Very sadly I will never purchase Dorico

Pro Tool’s iLok is a hardware based dongle as well … as does East West and many more companies. There are many people that hate iLok or any dongle with a vengeance which is why they won’t use any software that uses it … so I understand where you are coming from.

iLok is actually a bit more onerous than the Steinberg eLicenser since, per Daniel’s post above, you’ll likely be able to move the license back and forth between the software version and the hardware UBS dongle. By contrast, the iLok has to be physically inserted into your computer all the time Pro Tools is running.

A couple of years ago PACE (the company that developed the iLok) had a major technical glitch involving one of the updates to their software, as a result of which anyone who had just gone through the upgrade couldn’t use Pro Tools for many days … can you imagine the effect that had on e.g. professional recording studios that are fully booked, and that have to turn away clients because they are dead in the water? A major disaster …

Anyways, copyright protection is here to stay and nothing is perfect; we’ll just have to find a way to live with it. Right now the way the eLicening system is likely going to work for Dorico is fine with me.

No, with iLok you can easily move a license back and forth from the dongle to machine and visa versa

Peter, I’m under no illusion that this works for you and that they have been doing it since before Dorico. Just because someone has been doing something doesn’t mean they should continue to. Just apply that to world history for a moment to prove that point.

I respect that it works for you. But I believe it’s reasonable to state that it doesn’t for me and defend why I believe it’s a practice that has poor results for users and even for Steinberg. I left Steinberg for another. I use a different DAW without this trouble. They make money. I have a great experience with them. So there is no necessity involved here. If they care about retention and growth and good visibility, why continue to do something more people hate than respect?

I respect different opinions. But I also believe in engaging my own views with those who have something else to offer. That way my life is polished by those around me. I call it “working together” :wink: I just wish Steinberg was doing more about this. The thing is, you’re talking to someone who wasn’t keen with the dongle since well before Dorico. I respect many things about Cubase. It just didn’t work out for me. I just want to see Dorico avoid what I believe are the mistakes in Stenberg’s past. If users didn’t voice themselves, progress would die. Change isn’t always progress, but progress always starts with engagement which brings change. The more we engage and hear out other people concerns, the more likely we find win-win solutions. That’s why I’m not only voicing my own beliefs, but bringing economic points into the picture as well. Those have little relevance to me as a user. However, they are entirely relevant to Steinberg and whether this practice benefits them enough to maintain a sour taste in people’s mouths, and deter many from buying in the first place. My hope would be that my engagement here is seen as a good and welcome thing for enticing improvement, not as a threat to Steinberg. After all, I’m proposing that this particular change would help Steinberg.

Microsoft Windows, Adobe Photoshop, and many others grew in popularity because of piracy. That’s a well known fact that even those companies acknowledge. They still try to limit it. But the manage it for good like a disability rather than treat it like cancer to be removed completely. That, their price, and their product all are what made them or kept them so successful and standard for users. If I owned Steinberg I wouldn’t love piracy of my hard work. But I would love even more if every music student, teacher, amateur, prosumer, and professional were using my product. Because then I at least have access to that size of user base. That can open up now money making potential for a company which not only allows then to regain what they lost, but the visibility and growth far outweigh the alternative. If 70% of your user base is pirating. Most all of them wouldn’t have paid anyway and would have pirated something else. But you gain a 233% addition in users that way, which means far more visibility, which means far more sales from those who don’t pirate. Bill Gates was smart because he saw it objectively and not through the lens of insecurity. There are many ways to make money with a large user base. There are far fewer ways to make money with a small one, especially a small one that is tethered down uncomfortably.


This has scared me seriously. I think many people will stay with or turn to the brand-new Sonic Scores Overture 5 which has great DAW-type features, too. It may not be as “professional” as Dorico, but it sure is very interesting, user-friendly and more than great enough for even quite demanding composers and musicians around the world. And NO dongles or other stuff like that is needed. Only a serial number.

But please be so kind and patient and tell us what happens, if a person purchases Dorico and installs it on his/her studio Windows PC and that PC then gets broken, or the owner simply wants to buy a new computer. Or if (s)he replaces the motherboard and all hard drives of the old PC with new ones. Is a nightmare awaiting him/her when (s)he wants to install the purchased and already once installed Dorico on the new or old but refurbished PC?

Thank you ever so much. Appreciated.

I’m also just going to stick my hand up as well and say it’s unusable for me too solely because of this.

No way!! Is that true?

Just learned some interesting today … totally did not know that. Well, that is useful to know, thanks! :slight_smile:

I should probably state that I’m not advocating for piracy. I just think there is an extreme reaction to it and a mild one, and which one I think it’s better for business. I wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea. I certainly paid for Cubase, including its paid .5 updates :neutral_face:

I’ll vacate this thread now, I’m sure to some people’s delight. :wink: sometimes I wonder about my productivity, then I see how much forums distract me.

