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Let's discuss Dongled Effects

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

Dongled Effects

I prefer dongles over some other protection schemes
27
11%
I don't mind dongles, and use them when required
84
36%
I will never buy a dongled product, whatever good I think a product might be
118
50%
I only use freeware, so dongles are the least of my concerns
6
3%
 
Total votes : 235
KVRAF
 
40159 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:26 pm

Teksonik wrote:
Brian @ IK Multimedia wrote:I don't worry about dongles too much.


I don't worry about them at all.....I simply refuse to use them or do business with any company that requires them....... :shrug:


I loled
KVRian
 
1041 posts since 6 Feb, 2011

Postby Brian @ IK Multimedia; Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:12 pm

My point was that by installing the dongles inside my computer, they're out of sight and out of mind, and they're really no worry.

In fact, reauthorizing iLok plugins after a system reinstall is about as easy as authorizing IK plugins, because it requires just installing the plugins and then installing a single driver, just as you can authorize all IK plugins with one go in the Authorization Manager.

Having dozens of plugins all with different authorization methods that have to be authorized individually can get very tedious very quickly.
KVRAF
 
40159 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:14 pm

Brian, we know.......just playing around. Makes sense that you have your computer set up that way.

Gotta say though, I'm glad I'm not a beta tester! I hate it.......all the free software in the world isn't worth it.
User avatar
KVRAF
 
6678 posts since 20 Jul, 2004, from Boston
 

Postby djanthonyw; Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:33 pm

Brian @ IK Multimedia wrote:My point was that by installing the dongles inside my computer, they're out of sight and out of mind, and they're really no worry.


- Not possible with a laptop.
- Even more of a hassle if the dongle stops functioning.
- If your place is broken into and your computer is stolen, you lose both.

Brian @ IK Multimedia wrote:Having dozens of plugins all with different authorization methods that have to be authorized individually can get very tedious very quickly.


Yes, this is why a serial number, key file, or custom builds (Cytomic) are the best forms of C/P. Backups are possible, and there's no begging for more authorizations.
You are currently reading my signature.
KVRian
 
1041 posts since 6 Feb, 2011

Postby Brian @ IK Multimedia; Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:55 pm

djanthonyw, a keyfile is system specific, so when you eventually upgrade, you need to get a new keyfile. You may or may not be able to get a new one, depending on the company's policy. 5 authorizations is pretty standard. You can do offline authorization with IK plugins in the Authorization Manager, which gives you the equivalent of a keyfile, which you can backup. There are zero advantages to the keyfile method that you prefer to the method we use.

Simple serial numbers, though, are more problematic, because they need to be authorized individually, which is a lot to keep track of, and gets very tedious when you have more than a few.

Through the Custom Shop, we have consolidated our software down to only needing to authorize a single serial number for all AmpliTube gear, and one for all T-RackS gear (including CSR!) SampleTank needs only a single authorization to play all SampleTank-powered libraries. Add ARC2 to that, and you see all up-to-date IK software can be authorized by entering 4 serial numbers into the Authorization Manager. It doesn't get much easier than that... though we're always looking for ways to make it even easier, so there may be some new features coming to the Custom Shop in the future, to simplify it even more...

Regarding the much maligned dongle used by some other developers, PACE actually has a policy for recovering licenses from broken, lost, or stolen iLoks. So perhaps this complaint is a bit overstated. I would think theft is a much bigger concern for plugins which use expensive DSP cards as their method of copy protection...

The only policy that can be implemented for a 'stolen' serial number is to blacklist it. And then you lose your license and could face other recourse if it winds up in the public square - again, depending on the company's policy.
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KVRAF
 
6678 posts since 20 Jul, 2004, from Boston
 

Postby djanthonyw; Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:58 pm

The type of keyfile I'm referring to would not be ones generated from challenge / response. They aren't system specific, just customer specific. Example companies that use such keyfiles: D16 Group, Valhalla or DMG Audio.

Serial numbers are about as easy as it gets for the consumer. I don't see how keeping a serial number backed up in a text file and then just copy / pasting is that difficult. Doing it once for a new system install is not a big deal at all.

