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Anti-Piracy tools impact on legit users
Old 27th May 2009
  #61
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HobbyCore's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soulata View Post
- apart from Steinberg's Synchrosoft thingie - none of the protections work
Complete nonsense. Every current steinberg product has been cracked (not all mac versions however). They are not all available on public torrent sites, easy to figure out why.

I suggest if you wish to learn more about the current state of software piracy, to spend some quality time on IRC and the darknets and make some friends (this step comes first actually). There is a far more vast and deep world of software piracy than you realize.

I'm particularly surprised at the comments by the steinberg rep.
Old 27th May 2009
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agreed View Post
You're completely misunderstanding me. First, I'm not advocating piracy or trying to say in any way that software engineers aren't putting in work for which they deserve compensation. That would be ludicrous and frankly I wonder if you read the post to which I was responding, then my post fully before replying, that you should have come to such an apparent non sequitur of a conclusion.

When you buy software, you don't own it, you are using it under license from the company. What you've bought is the license. Surely you're aware that there is a significant distinction between owning property, and licensing the use of something. You buy a Fender Strat, you own it. You buy a copy of Cubase, you don't - you have a license. Many products today have eschewed the physical trappings of a box copy altogether and offer totally digital downloads, a significant point only in that it rather drives home the distinction between physical property that can entirely change hands in normal transactions, and an intangible licensing agreement which entitles you to the usage of software under specific conditions.

The iLok is weird because it is a physical device to which your licenses become tied, and if something happens to it, there's a real question as to whether or not you still have your licenses. It alters our relationship to our licenses in a funny way because it makes them all of a sudden physical. This wouldn't be odd except then the companies start treating them weirdly like physical things, too, and you can be out far more than the $40 an iLok costs if yours is lost or stolen, because not every company is willing to replace the license under those circumstances. In my opinion this is a bad thing, because now you have all of the risks of physical property but you're still under the restrictive conditions of having purchased only a license to use something. You have the worst of both worlds, but this is just the industry standard. I think this is a good venue to consider whether that really is the best thing for everyone.

Nothing about that says anything at all about stealing. I don't know where you got that.
You have to understand that owning a license to use intellectual property has the same value as owning physical object. Bother are things that hold a value, only one is physical and one is not. Just like your work you do for your clients holds as much of a value as any physical objects you own. Your clients don't say "Eh, well he doesn't actually lose anything physically when he does work for me, my guitar is a real thing that I own, and I don't own the work he puts in to me".

So the difference is that they can't be protected in the same way, not that one has less value because it has less mass. The physical stuff has a copy protection built in. And the downside is that if you lose it you lose it. With intellectual property you have more options here and more protections. And it's not intangible, it just lacks mass. Not protecting it and piracy do just as much damage as stealing a physical object. If your clients don't pay you, it's damaging even though you don't lose any physical property.

I think part of the education program that needs to be instilled is teaching people that intellectual property has just as much value and rights as physical property. There's this notion that it has less value because it's not physical and because someone doesn't own the actual source code (which would be absurd).

With the ilok you can have those licenses backed up so if you lose that physical device which contains them, you can restore them. You can't do that with any physical property. Also, like physical property, you can insure them. You can have homeowners insurance. If you lose your physical property you can't expect anyone to just give you a new one. But intellectual property here has more options. It seems many people want the benefits of physical property and none of the responsibilities.


There's down sides to every option. This seems to be by far the best one. I am sure the developers are more than open to suggestions of better ways to do it though. So far no one has been able to offer better solutions. Getting rid of protection is not a solution and as a customer, I would feel threatened by a company that got rid of their copy protection. I too would love more convenience as anyone would for anything. Do you have any suggestions? I'm sure in time we'll come up with better ways, but I can't think of any right now.

I do know I can get insurance and a no down time option which ensures that no matter what happens I am covered. I can't say the same for any physical property I won.

Old 27th May 2009
  #63
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Agreed's Avatar
 

Again, I'm not suggesting that it lacks value. But the idea that there are "just as much rights as physical property" is unfortunately quite false, at least from the user's perspective - because it is never our property, it's yours (the creator's), and you're licensing us to use it under certain, limited conditions (e.g., no concurrent usage on multiple computers, install on only X number of computers, otherwise buy more licenses, etc. - no need to babble on about it, we all know what software limitations tend to be). So from your perspective it's certainly true that you deserve protections, and they have to be different protections from those afforded physical objects. But from my perspective, as a user, it is really painfully made clear that I don't own anything that I use when I have to put a license for it on an iLok and if something happens to my iLok, I'm out of iLuck.

At least with C&R systems, there are numerous mechanisms available to obtain the licensing information again. I keep multiple copies, some off-site and some on-site, of my licensing info for all of my C&R and serial-activated software. If something happens to my installs, or even if my main studio computer explodes or something, I'm an angry re-build and re-download away from having all that software up and running again. And frankly, your customers are the people that buy your products. It isn't very fair to treat the ones who are paying for your products like thieves, when thievery is unimpeded by the so-called protections which hassle and disadvantage your customers.

It just seems like we're all kind of getting conned - you're getting conned because the idea that your software is safe so long as you buy the expensive protection schemes is demonstrably problematic, we're getting conned because we're told that all these arcane protections are necessary to ensure that only paying customers like us get to use the products... The only people winning in this scenario are the pirates, who we all hate. There's got to be a better way.

