I hope Vegas Pro is NOT going down this path!

FixitMad0 wrote on 6/14/2016, 3:21 PM
I was just reading on Magix's website about their software registration and that the fact that products with something called a P3 serial number program requires an Internet connection at least once a month to to validate the license. "Once a month" to validate the license???? This almost sounds like what Steam requires for games and that is why I avoid any Steam related games.

Website: http://www.magix.com/us/support/technical-support/#c69706

I like to use my video editing system Offline and I hope this is NOT what Vegas Pro will be going to once the transfer has completed!

Magix, please update my question regarding if Yes this is what Magix is planning on doing or if No, it will be kept the same as it is now.

Thanks.

Comments

Eagle Six wrote on 6/14/2016, 4:26 PM
Years ago I kept my NLE computer off-line for stability concerns more than anything else. As I built up various support programs, it became a nuisance to connect and disconnect to check for updates and transfer various files from a networked computer that had internet connection to the NLE computer. More and more programs require periodical connect, and although I don't like automated updates, I do prefer automatic announcements when a product update is available.

With the current box stabilized on Windows 7, it's been a long time since my workflow has been interrupted by the internet connection. So, Magix wanting confirmation each month that everything installed is by their records, I don't think I have an issue with it at this time.

Nonetheless, I understand your opinion and would support you. Without any other reasoning, Magix, make it 2 votes for not requiring periodic license verification.


Best Regards.....George

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Kit wrote on 6/14/2016, 7:13 PM
I have a big issue with this. What possible reason is there for software to keep forcing validation? I avoid software that insists on phoning home all the time. Corel went down this route with Coreldraw X7 and now X8. We won't consider upgrading until they change (been using Coreldraw for over 25 years). I see it as a slippery step towards subscription pricing not to mention a security risk.
PeterDuke wrote on 6/14/2016, 7:54 PM
TMPGEnc (Pegasys) also requires periodic validation of licences.

There was a time when I struggled to avoid the internet umbilical cord to the cesspool of viruses and spybots, but I have now given up the struggle. I am now kicking and screaming to avoid all things cloud. I have a slow ADSL connection, and I like control of my own data.
Chienworks wrote on 6/14/2016, 8:02 PM
What happens if, for whatever reason, the verification fails? What if the licensing server is offline for a while? Does the software keep working until it can get back a positive response that the license is invalid? Or does it stop the first time it can't get back a valid response?

I'm also uncertain what the benefit is for the software company. If someone passed license verification upon initial installation then it's almost certainly going to pass every subsequent time. And if it isn't going to pass on subsequent tests then most likely it wouldn't pass the first time either. I don't see how this protects the company.
DGates wrote on 6/14/2016, 9:06 PM
"...What possible reason is there for software to keep forcing validation?..."

Counterfeit software. We only think about the user's perspective, but these software companies are losing tons to illegal copies of their product. I think the validation is a tactic to nip bogus copies in the bud.
Former users wrote on 6/14/2016, 9:34 PM
Pegasys (TMPGEnc) has been doing this for a long time. I don't have a problem with it, but I understand that many people do not have their computer hooked up to the net. But with people sending me files over the network, I can't be unhooked.
Kit wrote on 6/14/2016, 9:56 PM
" I think the validation is a tactic to nip bogus copies in the bud."

Not logical, if the validation passes once why won't it pass a second or third time? It's more like constant validation gives the software company the chance to stiff the user by refusing the validation for whatever reason. I do get that software companies want to avoid piracy but can't see how constant validation does this. Better to cultivate community so that users will want to support the company. Or make the initial check stronger but don't keep making it a hurdle to jump through. Treating users like criminals is a sure-fire way to get them to behave as such. Disdain breeds disdain.
PeterDuke wrote on 6/14/2016, 11:05 PM
Yes. If someone hacks the software to defeat the need to validate in the first place, nothing has changed in a month's time.
Jamon wrote on 6/15/2016, 12:32 AM
I've been struggling with this kind of thing lately. It used to be that if you had the disk, software would install. Then you'd need to type a textual key that was printed along with the disk, or some required a hardware dongle.

But then you needed to activate it over the internet or telephone, and that's when things fundamentally changed. A key of some kind was something you possessed. If you had the text, or the hardware to plug in, then you could always use the software for the rest of your life. You could also sell it to someone else and transfer possession.

