Sony Can Learn From Adobe Re: Software Activations

Jamil wrote on 11/13/2011, 3:44 PM
The title says it all. Adobe does this very well, and I think Sony should improve in this regard. What Sony's products do is keep track of the number of times a serial number is activated for a specific computer ID. The problem is that it does not even look at uninstalls.

All Adobe software that I am licensed to use allows me to activate and deactivate my licensed software anytime I wish. Sony, can you do the same? The installation count per computer is similar to what Microsoft does. However, Microsoft has 24 hour product activation support to at least make up for this short coming.


musicvid10 wrote on 11/13/2011, 4:07 PM
Nothing wrong with the Sony activations that I've found. Register 24/7 over the internet and they are very generous in that regard. Anyone that needs to register a title more than ten times is possibly OCD.
amendegw wrote on 11/13/2011, 4:36 PM
I've never had a problem with the Sony activation as well.

However, in my tech support job at our local university, I've seen multiple issues with the Adobe activations - mostly when we had to rebuild workstations after hard drive failures. Haven't seen this recently - maybe they've fixed it.


System Model: Alienware Area-51m R2
System: Windows 11 Home
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-10700K CPU @ 3.80GHz, 3792 Mhz, 8 Core(s), 16 Logical Processor(s)
Installed Memory: 64.0 GB
Display Adapter: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super (8GB), Nvidia Studio Driver 527.56 Dec 2022)
Overclock Off

Display: 1920x1080 144 hertz
Storage (12TB Total):
OS Drive: PM981a NVMe SAMSUNG 2048GB
Data Drive1: Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 2TB
Data Drive2: Samsung SSD 870 QVO 8TB

USB: Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) port Supports USB 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.2, Thunderbolt 3

Canon R5
Canon R3
Sony A9

biggles wrote on 11/13/2011, 4:51 PM
The 'de-activation' route is fine until faced with a hard-drive crash though, to be fair, when this happened to me all it took was a phone call to have my registration manually 'de-activated' for that PC (this was with an install of Photo-shop Elements).
im.away wrote on 11/13/2011, 5:08 PM
I'm of the opposite view to you, Jamil. My experience with Adobe activations has been nothing less than a nightmare. If something goes wrong in the process the user can end up in a "no man's land" whereby the clowns at Adobe support require you to go through hoops to prove that you are whom you are and that you have actually paid for the copy that you wish to activate. All handled by a call centre in India by a well-meaning support person whom you simply cannot understand.

Going off-topic, Adobe also charge Australian customers 50% more than US customers to download exactly the same product from the same server! If an Australian customer tries to purchase an Adobe product their email address, physical address, telephone number, credit card details and paypal account are all checked to ascertain "country of origin" details and if any come up "Australian", Adobe redirect you to their Australian online store - where you have to pay the 50% extra. It sucks. The Aussie dollar has been worth more than the US dollar for almost a year now and Adobe want to double-dip and hit us twice.

I have successfully weaned myself off their products and now only have Photoshop Elements (and I wouldn't have this either, if the Missus didn't need it for the stuff she does for the Photography Club.) Sorry for the hijack, Jamil, but my experience with Adobe is that I've never had even one positive outcome.


Jamil wrote on 11/13/2011, 5:49 PM
Sony's activations are fine up until you uninstall your software and attempt to install it on a new computer. The issue is there is a limit to the number of times the same serial number can be activated on a different computer ID. I certainly understand a company protecting it's property. However, the end-user is stuck until Sony's support resolves the issue. Sometimes this can take several days depending on how backed up support is.

If an unistallation of my licensed software deducts from this activation count, there would be no issue. This does not happen though. My question is why not?
Jamil wrote on 11/13/2011, 5:54 PM
In the scenario of a hard drive failure, yes -- you need to get in touch with Adobe support to have the product deactivated. I have never experieced this issue however. If you backed up your hard drive via good imaging software, you could restore the image and still have an active Adobe product. All Adobe's products function after restoring from a hard drive image via Acronis software (you just need to do a complete drive image including free space). I do not know about other imaging software products.