What motivates someone to legally purchase your software? My hunch is that it's something that would never motivate a pirate, at least. Studio legitimacy? Warm fuzzy feeling of having earned the products you use to create? Sense of duty and adherence to the law? Which one of these applies to pirates, the only people who aren't being disadvantaged by the current sysetms?
Old 27th May 2009
  #64
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by colinmiller View Post
You have to understand that owning a license to use intellectual property has the same value as owning physical object. Bother are things that hold a value, only one is physical and one is not. Just like your work you do for your clients holds as much of a value as any physical objects you own. Your clients don't say "Eh, well he doesn't actually lose anything physically when he does work for me, my guitar is a real thing that I own, and I don't own the work he puts in to me".

So the difference is that they can't be protected in the same way, not that one has less value because it has less mass. The physical stuff has a copy protection built in. And the downside is that if you lose it you lose it. With intellectual property you have more options here and more protections. And it's not intangible, it just lacks mass. Not protecting it and piracy do just as much damage as stealing a physical object. If your clients don't pay you, it's damaging even though you don't lose any physical property.

I think part of the education program that needs to be instilled is teaching people that intellectual property has just as much value and rights as physical property. There's this notion that it has less value because it's not physical and because someone doesn't own the actual source code (which would be absurd).

With the ilok you can have those licenses backed up so if you lose that physical device which contains them, you can restore them. You can't do that with any physical property. Also, like physical property, you can insure them. You can have homeowners insurance. If you lose your physical property you can't expect anyone to just give you a new one. But intellectual property here has more options. It seems many people want the benefits of physical property and none of the responsibilities.


There's down sides to every option. This seems to be by far the best one. I am sure the developers are more than open to suggestions of better ways to do it though. So far no one has been able to offer better solutions. Getting rid of protection is not a solution and as a customer, I would feel threatened by a company that got rid of their copy protection. I too would love more convenience as anyone would for anything. Do you have any suggestions? I'm sure in time we'll come up with better ways, but I can't think of any right now.

I do know I can get insurance and a no down time option which ensures that no matter what happens I am covered. I can't say the same for any physical property I won.

here's a pretty good analogy (considering it revolves around the word license

the current model (where if your ilok breaks or you lose your key) you lose your cd/key/ilok/whatever you lose your license, the way it SHOULD be, is like in california, where if you lose your license you go in and request a new one and pay the 15$ for the physical license, you're still licensed to drive you just don't have the license itself.

and considering the attitude of most of the people on GS i'd bet it's safe to say that most of the people here register their software, so getting a replacement authorization shouldn't be a problem.
Old 27th May 2009
  #65
Gear Head
 

Well said Colin...
Old 27th May 2009
  #66
Actually, while we're on the topic, let me ask a BIG favour from IMSTA -

Since education is your thing, can you please educate the British insurance industry about insuring software licenses? I've found it all but impossible to get insurance for the licenses on a iLok - they'll insure the value of the iLok (£30?) and the value of any physical CDs I have (you yourselves will admit that the value isn't in the CD-ROMs, it's in the license - and even then I don't get much software on CDs anymore, it's mostly electronic delivery... so help me, please!!

I know there are a couple underwriters in the US who will do it but I've not found one yet that will in the UK... help help help!!!
Old 28th May 2009
  #67
Special guest
 

First and foremost people need to understand that our technology provides a full range of activations methods. From serial numbers, Challenge/Response, license files to iLok. There are various methods of providing licenses for trials, purchases, upgrades. The toolset can be used in many ways with or without iLok. These are choices for the software publishers in relation to the market they serve.

The iLok offers portability and convenience. This might be well suited for some markets and not for others. We certainly understand this. Ultimately the software publisher decides what user experience they wish to provide. We offer the iLok as a choice. Some publishers bundle the iLok, others do not. Some require it, some do not. For many publisher the iLoks license is the ultimate proof of purchase or ownership. For others it is the security and largely support free method that allows them to keep developing and selling their products. It gives the user the ability to upgrade to new versions and get support.

I can tell you that iLok would not have as many customers and users choosing iLok if the solution was as bad as some have indicated. The overwhelming majority of users have no issues whatsoever. We see a lot of positive feedback and very very happy users. We also see people that struggle. We work to help them and fix issues that cause problems. We are not satisfied if users are having issues.

There are occasional problems and we work hard to remedy them and help the user that has been affected. Again, very small number or we could continue to provide these services. In most cases the iLok has been broken by force, lost or something. We offer a warranty and work to support our products and services with a level of quality that we would expect if we were in your shoes.

We aim to keep the pricing as affordable as possible for software publishers and users alike. So our technology cannot cost a lot nor can it require much overhead to the application.

Premium "unified" services have been added as customers have asked for them. However, the user can always go to the software publisher for support to get temporary licenses. All publishers have the tools and ability to offer similar services for their licenses. iLok.com ZDT and other services are aimed at a unified support approach to help make it easier for the end user - a one stop shop for hassle free support services. We will continue to offer such support and aim give more benefits to the end users.