But once it required online activation, it meant that it would only work so long as the activation server remained online, and granting you permission. There were times when there were bugs, or the activation server was offline, so people installing at that time could not use the software.

Then it happened, where enough years had past where some software providers simply did not exist anymore, and the activation process was impossible. Then the software I paid for, did not work. I had projects I created with it, which could not be opened.

Now, the trend is for all software businesses to move to a subscription model. But software is not necessarily a service, so they have to impose artificial restrictions by requiring periodic online activation.

You download the complete binary. The software is all there, in your possession. There is no physical reason why it should not run for as long as your system is in operation. It could be on a machine with no internet connection, in a museum, to run forever.

But they instead leverage licensing law to force you to pretend the software is a service, that depends on their existence. If the software provider goes out of business, you lose the right to run the program. So the software you paid for is held ransom where you must continue to pay or it won't ever run again.

Suppose the software were a word processor, and you spent decades writing journal entries every day. Then you die, and a grandchild inherits your computer, and wants to read about your perspective on life. But the activation server does not exist. The data is saved in a proprietary format that requires the software to be read. The business is long gone. The information is lost, and for no necessary reason.

But the trendy thing is for everything to be "cloud". Even when the software is not dependent on the internet, they see the software-as-a-service profits, where customers must pay monthly for it to work, and they want to benefit from that situation too.

Except something like Netflix is actually dependent on the internet. It is a streaming media service. The program is a shell that enables you to stream media from a remotely stored library. For you to download Netflix would require far too much data storage, and updates would be expensive. Instead, you pay a monthly subscription for access to their library.

That is something that requires the internet, and a subscription model makes sense, because there are physical reasons why there are monthly costs. If Netflix charged a one-time fee, they'd lose money because transferring the streaming media to you every day costs them money.

But what does a video editing program need from the internet? It doesn't need anything other than updates. People have to work to fix bugs and provide those updates, but that is why the cost of the software is hundreds of dollars. You don't pay hundreds of dollars because of bandwidth fees, it's all the salaries and everything combined that went into its creation and distribution.

Once software has been sold, it doesn't necessarily require updates. If the business worked, everything was paid for, along with extra profit, and the transaction is complete. The people can run the software, the creators can eat and buy new toys, everyone is happy.

Except then the software company has to continue working on new features to entice people to rebuy again, so they can continue to receive money. Or they have to create a whole new program, and hope people want to buy that. If you compare that to something like Netflix, it doesn't seem fair.

Some people create internet software, or a website, that depends on constantly updated data, so a subscription is logical. Then they can essentially automate it, where the money keeps rolling in and they don't have to keep adding new features or inventing new successful products. Why is that fair?

These old school software businesses must see all that and be envious. If you created Vegas, why wouldn't you want to just kick back and not have to do anything if you don't want to, but still have money rolling in each month just because people are using it?

It's the same sort of scam as intellectual property stars have used to become rich. Someone makes 1 hit song, 1 hit movie, 1 hit book, and they receive royalties for life.

There's this new trend lately where some people feel like they're only supposed to have to create 1 good thing, and then they're just supposed to be set up for life.

But I'm struggling to justify subscription business models for software that have no actual requirement or dependency for anything ongoing. It's like if someone built a coffee machine, and it worked completely on its own, but they added WiFi where it has to be activated over the internet every morning before it'll make you coffee. If you miss your monthly subscription payment, you won't get your coffee, so you freak out and pay. Then instead of making the $x amount of money up front, they can charge less to get you hooked into this cycle, where in the long run you end up paying $x*y, a much higher amount.

Why charge $500 once for some PC software, when you can force an artificial restriction that holds their data ransom and requires that amount annually for life? Then where you might've only got $500 before, some people will end up paying thousands.

They justify it to themselves because running a software business has ongoing costs. They have to fix bugs, and release free updates. They have to keep the web server running. They have to respond to support requests. They also have to keep producing something people want to pay for, or the income disappears.

Except the bugs are often at the fault of the developer, and people expect a fully functional product, or else it's considered defective. If most of the bugs were fixed before sale, then for the more obscure ones that only affect a small number of people they could potentially charge for patches.

