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Why don't other software developers use Propellerheads copy protection?
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sftd
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4th December 2011
Old 4th December 2011
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Why don't other software developers use Propellerheads copy protection?

I can't find an answer and I'm curious.

The Record (now Reason 6) dongle has been uncracked for over two years. The more interested I became in this (after making a financial investment in another music software company) the more digging I did..

I have found it even has a degree of "notariety" among the underbelly of the hacking/cracking scene as the (so far) "holy grail" of copy protection. Efforts have been specifically directed at it and summarily failed.

Why don't other software companies investitigate/adapt/work with Propellerhead to acquire something similar?

Wouldn't Propellerhead stand to make a healthy sum of money if they sold the technology to other developers? Or do they fear that if it became widely used it would finally be overcame?

I'm just confused as to why a clear answer exists and yet only a single company with an extremely small lineup of products uses it.

That said, I'm a huge fan of Propellerhead, so I'm glad at the very least they have such an answer at the moment.

Also, until the recent merge of the Reason/Record product lines into a single product (Reason 6) why did Propellerhead seem very upfront about the fact they included little to no copy protection on the Reason line while the Record line had the staunchest/most effective in the industry? Reason would seem to be the overwhelming favorite when it came to popularity among the general public, yet its very very much less used sibling (Record) was the impenetrable of the two.

What do you guys believe their logic would be in that distinction? Were they simply waiting for the time when they two would merge? Get folks hooked, even the crackers, then merge them and force the now adopted fans (from either legal or illegal means) to break down and pay for the massive enhancements?

I mention this because in my research I have found numerous cases of just that. Users who became fans of Reason via piracy but bought the merged version 6 because they enjoyed the software and desired the upgrades so much and had no other option.

I do not expect the startup I have invested in to attempt to buy Propellerheads copy protection technology. I would be foolish to do so, but when I approached them with these same curiosities, they really didn't have any more answers than I did.


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4th December 2011
Old 4th December 2011
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Confused.....
Apparently numerous people became fans of Reason through pirated copies, and yet you say Propellorheads security should be taken up by other software developers?
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4th December 2011
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I believe you may have slightly misread a few bits there.

Propellerhead, up until the recent merge of their two product lines in September had two very different methods of copy protection, One they publicly acknowledged to be almost useless, and the other impenetrable.

Until the merge, the easily circumvented version was used on their most popular product, while the impenetrable version was used on their very niche product.

I'm wondering two things:

Why those roles wouldn't have been reversed.

And

Why other companies wouldn't adopt their copy protection technology knowing its (so far) unbroken protection.

If you had two product lines, one vastly more popular than the other, and you also had the technology to make one or both of them immune to piracy, why for a period of years would you choose to consciously not give the piracy immune protection to your most popular product?

Obviously now that the two have merged into a single product it is protected by the superior protection, but my curiosity is more towards what their thinking was prior to this?

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4th December 2011
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I guess it's a cost vs benefits analysis.
Presumably Propellorheads would charge to license their copy protection to 3rd party users. I guess those other companies have looked at the cost and decided it's cheaper to run a less effective system (if it is less effective) even after losses due to pirated copies.
Also, I think the diversity of security is an advantage to developers. If everyone adopted one system, wether it be iLok or Propellorhead, all the crackers and programmers would see it as their challenge to break it. Right now, the crackers are spread more thinly, each trying to break a security code more dear to their (twisted) hearts.
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4th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I guess it's a cost vs benefits analysis.
Presumably Propellorheads would charge to license their copy protection to 3rd party users. I guess those other companies have looked at the cost and decided it's cheaper to run a less effective system (if it is less effective) even after losses due to pirated copies.
Also, I think the diversity of security is an advantage to developers. If everyone adopted one system, wether it be iLok or Propellorhead, all the crackers and programmers would see it as their challenge to break it. Right now, the crackers are spread more thinly, each trying to break a security code more dear to their (twisted) hearts.
That's pretty much what I've ended up with as well. Mainly just an issue of cost.

But on the topic of Propellerheads internal structure, what do you think their reasoning might have been for so greatly dividing the strength of the protection on the two product lines? Especially when logic says it seems backwards?

That's where I'm fully confused!

