Licence issues - But not bfd related

I see that Steinberg are to ditch their dongle.

It would seem that they are going down the route of 30 day online activation.

I hope it doesn’t balls up Cubase - as it has affected those using bfd.

Any thoughts.


LOL. We’ve been criticizing BFD. Maybe they’re just ahead of their time.



That’s just what we need!

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They always have been. :wink:

I guess Steinberg will have the benefit of being able to learn from ‘inmusics’ mistakes.

And of course they won’t have had to go through the, ‘never been done before’ migration from one company to another.

That and the LM issues have been by far the most damaging issues.


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My personal thought is -

Well - If that F**k’s up - time to find a new hobby.

Or as I’ve said once before - time to dust off and service the old Tascam 38 reel to reel.

And get back to basics.

After all - “we only want to make music” - “with no barriers” - just to make companies filthy rich from profits


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And - we should expect Cubase 12 in 2022

And for me that’s a relief - No Christmas Cubase outlay this year.



And if folk think it’s difficult getting replies from Bfd or Inmusic - Steinberg seem to have even longer reply times.

Just sayin’


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Yeah, but if you read the FAQ they are also offering an offline option that only needs to be renewed once a year and can be done from another computer via USB.

Can I use Steinberg products on systems that are not connected to the internet at all?

We know that some customers prefer to run their studio machines offline, or that for specific projects it may be required for legal or contractual reasons not to connect to the internet for the duration of the project. To meet these requirements, we will shortly be introducing a process of activating a license for a period of one year, so that the computer can remain disconnected from the internet for that entire period and the software will continue to operate as normal.

Two methods of activating a license offline will be provided, depending on whether the computer can connect to the internet for a short period of time. If you can connect the computer to the internet temporarily at the time of software activation, you will be able to check out a license directly using Steinberg Activation Manager, then disconnect your computer from the internet.

If, on the other hand, you cannot connect your computer to the internet at any time, you will be able to use Steinberg Activation Manager to generate a license request that you can save to a removable storage device (like a USB drive) and take to a computer that is connected to the internet. Using Steinberg Activation Manager on the online computer, you can exchange the license request for a offline-activated license. You then save the license file back to the removable storage device, and return to the offline computer, where you use Steinberg Activation Manager to install the license file.

In both cases, the software will then run for a period of 365 days without requiring an internet connection at any time.

We expect to introduce the ability to activate a license offline as soon as we can after the initial launch.

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This is a dumb idea, but at least there is a year offline option. If they do the same as inMusic tho and have zero notifications of when that year is up, and it comes as a surprise when one day, the studio is at a standstill because its re-authorisation time, it wont go well.

Be interesting to see how they implement the notification of time left offline.

Still, I pretty much hate this development in ‘subscription software’ models. Thank fuck Reaper/Cockos arent this way inclined.

Thankfully, I dont use Cubase and wont be while other options exist.

EDIT: And at least they’re being upfront about it all and informing customers prior to it actually happening!

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I don’t normally read the FAQ (only sometimes - and then only at a glance).

I was just a bit taken aback when I got an email from Steinberg.

Up to now it’s not being implemented on all their software, Dorico I think, and the next Cubase 12 next year. Hopefully they won’t bring it forward until it’s usable.

They are expecting teething problems - and as usual it will be out to the public before it’s 100%. But then again, that’s nowt new these days.

I use other DAWs but rely mainly on Cubase, so I’m a little on the sceptical side.

I just hope they get it right before it’s fully implemented. Otherwise it’s more downtime for those who fill the coffers of these companies.

My Cubase dongle works fine - and I’m a great believer in if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

There are more folk go down the road legitimate. Though we are all being treated like common thieves.

All these companies that go down this route should be made to make it work before they go live with the product.

Otherwise what’s the point of BETA testing if it’s still going to be the general public who are faced with the fact that they can’t use their purchased produce through no fault of their own.

Anyway - lets hope they all get on with it and get it right.

I’m not against the idea - just make it transparent to the user.

Musicians have inspiration at the spare of the minute - and if their notepads (software these days) are not handy the ideas are lost.


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The sticking point is that the ready to go system is 30 days, and 2 computers (with the option to add a 3rd and deactivate the 1st of course etc) while the coming soon once a year system will be tied to one computer only.

I asked whether one could use the annual authorization and then after some months change it back (because you might want to work elsewhere, or do remote recording on a laptop or anything else), and then switch back again to the annual one, but I didn’t get a straight answer.

If it WORKS RELIABLY, I can live with it, even the 30 (ugh) day scheme. If it needs me to hold its hand every 5 days and enter credentials here and there, in browsers and whatnot, transforming a creative urge to a housekeeping session, it’s not going to go well.

Edit: I got a reply that it will be possible to switch, but no details yet.