In Saovi's post from earlier in the thread it is not mentioned that ZDT is completely optional. I can tell you that many customers find that the $30.00 is well worth the ease of mind if anything should go wrong. For some, it is not. It is a choice, an option for the user. The publisher can also automate this experience for their own customers. However, this does not solve the issue for those with 25 licenses from 7 vendors in 4 different time zones.

PACE creates tools for software publishers. Tools that can be used to allow their customers to have choice about where, when and how their products are used. Some software users like having the software be a physical device, even to the point where they choose it. It is a nice option for them because they don't want to have to get on the phone or contact the vendors when they hit some limit for Challenge/Response. That said, for some products and some users, challenge/response works fine. It is about choices. PACE will continue to improve our product offerings and make it easier for everyone to have such choices.
Old 28th May 2009
  #68
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TRA's Avatar
 

[QUOTE=davew;4224783]
Quote:
Originally Posted by IMSTA View Post

toronto? perhaps another neighborhood is in order?
You quoted the wrong person.
Old 28th May 2009
  #69
Special guest
 

Thanks for the great questions, 24-96.
Quote:
- What amount of system resources goes into the CP (or rather how much performance could be gained by not using any CP)?
The way the protection is implemented means that real-time processes are not affected, so the impact on the system performance as to how many tracks etc. can be run is negligible. Additionally, the whole process is not just about copy protection, it’s about creating a license management system, one which we’re developing to offer more benefits and services in the future.

Quote:
I wonder how often application crashes with Nuendo 4 are due to some problem with CP? (or rather how much stability could increase if there was no CP at all). Same question for Wavelab 6 although it is much, much more stable. Have you done empiric testing on this? Can you estimate what percentage of problems / crashes are down to CP (directly or indirectly)?
Well, the processes that go on there are very well known to our developers, so I’d expect no impact on stability.

Quote:
What amount of cash per copy of Nuendo copy essentially goes towards CP? (Synchrosoft licensing, implementation costs, dongle hardware, user dongle support, etc). Are you at liberty to give ballpark figures?
No, I'm afraid not. But since our purchase of parts of Syncrosoft, all the development for the eLicenser (i.e. the Steinberg Key, License Control Center and Soft eLicenser) is now done inhouse at Steinberg by specialist staff that came to us from Syncrosoft. So not only do we hope to offer a license management system that is better integrated into the programs because both are developed under one roof, it also means that development work on the protection does not use development resources previously allocated to other products and projects. And, as I said, we’re looking to expand the functionality in the future.

Quote:
And the inevitable follow-up question: Are you absolutely sure that the cost for CP is lower than that of sales that might be lost if there was no / less elaborate CP?
Yes, I am sure about this, especially seeing as we're talking about very widely used and successful products like Cubase. Putting the resources we devote now to copy protection, with dedicated staff at Steinberg, in relation to total sales, knowing that the only way of using the latest version of Cubase today is by buying it, I'm absolutely sure that this "calculation goes up", as they say in Germany (“die Rechnung geht auf”), i.e. that it's worth it. If the next generation of Cubase were available for free everywhere it would hurt sales, I think that’s pretty much a given. Sure, it’s been a long road to where we are now, but the investment in the license management system has definitely been/is worth it.

Cheers,
Angus Baigent (Steinberg)
Old 28th May 2009
  #70
Quote:
Originally Posted by angusbaigent View Post
Thanks for the great questions, 24-96.
The way the protection is implemented means that real-time processes are not affected, so the impact on the system performance as to how many tracks etc. can be run is negligible. Additionally, the whole process is not just about copy protection, it’s about creating a license management system, one which we’re developing to offer more benefits and services in the future.


Cheers,
Angus Baigent (Steinberg)
I don't want to be an ass here, but one of those illegal crews showed us with Cubase SX3, that the program works +30% faster (I think they measured the ASIO-performance..but not sure) without dongle.

I am very happy with Cubase 5. you guys did a good job on this release!

cheers
Old 28th May 2009
  #71
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HobbyCore View Post
Complete nonsense. Every current steinberg product has been cracked (not all mac versions however). They are not all available on public torrent sites, easy to figure out why.

I suggest if you wish to learn more about the current state of software piracy, to spend some quality time on IRC and the darknets and make some friends (this step comes first actually). There is a far more vast and deep world of software piracy than you realize.

Ok. You might be right there (first paragraph). I however do not have time nor need for the second, but I guess you're definitely right about that. However, Cubase cracks were widely spread around until C4 came out, so I'd say Synchrosoft does work. I haven't seen C4 or C5 on any of the torrent sites apart from the fakes or really bad cracks.

Many of my friends bought originals soon after trying out those, so congrats to Steinberg.

Btw, I use Cubase 5 and like it a lot.

k
Old 28th May 2009
  #72
Lives for gear
This is a great discussion. Here are my observations:

-No hard data (or even flaccid data) on effectiveness of dongles/copy protection has been presented.

-The only end user pro-dongle argument seems to be "I like portability of my software". Meanwhile, iLoks fail left and right, are stolen, broken, whatever.... and no one except the customer seems to care.

-For god's sake, owning a license for software and owning a physical item are NOWHERE NEAR the same thing. If I own a guitar or piece of hardware, I can do whatever I want to it.... mod it, turn it into modern art, take it apart and sell the pieces... with software you have NO rights other than general use as described in the EULA. Once you've registered your legit software you now have to get the developer (and sometimes pay a fee) to transfer the license. Fender is not charging me when I sell the guitar used.

