Why dongles hurt developers and buyers
blue monk
Thread Starter
#1
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Why dongles hurt developers and buyers

With dongles you get not more but fewer sales as a developer, you will earn less money per sale and you will spend time fixing problems caused by the dongle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdm View Post
...finally gave up trying to use them....honest paying customers pay the price for piracy... I lost more money in time spent debugging Flux plugin problems than they cost. And they lost a paying customer in the process. I hope it's worth losing a few dozen paying customers just to stop a handful of 14 year old kids from using them illegally.
From my experience and view point 90 to 99% of people who get cracked software are mostly motivated to entertain the idea of being some great artist and not actually making it happen.
What they really want is something to dream about, not achieving a goal (despite they would claim they want to achieve a goal - they don`t).
Instead of learning to get the most out of what they have, they get more cracked software - because actually doing something would be work
Making art is not as simple as watching TV and many people don`t want to leave their comfort zone.
It`s also that many of those who get nowhere don`t trust in their ability to accomplish anything, so they give up whenever the first challenge comes along.
The point is, even if the software they downloaded as crack wouldn`t be available as crack, they still wouldn`t buy it.
There may be a few who actually make money with music and use cracks but from my experience the most common scenario is that people who are serious about doing something creative buy the software they use.
I feel strengthened in that claim by my personal observation that people who started out makin music as a hobby with cracked software stopped using cracks and started buying when making music became a major part of their lives.

I think without cracks being available, the developer will not sell more. Instead, the extra cost of the dongle and the hassle that come with it and the software means many lost sales. It`s like an additional sales tax, causes problems (see the "What the Flux?"-thread) that the developers have to spend time on fixing. That`s time they don`t have to develop new functions and new plug-ins.
Dongles hurts the developers` business and the buyers. It`s nonsense.

edit: I have both elicenser and ilok dongles by the way just to point out that I am pragmatic enough.

*
There`s a lot of software collectors who get all kinds of cracked expensive software like for aircraft construction or something and among that also all DAWs on the planet and they never even install it.

Last edited by blue monk; 13th November 2011 at 03:21 PM.. Reason: added info that I do have dongles
#2
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #2
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

I agree 100%.

This is also why many developers can´t keep up with the times. By this I mean OS upgrades, 64-bit, fixing their bugs etc... And they should for the huge amounts of money we pay to them, makes me really angry!
#3
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #3
Gear addict
 

+10 000

about OP
#4
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue monk View Post
The point is, even if the software they downloaded as crack wouldn`t be available as crack, they still wouldn`t buy it.
There may be a few who actually make money with music and use cracks but from my experience the most common scenario is that people who are serious about doing something creative buy the software they use.
I feel strengthened in that claim by my personal observation that people who started out makin music as a hobby with cracked software stopped using cracks and started buying when making music became a major part of their lives.
I have the opposite observation...even to the point of finding all sorts of cracks in the computer of a big commercial studio.
Many of my clients openly tell me that they use cracks...until they find out that I strongly oppose this...and they just stop telling me.
In some cases I have refused to continue work on commercial projects until they got their software legal.

Maybe I'm pissing in the wind...but the piracy advocates don't make a great impression on me.
It's like terrorists trying to argue against the collective punishment of us all at the security check in any airport.
It sure is inconvenient...but there's no way around it.
#5
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 

5 ticks and a gold star. Bang on


edit - referring the the OP, not the post above
#6
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #6
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oli P View Post
It's like terrorists trying to argue against the collective punishment of us all at the security check in any airport.
It sure is inconvenient...but there's no way around it.


Hooray for 1984! Even the ****s didn´t grope peoples and childrens genitals like the TSA is doing today. Or microwaving you at the airports. USA! USA!

+You have much better odds of dying from a bee sting than terrorism.

Fight the piracy with ways that don´t hurt the customers and developers! I believe the developers would make even more money if 1. They stopped all copy protection 2. Wouldn´t sell their software with ridiculous prices.
#7
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #7
drake.ch
 

unfortunately cracked software does exist on the computers of people working and making music you have heard on the radio.

but i think this happens when people are using THEIR OWN computers at work (eg a composer bringing their logic rig to a session).

whenever you have a system with separate system admins and users (eg a pro studio) then what you're saying is 100% correct and i agree.

the type of places where people have a MAINTENANCE BUDGET and BUYING POWER on behalf of their employer is where people really are not using cracks and where software developers should be aiming for anyway.

the people who use cracks and don't actually work with them, it's a pointless thing to chase them.

the people who use cracks and do work with them, it's not pointless in an ideal world, but realistically they don't define the income of a developer anyway so what's the point?

the people who pay the way for software developers have DOUBLE THE WORKLOAD looking after copy protection and will still generate income for the software developers in any case because they need to have a working building.