The web server and support aren't really necessary. Software doesn't necessarily require internet activation, so paying to keep an activation web server running isn't a necessary cost. A regular website with info and store is only dollars per month to maintain, and the help documents can be concluded prior to sale, and most help is provided free from other customers in forums.

So I'm having a hard time accepting this new paradigm. I stopped using Adobe software, and although I've bought some software recently, the whole PC scene is feeling dead to me. I'm feeling a much stronger incentive to put up with the problems with free open source software, and donate to the developers or help them make it better, because in comparison the commercial alternatives are seeming decreasingly worth the cost.

I don't understand why Catalyst is forced subscription. Some businesses prefer to pay smaller amounts periodically due to their accounting. But that doesn't explain it, or why it isn't optional. I don't understand why Vegas would go a similar route either.

Requiring routine activation is another one of those things, where it's an artificial constraint that doesn't really make sense. It's like if a husband is dying, so he shoots his wife. Requiring routine activation does not prevent someone from cheating, and there is no fair reason to prevent people from using software you created after your business is gone.

It's just more fake dependencies to push people toward this false notion that all software is a service. Because that's what's trendy today, and people just follow along with the movement without understanding why that's actually legitimate for some businesses. Everything is just supposed to be "cloud" and "SaaS", whether it actually depends on constantly updated internet data or not.

Even Microsoft is pushing Windows into that paradigm, where it said there won't be anymore upgrade releases, it is now Windows OS the service, where you're dependent on constant updates from Microsoft. That makes somewhat more sense, because so many people depend on them for security patches. But it's changing the paradigm where now everyone is trying to force the thin client and mainframe model on everything, even PC workstations.

All of the big players have these "AI assistants", and cloud storage, where they're trying to put the computer in their control, and have everyone interface with it. That's fine for some things, but the PC was created and developed for many years as something independent. To change that now is too disruptive.

Which is why the PC scene feels terrible now. FreeBSD and a couple Linux distros are all that's really left for something that fits the traditional PC paradigm. But the multimedia software isn't very good. Yet, as more of Apple and Microsoft moves toward the internet subscription service model, that is less of an option also.

It used to be that Adobe software was a main reason why someone would still use Windows or OS X instead of just using Linux. But now, I can't even install the latest Adobe software, because I can't yet wrap my mind around why I should pay a subscription, and have the software dependent on internet activation.

This whole thing is depressing, and there's no good solutions, so I think a lot of people are in a kind of unproductive limbo without good options. Compared to the mobile market, PC users are a small group, so a lot more attention of developers has shifted to consumer devices.

But when the few remaining PC software companies want to pretend they're Netflix or Farmville or whatever, what are we supposed to do? If we invested in open source software, then we'd still have access to all that was built, and we could slowly improve it even when most stop using the PC.
PeterDuke wrote on 6/15/2016, 1:46 AM
Bring back dongles? They are a nuisance to sellers who would prefer digital sales and incur a shipping delay.

I just had a vision of the back of my computer with a dongle for every software item installed. :)
DGates wrote on 6/15/2016, 3:53 AM
"...Treating users like criminals is a sure-fire way to get them to behave as such. Disdain breeds disdain..."

A once a month validation is treating you like a criminal? Wow, you really lay on a thick layer of hyperbole. I myself have never been that petulant to really care about such silly things. But it's the internet, so someone's gotta whine about something.

ushere wrote on 6/15/2016, 5:05 AM
what i don't like is the dependence on the net. it's bad enough with m$ forcing huge updates over my miserably slow adsl, let alone software wanting to phone home.

and, as has been pointed out, if it works once, why should it need to keep refreshing? as for piracy, well, the first thing any self-respecting cracker does is fix the phone home module and tell you to block the programs internet access. done and dusted.

meanwhile we're all forced to stay connected to the net even when there's no reason for it. i have various friends and associates whose 'work' systems haven't been connected for months - any file transfers etc., are done through their 'office' systems. even my lowly system is kept off the net, and updates for say, resolve, downloaded through another pc and installed thereafter. in fact, i can't actually recall connecting it to the net other than AFTER a major m$ update has passed muster on the net and my other pcs....
zdogg wrote on 6/15/2016, 5:27 AM
Vegas is probably one of the easier programs to steal...

end of story...

if you have a way a developer can protect their intellectual property, let's hear about it.