Best wishes,

With the current system (and I stress that this is with the current system, which may well change in the future), in the ideal scenario, you would first transfer your license from your computer to a USB-eLicenser before you replace your computer. Then you can simply install Dorico on your new computer, and transfer the license back from the USB-eLicenser to your new computer, at which point you will no longer need your USB-eLicenser (until such time as you need to transfer the license again).

And if for some reason you’re unable to do this, you can always get in touch with our support team, who will help you get back up and running as quickly as possible. If you’re installing Dorico on a new computer, you should also be able to request a 30-day trial license from your MySteinberg account which should get you back up and running right away while you’re waiting to hear from our support people.

Yes, it is true. But not all licenses can be moved to a machine (the vendor can ask for ilok key only)

Just for the sake of clarity I’d like to re-iterate that I am a huge fan of Daniel from his Sibelius days. I have watched this product developement very closely with great anticipation since the team was first formed. I’m very impressed with its features, current and planned, and have no doubt that it will easily be the most sophisticated and respected notation program on the market. My only gripe is the copy protection. I wrongly assumed it would be similar to the Sibelius process. I really never thought much about it until it was talked about here. I am not ignoring the fact that Daniel has stated that this situation is subject to change. I’ll watch eagerly to see what happens and if the situation becomes useable for me I’ll quickly get on board.

I was really looking forward to use this application when it will finally be released. Unfortunately, forcing users to plug in a dongle (a fragile device on both sides, the dongle itself and the receiving end) to use it on two machines is very disappointing. No way i will ever buy a product with this copy protection. There are other ways to fight piracy, without punishing honest users.
It’s quite a shame, i’ve been using the “other two” for many years, struggling with their shortcomings when it comes to professional quality music engraving. As I said, I was really looking forward to this new application, reading Daniels blog in anticipation. Perhaps time now to update my programming skills for Lilypond…

Accept it for what it is worth towards your goals…buy 2 licenses. So that you may work as desired. Focus on the TVE (time value effect) of not having what you claim to be ultimately necessary and then figure out a way to what you want.

Please do not mismatch iLok and eLicenser (Pace) - The iLok is easy to crack while proper programmed programs like Cubase and VSL are not pirated as a stable version (Cubase since 5,x)

The question is how to protect the eLicenser itself. When I used Cubase on Tour I had an extension cord (3inch) for the USB-dongle and never had any issues.

Alo running a little 4 port hub for the eLicenser + mouse receiver + controller keyboard has never caused any issues. The same eLicenser is now connected to my stationary machine and running since CB-version 6.

I am taking all concerns serious but protection first. I am monitoring several pirate sites for a wellknown company that switched from iLok to eLincenser and no cracks for almost 2 years. Due to pirating they were almost bankrupt.

Dorico is something different than Cubase so a 2-licence solution could solve the problem. But I would not ask for something else but a proper protection.

Cracked versions of Sibelius, Finale and Protools are available one day after they are released, - always up-to-date, so to speak.

The eLincenser, once connected, runs simply fine. Even if it breaks tranfering a Serial to a new one can be done within 2 minutes.

So, how to protect the eLicenser when using a laptop?

get a six inch usb extension and then put the key on table. attach the key and usb extension. wrap the key with bubble wrap over and over and over … then using black electrical tape wrap over the wrap until the key is full encased and is completely secure.

This is getting worse and worse - and ridiculous. Some of us might “have” to do something like THAT to make music? Scary.

Well, there are physical “locks” such as this one, for the ilok.

But I think you guys are getting a little carried away … Daniel has stated above that you should be able to transfer your license from your eLicenser stick to your computer (and back), so you shouldn’t have to afraid of losing it. After you have done that, just keep the eLicenser in a safe place … for example, with your car keys / house keys / wallet.

Even if you do lose your eLicenser key, you can always buy another one for about $30. If there were any licenses on it, you’ll be able to sort it out with Steinberg support.

Surely now suggesting ways around protecting your ilok on the move is proof of how ridiculous the system is.

