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Ilok practices bordering on illegal

Craig Sharmat

actually they may be illegal.

Let me start by giving you a situation that could happen to you.

You have an ilok product and have not bought their insurance. you can at anytime buy their insurance incase your ilok breaks but they give a so called "cooling off period" or you need to spend another 100 dollars to get a temporary license. So that's a 130.00 to recover your stuff...but that's not all folks. For you to get back permanent licenses you need to send the broken ilok in so it will not be used again. they will fix it whether you like it or not and charge an additional 54.00 dollars. So in short if your ilok breaks and you do not have the insurance it will cost you.

30 for initial insurance
100 for the cooling off period
54 for sending in your old one
and a new ilok

for a total of
224 bucks

if you have the insurance it still costs you
124 bucks

because their product failed

The cooling off period is a total scam just to grab desperate users 100.00
If your ilok breaks no matter what, you have to spend the 54 dollars sending them the defective key whether you want to see it again or not.

I hope all software companies in the future go to another company for their security needs. this one is a scam. I love EW and Audio Ease and the like but will think twice about buying future products from all companies which support this company's policies.

This in the end may mean more of you spend the 30 dollars on insurance before your ilok goes down, but this whole experience leaves a bad taste in my mouth dealing with ilok and Pace.

Remember though that your CCard gets billed automatically annually so it will just keep going.

Pedro Camacho

Senior Member
Some time ago, Rob Papen was thinking about getting his products Dongled. I STRONGLY suggested him to use syncrosoft and NEVER ever iLok. I am glad he took my advice.

I agree with you Craig, completely.


Never thought of it.... nasty...

I don't understand the meaning of the cooling off period? What is this for?

Anyway, I like Wallanders copy protection the best!
Craig Sharmat

Craig Sharmat

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well the idea obviously is if you waited till it broke what's the use of the 30 dollar insurance, so it is a thinly veiled way to force you to buy the initial insurance. This I kind of get. The kicker though is the 54 dollar charge for you to send in and get the key repaired whether you want to or not. This is probably illegal. If you don't send the key in you cannot have permanent licenses. they could from that standpoint charge anything they want but to not know you are buying into this until you see the bill is not fair.
Craig Sharmat

Craig Sharmat

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here is one more piece of good news

from ilok

You agree that the iLok nominated for RMA will not be used in the future.
Your iLok is either not covered by Zero Downtime or you declined to pay the expediency fee or no licenses on your iLok qualify, so you will not receive temporary licenses.
It may take up to two business weeks for us to process your RMA.
Once the RMA process has started, it is irreversible. This means that you must send your iLok to us, even if it starts working again.
We will automatically provide your contact information (including your name, account ID, and e-mail address), plus details regarding the replacement process to the software vendors associated with the lost licenses. This will be done regardless of your profile privacy settings.

In short I must pay 54 dollars to have it repaired and I cannot use it again. does that suck or what?


Senior Member
well. this is timely. I broke my I-lok (waves) a few weeks ago. I started the process and was confused so I gave it a rest. In the meantime. I dislocated my shoulder. It's relatively fine now as I have insurance. So- a broken shoulder seems easier to deal with than I-lok- I paid about $40 for medical co-pay fees. : )

It's a flawed piece of plastic from the get go. It stays in my usb slot yet still, I've broken several over the years.
Craig Sharmat

Craig Sharmat

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well the 54 dollar charge is apparently to recover your info, they then send you a complimentary ilock, something I don't need as I just paid 40 bucks for it.

Andreas Moisa

whatabaudio - sounds for film composers
Thanks again to Spectrasonics! They have the best CP Policy. I don't like dongles in a multi-computer setup. I never figured out why people who actually buy software have to hassle with copy protection at all. :?:
Can anyone from Spectrasonics tell me why there is no dongle, while every other company uses one? Is the damage from piracy not that big after all?

Just curious.


Hans Scheffler

Senior Member
I do use dongles but just because some software that i want to use demands it but i definetly prefer the way companies like Spectrasonics, Wallander and Garritan are dealing with it.
Much more customeroriented.


Senior Member
But...i only have a Syncrosoft dongle now, but i was under the impression that if you lost or broke the dongle or whatever, you loose the licence as well, forever?
isnt that what the people at steinberg and VSL is saying? I wasnt aware that you could have it replaced and get a new one without paying for the sofware licence again. So consequently, i try to be nice to my ..err, dongle.


Senior Member
Syncrosoft and iLok have different policies concerning lost or stolen dongles. With Syncrosoft there is no insurance but your own. They also don't have any zero "downtime" policy, so if your dongle breaks, you can't get another licence until you have sent the original back.

Having said that, a Syncrosoft dongle is much cheaper than iLok and takes up far less space in a hub.

The worst thing about PACE is that it acts like a virus and can cause problems with the OS, if you are unlucky. I've had it bring down my system before now. Luckily on my current system it seems to be OK, but I really don't like the idea of installing a virus in principle.


Christian Marcussen

Senior Member
As far as I'm concerned...any dongle protected library should work like this:

1. Your USB dongle stops functioning

2. You go and purchase a new one at your local store

3. You notify the license administrating company online that your old dongle is no longer functioning, they "authorize" your new dongle with a 30 day "trial" period

4. You ship the old faulty dongle to the license administrating company

5. Upon receipt of your old dongle (within 30 days), the license administrating company issues a new permanent authorization(s)

Cost to the user = a new USB dongle plus S & H and possible "nominal" license transfer fee.

Can someone please explain to me why in the 21st century, this is not possible?

I for one don't want to be bothered with such shit. I have enough concerens... as a customer I don't want to ind time to send off some broken dongle anywhere but the trash.

So that reason alone is enough for be to not use dongle software. Luckily AV has a C/R copyprotection as well.