-Everything is/will be cracked.

-Waves copy protection and other business "schemes" are the reason I refuse to give them any more business. In fact, all of my current plugins are either Challenge/Response or serial keys, and that played a big role in my decision to purchase those over other plugins that required me to purchase an iLok, pay yearly fees, and all the other BS extortion that comes with that ****.

I personally don't need my software to be portable, but I understand that some people do. If you take away the portability aspect of the iLok, it becomes a cheap useless piece of garbage sticking out of your computer.

Come up with an option to keep authorizations portable, and keep hassles to a minimum. Once I purchase, install, and authorize my software, I should be done. No more accounts, extra hardware/dongles, fees, updates, etc should be required. That starts becoming harassment and borders on theft... I am firmly against piracy, but if you think all of this ridiculous minutia is beneficial to the end user, you clearly aren't listening.
Old 28th May 2009
  #73
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Agreed,

Do you understand what you are asking for by expecting ownership of someone else's intellectual property? That means that anyone who buys it owns it to do whatever they want. They can then make changes to it, they can then re-sell it. I could buy a copy of a piece of software, own the rights to that, and then start selling as many copies as I want for less money since my development cost is simply the purchase itself, and thus put all the software companies out of business.

So there are different rules because they are different mediums. The equiv in physical propery would be like expecting your purchase to include the entire process to make that physical item. If customers of software companies were to own the software, then there would be no point in any software companies even going into business to begin with. Just like if the same were true for any customer buying a book, there would be no point in anyways becoming a writer, or any company beccoming a publisher, etc.

If I buy something from the store and it breaks. If I lose my receipt, then I am screwed. I paid for the product, which includes the warranty, but without that little piece of paper, my purchase is meaningless. You purchase a software license and you own that liscense for as long as it's terms. But you lose the proof of that liscense and you lose the rights to it, just like with physical property. And like with both, you can take precautions to safeguard it and have backup such as insurance, and getting no-downtime backups.

Sure it's not as conveient as there being no protection what so ever, but what other choice is there? It's inconveneint for me to have to wait in line at the airport and spend more time going through security than most flights themselves. But what choice is there? If they don't, an incident can happen that I won't be involved with, people will be too scared to fly, the airlines lose money and go out of business, and I as a loyal customer am out of luck even though I never did anything wrong myself.

It's certainly not that I don't get what you're saying, just that I don't see any better alternative for myself as a customer who depends on a lot of software plugins to make my living. I don't want someone else's theft to take down a software company who's software I may depend on for my income. And it's a new industry so I am sure over time the methods will improve.
Old 28th May 2009
  #74
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agreed View Post
Again, I'm not suggesting that it lacks value. But the idea that there are "just as much rights as physical property" is unfortunately quite false, at least from the user's perspective - because it is never our property, it's yours (the creator's), and you're licensing us to use it under certain, limited conditions (e.g., no concurrent usage on multiple computers, install on only X number of computers, otherwise buy more licenses, etc...............


When you buy a keyboard or any other hardware, you can not use it in two different places at the same time and it should not be any different for software.

People can argue that it is not the same since a keyboard is a physical product and so on…..

The bottom line is that a product is a product - no matter what form it takes.

People also talk about costs.

Yes it costs money to buy software. However, the costs are a fraction of the money you would have spent in a commercial studio had it not been for music software.

Music software has made it possible for the average person to record a full length album in his/her bedroom.

If it were not for music software, people would still be recording on a 4 track machine using cassette tapes. Anything else would be out of the reach of most musicians.

To all the pirates out there, “don’t bite the hand that feeds you”.

Paul
Old 28th May 2009
  #75
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by IMSTA View Post
“don’t bite the hand that feeds you”.

Paul
That goes for you guys too.
Old 28th May 2009
  #76
Lives for gear
 

A few of my answers don't appear here (I got the message they should be approved first...what???).

Anyway - the keyboard analogy is really bad.

Keyboard can't be used on more places than one because of it's physical nature. OTOH, software can be, it's simply a matter of an agreement between the seller and the buyer.


More later.


k
Old 29th May 2009
  #77
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Soul hit the nail on the head of the problem.

People think that because it's software and not physical that it doesn't deserve the same rights as something physical. And that even though the same amount of costs are involved to produce both products, the software product should not get the same revenue simply because it has no mass.

Let's look at some fake numbers for example.

You have a keyboard company and a software company. They both make a product that costs them $1000 in development (just a low number for simplicity). The cost of each is $100

A studio has 2 rooms and needs to build 10 rooms. The keyboard company then gets $1000 and the software company gets $100 and the studio just copies the same software in each room. Both have one through the same effort. But they keyboard company gets to pay off it's development and manufacturing costs, and the software company is still $900 in the hole. Is this fair?
Old 29th May 2009
  #78
Gear Maniac
 
Agreed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by colinmiller View Post
Soul hit the nail on the head of the problem.

People think that because it's software and not physical that it doesn't deserve the same rights as something physical. And that even though the same amount of costs are involved to produce both products, the software product should not get the same revenue simply because it has no mass.