My issue with Sony's activation count is once you reach this limit, you must contact Sony under all circumstances. Even if you uninstall your licensed product to install on a computer with a new computer ID, the install count only goes up. It never goes down. There is something wrong with this scenario.
Jamil wrote on 11/13/2011, 6:07 PM
Sorry to see that you had issues. I imagine this scenario could be more difficult if you purchased your software from a third party. In my example, I've made all my upgrades directly through Adobe's site. It's a similar to how you can make direct download purchases from Sony.

For these direct download purchases, Adobe wins no contest. They have online chat support who will resolve these issues. It's much faster and easier if your purchases appear on your Adobe account. Your issue could me resolved in a matter of minutes. I write from experience, because I have done this.

With Sony, I have to contact support through the web support form. I don't have a support contract and have no intentions on buying one. The phone support is useless during off hours time. This is where Microsoft's activation support model (which also does not deduct from activations) is superior due to 24 hour activation support. Adobe's is better than both of these, in my opinion. For all three of my examples, I have made all purchases directly from the company through their websites.
MUTTLEY wrote on 11/13/2011, 6:37 PM
Echoing Russ's sentiment, I have never had a good experience with Adobe in that regard, having had to call multiple times over the years and working my way through various upgrades, each and every time I hung up the phone I just couldn't believe that they make it so difficult to authorize a new install. Here's how it should work, I give you money, I use the software, there should be nothing more to it. A company starts loosing my support when it becomes easier to hack their software than to pay for it. Though I understand and appreciate the need for basic safeguards the fact of the matter is, and I believe will continue to be for quite some time, hackers will find a way. By implementing fifty kinds of red tape the only people you're causing ill will and problems for are the ones who are doing things legitimately.

- Ray
Underground Planet
musicvid10 wrote on 11/13/2011, 6:39 PM
"Sony's activations are fine up until you uninstall your software and attempt to install it on a new computer. The issue is there is a limit to the number of times the same serial number can be activated on a different computer ID."

I think you need to re-read the EULA. It's not a blanket license. Two or three different machines seems pretty generous to me. And there are site (5+) licenses for those who need installations on multiple machines in their business or school.
Jamil wrote on 11/13/2011, 6:45 PM
Let me explain my scenario once more as something was not clear to you:

I have only one computer that had Sony Vegas Pro 10.0 installed and active on; no others but only a single desktop computer. Not even my laptop had Sony vegas Pro 10.0 installed on it.

Why can't I uninstall Vegas Pro 10.0 from this single workstation to reinstall on the same workstation as many times as I want? I know what is stated in the EULA. Care to explain how my scenario is breaking it? One single active Sony Vegas Pro 10.0 install on a single desktop computer.
musicvid10 wrote on 11/13/2011, 6:50 PM
" . . . as many times as I want?"

It's well known that you are not permitted unlimited activations -- whether it's on one computer or multiple computers. The "red flag" number seems to be around ten, give or take. I only hit the threshold once (with Vegas Pro 2) on a third machine and a single call to Customer Service got my serial # reset.

Now I call that generous in light of the multitudes who seem to think they are entitled to professional software for free. Sony seems to be allowing even some measure of piracy in order to keep their legitimate users happy. If you have legitimate special needs that require more than ~ten activations, call them.
Jamil wrote on 11/13/2011, 6:56 PM
...or Sony could learn from Adobe where their property is protected and users can handle this on their own. Sony could even deduct from the activation count during uninstalls.

...but what do I know. I am only their customer. All I know is that I cannot use my licensed software at all.
musicvid10 wrote on 11/13/2011, 7:07 PM
My Vegas 8 has been installed three times -- once on the desktop, again following a hard drive failure, and once on my notebook. That's in three years.

You want the software to phone home when it's uninstalled?

Call them in the morning. And best of luck.
ushere wrote on 11/13/2011, 7:09 PM
if it ain't broke, why fix it?

agree with musicvid - what's wrong with the system?
Jamil wrote on 11/13/2011, 7:13 PM
Yes -- I want the software to phone home when it's uninstalled. It phones home when it's installed, doesn't it? The best case scenario for me would be that it doesn't phone home at all, but Sony wouldn't do this, would they?