The fact that I'm not begging a company for another authorization to install the software that I paid for is worth spending less than a minute to enter a serial number.

At the end of the day it's obviously a company's choice as to what method of C/P is used on their products, but this will definitely effect someone's buying decision. It's also amazing how there are some developers that have always used a user friendly method of C/P, and they're getting along just fine. A big part of this is because they have great products and they cater towards the customer instead of spending their efforts worrying about the pirates.
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KVRian
 
1041 posts since 6 Feb, 2011

Postby Brian @ IK Multimedia; Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:35 am

djanthonyw, your stated opposition to iLok is that someone may break into your home and steal your computer. But what if you have a simple serial number or keyfile based on your name or email in that situation instead? And what if the thief then uploads your serial or keyfile to a pirate site?

There is nothing secure about a simple serial or user-based keyfile. It seems that this method leaves YOU exposed, which should be something YOU are concerned about. It is the worst protection for both the software and YOU as a user who has a certain legal obligation agreed to in the EULA to keep your serial/keyfile safe and private. Think about that for a second.

A system specific keyfile or C/R authorization protects both the software and YOUR investment and liability far better.

We don't make our users 'beg' for more authorizations if they run out. Tech Support is very accomodating with refreshing users with 5 new authorizations in the rare event that they run out. Consider that it takes a whole new system to trigger a new Digital ID, not just a simple hardware upgrade. And consider that AmpliTube 3, AmpliTube Custom Shop FREE (which all users who register with IK get free), AmpliTube Slash, etc, all get 5 authorizations each, and authorizing any one of those by itself will unlock all AmpliTube gear associated with your account, I think you can see that very few users will run out of authorizations before AmpliTube 4 is out anyway.
KVRist
 
405 posts since 3 Oct, 2009

Postby bishop666; Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:16 am

Amplitube 4 sounds good to me :D
KVRist
 
462 posts since 20 Jun, 2012

Postby robotmonkey; Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:47 am

Brian @ IK Multimedia wrote:djanthonyw, your stated opposition to iLok is that someone may break into your home and steal your computer. But what if you have a simple serial number or keyfile based on your name or email in that situation instead? And what if the thief then uploads your serial or keyfile to a pirate site?

There is nothing secure about a simple serial or user-based keyfile. It seems that this method leaves YOU exposed, which should be something YOU are concerned about. It is the worst protection for both the software and YOU as a user who has a certain legal obligation agreed to in the EULA to keep your serial/keyfile safe and private. Think about that for a second.

A system specific keyfile or C/R authorization protects both the software and YOUR investment and liability far better.

We don't make our users 'beg' for more authorizations if they run out. Tech Support is very accomodating with refreshing users with 5 new authorizations in the rare event that they run out. Consider that it takes a whole new system to trigger a new Digital ID, not just a simple hardware upgrade. And consider that AmpliTube 3, AmpliTube Custom Shop FREE (which all users who register with IK get free), AmpliTube Slash, etc, all get 5 authorizations each, and authorizing any one of those by itself will unlock all AmpliTube gear associated with your account, I think you can see that very few users will run out of authorizations before AmpliTube 4 is out anyway.


It's mainly a question of customer friendliness and future-proofing your investment in software. Of all the software makers Image-Line is best at it. You log in to your account, download your non-hardware based keyfile and install your software. The keyfile contains all your registrations, so no need to keep track of serials and such. No need to beg for reactivations if something brakes, no worry that the dev is gone the next day and you are left with useless software etc. Also you do not have to install any malware on your system. So it's actually the serial or non-hardware specific keyfile that protects the investment better that anything else.

Someone stealing your backup copies of software and uploading them to internets is highly hypothetical and far more remote possibility than your iLok breaking and erasing all your precious software or a company disappearing and leaving you with a non-functional CR or keyefile system. iLoks brake daily and even the big companies like Adobe and Microsoft have turned off their C/R servers out of the blue, not to mention companies like Peak just disappearing overnight.

And yes, you can recover your licenses from iLok, but the cost and the time are just unbelievably unfriendly to customers. 100$ for initiating temporary licenses so you can use your paid for software while they fix their plastic c**p!? On top of that you have to pay 50$ for another piece of useless plastic on top of shipping etc.