This is in one sense false and in one sense true but not filled out sufficiently.

It's false in that no one has said that software doesn't deserve protection. But it absolutely can't be protected as though it were physical, because it isn't. Don't forget that the "rights" surrounding the property have to be considered from both the producer and the consumer perspectives. It's not enough to say "I want all of the rights of physical property for my software creation" and then hem and haw when it comes to granting users the same rights as physical property. No one would be willing to do that because it doesn't make sense.

It is true, then, that people think that it can't have identical rights, but only insofar as being non-physical, with totally different possibilities and constraints for sale, distribution, use and transfer compared to physical property, it would not make sense to afford identical protections.

The first step in coming up with sensible and more generally acceptable laws regarding intellectual property is to abandon analogy altogether. It's not like a car, it's not like a keyboard, it's not like a guitar, it's software and that's a peculiar thing.

I would add that I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to extrapolate things I am not saying from my posts; twice before you've assumed that I'm advocating or attacking something that I'm not. Surely there's enough to respond to directly in my post without having to reach for some extra-post content (especially when it causes you to consider only briefly or not really at all what I've actually said). I don't mean this in any sense to be rude, I am just requesting that you consider my words alone rather than seeing something there that I'm not posting. The last thing I want to do is make it easier for people to get software without paying for it when the rest of us have to, but I think that insufficient thought has been given in the industry to the consideration of what separates a pirate from a customer.

Consider the needs of your customers and you will profit further; treat them like pirates, and while hopefully very few will become pirates, many more will incline themselves against you. I've seen people seek out rather elaborate alternatives to iLok protected software just to avoid having to use it. I was one of those people myself until, for my magazine reviews, it became clear that I was going to have to review iLok protected software, too, whether I like it or not. It's a Bad Thing when ANY of your potential customers e use your licensing system only because it's absolutely necessary; surely the services can be improved so that there are good reasons for everyone to invest. That, much more so than making the user experience ever-more convoluted and prone to trouble for legitimate customers (while pirates get a more streamlined, less difficult user experience thanks to bypassing the so-called copy protection entirely) will improve the market standing of iLok and software companies that use it.
Old 29th May 2009
  #79
Quote:
Originally Posted by angusbaigent View Post
Thanks for the great questions, 24-96.
Thanks for taking the time to answer.

Quote:
Well, the processes that go on there are very well known to our developers, so I’d expect no impact on stability.
Quote:
The way the protection is implemented means that real-time processes are not affected, so the impact on the system performance as to how many tracks etc. can be run is negligible.
Well, everything affects real time operation.

George Necola already touched on the issue, I'm of course asking because at some point there was a crack of Nuendo that was noticably more responsive than the legitimate version. If I recall correctly, this was not primarily related to actual real time processes, but GUI operation (I hope my memory is right on this).
I am assuming that this loss in performance was known and accepted by Steinberg and I remember thinking that a calculated loss of performance for a higher chance of successfull CP is ethically very questionable.

I was basically asking these questions because there is now just no way for the end user to know. So we, the users, have to take your word for it. Having said that, I'm glad to hear (and I trust your statement) that Steinberg are not compromising application performance / stability.

Quote:
Additionally, the whole process is not just about copy protection, it’s about creating a license management system, one which we’re developing to offer more benefits and services in the future.
With all due respect: what benefits, let alone "more benefits" are we talking about? The notion that a license management system is directly (!) beneficial or even at all interesting to the user sounds misguided to me. At best, it is not noticed. At worst, it is significant inconvenience.

Please don't misunderstand me, I understand that Steinberg feel they need to protect their product by electronically managing my licenses and of course I accept that. But please remember that this is a result of your needs, not mine. Trying to sell copy protection / license management as a service or a feature to the customer sounds like something Waves would do... I trust Steinberg is more in touch than that.

Quote:
Sure, it’s been a long road to where we are now, but the investment in the license management system has definitely been/is worth it.
That's good to hear. Thanks again for taking the time. (Oh, and if you have contact with interface programming, say "Liebe Grüße" to Hans-Jörg Ziegler from me.)
Old 29th May 2009
  #80
Gear Head
 

Digidesign is pretty smart. Their protection is their hardware basically which is still annoying though because i wouldn't mind being able to use my firepod to track.

I have a Mbox 2 but i track everything into logic with my firepod. then i have to import everything into pro tools.

i would stay in logic but my mixes are done faster and better inside pro tools.

by doing this though, digidesign has probably saved themselves some money.
Old 29th May 2009
  #81
Special guest
 

Hi Robin,

Yes, the copy protection uses calls to the key in a small number of GUI operations. The first generation of Syncrosoft keys had longer response times, which meant that the responsiveness of the interface was at times noticeably impacted. I suspect that George may have been using one of these older keys at the time (it was a couple of years ago now), which would explain that. The key hardware itself and the places in the software where calls are made have both been successively updated, so the GUI responsiveness should not be impacted neagtively. We also recommend in our knowledge base that anyone who is experiencing sluggish GUI behaviour should avail themselves of a new Steinberg Key and transfer their licenses to the new key.

As far as the benefits of the license management are concerned, please read what I said as a statement of intent. I very much hear what you're saying, and there is a lot more we can do (and are working on) to provide services and benefits that we don't currently have. So it's something that's important to us looking forward.

