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The Purpose of this Thread
I created this thread to gather a collection of your stories about "copy protection" gone awry. Feel free to write about times when you were greatly inconvenienced by a failed authorization or when it was very difficult to authorize your software at all.

Iíve been frequenting these forums long enough to notice that there are a number of representatives from equipment and software manufactures who read what we say. Most of them seem to care what the user experience is like for their products. This information may help them build a better product.

Background
Once upon a time, "copy protection" was both reasonably simple and effective. It was simple because a customer generally just bought one or two pieces of "copy protected" software, such as a sequencer or a notation program. It was effective because hackers didnít have an easy way to give cracked software to people.

Times have changed. "Copy protection" is no longer simple. As sequencers evolved into DAWs, the opportunity arose for dozens of third party developers to create plug-ins, each with its own policy of installing authorizations; and with the rise of software synthesizers, this issue continues to grow ever more complex. This trend can only create an increasing level of frustration for users when it comes to authorizations.

Another change has occurred as well: "Copy protection" is no longer effective (which is why Iíve been putting quotes around this term). The rise of the Internet and Hotline gave hackers the tools they needed to get pirated software into the hands of millions. I imagine that this trend has already created an increasing level of frustration for companies.

Speaking from my personal experience, one of the few times it feels as if a company doesnít care about itís paying customers is when the issue of "copy protection" arises. Companies sometimes get defensive that anyone who gets upset about "copy protection" is threatening the welfare of the company. Customers often see the situation as reversed. They depend on the use of software for their livelihood; and when the authorization for that software fails, the customer loses income.

Software companies and their paying customers should be natural allies. After all, each has something the other needs. In one case itís tools, in the other itís money. However, this issue often has us at each otherís throats while software pirates relax and enjoy the rewards of free software without authorization hassles.

Because of the above, I have come to an unfortunate conclusion. It is best summed up in this statement: The only proven effect of "copy protection" is that it alienates paying customers.

Having said that, I hope that we will not debate this issue in this thread. Instead, I hope we will let our experiences speak for themselves.

Thanks for your participation.

This message has been edited by soapbox on 05-18-2001 at 06:53 AM


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Iíll start the ball rolling by posting again an experience I had in February. Since Iím using this quote out of context, Iíll give it context by sharing with you that I mainly use Digital Performer for sequencing and ProTools for audio; but I also have copies of Logic Audio and Cubase VST in case I need them.

<< I had a recent experience that has soured me to using Logic Audio as my main program. My problem is with their copy protection scheme: using dongles.

I was under a deadline last month to finish an album project. I inherited a song that had been tracked partly on Adat and mixed in sync with live sequenced instruments. I had one day to rearrange the song and track the sequenced elements using better sounds. The MIDI file I was given was not in Standard MIDI File format, but in Logic format. "Fine," I thought. "No problem. Iíve got Logic Audio."

Of course, my copy of Logic Audio picked that day of all days to stop recognizing its dongles! It was a Saturday, so I couldnít even call Emagic to address the problem. I also couldnít arrange to get a SMF from the guy who originally sequenced the file, because he was in the studio on another project and not taking calls. I wound up having to learn all of the sequenced parts and replay them in Digital Performer before tracking them. I was up all night and then had to, in a compromised state, produce the vocal session in the studio the next day. Now Iím willing to work around the clock whenever necessary, but this shouldnít have been necessary and it hurt the session.

I tried e-mailing Emagicís tech support about this a week ago and have yet to get an answer. Finally, I got around to calling Emagic today and I found out that they are out of dongles! I was told that some new ones should arrive there within the next two weeks or so, at which point they will forward one to me. I asked the Emagic rep I talked to if, in version 5.0, they were going to move to the challenge/response form of copy protection that everyone else has now adopted. He said he knew of no plans to do so. All I can say is that Iím grateful I donít usually have to rely on Logic Audio!

Itís a shame to see the success of such a great program hampered by this issue. I should also add that, in general, my experiences with customer support from Emagic have been very good. Still, I feel that this should be a consideration for anyone who is considering using Logic Audio. >>

<< UPDATE: My replacement dongle arrived today, one week earlier than I was told it would. I tried it. It works. >>


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Soap,

> ... there are a number of representatives from equipment and software manufactures who read what we say. Most of them seem to care what the user experience is like for their products. This information may help them build a better product. <

Fat chance.

> Companies sometimes get defensive that anyone who gets upset about "copy protection" is threatening the welfare of the company. <

That's the typical response I hear too. I wrote an article for ProRec last year that discusses a lot of the issue of copy protection, and includes several quotes from software company reps. If you or others here are interested, it's listed on my Article page:

http://www.ethanwiner.com/articles.html

I'll also mention that I used to own a software company. None of our products were copy protected and, further, we even included all of the source code for anyone that was interested!

I truly believe the best solution is for companies to sell good programs for a fair price.

--Ethan

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I enjoyed reading your article, Ethan. You made some excellent points and it was interesting to read the quotes from the software manufacturers. Thanks for the link.


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by soapbox:
[b]The Purpose of this Thread
I created this thread to gather a collection of your stories about "copy protection" gone awry. Feel free to write about times when you were greatly inconvenienced by a failed authorization or when it was very difficult to authorize your software at all.

I------

I am currently in the middle of a copy protection nightmare re "Amp Farm."

Despite using the proper extensions according to both Digi, I-Lock, and the floppy drive manufacturer, the floppy will not mount on the desktop. If turn one of the extensions off, it will mount, but double clicking the installer crashes the Mac. No one has an answer yet, and I am sitting here unable to use Amp Farm, and all others that use a disk based authorization. Wonderful.

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I just went to New York to do something with my eMagic Logic Audio software. I either forgot or lost my dongle. I couldn't find it anywhere.

I had to go down to Mannys and buy another full copy just to get the dongle. $595 down the drain.

I think that they should change the software so that:

If the program saw the dongle the last time it ran, it should go in to a "will run for 10 launches without dongle" mode so you can work until you get home.

Roger

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Roger,

> I think that they should change the software so that:
> If the program saw the dongle the last time it ran ...

Nah, they should just get rid of the stupid protection entirely. Until then, folks should refuse to buy protected software. Lack of protection has not hurt Cakewalk, PG Music, Microsoft, Symantec, and on and on and ...

--Ethan

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>Roger,
> I think that they should change the software so that:
> If the program saw the dongle the last time it ran ...

>Nah, they should just get rid of the stupid protection entirely. Until >then, folks should refuse to buy protected software. Lack of protection >has not hurt Cakewalk, PG Music, Microsoft, Symantec, and on and on >and ...

>--Ethan

Like you said...the best protection is good software at a reasonable price. I recently declined to purchase Reaktor 3.0 because it now uses a dongle. I simply refuse to be punished as a paying customer, while the crack users have a laugh at our expense. On the other hand, Sonic Foundry has recently began offering for a limited time (very low profile) some of their programs for $99. The result: they've made me a permanent (and legal) Sound Forge user... and have assured themselves of an upgrade income from me for any future releases.

newguy


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it doesn't make any sense now days for those stupid things[dongle],if you want to make music and if you live from music than of course that you would by a original program I would newer start a session[even if I got 10$ for that session]with a crack program and than ..........'sayonara' with your clients!!!!!

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Okay, my turn again. Here's another nightmare experience I had with copy protection. I should start by sharing that I own copies of ProTools, Digital Performer, Logic Audio Platinum, and Cubase VST/32. Because these programs have at various points used to use conflicting extensions, I have kept each program on a separate partition of my hard drive.

I installed Bitheadz Unity DS-1 and Osmosis across four partitions earlier this year for use with those programs and strongly regretted it afterwards. Here's what happened:

I started with my MOTU partition. I entered a 15-digit "install password" that allowed me to install Unity DS-1 from its CD-ROM. Once installation was done, a box popped up which told me I had to sign online to become authorized to use the program. Although my computer has Internet access, my Internet preferences were on a non-music partition.

So, I took the time to find and copy all of my Internet preferences to the four music partitions. Then I booted up Internet Explorer and waited while it installed itself onto my MOTU drive. Once I was online, I entered information about myself into a long form required by Bitheadz. I then had to enter my 28-digit "registration number" before registration was complete. Once I had completed this step, I decided to install the latest update for Unity DS-1 so that I could have access to its new features and bug fixes. Once again, I had to enter the 15-digit install password written in Unity DS-1 jewel box before I could install the update.

After I installed the update, I found that I had to reauthorize my hard drive to use Unity DS-1, so I went online and I once again entered information about myself into a long form required by Bitheadz. Then, I had to reenter my 28-digit registration number before registration was again complete.

As I installed Unity DS-1 onto my other three music partitions, I had to go through the process above each time. Now it was time to install Osmosis. I installed Osmosis onto all four partitions and went through this elaborate process all over again!

Never mind the fact that I still needed to setup these programs so that they would work with my DAWs; I had already spent the better part of a day installing them! Since I didn't have an urgent need to use Unity DS-1 and Osmosis, I put off setup until another time.

A week or so later, I decided to troubleshoot a problem I had been having with ProTools. It had been crashing my computer every time I quit the program. I called Digidesign technical support and they were unable to help me alleviate the problem. As a final measure, the tech at Digi said that it was best to install a fresh system folder every six months on a Mac. I tried his suggestion and, sure enough, ProTools LE stopped crashing upon quitting the program. I went ahead and replaced all of my system folders on all of my partitions with fresh copies and I thought that I was warding off trouble.

Later, I decided to take the time to setup Unity DS-1 and Osmosis. However, I discovered that their authorizations were stored in system folders that I had replaced. Once again, I had to repeat every step I described above in painful detail! By the end of that process, a dialog box opened which informed me that I had exceeded my allotment of authorizations for both programs!

