As many of our customers know, we announced back in March of this year that we were working on a successor to the eLicenser license management system that has been used by all Steinberg software products, Dorico included, for decades. Today we have announced many important details about the new system and how it will operate when it is introduced, and perhaps most pertinently to readers of this blog is that the first product to use Steinberg Licensing will be Dorico 4.

We have previously said that we anticipated that Dorico 4 would be released before the end of 2021, but we recently made the decision to delay its release to early 2022, primarily to make sure that your first experience of using Steinberg Licensing is as seamless as possible. Dorico 4 will be followed later in 2022 by major releases for Cubase, Nuendo and HALion, each of which will also use the new system.

Please do take the time to read the statement from Steinberg’s president Andreas Stelling, that sets out the vision for Steinberg Licensing, and read on to find out a lot more about how the system will work. Finally, we have also prepared an extensive set of Frequently Asked Questions, which we hope will answer any remaining questions you might have.

The really exciting thing about the arrival of Steinberg Licensing is that you will gain a lot more freedom and flexibility in how you use your Steinberg software. Firstly, each single-user license can be used simultaneously on two computers, so if you have, for example, both a desktop and laptop computer, you’ll be able to activate Dorico on both computers. If you subsequently need to run on a third computer, that’s no problem: deactivate one of the existing computers, and you can activate on the third right away. There is no limit to how many times you can move your activations between your computers.

Secondly, although activation is managed by signing in with your Steinberg ID, there’s no need to remain connected to the internet constantly to use your software: after you have activated, you can run offline, completely disconnected from the internet, for a period of 30 days, and if your computer is connected to the internet when you run Dorico, it will automatically and silently renew its activation in the background. This means that if you, like me, have your computer connected to the internet all or at least most of the time, you should never need to worry about renewing your activation: it will be taken care of automatically. Shortly after the initial release of Dorico 4, we will add further features to Steinberg Licensing making it easy for the handful of people who need to keep their computers completely disconnected from the internet to activate the software using an offline process.

When Dorico 4 arrives early next year, there will still be some more work for us to do on realising the full benefit of Steinberg Licensing to our institutional customers, such as schools, colleges and universities. Deploying and managing multi-seat licenses with eLicenser has always been painful, and we are committed to radically improving the user experience for our institutional customers later in 2022 as we continue to build on the strong foundations of Steinberg Licensing.

We know that you may be disappointed to learn that Dorico 4 will not be arriving before the end of the year as we had originally planned. However, there really is not much longer to wait, and we have a huge number of exciting new features and improvements in store for you. Together with the introduction of flexible and simple Steinberg Licensing, we believe you will find Dorico 4 to be worth the wait.

In the meantime, if you’ve been holding out for the release of Dorico 4 before you buy the software, you will be interested to know that any Dorico 3.5 license that is first activated on or after 25 August 2021 will be eligible for a free grace period update to Dorico 4 when it is released. Keep an eye out for one more opportunity to buy Dorico 3.5 at a special price before the end of the year.

If you have any questions about Steinberg Licensing that are not covered by the FAQ, please feel free to come to the Dorico forum and ask your question there.

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