Very sadly I will never purchase Dorico

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.

All of life is a series of work arounds

I think the problem with this is that people would theoretically be able to sell one of their two licenses on the “black market”, which appears to happen with other software; see Daniel’s post above.

That said though, I’m actually with you in that a dongle is not such a bad thing — I kind of like my iLoks which allow me to move from computer to computer without having to license / unlicense anything on the internet. If the transfer of the Dorico license from dongle to machine and back is going to be an easy operation (as Daniel indicated it would likely) then I’m fine with it.

As we’re getting closer to the launch, I’m sure there will be many instructional videos on setting up scores / players etc.; maybe Daniel can do one where he demonstrates how to transfer the license between machines, which should hopefully put a lot of angst to bed.


The 21st century, software companies are protecting their investment with online check. Basically, it is the same as a dongle, but the check is done online. No dongle, no soft key required, device independent.

However, this means two drawbacks: 1) no internet connection = no use; and 2) there’s a “big brother” knowing what you are doing, when, where… and after a while it evolves to a new licensing scheme: no purchase anymore, but subscriptions only, or pay per use.

Adobe, Microsoft, Apple, etc. all major software editors take this direction.
Some users start to realise that new licensing model costs a lot more to customers, generating debts: you cannot invest and buy a software, you need to pay each month/year. If you stop at anytime, you cannot use it anymore. Moreover, the next step is to put your work in the cloud. Bound by the hands and feet, you cannot leave anymore.
One day, more people will realise how this is jeopadising our individual liberties.

Personally, what I would expect from steinberg, is to give the choice to the customer, enabling 3 locations for our licence: computer, dongle, or online cloud. With possibility to move the key from one to the other. And in most cases, I’ll use the dongle, even if it is annoying, I understand it is because otherwise too many people would steal the software, and they would have to increase prices to cover this loss.

I like the way they opened this forum to get customer input, and I would be very interested to a beta testing (not or not only to test license keys :wink:).


Unlike the o.p., I think it is very likely I will purchase Dorico, but I agree that the proposed licensing, by being so much more restrictive than its competitors, will make me much less enthusiastic about doing so. Is there a price for a second license for the same user (or perhaps same household) that would make it unlikely people would resell their second license but would be so much less than purchasing two independent copies? I’m thinking that €50 would be entirely reasonable and €99 would produce real grumbling but still be acceptable to many users.


Just placed an order for the said product, looks good and will be willing to post my experiences with it.