After calling Bitheadz support and explaining this long story to them, they agreed to reset my authorization allotment. I have yet to setup Unity DS-1 and Osmosis.


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<>

I think that authorizations (Pace anyway) use files in three areas: the actual authorizations that are somewhere in the system blocks prior to the data partition(s), hidden files in the root of the data partition, and files in the System:Preferences.

You bring up another interesting point...I really don't like the trend of the companies assuming you have internet access on your DAW. I had one plugin manufacturer (who I won't name) tell me why I should have internet access on my machine...of course they also lectured me on why I shouldn't be using my 9600 (with no usb for iLok).

Tom

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Folks, this thread is important to us software manufacturers, and we want to know about your perspectives and experiences -- good and bad -- with copy protection. Right now, we're dealing with worldwide piracy of GigaStudio and sound libraries, and every software company is in the same boat. At the same time, we'd like to make our protection efforts as painless as possible for you, the legitimate customers.

If you really want to change things for the better, please keep contributing to this thread. I promise to keep listening to you.

- Jeff

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Jeff,

> If you really want to change things for the better, please keep contributing to this thread. I promise to keep listening to you. <

Thanks. Here goes:

> Right now, we're dealing with worldwide piracy of GigaStudio and sound libraries, and every software company is in the same boat. <

The vast majority of people who have pirated copies of GigaSampler and GigaStudio would not have bought it anyway. So there is far less loss of revenue than publishers think.

In my opinion, if the price were more reasonable you would sell so many more copies that in the end you'd earn a lot more profit. There are hundreds of thousands of amateurs and hobbiests who want to play with cool toys. They will gladly pay $49 for a cool toy, and maybe even $99 if it's really cool. They will not pay $699 or even $399 no matter how cool it is. This is not to say the Giga line is not worth the price you ask. But for every Hans Zimmer who earns a nice living selling movie scores, there's a thousand others who cannot justify the cost and so use a SoundBlaster Live card instead.

I urge you to read my Copy Protection article referenced earlier in this thread. It lists many more good reasons that you should not use it.

--Ethan

This message has been edited by Ethan Winer on 08-30-2001 at 12:08 PM

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Quote:
I had one plugin manufacturer (who I won't name) tell me why I should have internet access on my machine...of course they also lectured me on why I shouldn't be using my 9600 (with no usb for iLok).


Are his initials "E.G."?

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ethan Winer:
In my opinion, if the price were more reasonable you would sell so many more copies that in the end you'd earn a lot more profit.


Ethan, though I intended to keep the vein of this thread along the lines of copy protection, I will address this. First off, there are four prices for Giga software tools, and the low end -- GigaSampler LE -- indeed retails for $99. GigaSampler 64 is $299.

Not everyone needs all the feeatures of GigaStudio 96 and GigaStudio 160. However, since they offer minimally all the power of any hardware sampler, for which people routinely pay multiple thousands of dollars, I'm a little unclear as to how the value of these software tools seems high.

But I do thank you for this input. There are a lot of directions we can take Giga...perhaps more low-end and low-priced tools is the right answer.

- Jeff

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff, TASCAM Guy:
However, since they offer minimally all the power of any hardware sampler, for which people routinely pay multiple thousands of dollars, I'm a little unclear as to how the value of these software tools seems high.


Because it IS software and not hardware. Software is supposed to be *much* cheaper than hardware, because frankly, it is cheaper to make. Sure there is a lot of money to initially develop and support a program, but once the code is golden you just sit back and let the money roll in. I find it ironic that in the computer world we watch hardware get cheaper every day, yet, software hardly comes down in price. I think Ethan is right that software manufactures need to understand that the *only* way to stay in business will be to sell more copies at a lower price opposed to selling fewer copies to a specific niche at a premium. Sonic Foundry bit it big time by never dropping the price of CD Architect under $300, and in the end they ran out of money to support the program because once they had filled their initial niche there was no one else who could afford to buy it because everyone who could already had. One can argue what a software program's "value" is, but in the end the only real value that matters is what the consumer decides the program is worth.

-Dylan

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Yes, prices are funny - for example let's take Amp-farm for $500 and it's hardware equivalent POD for $300, or Lexiverb much more expensive than MPX200 or even more expensive than MPX500! Hardware is cheaper and it uses the same software! Plug-in manufacturers say that one can use more instances, but add 1/6 of MIX farm to a plug in and hardware is still cheaper...
I understand that manufacturers have to regain development osts and piracy loss (one cannot use a cracked copy of S-3000 or Lexicon MPX-500), but prices are too high...
Przemek.

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I just bought a bunch of legal software and feel like a fool. I've spent days and days inserting key disks and waiting for replies to Challenge/Response codes. And don't even get me started on *#&#*ing dongles.

My pirate friends are all laughing at me. I could have installed all this stuff in an afternoon if I'd just been devious enough to go out and get pirated versions of everything.

Making those of us who actually pay for stuff suffer and lose precious time has got to stop!!

Yo computer geeks! Is there any way to protect your royalties that doesn't waste my time and make my upgrade paths a living hell???

Curious and more than a little pissed off,

Ben Fury

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Jeff, thanks for participating in this thread; and thanks for expressing an interest in reading examples of the problems caused by different forms of "copy protection." I hope that this thread will have a long life and that we'll see other representatives of manufacturers join in.

Thanks to all of the users who are posting here as well. It's my hope that if manufacturers read for themselves the problems that certain forms of "copy protection" can cause, we'll at least solve some of those problems. That's a good first step anyway.

tomhartman, if you're still around, I would also like to know if and how you resolved your AmpFarm authorization problem.

Also Roger, did you contact Emagic support before you went to Manny's and spent $595? If so, what was their reaction?

I should also mention that when I contacted Bitheadz after my problems occurred, I was told that they no longer require users to go online in order to authorize software. I need to contact them once more and get specific off-line registration instructions so that I can avoid repeating these problems again as I install updates.

I have sympathy with those who believe that "copy protection" is useless, and I agree with you. However, I believe that actual examples will be more persuasive than opinions, and that is why I started this thread. Ethan provided an example, in his article linked to above, of a manufacturer (Arboretum Systems) that reduced its "copy protection" scheme from dongles and key disks to merely entering a serial number; and its sales actually increased! That example has power.

This message has been edited by soapbox on 08-30-2001 at 06:44 PM


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Send Ethan's article to every software dev house you know! What a well written piece of journalism! Making prices reasonable and keeping software protection unobtrusive is the only thing that makes sense.

If I had it to do over again, I'd just pirate everything and have more money left over to buy hardware. Listen up software companies, I want to do the right thing, but YOU ARE DRIVING ME AWAY WITH ANNOYING COPY PROTECTION!!!

Ahem, sorry... didn't mean to shout. I have to go insert another key disk now.

Ben Fury

P.S. Steinberg - If you're listening, I'm not buying a single 'nother piece of anything from you till the dongle is gone.

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I don't suppose this question is going to be popular with manufacturers, but here goes ...when Oxygen and all those other crack companies post a Steinberg program etc, do the programs actually work? Specifically, have they been cracked in a way to bypass all need for dongles? I haven't downloaded any of this type of stuff (I still have somewhat of a conscience) but I sure see it around every day ..making me think that they must work.

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I'll add two experiences (one good, one bad) to the list here...

1. My McDSP plugins always work when you first install them for a "trial period". That helps immensely so I can get up and running the day I buy (or download) the software. It is good that I don't have to wait for any numbers, responses, or to register the product before I start using it. If I buy an MPX500, I can use it that day. I don't have to register it first.

For example, if I buy a software package on a Friday night and there is a long weekend (such as upcoming Labor Day), in some cases, I wouldn't be able to use the software until Tuesday or Wednesday - and that's pretty absurd.

2. Recycle 2.0 - Every once in a while it asks me to re-insert the original CD. The is a royal pain in the arse. I keep all of my master disks in a big CD binder, but having to break the flow of what I'm doing just to find and put a disk in LONG after I've already bought the software is a pretty poor way to treat a LEGAL, paid customer.

...and as a comment to a post above, I SURE don't want to try a clean install on my Mac after hearing that some of the CP files are in the system folder and there's no way to move them to a new system folder.

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I'm not sure how CP should look like, but I'm pretty sure that key disks belongs to the past - and forcing PT users to buy USB drive to authorize Amp-Farm or NEW ReverbOne is absurd.
It's sad that those who paid for software are treated with stupid and time-consuming things and their machines runs slower (like mine PT LE with Waves 2.8.1 with USB to ADB adapter - and I know and I will upgrade soon...)
I think that main reason in buying instead of stealing software is the way you use it - if one use it for money, usually buy it, for home/try - they use cracks. BUT - it's not true that EVERY user of cracked copy at home would buy original - I know some people who install _everything_, even not knowing what for...
Przemek.

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Software manufacturers should simply face reality. Every copy protected program ever created has been cracked, and within days (probably HOURS) of its release. It's as simple as that. Those crackers are TALENTED, and they LOVE a new challenge.

The movie industry thought their CSS (Content Scrambling System) encryption algorithm was cool, but a couple of teenagers cracked it in no time. If real cryptogrpahers were working on it it would have been cracked in hours.

As 10 other people in here already pointed out, copy protection only hurts legit users. Including Grammy winning users.

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Yah Soapbox !
I know exactly what you've gone through with that Unity and Osmosis shit.
I also used my allotment of authorizations(which is, bar none, THE WORST authorization sequence I've ever used)

The worst part is that after finally getting it set-up, the MIDI timing of Unity with OMS was absolute shit. NO VSTi that I own has had such poor timing issues. Not latency, just early, late, late, early. WTF ?

So I ditched OMS started using everything as a plug-in VSTi but Unity is not multi-timbral as a VSTi. One instance gives you one MIDI channel !

