Scribd operating on the, er, less legitimate side.

As to open source and volunteer contributors, volunteer anything takes significant management, not to mention that Steinberg obviously take pride in being ahead by not releasing their roadmap ahead of releases.

I just don’t see the upside.

On the other hand, I can’t say I’d be surprised if one day Dorico took over the job of whatever auto-transposition tool is used by the big legit pop music sites (SheetMusicPlus etc.). Dorico already does a much better job of displaying and transposing MusicXML than much of the competition, so I don’t think that would be much of a leap. Same goes for automatically rendering music to display on different sized screens, like SoundSlice does.



Well since worldwide the digital signed contracts are legitimate and many corporations work that way… There is no problem such thing to happen over the platform I’m talking about. Just both sides will need to have digital signs. Steinberg could create few variants of contracts which are most common in the business and this is it.
This has to be discussed with someone from the company who is more in depth with these things.
So, that’s why I would like to open more serious discussion on this topic. In this era almost everything is possible online. :slight_smile:
I know enough well Steinberg as company. I started using Cubase around 12 years ago. So, in the DAW market they are loosing a little bit the race. Currently their most successful products are Dorico and UR-RT family interfaces(just because of feature implemented by Rupert Neve), and probably WaveLab.

I don’t understand this part of your post:

I never wrote a word about auto-transposition, nor about rendering music to display on different sized screens.
Would be nice if you make this point more clear to me. Thank you! :slight_smile:

Best wishes,

Sorry, I didn’t explain that very well.

I read into your initial post the suggestion that Steinberg find ways to make money out of Dorico without charging for Dorico. As an outsider with no more information than you on the subject of online sheet music libraries, I don’t know that commissions from digital sheet music would replace Dorico’s sales revenues. It wouldn’t surprise me if licensing bits of Dorico code to third parties could provide a useful revenue stream, though.

Don’t get me wrong. :smiley: I don’t pretend to know everything. Just I shared thoughts based on existing things. I hope someone from Steinberg will also join this topic and tell us more. :slight_smile:
In this case my idea is about online sheet music library strictly for Dorico users who would like to sell their works legally with contracts signed with digital signs.
Yes, in the initial post of mine I did suggest Dorico Pro to become free product. After all Cubase and Nuendo have far bigger user bases than Dorico, but once there is a well working integration between Dorico and the two DAWs, Dorico may serve as an excellent hook.
I already mentioned many ways for funding the development of Dorico,

  • Donations from users
  • Acceptable obligatory donations from institutions
  • Advertising profiles and works on the platform
  • Commissions from signed contracts, because Steinberg is a mediator, just the same way as PayPal does when someone pays, or gets money through their service.
    For example: Imagine if someone wrote an opera, or symphony and someone else would like to perform it few times the price may vary between 5000 - 10000EUR the commission could be around 5% of the contract price. Or if someone would like to buy some music to be used for theater, or film, this could cost the same amount of money, or even more. Or if someone would like to one’s orchestration of some piece to perform it few times, let’s say this may cost 2000 EUR (5% commission = 100EUR for Steinberg), or if some small arrangement costs 500EUR (5% commission = 25EUR).
    If the contract is for unlimited performances with royalties, then Steinberg should receive some amount of money. Let say the half royalties of the first 5 performances. Just example.
    If Dorico becomes free the user base will increase a lot more and they will earn much more from all mentioned above sources. At the same time they also will help their users to find clients… and Dorico will be free.
    The code of Dorico could be also open but proprietary, just like the original RedHat Linux.
    I suppose there are software licenses that could preserve the Dorico code, or part of it, of being used in another application. :slight_smile:

Best wishes,

I like the current business model. It’s simpler and very focused.

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In general my view on most things is “never say never”, but in this case, I think we can be reasonably sure that we will not be making Dorico Pro a free or open-source product any time soon.

There are so many assumptions behind the hypothesis that Steinberg would be able to quickly match and exceed the revenues delivered by selling the software that I’m sorry to say that I don’t even find it a worthwhile use of my very limited time to unpick them and explain why, in my opinion at least, things would not work out the way you imagine they might.

One thing I believe we can say with certainty is that none of us can predict the future, so your assertion that this would deliver more profits for Steinberg and my assertion that it would not are equally impossible to prove.

Given that, at the present time, Steinberg has no interest in making its pro applications free or indeed open source, there’s not a great deal more to be said of practical value here, I’m afraid. I’ll leave this thread open for a couple more hours, and then close it later on today.


@dspreadbury and @David_Tee hello,

Nothing unfocused in the idea I presented above… even it is far more focused. The team will focus on producing only a single application. In addition they may also have volunteer programmers. But the tasks will be given and controlled by the core team as in every serious free OS, or App.

I’m sure if the things, I had shared as thoughts, are well designed, organized and advertised in the music community worldwide, they will gain success. And they will help many people to earn money, Steinberg as well. The team won’t loose money, even you could get more, Of course everything depends on the Steinberg and Yamaha marketing managers. If they are good, these ideas could be very successful.
They could do some researches on this topic: How these ideas will be accepted by current and other potential new users? How successful such strategy could be?
Just some marketing manager should structure the ideas better than me, and according to copyright laws and to present them to the vast audience. :slight_smile:
I don’t expect these ideas to happen anytime soon, but after the release of Dorico 4 (which will be far more powerful and complete than 3.5) Steinberg could start doing something to realize such ideas.
It’s easy to say “I’m fine with the current business plan” and to do “nothing” few people said here. It’s a bit harder to think a bit deeper how such ideas could be realized and to do something to make them happen.
Daniel, the code could be opened only to the volunteering programmers selected by the core team
and they should sign a declaration that they won’t share or use the code, or pats of it in another app.
That way the code will remain proprietary and Dorico Pro could become free. The team will not loose money, even you could earn more. Here most of the things depend on how good the Steinberg and Yamaha marketing managers are in their job. If they are as good as your team, then the ideas could be realized very successfully. :slight_smile:
You could leave the topic open. Someone who has better knowledge in copyright and marketing could make my point more clear to the community. :slight_smile:

Best wishes,

As a veteran, my idea would be more to have an open donation to hire more people to work on Dorico and see version 10 in my lifetime :laughing:


@Dup hello,
Well, surely the ideas I shared above will have serious impact on the development process.
The team will be able to have more manpower.
But it’s not possible to ask for additional donations if the software is paid, and in case of Dorico it is
an expensive product.
Dorico is great product and I’m sure that many users would glad donate regularly some money to the team. :slight_smile:

Best wishes,

With respect, you seem to be suggesting that Daniel Spreadbury, the Marketing Manager for Dorico, and Sibelius before it, is not able to think deeply about how such ideas could be realised.

Anyone can come up with an idea and say “it’ll make millions”. Successful businesses are those that can see the mechanisms by which these projects will work, or fail.

Personally, I think it’s a terrible idea. Most of the scores I’ve seen of MuseScore’s site are awful and full of mistakes. I wouldn’t pay for that, when I have Dorico to make a better score.

I’m prepared to pay for what I can do with Dorico, not what someone else can do with it.