C/R systems do make sense in some cases even though they are more like a necessary evil. For example Waves has avoided all the negative things eLicenser and iLok have (or the IK C/R system), and also at the same time, it makes sense too as they have so many plugins. Also they are pretty big and respected company so the likelyhood of them going out of business the next day and leaving their users in the cold is quite small.

On a different note, the last thing I can take seriously is a company rep preaching about user responsibilities to protect their software from theft as laid out in EULA. Anyone who has actually read any EULA knows that this is the place where company basically states that they have no responsibility and liability whatsoever (often there is even a clause where they say that they do not guarantee that their product works at all, no kidding! :roll: ) and where user is expected to waive any rights and pretensions and so on. If your software gets stolen, you report it to the police and that's it. In legal terms this would be considered force majure and end of story.
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KVRAF
 
6678 posts since 20 Jul, 2004, from Boston
 

Postby djanthonyw; Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:35 am

Brian @ IK Multimedia wrote:djanthonyw, your stated opposition to iLok is that someone may break into your home and steal your computer. But what if you have a simple serial number or keyfile based on your name or email in that situation instead? And what if the thief then uploads your serial or keyfile to a pirate site?

There is nothing secure about a simple serial or user-based keyfile. It seems that this method leaves YOU exposed, which should be something YOU are concerned about. It is the worst protection for both the software and YOU as a user who has a certain legal obligation agreed to in the EULA to keep your serial/keyfile safe and private. Think about that for a second.

A system specific keyfile or C/R authorization protects both the software and YOUR investment and liability far better.

We don't make our users 'beg' for more authorizations if they run out. Tech Support is very accomodating with refreshing users with 5 new authorizations in the rare event that they run out. Consider that it takes a whole new system to trigger a new Digital ID, not just a simple hardware upgrade. And consider that AmpliTube 3, AmpliTube Custom Shop FREE (which all users who register with IK get free), AmpliTube Slash, etc, all get 5 authorizations each, and authorizing any one of those by itself will unlock all AmpliTube gear associated with your account, I think you can see that very few users will run out of authorizations before AmpliTube 4 is out anyway.


As I mentioned earlier with my preferred methods of copy protection, the advantage is that I get to back up my licenses. I keep two backups, one on DVD, and one on a portable HD. I do not keep the backed up serial numbers and keyfiles on my system drive.

I understand that a user does not literally have to beg for a response to the challenge code, but it still takes more time than a serial number or keyfile and it requires going online. It also requires that the company is still in business. There have been quite a few cases discussed on KVR where the company is no longer in business and people are not able to get their software authorized anymore.

It's all about the customer's peace of mind, knowing that they can reinstall their software on their own terms when they need to, and not worrying if they will be able to when the time comes.

I'll quote this part of my last post:

djanthonyw wrote:At the end of the day it's obviously a company's choice as to what method of C/P is used on their products, but this will definitely effect someone's buying decision. It's also amazing how there are some developers that have always used a user friendly method of C/P, and they're getting along just fine. A big part of this is because they have great products and they cater towards the customer instead of spending their efforts worrying about the pirates.


Exactly:

robotmonkey wrote:It's mainly a question of customer friendliness and future-proofing your investment in software. Of all the software makers Image-Line is best at it. You log in to your account, download your non-hardware based keyfile and install your software. The keyfile contains all your registrations, so no need to keep track of serials and such. No need to beg for reactivations if something brakes, no worry that the dev is gone the next day and you are left with useless software etc. Also you do not have to install any malware on your system. So it's actually the serial or non-hardware specific keyfile that protects the investment better that anything else.

Someone stealing your backup copies of software and uploading them to internets is highly hypothetical and far more remote possibility than your iLok breaking and erasing all your precious software or a company disappearing and leaving you with a non-functional CR or keyefile system. iLoks brake daily and even the big companies like Adobe and Microsoft have turned off their C/R servers out of the blue, not to mention companies like Peak just disappearing overnight.

And yes, you can recover your licenses from iLok, but the cost and the time are just unbelievably unfriendly to customers. 100$ for initiating temporary licenses so you can use your paid for software while they fix their plastic c**p!? On top of that you have to pay 50$ for another piece of useless plastic on top of shipping etc.