Apple and Massey do not use copy protection. Are they profitable businesses?

Ditching copy protection will ease the workload dramatically for developers and users, and will increase profitability for a business almost immediately.

Endlessly chasing the cracked users increases a business's profitability how?
blue monk
Thread Starter
#8
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Let`s not talk about Apple - they have plenty of hardware business.

But apart from your example (Massey), Gforcesoftware make cool softsynths and the protection is just a serial number.
I assume GForce do better than Arturia or Xilslab.

If I were a developer I would not entirely renounce copy protection. My point is that dongles being costly and causing additional problems are not a good idea.
#9
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 
spiderman's Avatar
If any of this were true, the biggest and most successful companies would not be the one's who use dongles. The opposite is true. Waves, UAD, Steinberg, iZotope, Flux, EastWest, AVID, etc....

Some of the most successful and popular companies in the software game. They make tons of money, have tons of clients, and (most of the time) create stable software.

Technically, I've never had a problem with dongles. Since I quit using cracks in the 90's and started buying software, I've actually had fewer crashes and had the motivation to learn what I paid for. Cracks foster lots of bitching and moaning without any respect for the people who actually wrote the programs.

Just how I see it.
#10
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderman View Post
If any of this were true, the biggest and most successful companies would not be the one's who use dongles. The opposite is true. Waves, UAD, Steinberg, iZotope, Flux, EastWest, AVID, etc....

Some of the most successful and popular companies in the software game. They make tons of money, have tons of clients, and (most of the time) create stable software.

Technically, I've never had a problem with dongles. Since I quit using cracks in the 90's and started buying software, I've actually had fewer crashes and had the motivation to learn what I paid for. Cracks foster lots of bitching and moaning without any respect for the people who actually wrote the programs.

Just how I see it.
Well stated and I agree.
#11
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #11
Gear addict
 

"It's like terrorists trying to argue against the collective punishment of us all at the security check in any airport.
It sure is inconvenient...but there's no way around it."

fake security feelings imho, if a true terrorist want to bomb an airplane no matter what security check point you will create he will find a way to pass throught it

the only consequence of all that is you lose more than you win

terrorism / viruses / piracy / war on drug, still the same story

fear let you manipulate peoples and kill their freedom, kill democracy and happyness

people no more enjoy life just because they feel to much fear about security and the risk of death.

the situation some people reveal with ilok2 is so ridiculous too, the protection may be is not cracked but even the legal software don't run with it,

you pay for that now

and please don't call me warez user or advocate of anything,

all I use since 10 years (and since I own the money to pay what I use) is legal, I own uad cards (the only efficient dongle at the moment, wich don't mean it is perfect : not at all), propellerhead sofware + dongle, pianoteq and live (CR system), try ilok (spend 50 usd on it for demo and never buy anything that run on them due to too many issues and complication to use it)

and except about uad plugins they are all cracked and more convenient than the legal version (no copy protection to manage),

this is just absurd, we only feed the fear market and the fake feeling of security,

and the way people overreact (mainly some users with their death sentence hysteria) reveal how absurd the situation is.

As a legal user I know exacly why I pay softwares :

I want the software company to continue to release update and upgrade the product i use

I don't pay for the present but for the futur,and this is what is interresting in the software business
#12
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #12
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderman View Post
If any of this were true, the biggest and most successful companies would not be the one's who use dongles. The opposite is true. Waves, UAD, Steinberg, iZotope, Flux, EastWest, AVID, etc....
we can reverse your argument,

NI, waves, steinberg, eastwest, izotope, softube, brainworx ... are all cracked since the begining and continue to release software due to their large customers base.

and thzt just show how copy protection doesn't have any positive impact on software business,

UAD is something different, their dongle is trully efficient, but it also reveal something interesting about a lie in the software business :

death of piracy doesn't necessarly means a price drop wich was the most used argument 5 years ago in the reason why softwares prices are so high,

then it's also ask another question since the UAD plateform accept third party plugins :

what's my interest in buying a UAD version of an existing plugin if I pay it the same price but with more limitations (audio latency, instance limitation ...) than the native version ?

none in fact.
#13
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 

I'm fine with dongles, but certainly it is a little bit (not huge) inconvenience when I move around between desktops and laptops.