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4th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sftd View Post
That's pretty much what I've ended up with as well. Mainly just an issue of cost.

But on the topic of Propellerheads internal structure, what do you think their reasoning might have been for so greatly dividing the strength of the protection on the two product lines? Especially when logic says it seems backwards?

That's where I'm fully confused!

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4th December 2011
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Isn't record their newest or most recent offering? Maybe they simply decided to invest in stronger protection after years of suffering the effects of hacking? You say the products (Reason and Record) are now one. If they invented this copy protection recently they can't very well go back in time and use it on their older products.


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4th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BJosephs View Post
Isn't record their newest or most recent offering? Maybe they simply decided to invest in stronger protection after years of suffering the effects of hacking? You say the products (Reason and Record) are now one. If they invented this copy protection recently they can't very well go back in time and use it on their older products.


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The protection of their single combined product (Reason 6) is the same protection used on their Record product for over two years. While that protection was being used, the other (easily breakable) form was also in use concurrently on their Reason line, even through whole (Reason 4 - Reason 5) version changes.

Essentially they've had it for a while.

@John:

The long term planning was what I inquired about in my initial post, do you think the reasoning for the long term planning I guessed at there is a solid one? If not, what do you think their goal/idea may have been? I'm just trying to see their logic now that I have a heavily vested and direct interest in the market.

Also, on the loss leader front, I fully understand the theory and also understand for particular types of business its wonderful, but their product line is so small (then 2 products, now 1) and rather independent that I don't understand how a strategy would benefit them in their situation.

In a convenience store, giving away free (or realisticly having the lowest prices in town) gas will pull in a ton of customers who you hope will happen to pick up cigarettes and soda in the same trip. But if all you sold was gas.... ?

My curiosity is so strong in part because I don't see any of their peers using the same model, and if you contemplate similar strategies used in other forms of business they make little sense due to their incredibly small amount of product lines.

And of course, they seem to enjoy great success in general, though obviously for far more reasons than these.
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5th December 2011
Old 5th December 2011
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I wonder if it had been a way to test the new protection (with record) before implementing it with the full package (Reason 6) to ensure that it would work properly?
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5th December 2011
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Good point, it could have very well been that actually.

Since Reason is your main product you wouldn't want to accidentily screw it's users while trying to implement a new copy protection so instead you thoroughly test it on your niche/small market product like Record before making the switch/merge.

Very good point!

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5th December 2011
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My guess is that they saw how popular the original product was and decided to continued to sell it separately with the old protection for a couple of generation after introducing the new protection with Record, then merge the two, rather that "shock the market".

But who knows, outside the company? It's all conjecture.

I don't think they intended in the very beginning to do it that way, but when they had the superior protection decided to ease into it.

An alternative possibility was that maybe they expected more Reason users to step up to Record than actually did, hence the decision to merge the products with the stiffer protection.
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6th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sftd View Post
I have found it even has a degree of "notariety" among the underbelly of the hacking/cracking scene as the (so far) "holy grail" of copy protection. Efforts have been specifically directed at it and summarily failed.

Why don't other software companies investitigate/adapt/work with Propellerhead to acquire something similar?

Wouldn't Propellerhead stand to make a healthy sum of money if they sold the technology to other developers? Or do they fear that if it became widely used it would finally be overcame?

I'm just confused as to why a clear answer exists and yet only a single company with an extremely small lineup of products uses it.
Just to clarify : Propellerheads license a copy protection system for Record (and now the merged product). They haven't written their own.

They use WIBU Codemeter as copy protection system, as does others, like SSL Duende Native.

I can think of 2 systems that haven't been cracked yet when fully implemented - WIBU Codemeter and the new iLok2 system.
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7th December 2011
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I remember reading some info on the h20 crack of the cubase 3 sx dongle and the mentioned the code for the protection was deeply embedded into cubase and significant resources are used in it , its checking all the time for the dongle .

this may be why older versions of reason did not have the newer protection , it may have been to time consuming to rewrite it to support the protection.

the other possible issue is licensing reasons with the copy protection provider
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8th December 2011
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I know another developer using codemeter (basehead) and they are very happy with both its effectiveness, and its features- (namely that a dongle can be remotely access- IE, if you have a home machine, you can point at it for validation over the internet).
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