I tried to get rid of this smelly turd app. but nobody wants it.

P.S. Unity Preference also seem to get corrupted easily and frequently. Everytime I get to tech-support they tell me to trash my Unity and Cubase Preferences and it seems to work fine. For a while.

Also, Bitheadz now offers Osmosis FREE with Unity Player. WTF ? I payed FULL PRICE for both and NOW they're offering it FREE. How is that fair to customers who paid fully for both and had to go through all that shit ?

My pulse and blood pressure go up just thinking about it.


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<<...and as a comment to a post above, I SURE don't want to try a clean install on my Mac after hearing that some of the CP files are in the system folder and there's no way to move them to a new system folder.>>

Larry,

I *think* that, even if you loose the authorization info in the system folder, and the hidden files in your data partition, the worst that is *supposed* to happen is that you will have to re-insert disks for validation, which re-creates these. The actual authorization is hidden in the system blocks. Challenge/Response stuff should (I think) always be the same unless of course you go do a different drive. Then again, this is all second hand knowledge.

But this all brings up another point. Computer savy users DESERVE to understand at least this level of the inner workings of copy protection, so we can have a better understanding of what's safe, what isn't, why, and what we can expect. Pace and the companies that use it are FAR too secretive about this stuff, and never give more than bare bones, ambiguous explanations of this stuff. Just because I have a clue about where these files go and what their purpose is does not mean I can crack Pace or something.

I'm sick of hunting around for this sort of info like I'm looking for the frickin yeti or something...

Tom


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Jeff,

> Ethan, though I intended to keep the vein of this thread along the lines of copy protection, I will address this. First off, there are four prices for Giga software tools ... <

I'm so sorry I didn't bring that point to its conclusion. Price and copy protection are intimately related. Most people want to do the right thing, if they can afford it, and they also want to be able to get tech support. So the point of charging a reasonable price is to encourage people to buy rather than download pirated copies.

As was pointed out elsewhere in this thread, all protected software can and will be cracked within days of being released. For a real eye opener, download some cracked apps from the newsgroups and read the text files. Many of them list the time it took to crack: 1-3 minutes is not uncommon.

> since they offer minimally all the power of any hardware sampler, for which people routinely pay multiple thousands of dollars, I'm a little unclear as to how the value of these software tools seems high. <

Because software doesn't cost as much to reproduce, and it usually costs a lot less to design too. I used to own a software company, and I made a killing (and retired early) by selling excellent products at a reasonable price. When I entered the market (a tiny niche market of DOS programmers tools) in 1986, others were charging $400-$600. My first product sold for $69 and I also included all the source code. This way people could see how the programs were written and learn from that, which added to the value. I sold 1000 copies in just a few months and by the third year I was grossing $1.2 Million per year. This may not be much to Tascam but again, programmers tools was a tiny market at the time.

In my Copy Protection article (please read it) I make the point that if you sell a great product for a great price you're just about guaranteed to be successful. In the case of software samplers, the vast majority of your potential market is hobbyists and amateurs.

It amazes me how many vendors don't understand this most basic marketing concept, and fail to fully understand who are their potential customers.

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Ben,

> Send Ethan's article to every software dev house you know! What a well written piece of journalism! <

Thanks.

> Steinberg - If you're listening, I'm not buying a single 'nother piece of anything from you till the dongle is gone. <

I wish more people realized the power of the group. When confronted by copy protection or other consumer issues, most people assume there's nothing to be done but bend over and take it. A few years ago I considered organizing a "strike" throughout Connecticut to get everyone to cancel their cable TV for a month. I remain convinced that the rates would have dropped from $45 per month for extended basic to $20 or less immediately, if only enough people would agree to a boycott.

Bring back the Boston Tea Party!

--Ethan

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De nada, Ethan. As a former journalist, I know what goes into researching and writing a story like yours.

The software companies insist they need protection from pirates. Well who will protect us from the software companies? If my software tanks in the middle of a Sunday session and I can't get past the software protection to reinstall, will the client hate me or the software company? Obviously me. Will they tell their associates not to do business with the flaky software company? No, they'll say not to use my buggy studio!! Intrusive software protection directly threatens our livelihoods.

This nonsense needs to stop.

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Ben,

> If my software tanks in the middle of a Sunday session and I can't get past the software protection to reinstall ... <

My biggest fear is because so many companies go out of business. Any software that requires a call to the maker will never work again. You have just lost every project you ever did! (Or at least the ability to load it again to make a new mix.) And if a dongle dies, that too puts an end to all of your current and past work with that program. I still use Master Tracks Pro as my MIDI sequencer. Who would have thought they'd ever go out of business? But as long as Windows will run this old clunker, all my past projects are secure.

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I think there's some "Dr. Strangelove" logic going on with these companie's.Obviously everything has been cracked and anybody can get it. So in reality for a company like tascam to decide in favor of copy protection all that accomplishes is damaging the PAYING user's experience of the product, as I reiterate if you release it copy protected et al there will quickly be a pirated version.So...Please justify...

See, software manufacturers in these times not only are competing with other software, but with pirated copies of their own. Why even pay for a copy of a particular soft if due to copy protection the experience of using it is a lesser one? Obviously two wrongs dont make a right, then again what are the greater wrongs here, who started what? I have no resp[ect for pirated software that is affordable, but when the price charged is absolutely outrageous and it gets pirated I cant help but think....you can guess what...

But these guys dont care, for the most part. if they did their actions would reflect it re: pricing and copy protection. Pricing has been brought up and I will continue to, because were in a time when the competition is a cracked version of your software as much as another company. Listen to your customers!

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screw copy protection, and screw bombfactory [see other thread] heres some multiple instances for ya...



3x 12 stage phasers
3x Analog Delays [out of only 1000 made]
2x ring modulators
2x LP Filters
2x Control Processors [are these even available as plugins?]

i see ALL the bomb factory plugs as Kracks on the net, why would i EVER buy them???


im all for a dongle STRIKE!!!


This message has been edited by alphajerk on 09-01-2001 at 01:02 AM


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I couldn't pass up an opportunity to chime in on this subject, particularly if manufacturer reps are lurking -

I am "caretaker" of several audio engineers' workstations in a large corporate environment. We go through a constant turnover of hardware and software because of any number of issues, including software upgrades, processor board and hard drive replacements, etc...( over-stated latency speeds of a software based sampler caused me to go through some recent problematic hardware changes, if any Tascam/Nemesys reps are reading...wink, wink, wink ) The ease of install of any given program becomes as important as its functionality after a while. I can't tell you how frustrating it was to realize the you can't piggy back an old "Waves" gold bundle dongle on the Cubase VST one, or tell the engineer whose station has just been upgraded that the fax that was required for me to get a new install authorization won't go through until later today which might be Friday ( before a holiday! ) and that means Tuesday best case scenario for a response.

My suggestion to users who have been let down by manufacturers in this respect is:
1) Don't buy or use the product, there is probably a better functioning cheaper one available from a manufacturer that trusts you.
2) complain, complain, complain - I don't care how nice you are, you have a right to be pissed off, and if enough people whine something has to be done. Let them know by e-mail and phone calls ( to execs in the company who don't expect to hear from you, not just the poor tech support guys you are getting paid to deal with you )
3) Know your product before you buy, try to get evaluation or demo copies and always talk about competitive upgrades! Question these high prices and do research to find satisfied customers. This works to our advantage in a lot of ways.

My loongg $.02!!


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Dogfur, thanks for sharing your experiences and welcome to the site!

This is not only a good opportunity to share frustrating "copy protection" experiences with posting and lurking manufacturers, it's a good opportunity to alert fellow members of the Music Player community to potential problems with software.

Since it is rare for "copy protection" issues to be mentioned in product reviews, this may be the best chance we've got to have our eyes opened before we buy!

Keep those experiences comin'!


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Yup. Keep 'em coming. I'm listening. I guarantee I'm not the only manufacturer looking at this.

I want to throw out one idea (playing devil's advocate for a moment): intellectual property. Think of this as it relates to your music. Now, whether or not you intend on becoming rich and famous by releasing music for sale, you probably believe that if you go through the time and expense (gear investment and so on) of making, mastering and duplicating a great-sounding record, you should be compensated for this.

But why should you? Anyone can pop it in a CD burner and make all the copies they want. They'll sound the same. They may even look the same. And, if they can get away with it, they'll even sell your music, being 100% profit for them and giving you nothing in return.

Now, I know it's not an exact parallel. But is this cool? Does it leave a bad taste in your mouth? How can manufacturers possibly protect their intellectual property without making life miserable for the very people they want to be supporters of the product?

Listening...

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Jeff, I think I understand why you brought up this issue. There are many musicians who would happily use cracks and don't seem to care about how that affects the bottom line for software manufacturers. At the same time, these are sometimes the same people who cry foul when it comes to Napster and other forms of music piracy.

For the record, I believe that everyone deserves to get paid for his or her work. PERIOD. It is unfair to the creators when CDs, software, videos, etc. are copied and given away, or resold for the profit of the pirates who did the copying.

To me, that's not the issue here; that should be a given. The first issue in my mind is whether or not "copy protection" measures are effective in stopping this. The second issue is the tradition of "fair use" which has long existed, at least as far as music is concerned.

I don't know how many people reading this thread are aware that the record industry is starting to implement "copy protection" measures for CDs and that "copy protected" CDs are now being released into the marketplace. Apparently, the sound of these CDs remains unaffected by this form of "copy protection," so home taping will still be possible. However, at this point in time, it is not supposed to be possible to "rip" audio (such as AIFF, WAV, or MP3 files) from these CDs.

This is a much gentler form of "copy protection" than we have been complaining about with software. Consumers won't have to hook up dongles to their CD players, they won't have to go online for challenge/response codes, they won't have to buy an iLok, and they'll still be able to listen to their CDs if the manufacturer goes out of business.

Personally, the issue of "copy protected" CDs could directly affect my income, since I am a producer who has points on the back-end of projects. Even so, I am also against "copy protection" measures for CDs. This is partly because I am skeptical of its effectiveness. After all, anyone with a decent soundcard can simply make a very good analog copy of the CD, burn a new CD, and rip MP3s 'til their heart's content. Will those MP3s sound any different than ones ripped from the original CDs? I doubt it. And that's just a workaround until hackers break the code.

However, the main reason I am against "copy protection" measures for CDs is because I also believe in the tradition of "fair use" I mentioned above. I believe that, as consumer, I should continue to be able to make copies of any product I've purchased as long as it is solely for my own personal use. I feel that I bought the right to listen to a collection of songs and that I should get to save them in any format (cassette, MP3, etc.) I choose.

Similarly, I would like to be able to install and use new software with the ease in which I can CDs. I want manufactures to understand what a hassle this can be, which is why I started this thread.

This message has been edited by soapbox on 09-04-2001 at 07:30 PM


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As long as I'm making this parallel examination of CDs and software, it's seems only fair to bring up the price issue raised by Ethan and others. I don't believe it is possible to create and market a major label release for less than a million dollars these days. After all, the requisite video usually costs $250,000 alone. However, what's the list price of a CD? $17.99? $18.99?

At the same time, how much does a plug-in (which won't even work without a host application) cost? Well, the list price of Serato's Pitch 'n Time is $799. I'd be very surprised if it cost anywhere close to a million dollars to create and market Pitch 'n Time, but perhaps I'm wrong. However, if the cost/price ratio were the same for Pitch 'n Time as it were for a major label CD, then it should have cost Serato 42 million dollars to bring this product to market!

Of course, I don't believe this comparison is entirely fair. For example, even if Pitch 'n Time sold for $4.99, I doubt it would sell anywhere close to the amount of copies a Backstreet Boys CD would sell. And that's what one would need to do to make a profit at that price. But it still begs the question: at what price will software sales increase enough to offset the loss of selling at a lower price?

Once again, I welcome any further discussion on this subject, but please keep those examples of "copy protection" troubles coming!

This message has been edited by soapbox on 09-04-2001 at 07:36 PM


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This is the third time my Pitch & Time become unauthorised. You just start up the computer and to get this result with no reason why. Although the service from P & T are very kind and fast, my client just couldn't accept this excuse... the project for CF are on time basis, and once the QC list's been set, millions of dallors were spent for the media to start the promotion acts. It's not a pleasing result that while using Protools and Digital Performer ( seperated workstations/computers ) as the main working horses in our studio, theses kind of problems were happened so many times that I couldn't count. It forced us to start thinking that, will I buy another more complicated dongles/ilock products ? No, while it's expensive, we'd rather buy an outboard gear - at least it looks good for our clients - and we can also charge more from rentals. And as you might already guessed that, most of our clients ( musicians, home based production houses ) don't buy llegal products - it also influenced us in some way, while it's a limitation, let's say that when we edited some works using "A" plug-ins, unless our client has the same version, they couldn't play at home when they take their hardrive home. Based on this problems, we sometimes have to use their piracy plug-ins so that we can pass the work during the pre-production or tracking or editing phase.

There're two issues then, the one is protection and the other is the software is not well developed in a way that we should pay such a huge money as to compare to the more powerful hardwares. Though I know it's very convenient to re-open the files with the same settings at once, there're something to be desired in the nearest future. Otherwise, I don't see any reason for me to invast more money into the plug-ins. Let's input more ideas. And hopefully the software companies know when's the time to lead a fare way to make both ends meet.

This message has been edited by advid on 09-04-2001 at 08:48 PM

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Jeff,

> Think of this as it relates to your music. <

Yep, it's exactly the same thing. People copy audio CDs, and they copy program CDs too. Some people will just do that. Sucks, huh? But copy protection clearly fails to solve the problem even a little bit, which is the real issue. Has the US government's "war" on drugs stopped drug use at all? Hardly. Yet in their incredible stupidity they've continued the same useless tactics for 70 years now! And not unlike copy protection that hurts only the legitimate user, five years in jail is far more harmful than smoking a joint once in a while. But I digress...

Again, my original point stands: A fair price not only wins you customer satisfaction, it also discourages piracy. And you'll sell more stuff too. I hate that so many classical CDs cost upwards of $20 each. If the cost were more reasonable (like half that or less) I would spend a lot more every year on CDs. When I go to a record store I always go to the Naxos bin first. (Naxos is a low-cost classical label.) One of my all-time favorite CDs is a Naxos that cost $4.99 and it has three concertos on the one CD.

You are never going to stop all piracy, so forget that. But most pirates wouldn't have bought it anyway. The best you can hope for is supreme customer satisfaction coupled with loyalty. That will encourage them to buy upgrades, and recommend your products to their friends. In this age of newsgroups and message boards, word - both good and bad - spreads quickly. Do the right thing and you'll have plenty of success. Piss off enough of your customers and you'll not do so well.

--Ethan

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Hi all,

Interesting article Ethan. I've got a few points to make (not necessarily about your article just general ones about comments made here as well as my own personal views).

Anyhow, I agree that copy protection schemes _must_ become less intrusive in the future. I want to know that the software licence I buy today will allow me to use the program if the company goes away and also that I don't have to rely on a dongle going faulty on me.

Many of the companies I believe are looking at better ways to protect their software without affecting their end users. However, none has yet succeeded in something that works really well.

I would like to see software come down in price myself. However, I doubt that that will happen unless someone makes a killer product that takes the market by storm and sells it for a lot less than comparable products. Face it, these companies are in business. When you're in business the idea is to make as much money as you can. They price it according to current market trends as well as profit margins. It's no surprise that all of the top audio sequencer programs are roughly in the same price point. Maybe they could sell it for less and still make money. However, why should they if they are making money at the price they charge?

Some of the comments that I don't agree with involve the cost of producing the software as well as the comment regarding once the app is written, the company sits back and just makes money. Since software is not as tangible as an Akai S-6000, to the average person it simply looks like a CD. A lot of the software being created today for these soft-samplers, soft-synths, audio sequencers, etc. is very complex and requires a lot of knowledge of not just programming but in sound and digitizing sound. The engineers who are capable of this kind of work demand high salaries. I don't know how much these specific software engineers get paid but take an average programming salary in the US (say $60K/yr). Many of these programs require multiple developers working on them (take an average of 4). That is $240K/yr just for the programmers. There are more costs to development than just this as you have development hardware, a bunch of different audio cards, office lease, insurance, CD Manufacturing (if the software is distributed on CD), etc. When you consider that some of these programs take a good year just to come out with an updated release, it's easy to see just how much this can cost.

After the software is released, there are ongoing costs as well. No software is free from bugs, so those same developers will fix bugs. You also need tech support people to answer phones and deal with end-user problems. Then, in order to stay in business, the product must be further developed with new features and must support new hardware, etc. Well, the company must still pay those software engineers too. The company is hardly sitting back and simply counting all of the incoming revenue as profit.

I just wanted to point out that it is not cheap to create professional software. Many people, since they have not lived it don't see it that way. I still agree that copy protection must be made less intrusive and easier on the legitimate user. In regards to pricing, I'm a little on the fence on that one. One person pointed out that many products have cheaper versions of their software that have limited functionality compared to their top-of-the-line product. Most people want the flagship but can't afford it. It seems to me like many people justify their piracy stating that the product is priced to expensively, isn't worth it, and they wouldn't buy it anyway so who's it hurting. That's almost like justifying stealing a Porsche when all they can afford is a Hyundai.

Again, as I said, these are just my personal opinions. You are more than welcome to state yours. I don't want to get into any flame wars here.

Regards,
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Certainly alot of different information getting tossed around here!

Soapbox - My "Unity" story rivals yours - lets just say that my group will not purchase these multiple licenses based on the simple install and registration that couldn't take place for an evaluation ( with an authorized copy ! ). Why on earth would I subject myself to that kind of crap? One of my Mac guys still can't get it running correctly. If only I had the time to properly administrate that situation...( Ahh, corporate life ).

Jeff/tascam guy - first...Thanks for taking part, I truly appreciate an open ear for this. Now, as a producer I release my product (Music) On a regularly distributed format called CD. It is accepted in the marketplace because of consumer responsibility of decoding ( CD reader )as a selling point, and this contributes hugely to its popularity. I accept the obvious threat of piracy when I choose to distribute my data on this format, knowing the benefits of a hopefully widespread acceptance should easily counter-act the paranoid idea that someone who wouldn't have stolen my material in the first place might.
Also, not relating to this group - The garbage I heard from my guys over realtime midi-giga-latency! We unfortunately bought a version of that in pre-fab turnkey system that didn't work... ( the retailer did fix the problem after repeated abuse )but I certainly couldn't use it on a gig, and I'm no virtuoso.( not the website stated 3-10 ms, with proper hardware and drivers )Maybe it's possible, but I don't have time for that...

If only the manufacturers could be in my shoes...Akai's are cheap these days...( we just grabbed 4 more S5000s on sale, although not the best product, it works kind of... ).

Lets get one thing straight - software does not cost as much to produce as hardware in the music production(and basically almost all other)arenas. There is no argument, it is a fact. No mechanical or electrical engineering, along with production and assembly costs accrued on the path to a released product = more $$$$. Software is simply a component of a larger system. When you replace your hardware sampler, EQ, reverb, etc... with software, realize that your new purchase is simply the contents of a memory chip on a previous device dependent upon other hardware YOU have already purchased ( midi interface, audio interface, operating system, monitor, memory, other peripherals,etc...)

If users could hold out, even for a little while, they can do significant damage to the price expectations of software companies. Don't spend!!!
Find the cheaper and more effective competitors' product, it's out there!

Also,remember a hardware company like Tascam doesn't buy out a software company like Nemesys without a simple objective - $$$ ...

Another loonngg $.02,

Dogfur

UPDATE:

In fairness to the Unity folk, I was recently told by our Mac guy that after several bouts with tech support from Bitheads, Unity is up and functional in an acceptable way. Although troublesome software, he felt they were working hard to get through the problem, and this deserves to be noted.

This message has been edited by Dogfur on 09-06-2001 at 06:56 AM

This message has been edited by Dogfur on 09-14-2001 at 03:44 PM


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Well...an excellent, informative thread.

Without beating the dead horse any further, I think a few things are clear:

1. The methods of copy protection used to date are all, at best, inconvenient for legitimate customers.

2. People will be able to hack any form of copy protection. It's not a question in anyone's mind.

3. Software makers still have a right to try and protect their intellectual property from theft. The development costs that goes into new code for software are huge, and the desire to minimally re-coup that cost via legitimate sales of a product is perfectly acceptable. Also, keep in mind that new versions of software (and entire new software titles) can't be begun to be developed without re-couping those expenses.

So, we all agree. I just don't know exactly how this will play itself out in the future of software design. If you think this stuff is bad, wait until you install Windows XP on your PC (read up about that...there's plently of stuff on the web already in that regard).

We're currently taking some steps in the other direction...busting the actual crooks who illegally steal, copy and re-sell Giga software. I wouldn't want to be one of those guys...we are not screwing around in this regard...we have a bulldog on a search-and-destroy mission, complete with prosecutions and all. Perhaps rounding up those guys will be a step in the right direction.

My biggest hope is that we can help create a new copy protection method that inconveniences you as little as possible but still prevents the majority (note I didn't say all) of illegal use. Then we'd all be happy and the world would be a better place, and we could just, like, make music and stuff.

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fv,

> I want to know that the software licence I buy today will allow me to use the program if the company goes away and also that I don't have to rely on a dongle going faulty on me. <

This is the very crux of the matter.

> I would like to see software come down in price myself. However, I doubt that that will happen unless someone makes a killer product that takes the market by storm and sells it for a lot less than comparable products. <

Not only can it happen (low-priced killer apps), but it has already happened many times. I refuse to pay $1300 for the Waves plug-ins, so I bought the UltraFunk pack. Not only is it a much better deal at $200, I think it's a better product too. Far easier to setup and install, and extremely low CPU overhead. There are many other examples like CoolEdit Pro, which I admit I've never used, but many people tell me it's great and for a lot less money than the expensive copy protected programs. My own experience with my software company (detailed elsewhere in this thread) was to sell a better product for 1/3 the cost and do very well.

> Maybe they could sell it for less and still make money. However, why should they if they are making money at the price they charge? <

1) To minimize piracy, 2) To gain the loyalty of their customers, 3)To sell sufficient additional copies that they end up with more profit even though each sale nets less money.

In the case of GigaSampler in particular, #3 is more important than usual. If they sell the program for 1/3 as much but sell 20 times more copies, they also greatly increase the market for their sound library CDs. As in "give away the razors and sell the replacement blades forever."

> Some of the comments that I don't agree with involve the cost of producing the software as well as the comment regarding once the app is written, the company sits back and just makes money. <

Agreed. Phone and email tech support costs money, as do fixing bugs and adding new features request by the customer. But hardware makers have those costs too, and then also have the cost of building the hardware.

> I don't want to get into any flame wars here. <

Not at all! I basically agree with almost everything you said.

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Jeff, your posts are like a breath of fresh air coming from a manufacturer! Thanks for being willing to listen and for thanks for seeing both sides.

As a matter of fact, the tone of this discussion has been the most civil I have yet encountered on this subject. Kudos to all.

Keep those experiences coming!


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This is slightly off topic, but still related:

I'm currently in the process of reinstalling all of my software onto a single partition so that I can avoid some of the problems described in my earlier posts. During this process, I was struck by how few manufacturers are willing to print owner's manuals these days, while instead relying on PDF manuals to instruct the user.

This seems a poor choice in two ways. To start with, it damages the user experience in that it is difficult to toggle back and forth between Acrobat Reader and the music application; and it is sometimes impossible to look at Acrobat Reader when a dialog box is open in the music application.

Secondly, a PDF manual also gives software pirates the added advantage of getting a free online owner's manual, while depriving the legitimate user of the advantage of receiving a printed one.

Sadly, this is yet another example of a policy that both punishes the customer and rewards the thief!


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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff, TASCAM Guy:
3. Software makers still have a right to try and protect their intellectual property from theft. The development costs that goes into new code for software are huge, and the desire to minimally re-coup that cost via legitimate sales of a product is perfectly acceptable. Also, keep in mind that new versions of software (and entire new software titles) can't be begun to be developed without re-couping those expenses.



you have the right yes, but when you acknowlege #2, it really seems like a silly expense that ONLY gets passed on to the PAYING USERS. not to mention the headache the actual CP causes for the PAYING USERS. so i DONT agree that "the desire to minimally re-coup that cost via legitimate sales of a product is perfectly acceptable" i find it illogical to say the least after stateing #2...


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soap,

> it is difficult to toggle back and forth between Acrobat Reader and the music application; and it is sometimes impossible to look at Acrobat Reader when a dialog box is open in the music application. <

Get a second video monitor. Not only can you then move PDF and other doc files out of the way, you can also use it to great advantage within one program. I turn on my second monitor only when using my sequencer and DAW programs, but it is a far more satisfying way to use those programs. In both programs I have the Tracks window on the main monitor; the other monitor shows the piano roll and controllers windows (sequencer) or the regions list and all the various plug-ins for my DAW.

17-inch monitors cost less than $200 these days, so that plus a cheap second video card (or spring for a dual-port video adapter) gives a relatively low-cost way to make a real "quality of life" improvement in your audio environment.

--Ethan

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Ethan, thanks for the suggestion. I agree that having two monitors is a preferable setup. I've looked into this option before. However, as a ProTools user, I try to find solutions which are approved by Digidesign, and that means expensive!

At the Digidesign G4 & Dual Monitors page, Digidesign posts:

"Digidesign is pleased to recommend the Jeronimo 2000, developed and marketed by Appian Graphics , along with new pre-release drivers for MacOS, as a high-performance dual-monitor hardware solution for Pro Tools users who use Apple Power Macintosh G4 computers with AGP video capabilities.

Please be advised that Apple G4 models are exhibiting -6042 PCI bus errors when used in conjunction with Pro Tools and multiple monitors with all other video card combinations."


The Jeronimo 2000 costs $755 ; and because my PCI slots are full, I would need to add a Digidesign approved Magma Expansion Chassis for $1,195. Even if I spend less than $200 on a 17" monitor, my cost would still be over $2,000 if I were to follow Digidesign guidelines!

Regardless of the additional advantages of owning a second monitor, the point still remains that the consumer must either pay to buy a second monitor or pay to print and bind PDF owner's manuals to avoid being inconvenienced. At the same time, the pirate not only has a free, fully functioning version of the program but now, with a PDF manual, has the ability to learn how to use that program for free as well.


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OK - close your eyes and imagine a perfect, future copy-protection system, harmless and user-friendly - use everything you want including nuclear power and don't think if it's easy to crack, think only about customer convenience (manufacturers will be thinking about effectivness ..........
Can you imagine such a system?
Hmmm, I can't...
But let's try
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SB,

> Even if I spend less than $200 on a 17" monitor, my cost would still be over $2,000 if I were to follow Digidesign guidelines! <

Well, there's one big reason I use a PC! My entire PC cost less than that (though admittedly not including my 21- and 17-inch monitors).

> The point remains ... the pirate not only has a free, fully functioning version of the program but now, with a PDF manual, has the ability to learn how to use that program for free as well. <

Yes, you are correct. I used to hate online docs because you can't read them in the bathroom or on a train. But now I prefer them because you can search for any text, not just what the writers included in the index.

By the way, I followed the profile link to your web site. Very impressive credentials!

--Ethan

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Ethan, thanks for the compliment. That means a lot coming from you!

BTW, I also enjoy being able to search for text in PDF files; and I would be very happy if PDFs were an additional resource, rather than a substitute for printed manuals.

At the same time, I would eagerly give up the additional resource of PDF files if it also meant giving up the hassles of "copy protection!"


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HA! You'll love this. Well, not really, but you'll get it.

At TASCAM, any new product that comes out immediately gets the PDF of the manual put online for download. The printed copy is also included in the box, but we found that many of our customers like to download the PDF even before they buy the product to get an idea of what the actual operation will be like.

Any product...except...

Yup. We WON'T be putting Giga manual PDFs online. Why? You already said it. You still get a cool printed manual with the product purchase, but no convenient PDF since the thieving bastards will just give it away along with the pirated version of the product.

Too damn bad.

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Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk:
so i DONT agree that "the desire to minimally re-coup that cost via legitimate sales of a product is perfectly acceptable" i find it illogical to say the least after stateing #2...


Yup. Illogical, but 100% necessary if we ever hope to be able to fund the development of the next generation of Giga.

As I said...there's gotta be a better way. Think. Help. Please.

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what is not 100% necessary is the fashion that is happening now with these consumer unfriendly schemes. just do a serial number fer chrissakes. i agree with ethan...

i have already felt alienated and i am certainly on the software developers side... unfortunately there are a few companies in the audio market that i WONT buy now.... if i feel i need to use it i will steal it. sucks it has to be that way but they brought it on themselves... no other companies i use go to such extremes or put their PAYING customers at arms like these do.

its unfortunate.


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I've just been up all night dealing with Bitheadz authorization problems again!

It started because had a severe problem with Digital Performer 3 crashing every few minutes. It took days to figure out what the problem was and solve it. The solution that finally worked was...you guessed it! I had to do a clean install of my System Folder!

If you read my earlier post, you'll know that means I lost my Bitheadz authorizations and had to reinstall the products from scratch.

Since MOTU told me to go with OS 9.2.1, this seems to have introduced a new set of problems with the shi-, um I mean, Bitheadz authorizations. For example, the original Osmosis CD gives me a temporary authorization and the update takes it away. Meanwhile, Unity DS-1's authorization seems dependent on having a certain extension set enabled which is not compatible with Digital Performer! This garbage makes me long for dongles and I hate dongles!

BTW, DP 3's authorization remained intact, despite the loss of the original System Folder. So did the authorizations for Waves Gold Bundle and Auto-Tune. All I had to do to get ProTools up and running was re-enter the serial number in the owner's manual. I had to reinstall Cubase VST/32 5, but it was quick and easy. Once again, I only had to enter the serial number in the owner's manual. Logic Audio Platinum, being dongle dependent, was up and running with a double click.

This message has been edited by soapbox on 09-11-2001 at 09:19 AM


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UPDATE:

It seems a little weird to post about music again in light of what happened to America yesterday (a real nightmare); but I felt that in fairness to Bitheadz, I should post the following e-mail I received:

"Hello.
With the latest versions of the software, you do not need to get a new response. In fact, if you go into the authorizer, the response field will state "not required". All you must do is fill out the registration form and select the "standard mail/fax" option. This will create a text document in the applications folder and fully authorize you, without having to go thru us. But like I mentioned this is on the latest versions( Unity = 2.13, Osmosis = 1.13). To get the latest versions, contact our sales department and they will send you new disks for a shipping charge.

Regards,

Bitheadz Technical Support
support@bitheadz.com"


This message has been edited by soapbox on 09-13-2001 at 02:18 AM


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sorry for the mis-post

This message has been edited by philbo_Tangent on 09-16-2001 at 10:46 PM

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Quote:
Originally posted by soapbox:
The Purpose of this Thread
I created this thread to gather a collection of your stories about "copy protection" gone awry. Feel free to write about times when you were greatly inconvenienced by a failed authorization or when it was very difficult to authorize your software at all.
This message has been edited by soapbox on 05-18-2001 at 06:53 AM


As far as I can see, there are only two reasonable responses to programs like this.

1) For the scrupulously honest:
a) Buy the software, and put it on a shelf.
b) Find the cracked version, and install it. No more protection hassles!

2) For the no-so-scrupulous:
a) Do only the last half of step 1.

OK, now to duck for cover when the FLAME-throwers hit!

- Philbo

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It looks like any kind of copy protection harms legal users, while users of cracked copy are laughing. On the other side, if software is not copy-protected and I have installed it on my computer without buing it, I'm basically a pirate and I will be in trouble if police knocks someday. So - if using cracked copy is theft as well as using non-cracked but illegal copy ("borrowing" serial# from a friend), it looks like the only advantage of using copy protection is to make life for crackers a little bit harder (ha, ha - they like to crack!). Do we agree that find a cracked copy is not a problem? If so, why use any form of CP beside serial#? Any user of illegal software is criminal, cracked or not! The only proof is licence or proof of purchase or sth like that - so why bother? Bill Gates is still making money while his software is protected by serial#. Make CD hard to copy, but any form of CP will not stop people from using stolen software, period.

The second thing - problem with CP and company goes south - maybe CP could be "time-bombed"? Let's say two years of CP and then automatically free? This will have good side effect - it will force company to upgrade their products (Amp-Farm anyone?)

Anyone?

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I am amazed that no one is mentioning Pace copy protection. I can't count the hours of frustration try to install anything with Pace at one time or another(Waves, Auto Tune, Mic Modeler). I think the guys at Pace are a bunch of jackasses for creating software that is so potentially damaging to systems(inability to boot among other things!!!) and am really disappointed by the companies that use Pace. Give me a dongle anyday. No frustrations and portability as well, at least for me.

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Another thing I'd like to see is the ability to use a plug-in with any application it supports. For example, I only need one authorization to use Auto-Tune with RTAS, MAS, and VST; but I need three separate authorizations (and possibly three separate payments...still waiting to hear from Antares) to use Mic Modeler with those three platforms.

Yes, it's Antares in both cases, but they have different policies for those two products!


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Tell me if this is bad...
I've been a logic audio guy since 93.. 2.0 days..
Only on a p.c. Bought 3 versions now
I'm all the way up to 4.72 platinum now..
When I upgraded from Gold to platinum they gave me a new key..
Actually I have 3 now..
Buddy has my version of platinum on his system.. He can't use it unless I bring the key over.. He has Protools.. Doesn't need midi too much..
But we've done a couple things where he needed logic.. So we set it up.. And now we can move stuff between 2 platforms.. I figure it's my software now.. Be damned if I'm gonna drop my system in a puddle to work somewhere else..

Gigastudio on the other hand.. Grrr..
I had to go online to install it on my system.. Get a registration code.. Blah, blah, blah.. Seen as it was too much trouble to reinstall giga on my system cause it has no uninstall, and all that.. It also seemed to create a new code everytime I reinstalled it...
I was so annoyed that I could hear that piano while looking at a blue screen so I paid $4000 for a new system just for it..
Guess what though... Another damn registration code.. I think I have like 5 of them now... The whole front of the book is covered in em..
I don't mind the dongle idea.. At least it shouldn't mean we have ta phone someone to use the software..
I think that the dongle could only be needed once every month or so.. So we can use it without just in case it's Friday at 4:00 and you have a session all weekend.. I've reloaded windoze on a fresh drive Friday at 3:00 and have been up and running by 5:00..
I don't know how much $$$$$ is spent on copy protection but I'm sure that "savings" is passed on to the customer right!!! Meanwhile the hacker is using it for free.. Probably with tech support too..
Guys!!!! No matter what ya do it's gonna get hacked.. Fuck the pentagon has been hacked... Get over it.. It sucks..
I don't know..
Don't go to the insert the 31/2 disk for 3 copy's.. That sucks even worse..
Brian


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Would there be interest on the part of users and developers for two-tier pricing? Suppose a program (not copy protected) by itself is $49 with a pdf manual available for download from the web site, and support consisting of leaving a note on the manufacturer's web site and they might get around to answering it some day. (This is what Opcode does now...) Professionals who rely on the program for business income could pay $299 for a year's Platinum Support, with 24 hour response to all inquiries, next day overnight shipment of replacement disks if needed, remote troubleshooting if the DAW is hooked up to the Net, direct answers from the developers. etc.

In this way the very high cost of having expert hand-holding for business users would be paid by those users, while the program's market share could expand to include hobbyists who don't mind fiddling with the program on their own time.

A friend who's an architect told me he was responsible for AutoCad's high price: back around version 2 or 3, as one of their early users, he told them they should raise their price by at least a thousand dollars, since most users were professionals who relied on the program having new features and first rate support.
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Would there be interest on the part of users and developers for two-tier pricing? Suppose a program (not copy protected) by itself is $49 with a pdf manual available for download from the web site, and support consisting of leaving a note on the manufacturer's web site and they might get around to answering it some day. (This is what Opcode does now...) Professionals who rely on the program for business income could pay $299 for a year's Platinum Support, with 24 hour response to all inquiries, next day overnight shipment of replacement disks if needed, remote troubleshooting if the DAW is hooked up to the Net, direct answers from the developers. etc.

In this way the very high cost of having expert hand-holding for business users would be paid by those users, while the program's market share could expand to include hobbyists who don't mind fiddling with the program on their own time.

A friend who's an architect told me he was responsible for AutoCad's high price: back around version 2 or 3, as one of their early users, he told them they should raise their price by at least a thousand dollars, since most users were professionals who relied on the program having new features and first rate support.
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TPD,

> Suppose a program (not copy protected) by itself is $49 with a pdf manual ... Professionals who rely on the program for business income could pay $299 for a year's Platinum Support, with 24 hour response to ... <

That's a great idea!

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Quote:
Originally posted by soapbox:
I need three separate authorizations (and possibly three separate payments...still waiting to hear from Antares) to use Mic Modeler with those three platforms.


After a couple of weeks of unsuccessfully pestering one guy at Antares, I found another employee who was willing to give me three separate authorizations for Mic Modeler RTAS, Mic Modeler MAS, and Mic Modeler VST.

His reasoning was that, if I had bought a hardware unit, I'd be able to use it with any recording device I had on hand and, as long as my four DAWs were on one computer, it was fair to be able to use Mic Modeler with any of them. As a result, he didnít charge me for the extra authorizations.

Kind of Loud, on the other hand, charged me a nominal fee to be able to use RealVerb on both MAS and RTAS platforms. While it cost me a fraction of the price of buying the software a second time, I feel the Antares policy was fairer and that the reasoning the Antares employee used to justify that policy was sound.

Any opinions on this issue?


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suapbox: yes...I think you feel Antares treated you fairly and KOL did not, and it will influence your purchasing decisions in the long term.

Here's my story:

Native-Instruments has released Reaktor 3.0, which has now moved to dongle-based protection. It uses a USB dongle, but for those PC users with no USB they offer an inexpensive swap for a parallel-port dongle.

I, however, use a Mac...a Mac with no free PCI slots and no USB, but with a processor more-than-fast enough to run Reaktor 3.0. Native-Instruments offers no dongle-swap options for Macintosh users, so in order to use Reaktor 3 I would have to

a) buy a 2nd computer, or
b) remove my baby TDM system, or
c) buy an expansion chassis

It is ridiculous - I have $400 that I want to give the company for their product, but because of their unwillingness to provide some flexibility with their copy protection, I cannot do so. They have lost a sale of their premier software package because they treat their customers like would-be-thieves and unethical people.