..I use Magix Samplitude with dongle, never a problem...

...I find it quite interesting that the creative community so quick to whine about plain old protection schemes....your intellectual property is worth protecting, or getting paid for if it is of quality,,, and software is no different.

OldSmoke wrote on 6/15/2016, 6:58 AM
I have no problem with a Magix protecting their intellectual property but not over the Internet. I just finished an onsite edit and there was no option to have an Internet connection; dongle would have been ok.
Why not lookup the machine ID during installation, as MS does, and let the software check it at every start?

Proud owner of Sony Vegas Pro 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 and now Magix VP15&16.

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Kit wrote on 6/15/2016, 8:04 AM
Call it hyperbole if you like. Whine about it as you will. Ignore the logic. I won't be upgrading if Vegas requires repeating validation. Magix can follow this thread. From what I've read I'm not the only one who as objections to such a scheme.
rraud wrote on 6/15/2016, 8:33 AM
Waves has an 'interesting' protection system, whereas you can be on-line, but have the option of putting your registration data on a portable media.
DeadRadioStar wrote on 6/15/2016, 8:56 AM
"Bring back dongles? They are a nuisance to sellers who would prefer digital sales and incur a shipping delay"

Not necessarily -- I have one dongle (for Steinberg products) and everything is delivered electronically, apart from the one initial physical device. If they bring out a new product, the license is purchased online, activated on the dongle and the installation files downloaded. After that, the internet is no longer required, and the product can be installed on any number of machines, as long as the dongle holding the license is plugged in. This is great for site work as well.

Now, don't get me wrong, as a user I'd much prefer not to have to bother with it, and in the early days there were technical hitches, but I've come to accept that it's a necessary evil and probably contributes to the commercial health (and thus longevity) of the software developer immensely. I pay for all my software and yes, I do have a problem with someone using illegal copies for free.

I think the main worry with the "phone home" system is that the vendor might go to the wall and you're left without the ability to use the product. This is certainly a very real risk and something that perhaps the software industry as a whole needs to address (e.g. perhaps a global escrow service), but there are some good examples of compromise out there, for example, Celemony will either sell you a perpetual license or rent you their Capstan product, and if you opt to purchase the license outright it will want to "phone home" BUT it can optionally be transferred to a dongle so you have the equivalent of "owning" it with no external dependencies.

So ultimately I think a solution that would be palatable to all legal users can be found, and it's likely to be a combination of software protection. As users I think we should continue to be vocal about what we find acceptable though!
videoITguy wrote on 6/15/2016, 10:22 AM
Because:
1) Rampant worldwide piracy killed the original SCS profitability potential with the issuing perpetual license for VegasPro and similar...
2) Magix as an acquisition company will not only need to create unique versioning of VegasPro to entertain and hold customers but also hold licensing close to the vest to reign in more piracy
3) the form of 'subscription' product for software is such a convoluted mess...

I would propose that the observation by DeathRadioStar is very much on point. Digital and physical dongle combo, and option to portable external dependency is the way to go.
VideJo wrote on 6/15/2016, 12:19 PM
Just last week I had and issue with Vegas Pro 13. I could no longer nest sub-projects. I found out, that my Eminent wifi usb adaptor was the culprit. So when I disconnected the adaptor, the problem was solved.
So I prefer to remain disconnected, until I decide to download an update.
Spectralis wrote on 6/15/2016, 1:31 PM
There's absolutely no convincing evidence that piracy has affected sales of software. What it is possible to measure is the affect on sales of a highly competitive software market where the profits of smaller companies have been driven down by the consolidation of huge multinationals that can undercut even if this is unprofitable for awhile until the competition goes to the wall. They quite ruthlessly buy out, asset strip and then dump technology if it remains unprofitable. Let's hope this process isn't the final outcome for Vegas.

The fate of the software industry has been compounded by the recession and the detrimental effect on desktop software of the growth of new platforms such as the smart phone. If there was a reliable way to measure piracy then possibly downloads by curious script kiddies who drop the software once they realise the commitment required pales into insignificance compared to the effects of the juggernaut of the market.
FixitMad0 wrote on 6/15/2016, 1:42 PM
@Jamon and others,

Thank you for all the details and your thoughts. I just wanted to inform us users and see what Magix is going to do.