I prefer the way Adobe does for CS, or the way MS does for Win OS installation, by activating and authorizing over the net. Then, I wish they license three computers per license, like they do for Office Home/Student.
#14
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #14
Gear addict
 
samicide's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderman View Post
If any of this were true, the biggest and most successful companies would not be the one's who use dongles. The opposite is true. Waves, UAD, Steinberg, iZotope, Flux, EastWest, AVID, etc....
I like how iZotope give you a choice so you don't have to have an ilok sticking out of your laptop, I just moved alloy and ozone to online activation, the same with Melodyne, I like when they give you a choice. I wish antares and Arturia would get with the program. same with steiney, then I wouldn't have had to buy Reaper.
#15
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #15
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by choukette View Post
UAD is something different, their dongle is trully efficient, but it also reveal something interesting about a lie in the software business :

death of piracy doesn't necessarly means a price drop wich was the most used argument 5 years ago in the reason why softwares prices are so high,
Agreed.

UAD plugins are getting more and more expensive each year. So much for "if you all buy your sw it'll get cheaper"...

k
#16
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by choukette View Post
NI, waves, steinberg, eastwest, izotope, softube, brainworx ... are all cracked since the begining and continue to release software due to their large customers base.

and thzt just show how copy protection doesn't have any positive impact on software business,
This isn't the correct analysis.

It's not about preventing cracks. It's really about maximizing sales revenue. Those are 2 different concepts.

You can't prevent cracks. It's impossible. The software vendors also already know it's impossible. It's really about maximizing sales revenue even though their software eventually gets cracked and many non-customers seek out and use those cracks.

It's been proven several times over that dongles (for certain software markets) help increase sales. Copy protection is used because it does have a positive impact on the software business.

Citing the existence of cracks floating out in cyberland is not relevant to the cost-benefit tradeoffs of copy protection.
#17
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #17
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason West View Post
This isn't the correct analysis.

It's not about preventing cracks. It's really about maximizing sales revenue. Those are 2 different concepts.

You can't prevent cracks. It's impossible. The software vendors also already know it's impossible. It's really about maximizing sales revenue even though their software eventually gets cracked and many non-customers seek out and use those cracks.
and how are you maximizing revenue from people who are ready to wait to have the free downloaded version of those softwares ?

your argument is just funny (especially when you know izotope 5 and vertigo comp from brainworx are released this week and already cracked)

5 years ago, it was to prevent cracks now is just about maximizing revenue,

what will be the next fake reason to justify CP ?

Quote:
It's been proven several times over that dongles (for certain software markets) help increase sales
proven by who ?

people like collin powell that bring apple juice in a little bottle and claim : "this is a massive destruction weapon, we have to invade this country"

comon
#18
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue monk View Post
With dongles you get not more but fewer sales as a developer, you will earn less money per sale and you will spend time fixing problems caused by the dongle.
Please post your evidence. Let's see the sales numbers. You can't just make up opinion as fact.
#19
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by choukette View Post
and how are you maximizing revenue from people who are ready to wait to have the free downloaded version of those softwares ?
The software development companies are not trying to convert the hardcore pirates that are determined to avoid paying for software. For some reason, you can't seem to imagine that there is another category of customers that won't do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by choukette View Post
5 years ago, it was to prevent cracks now is just about maximizing revenue,
It was never about preventing cracks. Never. Not in the 1990s when I was active in the software business, and not now.

The developers themselves already know how to crack their own software and also know that outsiders and teenagers with determination can do the same.

It's the same idea that bike owners buy locks for their bicycles even though they already know that locksmiths and criminals can pick the locks, or they can cut the cables with bolt cutters. The existence of lockpickers and bolt cutters is not relevant to why people buy bicycle locks.

You keep framing the discussion around the existence of "cracks" and "bolt cutters."

I'm framing it around the math of sales & revenue.
MediaMix
#20
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #20
MediaMix
Guest
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
Please post your evidence. Let's see the sales numbers. You can't just make up opinion as fact.
Exactly. Where's the proof? If we are just citing opinion as fact I would say the developers that use dongles are the largest companies with the biggest staff, marketing budgets, and more sales to sustain that. And the small companies that use no dongle are extra small mom and pop operations and are making the least money and sales. Opinion as Fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderman View Post
If any of this were true, the biggest and most successful companies would not be the one's who use dongles. The opposite is true. Waves, UAD, Steinberg, iZotope, Flux, EastWest, AVID, etc....

