Thoughts about the dongle

Hi all, I couldn’t find any post suggesting new ideas for making it easier to live with the dongle, so I’m making a new post. Perhaps somebody at Steinberg will like the idea, or perhaps another forum member will think of a better solution.

First, the dongle sucks. However, I understand it as a necessary evil to protect Steinberg’s investment in the software, and as a result our investment in the product, so I am willing to live with it.

That being said, I am always afraid of loosing it (despite having it on the Steinberg lanyard) or breaking it (it hasn’t broken yet, but the USB port on my older one is bent).

So here’s the idea:

  • Why can’t we legitimate users of Cubase have a way to download a time-locked license of Cubase like the Cubase evaluation demo?
  • This “on-the-go” license will be separate from the full license, and can be stored on a 2nd dongle.
  • The time limit can be shorter that 30-days (let’s say 1 to 2 weeks being away from “home”)
  • If the 2nd dongle with the “on-the-go” license is lost/stolen/broken, it will have no effect on your real license you left at home.
  • to get a new “on-the-go” license, you have to have the dongle with your real license connected to your PC at the same time as the 2nd dongle for your “on-the-go” license, as well as an internet connection
  • You can only get a new “on-the-go” license if the older “on-the-go” license is expired, or if a lost/stolen/broken support ticket has been filed with Steinberg and approved for new “on-the-go” license.

I think this protects both Steinberg, and us users although it would mean having to purchase another one dongle (I wish they gave us discounts…).

What do you all think?

It’s called “Cubase Trial” except once you do try, you cannot try again unless you ask nicely.

It sounds complicated to implement to be honest. But really is not a bad idea at all. Since you need to have your original dongle to get it, it verifies the special mobile license is being downloaded by an authorized user. Making the mobile license time based sounds like an alright idea to prevent buddy purchasing, but not perfect and probably would result in lost sales.

To play devil’s advocate a bit, what is to prevent someone from just buying one version and sharing it, constantly reloading the mobile license? Sure it sounds difficult for Bobby and Jane to do this who lives in a separate house in different neighborhoods, but what about studios? Where I work, we all need to buy our DAWs and all have dongles. With this ‘mobile’ license availability, in theory we could buy one version of Cubase and share it with 2 people. Every 2 weeks or so downloading another mobile license. Since we are both int he same studio, it would be like another weekly chore. Not that we would ever do that, but I am sure there are plenty of people who would an do.

Look at the Native Instrument’s policy of allowing people to register 2 different computers. That gets abused all the time as I am sure this will.

And unlike plain jane pirating, this seems more likely to cause true lost sales.

I am sure you have honest and genuine reasons for wanting this and have no ill intent, but it just does not seem practical. Why not just bring your dongle with you when you need to be mobile or away from home base? I treat mine like I would any other studio equipment and really like having it (especially when I need to wipe a computer).

Of course you can purchase multiple dongles, they are on ebay for relatively cheap even if you were to spend time setting up accounts just for a 30 day usage.

Naturally you wont’ be able to post in the forum other than “Welcome” but that’s the point, you buy a dongle from your local music shop, load the license key and use for 30 days, you don’t like it you give it back for a full refund.

Doesn’t get easier than that does it?

The music shop can simply copy the CD/DVD media for you since it is a protected asset only usable if the dongle is installed.

As for temporary licenses, they already exist, it’s called Cubase AI and is almost the same bar VST rack and file import limitations.

Thanks all for your thoughts. I didn’t think about the in-studio sharing scenario.
I guess there’s will always be a way if one goes through hurdles, and no easy way to prevent it while giving freedom to legitimate users…

It was a thought!

By the way… I never tried Cubase AI since I don’t own any product that comes with it, but my understanding is that it cannot open Cubase (full version) files unlike Protools HD/LE so I’m understanding that I won’t be able to use it in pinch unless I start a project there.

If you lose it we can replace it if the USB-eLicenser has been registered in MySteinberg. If you break it, we will ask you to buy a new USB-eLicenser and we supply the activation code(s) that were used on the old USB-eLicenser. So it might make sense to have a spare USB-eLicenser at hand to minimize the downtime.

We have been thinking about time limited licenses for registered customers in various ways but decided not to do this now. A Cubase trial could be used for a limited time on a second USB-eLicenser but you can only use this license once on that USB-eLicenser and only once per MySteinberg account.

Thanks for your suggestions though!

Aha, great. I do have my USB-Licenser registered, and I do have a spare one, so I guess I’m in good shape. That, and I haven’t used the Cubase trial either, so that’s another safety to minimize downtime I guess.

I have registered a dongle in mysteinberg, I even have a C5 license waiting to be used.

The only problem for me is I am on a slow connection and never am able to download the actual software so will stick with CS5 for now. :question: