Does anyone else run in the opposite direction when they see software instruments or effects protected by iLok? I know I'm doing without some great software by avoiding it (including the Waves line), but it just annoys the crap out of me that:

A) I have to buy a separate dongle for fifty bucks. The way I look at it, the software manufacturer should be giving away this dongle for free, since the copy protection benefits THEM and not me.

B) That we have to use a dongle at all. I've used dongles in the past and I hate them. Especially if I'm on a laptop. Forget to put your dongle in, leave it at home, or whatever and you're screwed. Plus you're losing much needed USB port (and I need them all). And I'm not a big fan of hubs.

C) The dongle doesn't protect anything. There are ways to get cracked versions of all of this software -- which, for ethical reasons I refuse to do -- but the point is, how is the iLok protection actually PROTECTING anything?

I'm only complaining about this because I just came back from a website that had some very nice looking plugs that I was considering purchasing, then I saw the "needs an iLok" dongle announcement, "a separate $49.95 purchase" and just got pissed off.

If I'm going to be spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to get your software, it seems to me it should be convenient to ME, not you.

Rant over. I guess I'll just go without.

Depending on the developer- some do actually include the iLok (I got my iLok with MOTU MX4...)

the iLok seems like much more of an inconvenience than it actually is... mostly you forget it's there...

with that said, if there is really software you want to use that is iLok protected, perhaps you could email the developer and tell them you do not have an iLok and do not wish to use it... maybe they will accommodate you...
the iLok seems like much more of an inconvenience than it actually is... mostly you forget it's there...
I've used dongles before. Nuendo. Magic Bullet. Etc. They're much more than an inconvenience, especially if you have a laptop. They take up space. They crash your computer. They cause other problems.

with that said, if there is really software you want to use that is iLok protected, perhaps you could email the developer and tell them you do not have an iLok and do not wish to use it... maybe they will accommodate you...
Somehow I don't think Waves will bow to my request, no matter how nice I am about it (then again, I could be wrong). Which is a shame, because I know their plugs are among the best.
I do use a Laptop and I have several packages of iLok authorized plug-ins and it's really no biggie.

One thing that helps is cable style hubs. basically a USB cable that has a few USB connectors on the end. Or a usb extension cable.

Also I've never had an issue with iLok that caused my computer to crash. If I launch an application that uses iLok protected plug-ins and I don't have my iLok, that can be a pain. Other than that, you really don't even think about it...

What Waves package are you looking for? Maybe I can arrange for a free iLok for you...
I appreciate the offer, but the point is not so much the price of the iLok, but the fact that I have to use a dongle at all. I've had enough dongles in my life, two of which are missing at this moment in time, thus rendering the software I ran with them useless.

I'll stick to dongle-less tools and just complain about it instead...
Well, I own so many things that, before Iloks and the other types of hardware copy protection, it would take between 2 and 3 days (if you could get all your codes back) just to do a fresh install. Now, it takes way less time, and with the ease of transferring things from ilok to ilok, it'a pretty easy to put or have whatever you need on the system used for that package.

I have 3 computers I use, a Mac, A pc and a laptop (well, 2 actually) and the only way I get things working the way I do is by having 4 iloks that can be moved from one system to the other...

And as a person who has written and developed training materials, I can say this with certainty: people will steal without conscience. Any thing that can be done to protect my intellectual property, within reason, I'll do.

Some people are honest, but there are almost as many that aren't and they are the people you should be angry with, not the guy who spent years learning how to program, and years and thousands of dollars to create something worthwhile, only to have it ripped off by some scumbag!

Your anger is aimed to the wrong people dude...
Very well put, George, couldn't agree with you more.

kind regards

Mark (4 iloks, 2 Steinberg Keys, 1 Wibu key and 2 XSKeys from way back then)
With all due respect, George, iLok and other copy protection schemes were created because there are a few dishonest people out there. There always will be and if they want to steal, they will steal. iLok protected software won't and doesn't stop them.

What this boils down to is that the teacher is punishing the entire class because a couple of the students got rowdy.

It has long been proven that copy protection just doesn't work. The music industry finally learned that lesson. And for software, the serial number/authorization technique seems to work just fine. Why force people to use another piece of hardware on something when it just doesn't work?

It makes no sense.

By the way, I come from this from the point of view of someone whose industry is facing the same problem -- stealing. Ebooks are now all the rage and they are regularly pirated, even though they're copy protected. It's a losing game. Why punish the honest readers with books that can't be transfered to other reading devices?
Well I don't use software that uses iLok, but it's a whole lot better than the days of emagic when you had to use the disk to reauthorize the software every several days AND a dongle that uses a serial port. I understand you, but it comes down to if you really need it or not.
Look, if it were only a few it wouldn't be such a big issue. As a person who both does tech support (and has for almost 20 years now) and is also the creator of intellectual property, I have to very strongly disagree.

If I has a dollar for every person I knew who I teched that used kracked or stolen with a serial number, I would have a few thousand extra dollars today. It is a pretty widespread and costly problem for ALL intellectual copy write holders today.

You can say what you want, and think what you want, but you ARE sadly misinformed. How many people do you know, and computers that you have personally been able to look at or through their software, and verify wether every plugin and app is legit? Not to brag, but I imagine it is maybe 10% of the ones I have... AND how many people own it all? Every app? Every song, every movie, every video or book, or....

The industry we belong to (if you are LUCKY enough to be able to actually MAKE a living today) is being destroyed by people who think that everything is overpriced, and therefor deserves to be "borrowed".

It's simple: a person makes a piece of software. they spent thousands of hours learning how to do that, and invested in software and hardware to do it. They discover that less than 30% of all the people who use their product actually paid for it. This IS a common story from developers. One of the great reasons to build hardware only.

A serial number can get out without too much trouble (Surfers Serials anyone), the only way one can often protect their software is some form of copy protection: ilok, E-license, CD verification with serial number, etc. And it IS a pain for end users, the people who are kind enough to actually pay for their software. I can also assure you that a developer would rather not have to use anything.

I have talked to these people at NAMM about these issues, as an author I have a unique perspective: they can be honest with me, they have nothing to loose, and only my retelling of their stories to gain.

If your job, your livelihood, was put at risk because every time you turned your back, some one came to your office and stole your companies money, what would you do... I mean really, THINK about it.

You have the right to buy what you want, I agree. But to be angry and vilify someone because they are only protecting their way of life from thieves, that is simply foolish. Please, just take a second and put yourself into their place... Heck, if you did, and more people did in general, maybe there would be no need for copy protection.

But that day is still to come.
I totally agree with you George. I would add that in my experience many people simply accrue software addictively like its a badge of honour. They often dont actually use it. I dont know how many times I have been working with someone and they have said, hey have you got such and such a plugin? take this copy I downloaded today...You look at their system and they have every plugin on the damn planet just sitting there hardly ever used.
Personally I have 4 compressors I use for pretty much everything. I know them really well and can get the sounds I want from them. Having 35 compressors is a total waste of time no matter how good they are. Many people however seem unable to resist the temptation of something for 'free'...