Some of the most successful and popular companies in the software game. They make tons of money, have tons of clients, and (most of the time) create stable software.

Technically, I've never had a problem with dongles. Since I quit using cracks in the 90's and started buying software, I've actually had fewer crashes and had the motivation to learn what I paid for. Cracks foster lots of bitching and moaning without any respect for the people who actually wrote the programs.

Just how I see it.
Exactly!
blue monk
Thread Starter
#21
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderman View Post
If any of this were true, the biggest and most successful companies would not be the one's who use dongles. The opposite is true. Waves, UAD, Steinberg, iZotope, Flux, EastWest, AVID, etc....
Native Instruments, Microsoft, Orcale, IBM...

This top 10 of software companies mostly companies that I don`t think use dongles:
List of the largest software companies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderman View Post
Technically, I've never had a problem with dongles. Since I quit using cracks in the 90's and started buying software, I've actually had fewer crashes and had the motivation to learn what I paid for.
So you are comparing the stability of a system with pirated software to that with dongles to conclude that a system with legitimate software without dongles is less stabile?
Probably you don`t mean that. But then this is a non-argument - pointless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderman View Post
Cracks foster lots of bitching and moaning without any respect for the people who actually wrote the programs.

Just how I see it.
Maybe. That`s a different topic though than dongle or non-dongle-copy-protection.
#22
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Dongles lead to increased cost, slower updates for major OS changes, potential bugs beyond the ones inherent to the software itself, use a USB port on my MacBook Pro 2011 that I actually need for important connections (audio interface and external HD.. there is only 2 ports unless you drag a hub around in your laptop bag)
There are other draws back I'm sure.. this was just my immediate thoughts
#23
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue monk View Post
This top 10 of software companies mostly companies that I don`t think use dongles:
List of the largest software companies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
None of those are audio software companies. Most are hardware/consulting. The ones on that list that do provide software do it on the professional level for businesses and corporations and many times there are no other options except for their industry standards. The legalities of cracked software would take them down.

If you were able to provide a listing of sales of the audio software companies that use dongles and who don't. The sales numbers and size of the dongled companies would swamp the the little serial guys like PSP & Cockos. See below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderman
If any of this were true, the biggest and most successful companies would not be the one's who use dongles. The opposite is true. Waves, UAD, Steinberg, iZotope, Flux, EastWest, AVID, etc....

Some of the most successful and popular companies in the software game. They make tons of money, have tons of clients, and (most of the time) create stable software.
blue monk
Thread Starter
#24
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
Please post your evidence. Let's see the sales numbers. You can't just make up opinion as fact.
It`s my subjective assumption. It`s based on my personal experience. Of course, I don`t know 100,000 people and therefore cannot know the entire market. I assume that the people I know are not special but the norm. You are correct that this is not a represntative study with numbers but something like an opinion. It does not come from my imagination but you can choose to be sceptical. Not everybody comes to the same conclusions as everybody else in any subject.
MediaMix
#25
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #25
MediaMix
Guest
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue monk View Post
It`s my subjective assumption. It`s based on my personal experience. Of course, I don`t know 100,000 people and therefore cannot know the entire market. I assume that the people I know are not special but the norm. You are correct that this is not a represntative study with numbers but something like an opinion. It does not come from my imagination but you can choose to be sceptical. Not everybody comes to the same conclusions as everybody else in any subject.
As "spiderman" said, the biggest and most successful audio software companies use dongles. My opinion would be shaped by the amount of marketing, years in business, and general use of those big audio software companies' products I have seen in facilities around the country in my 23+ years in the industry.
#26
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by choukette View Post
your argument is just funny (especially when you know izotope 5 and vertigo comp from brainworx are released this week and already cracked)
I'm sure that all of us who only buy legal software are always up on what was cracked this week. tutt

The arguments that show up in these threads are mind boggling, and I seriously hope that most of you are teenagers, otherwise I'm frightened for the species, because most folks, once they move out of their parent's house and food doesn't automatically appear on the table every day, learn a little something about what it takes to do business in the real world.

If any of you think that any of these audio software companies are rolling in dough you are delusional. It's a marginal market at best, over-crowded, one of the most dishonest and theiving user bases probably on the planet, and still thread after thread of people complaining about how greedy they are and how they should drastically drop their prices and stop trying to protect what sales they do get.