Cheers,
Angus
Old 29th May 2009
  #82
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soulata View Post
Ok. You might be right there (first paragraph).

k
He's not, unless you consider partial working cracks. There was no fully functional crack of cubase 4, even the CS4 one did not have all functions working. Most of the apps using later generation syncrosoft were not cracked, and anyone saying the opposite is telling lies.

It's not that it is not possible, it's just that there are not enough frustrated software developers willing to waste the amount of time and resources required to crack it. That and the fact that you need to have a fully working dongle to do it, which means they actually have to buy the app.
Old 30th May 2009
  #83
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colinmiller's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agreed View Post
This is in one sense false and in one sense true but not filled out sufficiently.

It's false in that no one has said that software doesn't deserve protection. But it absolutely can't be protected as though it were physical, because it isn't. Don't forget that the "rights" surrounding the property have to be considered from both the producer and the consumer perspectives. It's not enough to say "I want all of the rights of physical property for my software creation" and then hem and haw when it comes to granting users the same rights as physical property. No one would be willing to do that because it doesn't make sense.

It is true, then, that people think that it can't have identical rights, but only insofar as being non-physical, with totally different possibilities and constraints for sale, distribution, use and transfer compared to physical property, it would not make sense to afford identical protections.

The first step in coming up with sensible and more generally acceptable laws regarding intellectual property is to abandon analogy altogether. It's not like a car, it's not like a keyboard, it's not like a guitar, it's software and that's a peculiar thing.

I would add that I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to extrapolate things I am not saying from my posts; twice before you've assumed that I'm advocating or attacking something that I'm not. Surely there's enough to respond to directly in my post without having to reach for some extra-post content (especially when it causes you to consider only briefly or not really at all what I've actually said). I don't mean this in any sense to be rude, I am just requesting that you consider my words alone rather than seeing something there that I'm not posting. The last thing I want to do is make it easier for people to get software without paying for it when the rest of us have to, but I think that insufficient thought has been given in the industry to the consideration of what separates a pirate from a customer.

Consider the needs of your customers and you will profit further; treat them like pirates, and while hopefully very few will become pirates, many more will incline themselves against you. I've seen people seek out rather elaborate alternatives to iLok protected software just to avoid having to use it. I was one of those people myself until, for my magazine reviews, it became clear that I was going to have to review iLok protected software, too, whether I like it or not. It's a Bad Thing when ANY of your potential customers e use your licensing system only because it's absolutely necessary; surely the services can be improved so that there are good reasons for everyone to invest. That, much more so than making the user experience ever-more convoluted and prone to trouble for legitimate customers (while pirates get a more streamlined, less difficult user experience thanks to bypassing the so-called copy protection entirely) will improve the market standing of iLok and software companies that use it.
I am sorry, but I can't agree with you at all. It's a form of goods that is in a different format. It requires as much resources to make as anything physical and it's worth should get just as much protection as anything physical. You say that it should not. Explain what right intellectual property should NOT have and why. Tell us what needs to be taken away.

And no the analogy should not be removed. That's just an attempt to try and make it easier for you. As far as value of a commodity goes, there is absolutely no difference between a physical object and intellectual. You instead want all the benefits of both and in the process removal of all protections to those who make it. Which in turn will hurt the economy. Now of course you'll say that you think it should be protected, but you won't offer how that can be done. And the reason is that it's an impossible scenario you're asking for.

You claim that in order for the producer to have rights it means the consumer loses rights. I disagree. If you lose your physical property it's gone. If you lose your proof of purchase for intellectual property it's gone. You want a product that can never be lost no matter what. No such thing exists. You can't have a physical item that can never be lost because someone can steal it or you can lose it. You don't hold the producer responsible because you're so used to them not being responsible. With intellectual property you want to be able to lose the proof of licensing and have to bear no responsibility for keeping it. Instead you eel the producer should be responsible for you.

But please, tell us about these more sensible laws. I would like to hear them. Because making claims that using copy protection is treating customers like pirates is simply not true. And as a customer of many plugins, I insist that companies use copy protection to protect my interests and they are doing me a service. That's not treating people like pirates. That's protecting me and respecting my interests as a customer.

And this notion of the user experience being over burdened is really being overblown. I have installed countless software programs with copy protection and it simply is not that big a deal. I as a customer have never felt inconvenienced, and especially not with things like the iLok which takes maybe 5 mins tops to get going with a piece of software. I am sorry, but I really can't take these kinds of complaints very seriously.

If you had a software company, would you not use any kind of protection what so ever, put it out there and just cross your ingers and hope maybe some people will pay for it? Because any protection you add what so ever will warrant someone complaining about it. So what would you do if it was your livelyhood and your money on the line?
Old 30th May 2009
  #84
Gear Guru
 
Sid Viscous's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMSTA View Post
When you buy a keyboard or any other hardware, you can not use it in two different places at the same time and it should not be any different for software.

People can argue that it is not the same since a keyboard is a physical product and so on…..

The bottom line is that a product is a product - no matter what form it takes.

People also talk about costs.

Yes it costs money to buy software. However, the costs are a fraction of the money you would have spent in a commercial studio had it not been for music software.