As such, I just might sink to meet their expectations.


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I hear ya aeon. A lot of usb-less Mac users could be in the same position if companies start jumping on iLok. I have a 9600/350 with all slots full.

God, I wish someone would come out with a combination graphics/usb card to let us sneak usb on our machines without using a slot...

Tom

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After trying unsuccessfully (for a solid YEAR) to get Cubase to send me the challenge-response codes for my brand new copy of VST 5, I borrowed my buddies copy (cracked? I dunno).

Antares was just as bad. When I called them for the challenge-response codes for AutoTune they didn't even HAVE ANY! I had to wait 6 Mo. for them to get their shit together. I had to fax my proof of purchase three times before they finally found my info and gave me access.

When I was finally able to get somebody from Emagic on the phone they actually LAUGHED at me. They said my software version was too old to support. "If it is so old, why not just give me the damn key disks?" I asked through gritted teeth. That's when they laughed...fuckers. Why do companies penalize their paying customers? Also all of the software that requires you to have a key disc installed to run, LAME!

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Here is a new tidbit for our discussion:

Quote:
Originally posted by Anderton:
Emagic estimates it will take 7-10 years to crack their new encryption system.

<>

...Well, you also need to come up with the USB dongle thingie, so it's a hardware/software deal. I too expressed skepticism about the ease with which apparently anything can be cracked, Emagic was adamant that they'd figured it out....we'll see.


Also, the following short article seemed relevant to me:

Apple\'s Dirty Little Secret


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SOLUTION:
We buy the software and use the crack!
;\)

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There are a number of people here who practice that solution. However, if Emagic is right in their claims of how well their new dongle replacement device will work, the option of buying the program, but using the cracks will be gone, at least for Emagic programs.

Harmony Central has posted a list of new features in Logic 5 . Near the bottom of that list is a paragraph describing the new "copy protection" scheme. Emagic is calling it the "XSKey," short for "Expandable System Key." It will replace all previous Emagic copy protections such as dongles and CDs. It will be like an iLok, in that authorizations for all of Emagic's programs will reside in this one tiny device.

Sorry I'm about to break my rule about making this thread be about actual experiences; but in this case, none are yet possible. However, I think it's pretty clear what can happen...

If this works, and programs truly become copy protected, I want to see that consumer needs will finally become addressed. I mention that because, just as the companies need to be protected from piracy, we need to be assured that a product we've paid our hard-earned money for will be usable. How will we be protected if the copy protection device fails and suddenly locks us out of our software in the middle of a gig? How will we be protected if we lose all of our authorizations at once?

Will we need to buy every program twice, just so we can have a back up of an XSKey? If so, how many companies will go out of business, not because of cracks but because consumers suddenly can only buy half as many programs as they used to? Piracy will still exist, but in this case, it will be committed against consumers who want a backup!

The counter argument to my point above is that hardware forms of gear are vulnerable to failure as well and that this could happen in the middle of a gig too. The difference in this case is that if one piece of gear fails in the hardware world, the failure is limited to that piece of gear. In the case of the failure of an XSKey, all Emagic "gear" will no longer work!

When a single effects processor dies or a single keyboard dies, workarounds are possible; but when an XSKey dies, it becomes the equivalent for many of losing all of their effects processors, all of their keyboards, and their multitrack recorder as well. What workarounds are possible then?

In this case, when all of one's eggs are placed in one basket, a device needs to be more failproof, not less; but copy protection, from the consumer's vantage point, is just an additional way that things can go wrong.


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Update:

After I wrote the post above, Dan South had problems with his XS Key. You can read about it in the following threads:

Warning - the new Logic key is VERY FRAGILE!!!!

and

steadyb - broken Logic XSKey!!!

FWIW, I'm pretty sure that the situation was eventually settled to Dan's satisfaction, but it's still worth the read, IMO.


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iDon't Know if iLike iLok

Hello group

I'm having a very strange behavior with iLok installations on our new Pro Tools HD system.

The computer is a G4/933, the OS is 9.2.2. The iLok was provided with my HD upgrade by Digidesign, and has an "HD" sticker on it.

I successfully installed the four Digidesign iLok registrations that were provided (an aside: how is it that I'm so diligent about returning or faxing Digidesign's registration cards, and they keep losing the record of what products I've purchased and registered? I'm talking about stuff I purchased as well as stuff I beta tested!) which authorizations were for DINR (probably won't ever use that one), AmpFarm (I use this all the time), Bruno/Reso (I know I'll get around to using this one someday), and Reverb One (now that it's the only game in town besides Ren Rvb, what choice do I have?). I then successfully installed the Wave Mechanics UltraTools HD bundle using the same methods. I then successfully installed the McDSP stuff that I cherish (all of 'em except the synth, which I haven't had time to try out properly yet). Total, 12 authorizations on the iLok (aside #2: why hasn't Serato returned my repeated follow-up mails asking where the upgrade I paid for la week ago on their website is? are they ALL on vacation over there?).

Now I go to authorize Soft Sample Cell by the same methods, and as long as that iLok containing all those other authorizations is connected, the installer will crash after asking me which disk to install to (???) every single time with a type 2 or type 1 Mac error. If I stick a blank iLok on that same bus, it looks to me like Soft Sample Cell would authorize that one just fine - no crash.

This is repeatable in a big way. I spent an hour on the phone with Digidesign customer service yesterday, and the upshot was that we figured out that it works with the "virgin" iLok but not with my "otherwise blessed" iLok. The end of that conversation was "well, I can't promise you that we'll have this working within the 15 day grace period on Soft Sample Cell, so you might have to BUY A FLOPPY DRIVE to authorize it so you can keep working"! He didn't even give me a "case" or "incident" number. I even got Wave Mechanics on the phone (they're VERY VERY nice over there, ya know) and they even allowed me to remove their authorizations from the iLok to see if there might be a conflict with their stuff. No difference. Still, a very nice gesture on their part. Bob over there seemed to think I might actually have a defective iLok. Oh boy, what fun, sitting on hold with all those vendors so that they can swear me to secrecy while they allow me to remove my iLok authorizations from the busted one and place them on the new one just to see if it'll work.

Doncha love copy protection?

All the best,
Rich

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Thanks for posting Rich.

FWIW, I spoke with Colin at McDSP. While his products now officially use iLok for "copy protection," he is thoughtful enough at least to support other methods. On McDSP's iLok Transition Plan page, he writes, "McDSP will continue to support the older challenge response and key diskette copy protection methods." At least you can pick your own poison with McDSP! \:D


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Here's my bad experience:

On a Friday night, a day before I had to do an offsite recording session, I put in a PCI Ultra ATA disk controller card. Because the cable included wasn't long enough, I had to put the disk controller in the PCI slot where my Digi001 card resided. I moved my Digi001 card to a different PCI slot. I set up the new card and everything but I never started ProTools LE (v. 5.1).

The next day, I hauled my PT rig to the house I was recording in and fired up PT. Apparently, since the Digi001 card's PCI slot had changed, PT thought it was a re-install and asked for re-authorization by prompting me for my serial number. Unfortunately, I didn't have my serial number with me - I left it at home about a half hour away. Thinking it would be faster, I called Digi tech support because they should be able to give me my serial number since I registered it. Because it was Saturday (and I think there was some meeting or something), there was no tech support available and I just got an answering machine. I had to drive home and back again, effectively delaying the recording session over an hour.

Here's my solution:

Well, my actual solution was to drive home and back, but here's what I do now to hopefully prevent something like this from happening again:
  • I test my recording rig at least a day before a session.
  • I don't make any changes less than three days before a session so I have time to fix my rig if a change breaks it.
  • I keep a file on my computer with all of my software S/N's should I need to re-authorize them.

What would've helped me back then was:
  • Moving the Digi001's PCI slot didn't require re-authorization
  • 24x7 phone support to help me re-authorize PT
  • No traffic on the beltway :p

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I have 3 HD systems and 2 Mix systems and about 10 iloks. The ilok's have been a nightmare, I have bought new and used software over the past couple of years, some of which was already installed on the iloks. I have written several emails to Pace they keep telling me (for over a year) that soon they will realease an app that will read the installs and move the installs from one ilok to another but no such software is available yet. A lot of the software plug ins on the iolk are very expensive. Check out the pace web site they charge lots for licensing their technology that cost is then passed on to the consumer, bumping up the software cost again. The other thing that ticks me off is that the TDM versions always cost more. I do agree that if plugins cost 100.00 or less nobody would probably bother to crack them as it is far easier to upgrade and get some support for the legit version. I think that for me prices are way too high for TDM plug-ins. The other thing that really gets me going is buying and selling used software plug-ins. I bought about 1500.00 worth of used plug-ins off ebay (thinking that this would be good for future upgrades. Guess what?- WRONG good money down the drain Digidesign and the other companies they would not transfer ownership to me. I have since stopped buying used registered software period. The same thing happen to to†me when I bought a used copy of Logic Audio. I do like the ilok technology for moving software to the systems, but what happens if your ilok fails all your software is gone! At least with Challange/Response, when I had a virus on my system I was able to re-authorize my drive Thanks, Waves, Antares, and SychroArts. I pray nothing bad ever happens to my iloks.

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I know that in my case at least, software manufacturers have lost sales because of their copy protection schemes. I simply *will not* buy any software unless it is either not copy protected or has the simple name and registration number type protection. I now own Finale, but held off for years until they switched to a less invasive CP scheme. That was the only reason they didn't have me as a customer long before.