Here’s it from my angle. I think Steinberg has made a mistake. I think they haven’t realised that the way customers use scoring programs, in general, is different to the way customers use DAWs (Cubase). My studio mac with my DAW has an ilok and an e-licenser sticking out of it, like so many people, and I don’t mind at all. The problem is that a large number of main studio DAW machines composers, producers, etc. use stay in the studio and Steinberg’s dongle protection is fine when that is the case.
But programs like Dorico, Sibelius and Finale are not used in the same way as the ‘stay at home studio DAW’ and Steinberg hasn’t accounted for that. Notation software, for a lot of people (yes I’m speaking generally here), is used on the move: students taking their laptop to a lesson or class, composers making on-the-fly adjustments in rehearsals, orchestrators and composer’s assistants making notes during recordings as just a few examples. The last thing I want is for a client to want to see my score; I have my laptop with me but not the dongle as I didn’t think I’d need it, and I have to say “sorry I can’t”.
I for one do not want to buy into the faff of having to have my dongle with me/transfer the license beforehand every time I want to use Dorico on my travelling laptop. The dongle protection software has been made, and developed over time, for a different customer base with different work needs and Steinberg’s market research, I feel, has not taken that into account.
I refuse to pay for a program that restricts me and suggestions of buying two licenses just to get around it is absolutely ridiculous.

It’s a shame as this issue, and even this forum topic (which has massive interest compared to every other), is a blemish on an otherwise flawless product reveal and build up.

Simply have two keys per purchase, but make one of the keys so it can NOT be put on the dongle at all. The NOT_DONGLE_OK key would be ‘system bound’ and moving/reactivating it would be like Wavelab and HSO does in the soft-eLisencer.

The second key would carry the current protocol of either staying parked on a software eLiscencer just like the first key, or moved permanently to the dongle_only protocol.

It seems to me like this idea could be implemented fairly simply in the eLiscencer software by tagging some keys as being system bound (cannot be moved to a dongle at all).

This method would make it possible for people who do not wish to own an elisencer-dongle at all to keep a desktop and mobile copy parked on two systems. Those who ‘choose’, could move ONE of the keys over to the dongle system.

This scenario provides the user pros and cons of both worlds, while keeping up the good fight against software piracy, and should be farily easy to implement without a total overhaul of the current eLisencing system.

Thank you Brian but you’ve proved my point in that we, as customers, should not be having to make these workarounds or buy extra dongles, etc. Steinberg should be dealing with this at their end, not letting it affect the workflows of their (potential) customers, and it only goes to show that the proposed implementation of this system, for Dorico specifically, needs to be re-thought out. Just my opinion.

James, I may be in the minority, but I actually like the dongle.

When I fire up my PC and see a bunch of stupid licensers and subscription managers gobbling up over a gig of memory, leeching cpu cycles, and sometimes even doing ‘peer to peer’ software uploads for these companies (at my expense) and sending god knows what over my internet connection (sometimes in the middle of a latency sensitive project), it irks me to high heaven. Why the heck does Avid need ‘my credit card information’, half a stinking Gig of my memory, and up to 5% of other system resources, even when I’m not using Sibelius?

I’ll take a dongle over ‘subscriptions’ and contracts that give some outside company total control over the terms and use of my system (I.E. ransomware) any day. If Steinberg were to go out of business and pull the plug on all their servers today…I’d still be able to use my software. This is NOT the case with anything I’ve ever purchased from Avid, MakeMusic, etc…

Steinberg is very generous in that the only thing they want to ‘control’ about my system, implementation, and workflow, is that I only use a license on one machine at a time. All of those ‘other verification systems’ want access to my networks, have a zillion and seven little clauses in the terms of use that allow them to ‘disable or discontinue’ the operation of my software on ‘THEIR TERMS’, AND they demand my credit card information stay on file for any of it to keep working!

I’ve also pointed out earlier where the dongle system keeps purchasing and inventory simpler for bureaucratic institutions, and people who work on grants and endowments. Buying dongle ware is more like going to the music shop and picking up a box of reeds or a new microphone. I simply write my purchase order for a simple purchase and send it to the music store in exchange for my ‘piece of equipment’. Buying something from Adobe, Avid, etc…comes with a long list of rules and issues that require the approval, resources, and management of multiple departments, with a whole new set of rules on what ‘budgets’ can be tapped to acquire them. With dongle-ware, I can tag/inventory ‘the dongle with all its keys’ as ‘equipment’ or even as a ‘consumable’ if the price is low enough. With subscription models…I’m doomed to mounds of paper work for things that probably will NOT be approved. If Steinberg sticks with a policy of ‘offering’ a dongle option, I’ll be able to buy Dorico from at least 3 different budgets…where as anything from Avid can only come from ‘one’ and about 50 different people have to ‘analyse and approve it’, then write up an ‘implementation plan’, and the list goes on.

The idea behind the dongle is simple…one license, one machine. The ‘key’ itself can go on inventory as a unique piece of equipment. It does NOT need to go online…

It’s also nice that I can roll back to any version I like and not have to re-register/activate a thing. I.E. With Cubase/Halion/etc., I can go way back to version 6 if the need arises…all off the same dongle. It takes 2 seconds to move to a different machine, and I don’t even need a network interface in the thing to do it.