Requiring periodic Internet checks is annoying and basically if Magix decides they will not support an older software program, there goes your software that you like to use and paid for.

I understand companies needing to protect themselves, but going down this route to me is limiting OUR use of paid for software. Require registration - Yes, Require a one-time Activation Key - Yes. Require periodic internet connection is NOT needed in my opinion and as many others have mentioned on this thread.

Why should any company tell me that I cannot use a piece of software that works for my needs after they stopped supporting it? Believe it or not, I still use a Serious Magic Product called Visual Communicator. Luckily the original owners must have forced Adobe to release a Self-Activating Key to valid users who registered the software. I still can use the software now and for as long as I have hardware that supports it.

I currently have many "older" software that serve a function and if they required a periodic check on the Internet, I would NOT be able to use it.

Please Magix, do NOT go down this path for the software you purchased from SCS!

( This monthly Internet check is nothing more than Limiting our Paid for Software, in my opinion )
Spectralis wrote on 6/15/2016, 2:32 PM
Often software that repeatedly calls home is sending usage data to the company. Even minimal data such as whether the software is being used regularly is useful for marketing. I suspect that's the real reason for companies adopting security that repeatedly phones home or is Cloud based. Both Google and Microsoft make the collection of usage data mandatory if a customer wants to access the full range of "free" software features.

When my dad died I kept in touch with my family abroad using Outlook email not Facebook as it was a private family matter. I wasn't involved in arranging his funeral but suddenly adverts about funeral homes, caskets, floral wreaths and life insurance began appearing on Facebook and websites I visited. In my experience these companies are pretty cynical and have no shame when it comes to profiting from personal tragedy.

Data collection has become very profitable so perhaps that's why software that phones home regularly is beneficial from a marketing perspective.
videoITguy wrote on 6/15/2016, 3:02 PM
Spectralis, I think you underestimate by far what piracy does in particular world-wide markets such as the former one of VegasPro by SCS.
In the continental United States, piracy of this product is probably at a minimum - because in large part, there are legit channels for discounted pricing which exists for a population which can well afford it.

But overseas, among groups in the United Arab emirates, in Brazil and Argentina, in Syria and Iraq, the VegasPro software is a staple even beyond a commodity good as such for people who pay literally nothing to use it. If you want to be in a worldwide market this is an important play. The former Magix video market with their own product did not suffer because they were not a strong competitor. Adobe Premiere strengthened its former dongle and now its Cloud access to combat a market from developing for its product in this scenario. All of that market flow meant that the desire for pirated VegasPro software is even greater now than it was just a few years ago.

Phone home tactics do spell out other company desires including market data collection. That is certainly the perogative of the software creator, but as my earlier comment suggests, we really need the flexibility to phone home less with the option of moving to an external perpetual and independent license form.
Spectralis wrote on 6/15/2016, 5:24 PM
I agree that it would be much preferable to have a simple licence code as Vegas does now and to register online once. But not the opinion that piracy caused the move to the Cloud or repetitive data collection when the motive is primarily extracting regular income and data from customers.

As technology develops, either these software/media companies adapt to make the most profit out of this process or they get swallowed up or go to the wall. In many ways, Sony failed to adapt Vegas in an increasingly crowded NLE/Compositing market. Vegas Pro is a niche product in an era when people can edit videos for free on their phones so the appeal of Vegas are increasingly its pro features that most home users editing videos rarely need and can find in much cheaper products. I doubt that a casual video editor in South America, the Middle East or in the West for that matter is bothering to download Vegas when they can edit video on their netbook or phone. If someone, downloading software, needs pro features why would they not go for the market leaders like AVID or Adobe? The pro user of Vegas (assuming "pro" = making money out of editing) is more likely to use legit software regardless of where they live and that's where the profit bottleneck due to increasing competition occurs.

Let's also acknowledge Sony's cavalier attitude to customers (abandoning all development of ACID Pro without any announcement or alternative offered.) And their lackluster support for products like Vegas Pro (poor NVidia GPU support, etc.) while at the same time launching a completely different range of video editing products (another audacious misstep by Sony.) That reputation failure must have had significant impact on sales rather than piracy. The only positive thing to come out of this is the sale to Magix as long as they keep developing Vegas and don't implement more intrusive copy protection.