Steinberg New Licensing System Needs Deactivation From Website


Bitwig, Studio One, Even Digital Performer have on their websites a button to deauthorize/deactivate/revoke acess from computers with no need to deactivate manually in the computer itself.

If my PC broke, i need to contact Steinberg to deactivate? Please, this is weird and a shame.

I hope you improve that.

Love Steinberg products


Agreed. Can’t believe we’re 6 months in to the new system, and there’s no formal process for us to do this.

I could appreciate it more if the licensing was proven to be successful at protecting their products, but it’s not. Made worse when you see people come on to the forum pleading for help as they’ve been left for weeks without access to their products as support not returned to them.


with the speed Steinberg has given their users the amazing chance to work without a dongle on their products I start to wonder if they are happy with their new copy protection scheme?

Well, I blame all the people who for years cried “Get rid of the dongle”, and when SB announced the new licensing system which would occasionally “phone home”, cried “i don’t want my computer to phone home”… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
If you have a challenge response licensing system which can be disabled from the web site but the installed product does not contact the licensing server regularly, it is of course possible to authorize more systems than you are actually allowed.
In my opinion SB should have kept the “phone home” option which would allow for easy license management in your account, and they could’ve offered additional features, like e.g. saving preferences and presets in the cloud.
And for the few people who insist on having their DAWs disconnected an offline licensing system without all those features.


@Freiin , add the feature-request tag, please.

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Yup. Agreed

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The proper way is give the customer the choice how long the call-home timeout
should be (where infinite is a valid option) and they should have kept the dongle as alternative as a license deposit.

Yup, so annoying, the original draft was brilliant… I argued with people at the time who were constantly complaining about the need to phone home. The increase to 3 activations was brilliant, removing the phone home requirement really did surprise me as I couldn’t get my head around how it could work.

I think they wanted to distance themselves from the confusion where people were calling it “in effect” a subscription service, as you had to get your license stamped once a month.

Of course, I’ve also seen people who believe when software gets ‘freely’ distributed it can increase the legit userbase, as it spreads out to new users who in turn praise the software and inadvertently promote it via social media/youtube posts.

I couldn’t believe it when someone posted on here how it was out in the open within the first week or so. Part of me wonders if it was by design but that doesn’t make sense due to the investment cost.

It rubs salt in the wound that we can’t just free up machines ourselves though. Having watched this unfold.

++++++++++++++++1 i agree

I have a question that I always like to ask companies
Why don’t the competing companies see what they are doing and try to simplify things more than them and not complicate them?

I would think they could do it as a “push update” from the server instead of having to use the “phone home” option.
That way we could avoid the heated discussion that we initially had here and is going on over on the BFD site over the phone home style license manager.

I think it’s interesting that the use of different terminology is better accepted.

The phrase “phone home” has such negative connotations for many, and clearly a fear amongst SB customers of anything that looks remotely similar to a subscription is the other hurdle.

I see that Steinberg were looking for cloud developers recently so there’s more in the pipeline for a more connected experience I think.

The phone home negativity comes from requiring verification on a constant basis and is seen as a back-door subscription model by its critics. Whereas the push update would be invoked by a user action, e.g., a computer deactivation on the website, and would occur once per user action. At least that’s how I would prefer it were used.

Ah gotcha! I thought you were referring to a 30 day check .

Trouble currently, is that the system is a one-off check with no further online activity required. So a push update would achieve nothing if that client isn’t listening. May as well just put a message on the site saying “You sure you’re not going to use this machine?”.

For push updates to work the client would need to be continually polling for updates, versus a single 30 day “phone home” check which is clearly the most logical method.

When that machine is removed via the user console it will expire at the next 30 day check, whether it’s on or offline.

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A push update model will not fix most of the problems people are getting.

Many of the cases of a lost licence are an inadvertent change in a machine ID due to a hardware change, or the loss of a machine (physical loss/destruction/reinstallation of the operating system). In all these cases, there is nothing left to respond to the deactivation command. It is also possible that a system is offline or the connection to the activation server is blocked.

The only circumstance I can think of where push updates will help is when a user activates a system that they do not currently have access to but which is online.

If you were issuing activations for a limited period, there would always be the backstop of the activation expiring. In such a system, you would have an assurance that a remote deactivated system would eventually lose its activation even if that system can no longer respond to pushed commands. However, with Steinberg acceding to user requests to issue perpetual activations, it is possible for a system to retain its activation indefinitely even if remotely deactivated.

Look at Bitwig system. You log into their site and manage your licenses. You can remove authorizations if you want. No need to contact support. Did you Change your hardware? Remove and create a new authorization. Simple.

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For sure it is simple. But as a DRM system it is not working at all.

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