I contacted them Friday with zero response. I still cannot use my licensed software. I think support is too wrapped up in handling all the Vegas Pro 11 issues from the globe.
musicvid10 wrote on 11/13/2011, 7:14 PM
"Sony's activations are fine up until you uninstall your software and attempt to install it on a new computer. The issue is there is a limit to the number of times the same serial number can be activated on a different computer ID."

"I have only one computer that had Sony Vegas Pro 10.0 installed and active on; no others but only a single desktop computer. Not even my laptop had Sony vegas Pro 10.0 installed on it. Why can't I uninstall Vegas Pro 10.0 from this single workstation to reinstall on the same workstation as many times as I want?"

Something really fishy is going on here; you've contradicted yourself completely -- so which is it???
This is too strange for me to be spending any more time on.
Chienworks wrote on 11/13/2011, 7:15 PM
"Why can't I uninstall Vegas Pro 10.0 from this single workstation to reinstall on the same workstation as many times as I want?"

I guess i have to ask, "why?"

I think i've reinstalled on the same PC once in 10+ years and 30+ versions of Sony's software, and that was after a drive failure. I'm not sure i've ever done an uninstall.
Jamil wrote on 11/13/2011, 7:28 PM
That is a fair question, and I will gladly answer it--

I have a single workstation class desktop computer that I originally installed Vegas Pro 10 onto. This was about two or three years ago I performed this first install. It was an Intel DX58SO motherboard with an i7 960 CPU. I have gone through several hardware upgrades and Windows reinstalls on this single machine to resolve a variety of problems over the years. I changed video cards several times, reinstalled Windows quite a few times for a variety of reasons.

I upgraded the CPU on this desktop a couple months ago or so and also replaced the motherboard to an Intel DX58SO2. I had to RMA the motherboard three times in total due to failures. Each time I had performed complete reinstalls to learn in time each motherboard had a different issue and needed to be replaced. I gave up on Intel motherboards at this point.

Now, I have a GigaByte motherboard with the same CPU, memory, video cards and SSD drives. I performed a fresh install of Windows 7 along with all software. All my software installed with no issues except for Windows 7, that was resolved with a quick call to Microsoft's 24 hour support, Office 2010, that was also resolved with a quick call, and Vegas Pro 10. Note that Sound Forge and Cd Architect installed and activated with no issue, because Sony Support previously increased the activation limit for this software. They did it the next day for me at that time.

I do not think I am asking for much but to provide a way of the end user to deactivate licensed software. Lots of software currently does this (I can name several that I am licensed to use on my desktop, and all of this software reinstalled with zero issues).
Geoff_Wood wrote on 11/13/2011, 7:28 PM
To carry that reasoning to it's logical conclusion Sony should then demand that you uninstall on one before installing on another.

Instead they have a very generous and practical solution that is not a problem for most people.

Geoff_Wood wrote on 11/13/2011, 7:34 PM
Are you suggesting that all your activations have all disappeared after installing on one computer ?

Geoff_Wood wrote on 11/13/2011, 7:37 PM
Ah, finally the full story.

..... so you send a message to Customer Support and the next day you'll probably have 4 more actrivations waiting for you.

I have a computer 20 minutes drive away with no internet access and I cope, activation renewal applications after rebuild and all.

Rob Franks wrote on 11/13/2011, 7:37 PM
In the great many years of using Vegas, I have NEVER had to call Sony over activation problems. I however completely and totally DREAD any time I need to reinstall my Adobe Audition copy. Even if I use the deactivate/reactivate button, 1/2 the time I end up having to go through the Adobe telephone routine.

Now that's not to say it's a bad idea but rather one that 50% of the time doesn't work for me.
Jamil wrote on 11/13/2011, 7:40 PM
Yes. For my single desktop computer after having the hard drives upgraded, the CPU upgraded, the motherboards changed four or five times in total, the video cards changed.

After all these reinstalls, I only had one copy of the software active on this single computer. From the responses I see, I feel like some think if it's not broken, don't fix it. I think it is broken though, and other software handles this much better.
musicvid10 wrote on 11/13/2011, 8:03 PM
Is the hokey-pokey really what it's all about?