Music software has made it possible for the average person to record a full length album in his/her bedroom.

If it were not for music software, people would still be recording on a 4 track machine using cassette tapes. Anything else would be out of the reach of most musicians.

To all the pirates out there, “don’t bite the hand that feeds you”.

Paul
I think this post shows the problem.
1. Hardware is hardware. Software isn't. You can try to convince people otherwise if you want, but it just makes you look bad.
2. Ever hear of ADATS? Tons of people had them and somehow they were able to make records with them.
Old 30th May 2009
  #85
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinmiller View Post
Soul hit the nail on the head of the problem.

People think that because it's software and not physical that it doesn't deserve the same rights as something physical. And that even though the same amount of costs are involved to produce both products, the software product should not get the same revenue simply because it has no mass.

Let's look at some fake numbers for example.

You have a keyboard company and a software company. They both make a product that costs them $1000 in development (just a low number for simplicity). The cost of each is $100

A studio has 2 rooms and needs to build 10 rooms. The keyboard company then gets $1000 and the software company gets $100 and the studio just copies the same software in each room. Both have one through the same effort. But they keyboard company gets to pay off it's development and manufacturing costs, and the software company is still $900 in the hole. Is this fair?
1. I thought it would be obvious that there is something like fixed (constant) costs and variable costs. if this is the right words in business english
virtual goods have almost zero variable cost. once invested, can be sold a billion times and the variable cost is server traffic that is being redistributed anyway, depending on the business model with the provider, e.g. you do it with torrents and have zero cost.

2. there is kind of a light bulb scheme, in all software production. it has to wear out so the customer comes back to you again. this is a highly questionable situation at all, and not yet discussed here in depth.
simply said, if I create dance or hip-hop there must be the gadget sound of the week. if I record local jazz, one plug-in may serve for my life time. piano sounds piano anyway, and is all about the particular instrument and the mic and the room.

3. the software is not a person and does not have rights at all. it is a huge problem in our legal systems that the greater good is not addressed enough in the realm of IP rights. it stinks that a product that works superduper and has zero variable cost, stops to be available when the company dies and does not care. someone might buy the remainder and shelve the most valuable thing forever, to prevent it to be his own competition.

the physical value to the society, of free availability of immaterial goods, is not seen, when there is no one left to make a living on it plus pays taxes.
apple did shelve the notator. this should never be legal. it's the wrong paradigm.
it has all to be about USE from the sight of society. the company is just a tool.
the creative mind is just a tool to society. it could not even survive without that established environment.
therefore it is a privilege to create immaterial goods and be accepted and credited for that, IF it is something good and usable. otherwise the individual would have to work physically like every baker and farmer. this of course does not replace the right of the individual to be compensated with fine fees + respect, when the product makes use, and as often the product make use. but it can't be linear. that would be the deeper ground of a "bubble" - creating something out of nothing = there was zero variable cost. linear charging would deny the dissipation of IP into society which is the inherent principle of societal development.


------------
to be more on the creative side,

I also see no mentioning on the pradigm shift towards virtualized computing and workplace, and the disappearing of software and data into the "cloud".
at first glance it is a no-no to a major producer, but given a good legal responsibility of cloud subsystems (like data transport with VPN already has), and the tracks being still on some physical device only the particular producer or his team leader have access to, it becomes possible to make disappear the current situation with the software bound to the physical computer or key device.

I am talking about the change in user authentification. there are global user management services emerging. they might also be bound to a key device that is connected to the person, like RFID chips under the skin, retina or fingerprint detecting, all the dreadful things I personally abhor. but something is going to come, and simple global password auth systems are already state of the art.

the consequence is, that any use of software can be technically bound to the person, and it can be detected and accounted in volume.
the producer has to announce his engineer as to use his paid software, and the licensing management will allow him in. just the computer must have this auth functionality, and the password must be strong. but when someone else uses the stolen identity, the responsible person of the studio is being alarmed immediately, because time, place, and login count (e.g. greater than one) are out of limits.
if he fires the engineer, he revokes his software access rights.
if payment per use, he needs to check what everyone did (to not be cheated by workers), if timed license for e.g. 5 concurrent uses - 24/7, he can employ anyone around the globe to make use of that bundle under his command, for some project.

the fact of login under a certain name entitles to use the plugin. just so simple. the workstation and what copy is sitting there is not relevant at all because the human is doing the actual work.

Last edited by NeoVXR; 30th May 2009 at 08:25 PM.. Reason: typo+grammar
Old 30th May 2009
  #86
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agreed View Post
It's false in that no one has said that software doesn't deserve protection. But it absolutely can't be protected as though it were physical, because it isn't. Don't forget that the "rights" surrounding the property have to be considered from both the producer and the consumer perspectives. It's not enough to say "I want all of the rights of physical property for my software creation" and then hem and haw when it comes to granting users the same rights as physical property. No one would be willing to do that because it doesn't make sense.
Well put.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Agreed View Post
The first step in coming up with sensible and more generally acceptable laws regarding intellectual property is to abandon analogy altogether. It's not like a car, it's not like a keyboard, it's not like a guitar, it's software and that's a peculiar thing.
Thank you.

I think on the music/movies side the copyright laws need rethinking (note: I'm not saying everything should be free on the net), on the software side: there will always be pirated stuff, why not focus on better experience for the legit user?