C/R systems do make sense in some cases even though they are more like a necessary evil. For example Waves has avoided all the negative things eLicenser and iLok have (or the IK C/R system), and also at the same time, it makes sense too as they have so many plugins. Also they are pretty big and respected company so the likelyhood of them going out of business the next day and leaving their users in the cold is quite small.

On a different note, the last thing I can take seriously is a company rep preaching about user responsibilities to protect their software from theft as laid out in EULA. Anyone who has actually read any EULA knows that this is the place where company basically states that they have no responsibility and liability whatsoever (often there is even a clause where they say that they do not guarantee that their product works at all, no kidding! :roll: ) and where user is expected to waive any rights and pretensions and so on. If your software gets stolen, you report it to the police and that's it. In legal terms this would be considered force majure and end of story.
Last edited by djanthonyw on Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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KVRian
 
1045 posts since 3 Aug, 2005, from Chicago

Postby heffus; Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:41 am

I have a ilok2 and syncrosoft dongle. They sit in the back of my computer and I never even think about them. :shrug:
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KVRist
 
110 posts since 23 Oct, 2009

Postby ruslan.st; Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:17 am

Brian @ IK Multimedia wrote:A system specific keyfile or C/R authorization protects both the software and YOUR investment and liability far better.

We don't make our users 'beg' for more authorizations if they run out. Tech Support is very accomodating with refreshing users with 5 new authorizations in the rare event that they run out.
.............
I think you can see that very few users will run out of authorizations before AmpliTube 4 is out anyway.


There is nothing special in IK copy protection scheme to be so proud of it. Or is it just for buzz about next version of AT?
KVRAF
 
18917 posts since 4 Sep, 2001, from Melbourne Australia

Postby TheoM; Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:58 am

Brian @ IK Multimedia wrote:My point was that by installing the dongles inside my computer, they're out of sight and out of mind, and they're really no worry.

In fact, reauthorizing iLok plugins after a system reinstall is about as easy as authorizing IK plugins, because it requires just installing the plugins and then installing a single driver, just as you can authorize all IK plugins with one go in the Authorization Manager.

Having dozens of plugins all with different authorization methods that have to be authorized individually can get very tedious very quickly.


i'm with you. I wish Ik would go back to dongles FWIW but i know it will never happen.

Maybe one day we will get a choice like izotope does.
"Just call me shitload, cause I own a shitload of plugins!"
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KVRist
 
293 posts since 30 Dec, 2006, from Beautiful Boise, Idaho
 

Postby quantum7; Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:56 am

It seems so unreasonable that someone would pass on software that would serve them well just because they refuse to stick something up their USB port.... :-o Seriously though, I could be wrong, but it would seem like this would mostly pertain to hobbyists. It would seem unlikely that a working professional would refuse to use a dongle if it meant passing on really good software that would make their working life easier- I certainly do not know of any professional musicians like that. :?
"It is better to compose than decompose."

Sean Christopher Dockery
www.SeanDockery.com www.SeanChristopher.net
KVRian
 
545 posts since 27 Jun, 2011

Postby wasi; Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:10 pm

I like the dongle concept, but not the fact that a glorified USB stick suddenly costs $50-$100 to replace. If they were $10 a pop I'd be all for them, but the DRM providers seem to have a profit margin there on something that should be just a by-product of their business model, to be given out 'at cost' by all devs that signed up for it. But the problem is, we, the consumer, are not the customers in this scheme.

There's also this: I have one piece of software with a codemeter dongle. I'm happy with it, but it came included in a $120 software purchase, I can replace it practically at cost and it runs on all platforms, even linux.

On the other hand, it's obvious iLok is not included even in software costing $200 or more, it costs $50 on it's own and won't run on linux (unless you count Muse Receptor) and some companies are really fussy about replacements if their license was on it (What?!).

What's wrong with this picture? Why in the world would I go out and buy an iLok dongle so that I can buy some software?! From a purely consumer perspective and as far as dongles go, iLok strikes me as an inferior product. And that's not even considering my codemeter is still the same stick after several years while PACE has been forced to put out an iLok2.
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