I recently ordered the upgrade to Emagic's SoundDiver program, and it has the "insert the CD every 6 weeks" type protection. I know this will be very annoying and that sooner or later I will get burned. My feeling is that once the software is loaded into the computer there should never be a need for it to reference the physical world again to operate or reamin operating. Any copy protection scheme must be totally 100% invisible to the user. That's why I prefer the simple name & number registration system, although I have at times lost my registration number too.

It seems like the idea of copy protection is one that appeals to software companies, but in reality it is not much protection at all. I believe it does often punish legitimate users more than it prevents piracy. It's pretty well known that Waves plugin users buy the program and then use cracks because the protection scheme is so problematic. I've seen numerous posts about that.

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Albert just reminded me of another instance which may be because of copyright schemes:

When I upgraded my Waves Renaissance Complete bundle to Waves Gold bundle, it looked like it installed fine including PACE protection. The DirectX plugins showed up OK but the RTAS wasn't showing up in PTLE. Even worse, I think my original Ren RTAS plugins disappeared. I went to Digidesign's forum and one of their tech folks e-mailed me the solution: uninstall all Waves stuff, re-install and re-register. Doing so fixed all my problems.

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Heh. As it happens I'm just beginning to write plugins myself- for now it's gonna be strictly Mac VST plugins, possibly PC VST if I can get a cross-compile happening, and I won't be able to test the latter.
I normally write free software under the GPL, but can't do this for VST plugins as they are too proprietary and I have no right to opensource them beyond what Steinberg wishes, so I'm gonna be doing proprietary work by necessity.
Here's what I'm gonna do, and it'll be really interesting to see if it works \:D
I'm going to come out with some VST plugins that sound fantastic (in the context of plugins I think that's something I can promise), and in the plugin will be a link to my airwindows.com email address (which is my company domain so it'll be permanent even if I someday change ISPs).
A plugin will be $50 for a lifetime license, including upgrades at the buyer's discretion. A buyer will get in touch with me by email, and arrange to send the money. Another $50 entitles you to lifetime support, access to the code, everything to the best of my ability.
Since no copy-prevention mechanism works, and no serial number mechanism is worth the time wasted by filling in the 300 digit number- we'll all just not bother with that stuff, and there will be absolutely no attempt by the plugin to even ask the question 'gee, should I be refusing to work for this person?'. That is none of its business.
So, I will be selling plugins that are 1000000 times more reliable that copy protected ones, and allowing trial periods etc. at the discretion of THE BUYER. And if you don't pay you're a thief! THIEF! ARRRRRGH!
\:D
But that is the only way I can deliver plugins that can guarantee the ultimate in reliability to DAW users, and the minumum of interference with other computer functions. Period.
Logically, people will be getting more value from this, provided the plugins sound terrific. It is simply a question of whether they wish to only reward the use of copy protection by giving people like that vast sums of money \:\)

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Quote:
Originally posted by soapbox:
Companies sometimes get defensive that anyone who gets upset about "copy protection" is threatening the welfare of the company.
Their right,I don't buy any software that carries more than a serial number period,case closed for me.Sonar works beautifully,and there's ton's of pro quality freeware as well.I am now dongle/pace/challenge free.If that threatens the welfare of a soft company then unfortunately that's the way it is.I refuse to pay for performance degrading protection schemes that only hamper the end user,especially when I don't have to anymore,but I'm more than happy to pay for software that doesn't place an unreasonable burden on me.There's so much great legitimate freeware out there and resonably priced stuff that only requires a serial at best that I really don't care what the established companies do any more,especially now that I don't depend on their stuff anymore.


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Unfortunately, it's my turn again!

As a Pro Tools user upgrading to version 6.1 on OS X, iLok has become a necessary evil for me. Straight out of the gate, I've had my first problem with it!

Quote:
Here's the lowdown from Digidesign :
With the release of Pro Tools 6.0 software on Mac OS X, floppy based copy protection authorizations will no longer work.

Pace's iLok technology will be the only means by which users can authorize Digidesign and Digidesign-distributed Development Partner plug-ins and software options on Pro Tools TDM and LE systems running 6.0 software. To help facilitate this process, a new site ó http://www.ilok.com ó has been created. All users who utilize iLok authorizations can use iLok.com to manage their authorizations, regardless of their Pro Tools version. Along with authorizing new 6.0-compatible plug-ins and options, Pro Tools 6.0 customers will need an iLok.com account in order to transition floppy-based authorizations to their 6.0-based systems.

Pace's iLok protection is essentially comprised of two components: a new, database-backed, secure website (www.ilok.com) and an iLok USB Smart Key. The iLok website facilitates the creation of customer accounts, the deposit of plug-in assets by Digidesign to user accounts, a record of those assets, and the download of the assets to an iLok Key by the customer at his/her discretion. The USB iLok Smart Key, available via the Digi Web Store and Digidesign dealers, and included with new Pro Tools|HD TDM systems, securely stores authorizations for Pro Tools plug-ins ó both those that are transferred from an iLok.com account, and those that are added via iLok license cards (which are temporarily inserted into and read by the iLok Key).
Step 1: Setting up an iLok account was no problem. It's as easy as filling out any Internet form.

Step 2: Downloading the software that allows iLok.com to see my iLok was no problem.

Step 3: Installing the software that allows iLok.com to see my iLok seemed to be no problem.

Step 4: Getting iLok.com to believe that I had installed the software that allows iLok.com to see my iLok - BIG PROBLEM!

Step 5: Troubleshooting the fact that iLok.com doesn't believe that I had installed the software ... well, there's a FAQ section:

Quote:
iLok FAQ :
Are there any known issues where iLok.com reports an error indicating that the client software is not installed even though I know that I installed it?

Chances are that you are using a browser that is not supported. Currently iLok.com only works with Internet Explorer on both Macintosh and Windows platforms. Please make sure you have the latest version of Internet Explorer and configure your preferences so that it is the default browser.
Guess what? My system was already set up the "correct" way when the problem occurred!

Step 6: Search for iLok support contact info. There is no support phone number, just an e-mail address and the following cop out ... er, "message:"

Quote:
iLok Support page :
While PACE is the original manufacturer of the iLok, it is more than likely you have bought nothing directly from PACE. PACE currently offers no direct technical support for end users (customers of software publishers that use PACE's technology) without direct authorization or escalation from the software publisher. Directions on how to use the iLok in conjunction with the products you have bought or received is the duty of the software vendor. This information should be provided with the software installation if not on the vendor's website. iLok Partners are links to the software publishers that support iLok.

PACE has no way to immediately verify your status as a customer with a particular vendor nor does PACE have the authority to redistribute products on behalf of our customers, the software publishers. YOU MUST CONTACT THE COMPANY YOU BOUGHT/RECEIVED YOUR SOFTWARE FROM FIRST.

1. Read the online help and FAQ
2. Make sure it is not a problem with the software publisher's product.
Such as: correct CDROM, proper installation, proper version, etc.
3. Try to reproduce the issue and verify that it is an issue with the software vendor.

If you continue to have problems, please submit a full report of your issues to support-ilok@ilok.com.
Step 7: E-mail iLok.com and wait.

Step 8: Reconfigure browser settings. Oh that's right, did I mention that connecting to iLok.com messed up the way I had Internet Explorer set up? (Apparently, it returned my browser settings to its factory defaults.) It reset my home page to http://www.apple.com , added the button bar, and reset my Browser Color to Bondi. Perhaps it did more that I have yet to discover. It did this repeatedly as I tried steps 3 and 4 above several times.

I sure am lucky that I can protect my authorizations by registering with iLok.com! :rolleyes: How much of my life must I waste over poorly implemented methods of copy protection?

---

Update: On a hunch, I tried rebooting under OS 9 and then starting over from "Step 3" above - PROBLEM SOLVED! It's an odd thing for Mac customers to find that OS X users are newly required to use iLok, but that the iLok site itself apparently only interfaces with "iLok Client" software that requires OS 9!

I have no idea what unfortunate users on OS X only Macs will do to fix this problem ... boot up Classic and try their luck? Even for dual boot users like me, it's an inconvenient workaround to install software in OS X and then reboot under OS 9 each time we wish to register an authorization at iLok.com.

I hope that there's a better solution than my workaround!

Best,

Geoff


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Update 2: Less than 24 hours after e-mailing iLok.com, I received the following response:

Quote:
Dear iLok.com user,

We have just updated the iLok.com website with a new version of the iLok Client Helper software. This update is for those users who are being asked to install the latest version of the iLok Client Helper even though that step was just taken. In order to take advantage of this update, please log onto your iLok.com account and then choose the 'Download' link from the navigational bar found on the upper section of iLok.com. Once the updated iLok Client Helper has been downloaded and installed, users experiencing this issue should not experience it any more.

Best regards,

Pace Anti-Piracy Tech Support
I downloaded and installed the updated iLok Client Helper. It worked as advertised. Now I can communicate with iLok.com via OS X. Also, this time my browser settings remained intact.

Best,

Geoff


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I worked as a beta tester for Waves for a short time.

I stopped working as a beta tester for Waves when the game of challenge-response on my beta plugs became entirely too ridiculous to continue.

- Download latest beta
- Run install
- e-mail beta coordinator for challenge response code
- (2-3 days later) test beta
- report bugs
- repeat

Meanwhile, every version of every plugin Waves has ever published is easily available Pace-free at your local Warez FTP.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Griffinator:
I worked as a beta tester for Waves for a short time.I stopped working as a beta tester for Waves when the game of challenge-response on my beta plugs became entirely too ridiculous to continue.
:D ,Jeeze,if that doesn't say it all.These guy's are not only content to screw their customers but people that work for them as well!Everyone but the warez user.I guess now that I'm free of companies like this I can laugh.


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The sad part is, all I was getting for beta testing was a 50% discount on the final versions of Waves products I beta-tested

(Cheap bastards!)

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