And, if Steinberg/Korg are listening, my little blue Synchrosoft key is a bit wobbly, doesn't feel as solid as it used to. If it fails, I'll send it to Steinberg to rewoke a license, that'll take two weeks, next I'll need the half/broken key back to send it to Korg, another two weeks because the protection key doesn't work. Erm, it actually does protect user from making a copy, but it causes sooo much more trouble than needed when it doesn't.

Nice ...


k

*actually, could I demand payment for the downtime?

--- I'm suggesting Steinberg/Synchrosoft make a database of all the keys with all the licenses on them, if the key fails it'd only take a day or so to get the licenses back - from all of the companies that use the key -----
Old 30th May 2009
  #87
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soulata View Post
Well put.







And, if Steinberg/Korg are listening, my little blue Synchrosoft key is a bit wobbly, doesn't feel as solid as it used to. If it fails, I'll send it to Steinberg to rewoke a license, that'll take two weeks, next I'll need the half/broken key back to send it to Korg, another two weeks because the protection key doesn't work. -----
Please stop sreading lies. It has worked. It is working. Most of the syncrosoft protected apps are not available on the net for free. In fact, all but one. It may be convenient for your argument to say that it doesn´t work, but its a lie.
Old 30th May 2009
  #88
Gear Guru
 
Sid Viscous's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by colinmiller View Post
Soul hit the nail on the head of the problem.

People think that because it's software and not physical that it doesn't deserve the same rights as something physical. And that even though the same amount of costs are involved to produce both products, the software product should not get the same revenue simply because it has no mass.

Let's look at some fake numbers for example.

You have a keyboard company and a software company. They both make a product that costs them $1000 in development (just a low number for simplicity). The cost of each is $100

A studio has 2 rooms and needs to build 10 rooms. The keyboard company then gets $1000 and the software company gets $100 and the studio just copies the same software in each room. Both have one through the same effort. But they keyboard company gets to pay off it's development and manufacturing costs, and the software company is still $900 in the hole. Is this fair?
Just to get some more on the subject out there for discussion.
The sooner software companies stop making the stupid hardware comparison the better off they'll be, and only music creation software companies make it AFAIK.

I can't help but notice that you failed to mention the development costs of the keyboard, which are most likely way higher than the software. It also takes more employees and actual factories to make the keyboard. It also can't exist in more than one place at one time.
With hardware (even computer hardware) you can take it anywhere you want. You can lend it, rent it, and sell it.
The problem is that software companies want to pick and choose when it wants "hardware" and software rights. Take Cakewalk for example. Their EULA requires very hardware like rights (only one computer install at a time), but it says you can't sell or transfer it. How many pieces of hardware can you not sell, rent or transfer? Companies make hardware every day that doesn't ever get close to making money and they have to make thousands of actual units and ship them to stores. Software companies don't have these issues.
Then, also like Cakewalk, you have the developer saying that although the EULA says that, you can really install it on more than one computer you own as long as you only use one copy at a time. If the developer picks and chooses what rules to enforce, are there really any rules?
What if music had those rules? Do you copy CDs over to other CDs? Transfer to hard drive or player? Are they on your iPod, computer, and on a disc that you aren't even sure where it is anymore?
The software companies are just like us. They have a version of the story and it is the one that they feel is in their best interest (and rightly so), but it doesn't make it the truth.
Old 30th May 2009
  #89
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulata View Post
*actually, could I demand payment for the downtime?
Under German / EU warranty laws (assuming you are in warranty time), you might be entitled to a replacement product (the whole thing), possibly even damages for the downtime. But enforcing your rights through legal dispute might be hard, due to software maker's comfortable position of not actually having sold you a product. Which brings up another point to this discussion:


With all the discussion as to whether physical products and software licenses are the same, it has to be said that software companies have always had the grand luxury of not having the same warranties and liabilities as producers of physical products.

It should also be said that most software's EULAs are cheeky, to say the least, and a lot of what is written therein would not hold up for a minute in a legal dispute in most countries the product is sold in.

If software companies want users to regard a license just as valuable as a physical product, they need to do the same on their part. In my view, that would mean they'd have to actually carry liability for damages caused directly or indirectly by their product (the same way that a manufacturer of physical goods) and full commitment to warranty laws (In Germany, that would mean that a consumer can, for example, return the software if it's buggy, or have the developer company fix it, or instead, if they choose, demand a lower price).

My own experience tells me that software licenses and physical hardware products are not that comparable, from a practical use point of view, from a legal / rights point of view as well as from a financial / investment point of view. They are significantly different in a number of ways. I'm not saying better or worse, but definitely very different.
Old 30th May 2009
  #90
Uuuurgh, this is going the same way as much of the discussion in the music piracy threads on the business forum.
People seem to want to blame the software producers for all ills, and the crackers nary get a mention.
There also seems to be this underlying feeling that software is cheap to produce and maintain, and that software producers are too protected, too fat on the profits.
I'm coming to the conclusion that everyone who works hard to produce a product for consumers (music, music software) should just stop.
The threshold for survival is just being set too low by consumers - software should be less protected and therefore roll with the piracy punches. Software should be free or very, very cheap and maintained by these small producers for many years.
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