I try my best to avoid any product that requires a dongle, be it iLok or Synchrosoft. The only product I would consider buying that requires a dongle is VSL, and I've found I can live without it.

I don't want anything plugged in my music PC's USB ports other than external drives. I don't even use USB controllers.


MIDI Mechanic

Can you elaborate on how it acts as a virus? I had a heckuva time getting my iLok to work the first time and I noticed some of this behavior but so far from the PACE folks I haven't been able to get an answer about what it actually does to your machine to make it so pervasive.




Senior Member
[quote:48ffb3fb61="Craig Sharmat @ Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:36 pm"]well the idea obviously is if you waited till it broke what's the use of the 30 dollar insurance, so it is a thinly veiled way to force you to buy the initial insurance. This I kind of get. The kicker though is the 54 dollar charge for you to send in and get the key repaired wò‹%†uH‹%†uI‹%†uJ‹%†uK‹%†uL‹%†uM‹%†uN‹%†uO‹%†uP‹%†uQ‹%†uR‹%†uS‹%†uT‹%†uU‹%†uV‹%†uW‹%†uX‹%†uY‹%†uZ‹%†u[‹%†u\‹%†u]‹%†u^‹%†u_‹%†u`‹%†ua‹%†ub‹%†uc‹%†ud‹%†ue‹%†uf‹%†ug‹%†uh‹&†ui‹&†uj‹&†uk‹&†ul‹&†um‹&†un‹&†uo‹&†up‹&†uq‹&†ur‹&†us‹&†ut‹&†uu‹&†uv‹&†uw‹&†ux‹&†uy‹&†uz‹&†u{‹&†u|‹&†u}‹&†u~‹&†u‹&†u€‹&†u‹&†u‚‹&†uƒ‹&†u„‹&†u…‹&†u†‹&†u‡‹&†uˆ‹'†u‰‹'†uŠ‹'†u‹‹'†uŒ‹'†u‹'†uŽ‹'†u‹'†u‹'†u‘‹'†u’‹'†u“‹'†u”‹'†u•‹'†u–‹'†u—‹'†u˜‹'†u™‹'†uš‹'†u›‹'†uœ‹'†u‹'†už‹'†uŸ‹'†u ‹'†u¡‹'†


Active Member
I agree with the general consensus here. The problem I have with USB keys and the concept of losing your license with the key, is that a software license is granted to the user of the software, not to the USB key that references it. I am not a lawyer, and could be missing some fine print in some companies' EULAs here, but for the most part this is, I believe, true.

For a 3rd party company (iLok) to charge you to get your license back is questionable at best, and as Craig pointed out, it could, or should be illegal. Licenses can easily be stored online and retrieved if necessary. The problem is iLok, Syncrosoft, etc want to have a way to guarantee the user isn't simply duplicating the license (hence the return) - but that doesn't cover loss, theft, fire, etc. At one time all you needed was a receipt... now to protect themselves protection companies are simply removing the ability of the customer to prove the purchase itself.

In addition, many insurance companies don't (or might not if you file a claim) understand the concept of the key being your license (since technically, it isn't). So they would likely only cover the cost of the key, or the loss of disks (you would have to ask yours, very specifically). Software and license companies however consider your key and disks irrelevant, and require you to buy a new license if you can't return the stolen or lost key, lol. This needs to be changed, and imho, it's up to iLok, Syncrosoft, etc to change it to work better for customers.

Of course this all works out quite well for software companies, as the only real way to insure your purchase is to buy a second for backup.

Nick Batzdorf

Syncrosoft kicks iLok a$$, always.

I'm not here to be an apologist for what Craig's encountered, because it's clearly not right. And as an aside, ass is not a naughty word anymore - not that there's really any such thing anymore.

But if you're talking about the actual product and not the company policies, I've been using PACE software (on Macs) since the days of disk-based installs, and I've never once had a problem. Syncrosoft is almost transparent, but I have had problems with their dongles and Steinberg software on Macs. In all fairness, though, this was a couple of years ago and I haven't had any problems since.

In all candor, the only thing that disturbs me is the $54 to repair the broken iLok you will never use again. I did not know that.

Not me. I've always found the whole idea of "zero downtime" insurance to be extremely cheeky at best (and the best case isn't what I really think :) ). It's simply not right to charge an extra fee for copy protection.

I actually like having all my things on iLok.

So do I.

If you already have a backup iLok ($40 app.) and you sign up for Zero Downtime, you are protecting when working under a tight deadline.

I have no problem with PACE selling spare iLoks for $40, but it's not right to charge protection fees for the privilege of transferring licenses onto them when another one breaks. Period. That's whether you step on your dongle (yuk yuk) or it fails on its own. If PACE needs more money to cover its overhead, they have to charge developers (who are their clients) more, and the costs will be have to be reflected in the price of the products.

And I'm totally down with copy protection - my opinions have nothing to do with that; this is solely about charging to get you back up and running right away. You'll notice that almost all developers are far more customer-oriented than that.

Frederick Russ

Founder Emeritus
My prediction is that the folks at Pace are slowly painting themselves into a corner and eventually the revolt from the market will steer $s away both from products relying upon their protection scheme as well as Pace itself. There is no reason to charge extra for copy protection - that's outrageous. I had no idea that if one of mine went out (I have 2), I'd have to pay them over $200 plus a 2-3 week down time for the restoration - completely unacceptable for composers on a schedule. They need to change their policies or will eventually find themselves out of a job.
Craig Sharmat

Craig Sharmat

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if you paid around 190 bucks you would be up and running if you had another ilok handy.

30 bucks insurance
100 bucks for the cooling off period
54 bucks to send your old one back
6 bucks shipping sending it back
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