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Well, to tell you the truth, I need to have my phone with me all the time to use any number of systems right now. I’m tied to it like I’ve never been before.

Ultimately, I think it’s the way of the future for everything. It’ll be two-factor, press to authorize, type in the tokencode, for everything you ever use.

We can complain and be upset, but ultimately, there are thieves who are eating the lunch of our favorite vendors, and those vendors are stuck writing new code even when old customers like us aren’t paying for it, just because of OS upgrades. Everything is changing under our and their feet, and we’re all going to end up in the future whether we like it or not.


I concur. But the more things you use, the more taps you’ll have to do. Then what?

[major rant]

Maybe someone will come forth and found “It’s-a-Me!” corp, that its sole product will be to group all those taps and tokencodes into one? So that you can log in and authorize “All-your-music-stuff” in one go?

It’s 2021, we’re discussing AI and singularities, but as human beings we are turning ourselves into machines, doing menial, repetitive tasks, yielding to what we perceive as necessity. I hesitate to click on “I’m not a robot” anymore, because I’m not very sure myself. [/major rant]


Okta. Duo. iLok will move that way, just because some of their customers will want to. There are lots of them.

I’m sure that BFD and inMusic don’t really want to be in that business. They sell music stuff. They only incidentally buy and sell authentication systems. They spend bottom line on staff that handles this for us, and nobody likes it, least of all them. It’ll all change eventually. It has to.

I can complain about where we are. That’s a legitimate gripe. I can’t demand BFD not adapt to the future. That’s not.

I didn’t even imagine such companies existed, lol.

Sure, that’s what we’re all doing. It’s just that in planning the future some things are taken for granted, when they shouldn’t, and while there are all kinds of rights nowadays, the right to not move ahead with the times, willingly or unwillingly, out of principle or out of spite, is not granted.

Sorry, the major rant switch got stuck. :grin:

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This is what really gets to me. That we all have to go through all this expense, inconvenience, and pain because of a bunch of low-life, dishonorable thieving eff-wads.

I’d like to catch a few of the bastards. I’d make Joffrey Baratheon look like a kitten!

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Well said.

From my personal experience - with Windows (I’ve never used any other OS). From the the end of Windows 7 the OS has been tweaked for the sake of it. Software continually degrades and becomes unusable. These are upgrades for the sake of it, with 99% of the stuff in there to dumb folks down.

I’m sure the military, from which this tech has obviously come from, you’d think the security side of things were as 100% secure as could possibly be - So - Is this tech deliberately flawed - and if so - surely these companies can stop all the fraud - or at least 99.9% of it.

As we approach 2022 - the internet and this tech is not in it’s infancy. And saying that, according to these companies, security is still being breached. And instead of tackling the problem head on, they take it out of those who are legitimate, and have spent more than I could ever hope to see in my lifetime.

I hope this system solves it once and for all - before we are all forced away from the internet and go back to doing all this as we used to do not very long ago - “live”.

Very sad situation.


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Yes the impacts of the minority on the genuine customer is a nightmare.
Companies are trying to find solutions but its not easy with the moving targets such as OS updates and tech changes.
I use mainly Steinberg products myself and had built into my studio dongle sharing via daisy chained thunderbolt docks. Which ever machine was in use automatically got the dongle so it didn’t need moving reducing risks of wear and tear. Worked fine for years but will be glad when the new changes for Cubase 12 licensing are rolled out across the entire product range.
The recent announcement allowing dongle free use on up to 3 machines without ever needing to reauthorise my product purchase is welcome. No doubt there will be teething problems for some but hey what’s new, I don’t think Ive ever recalled a time in my computing life that didn’t happen.

Now if all manufactures could use the same software authentication system without fighting over the licensing of the code used in those systems that would be welcome progress?


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I wish that were the case. ‘Piracy’ has always been the excuse for terrible business practices, and not a single anti piracy stance has curbed piracy.

I remember when CD sales were ‘dying’ and Virgin Megastores were blaming piracy. It then came out that they’d completely changed their process for pre ordering CD’s and that was the only reason they could claim a loss of sales, they were ordering less product out of choice, not based on sales.

Licenses and check ins seems way more about collecting data than doing anything to prevent piracy (because they dont prevent piracy in anyway) but no company wants to admit that, or admit their product has issues, or admit any kind of dodgy business… cue piracy blame/scapegoat instead, much easier and very easy to get legit customers to emotionally agree with it.

Seems the latest nonsense is what we now have with InMusic.

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I can somewhat agree with your analysis.

And collecting data seems to be the norm’ these days.

One only has to take a look at (shite) social media how it has been strangled for the user and mass opened up for the advertisers/sellers - and government snoops alike (1984 and all that sort of thing - George Orwell).

Still - we can only hope 2022 does not go any further down this rabbit hole.


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