Do you think that it's cheap to hire highly qualified software engineers to create these products and make them really good? These companies cannot go to their engineers and say, oops, sorry guys, we have to cut your paychecks in half in order to try to make our product more competitive with the pirated versions. The best engineers would just leave and go where they can get paid what they are worth.

And the rest of them are probably a couple guys who barely scratching by, and could be making a lot more working for some big company and not bothering to create anything.
blue monk
Thread Starter
#27
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
None of those are audio software companies. Most are hardware/consulting. The ones on that list that do provide software do it on the professional level for businesses and corporations and many times there are no other options except for their industry standards. The legalities of cracked software would take them down.

If you were able to provide a listing of sales of the audio software companies that use dongles and who don't. The sales numbers and size of the dongled companies would swamp the the little serial guys like PSP & Cockos. See below:
Spectrasonics? Ableton?
Native Instruments was mentioned who don`t use dongles and seem to do well.

I don`t know about the sales numbers of Flux, Izotope, UA etc. AVID is also a company with business video editing.
Izotope, if they offer non-dongle-based licnesing, doesn`t belong in the dongle-camp-list, either then, does it?
Actually I would really find it interesting to see a comparison list with sales numbers.
I only know that some company from France who use dongles had devastatingly poor sales numbers last time I had an email discussion with their CEO. For another one using dongles the sales where obviously dissappointing ("no more products in our previous segment..").

Ultimately it will remain a matter subjective points of view as there are no sales numbers available to the public.
#28
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue monk View Post
Spectrasonics? Ableton?
Native Instruments was mentioned who don`t use dongles and seem to do well.
Dude, none of those were on your list of the top 10 companies you posted as evidence. I think it's safe to say Ableton cannot hold up sales numbers in the same area code as Steinberg.

For me Native Instruments has a worse form of protection than a dongle and you are stuck using it on one machine because of the system ID generation unless you deactivate it first. The NI control center is very intrusive and if you need a new code from NI you are in trouble. If you keep your studio DAW offline the process is worse. With all that said it helps them reach their sales numbers and keeps them thriving.
#29
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #29
And, for the umpteenth time, let's do some simple numbers... You start an audio software company. You have ten employees. Say 6 are developers, and the rest cover sales, marketing, management, testing, etc... Let's say the average salary between them is something like $75K a year, and by the time you add in the cost of equipment and space for them, maybe $100K per year. And we are still talking about a quite small company.

So just your personnel costs per year is a $1M, leaving aside all the other costs of running a business, which maybe gets you to $1.25M or some such a year. If you sell a single plugin for $50 each, just to break even you would have to sell 25,000 units per year. And that's just not going to happen for probably 99% of plugins, even in the first year or so when you'll have the most sales. Then the market will saturate and the sales will go down even further.

So that business is already dead and gone because it couldn't make the revenues required. And of course if piracy dropped by that number by 10% or 20%, then you'd be even worse off.

At $250, you only have to sell 5000 of them per year to break even. That's something that vastly more reasonable. And even then, you are just breaking even. When the sales of that product fall off, you have to create more and hope that they also do well, and of course you can't afford to hire more people to help create these new products, so the same folks have to create the new ones and support the old ones, and move them forward every time there's a new OS version or platform they have to support. And of course now piracy is even more of an issue for you as well.


So if you guys would just stop complaining long enough to think through the realities of this business, you'd understand that it's not a big money making market, and that the companies involved, even the larger ones in this market, as small companies by overall business standards, then maybe you'd understand why things are the way they are. Even a company like Waves, which has lots of products, also has a lot more employees than 10, so they still are not going to be some massively profitable company. There are likely thousands of companies out there whose profits per year are almost as high or higher than Waves' gross revenues per year.

If you can't afford it, then that's just tough. There are lots of things that we cannot afford in life and you aren't guaranteed any right to afford all the things you want to have. I'd love a Ferrari but it's not going to happen, and I don't expect them to drop the price for me. There's lots of low cost and/or free software out there to use if you can't afford the good stuff or have a problem with those company's protection policies.
#30
13th November 2011
Old 13th November 2011
  #30
Gear addict
 
samicide's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PopularDemand View Post
For me Native Instruments has a worse form of protection than a dongle and you are stuck using it on one machine because of the system ID generation unless you deactivate it first. The NI control center is very intrusive and if you need a new code from NI you are in trouble. If you keep your studio DAW offline the process is worse.



that's incorrect, I currently have Komplete 7 installed on 2 machines....
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