Update on Steinberg Licensing terms

That is a good question, and I’m not 100% clear on the answer of what would happen if you chose to activate in both of your user accounts (though I will ask!). However, what we would instead recommend is that having activated using your main user account, you then move the activation files into a shared location that can be read by the Steinberg Licensing engine regardless of which user account you are signed in with.

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I definitely see a wave of migration to Cubase 12 from other platforms due to this. Amazing to have Steinberg patiently put up with all our complaining and demands and actually be listening too, that’s a huge amount of respect to the users, and it makes Cubase feel even more comfortable for me to use after these decades. Thank you guys.


Wow,thank you very much Steinberg!!! Now i want to update my C11!! Olé!

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And thanks to yourself and @FilterFreq for making the case clear. You guys have demonstrated that the Steinberg crew listen.


Very happy to hear this update.

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It’s worth investigating this, as I know many people who install and manage software via an admin account, and then work on a standard user account as it’s company policy.

Although, as long as the authorisation software doesn’t require admin rights that wouldn’t be an issue, thinking about it. But if activation is tied to a user account, something to be cautious of.

No doubt a fair chunk of personal users may setup like this for security reasons too.

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Thank you very much for your answer and taking the time. :slight_smile:

I’ve spoken to the licensing team, and our understanding is that signing in from multiple user accounts on the same computer will count as a single activation, i.e. it will only use up one of the three allowed activations.


Great news Steinberg, thanks for this update. Both 3 x system activation and open duration for perpetual license are really helpful improvements for your customers. Very user focussed way of developing and refining your ideas and clearly a popular way of doing so for your customers based on comments above! Thanks and well done - 10/10 Steinberg!

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From my perspective 3 auths is great. Presonus allows 5 but Ive never needed more than 3 here. Not to mention its as simple as de authorizing one if you need to move it. I do this between my 2 macs here with WAVEs plugins BTW, simple system and NO HEADACHE


Great news, many thanks!

Too late, I already crossgraded to Studio One 5, as there was a good price.

I will never use Steinberg again because of this.

Well done, I’ve been with you since Pro24.

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This makes no sense, sorry. And you still have your Cubase license.

What don’t you understand? Yeah I’ve still got Cubase 11 and will use it until I’m fully over to Studio One 5. What I won’t be doing is buying any future Steinberg programs or updates.

Just to be clear, will a single user be able to utilize the multiple licenses to create a multi-computer System Link DAW setup?

If not, if System Link could be updated to have the capability to verify multiple machines as one license - that would be a pretty big technological and competitive selling point for Cubase. Also potentially, a way to make peoples Laptops essentially a “Dongle” they could use to slave the DAWs they are using at commercial studios without needing to de-auth one of their licenses, then authorize a commercial studio DAW, then de-auth that commercial studio DAW when they leave, then re-auth their personal DAW.

Did you crossgrade before you knew of the updated license terms? Seeing as Studio One uses essentially the same system, for now at least. There’s no telling where S1 will go once Fender really get their hands around it. Seems like you made a hasty decision.

Well yes I crossgraded before this new decision, but I’m quite happy with Studio One.

I’m not sure it can be called hasty as there was a good price and I wasn’t sure when it would be that price again. I suppose what helped prompt me was my recent bad experience with BFD3 who have also introduced a 30-day phone home system which has been a disaster, so when Steinberg announced their intention to do the same I was like, “f–k it, had enough of these companies effing around.”

There was nothing to indicate that Steinberg would U-turn, why would I think that? Anyway, they’ve lost trust from me. How about a consultation with actual users next time, Steinberg?

Yeah I’ve had to put BFD3 on the shelf for the same reason, but as I did with Steinberg I am giving BFD time to sort things out. My main machines stay untouched for extended periods of time, so even if Steinberg didn’t change their mind on the DRM I’d still have a long time to weigh the new version and make a well thought out choice while still using Cubase 11 for that time.

For what its worth I use Cubase, Logic and Studio One and they’re all useful in their own ways (thought Cubase is my main DAW), so even if you invested in S1 you might end up using Cubase 12 alongside it, who knows what the future holds.

They did have a consultation with actual users. They had a huge forum thread discussing it in great detail with “actual users”.

That consultation is exactly what led to these changes. They consulted, and they listened. How can you be mad at that? What more did you want them to do?


Personally, I thought it was clear SB were gathering a summary of users opinions to feed it back to the team for review?. i.e.:

Support staff worked evenings and weekend to answer some really insane comments, and it lead to most threads being locked as a result, as it wasn’t possible to have a sensible objective conversation.

Just go enjoy Studio One, it’s software, not a religion.

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