Ability to easily move licenses between systems (Dongle Licensing?)

Is there a plan to implement licensing via a dongle? This would be a massive help to us.

No plans to do this currently. You want this so you can move your license back and forth between machines easily?

Yes. We originally had licensed our NuCoda machine in our primary grading room- mostly so we could control the color of the dailies while we got to know the system. But obviously tying up that machine for the processing is not a great model. Now that it’s out of that room, situations do arise where we will process for a client to a finishing resolution and never see the footage again. Or a DP will come in and discuss looks and workflow before production. In those cases attaching the dongle to the NuCoda and working in the more technically accurate room would be nice. It would also give us more scheduling flexibility.

I’ll second that. For larger houses that have a bunch of machines this could really be handy.

Also, we may be changing our facility a bit and the workstations won’t have internet access. So we’ll have to do some extra work when new versions of Cortex come out.

I know that @junrot has asked for this as well in the past.

A little background from our point of view:

We used dongles in the past for Correct DRS. In fact this was the only method of licensing. At the time, software pricing was completely different and in addition to the dongle we also locked the license to the host. So it wasn’t a “feature” for the end user. Moving the dongle still required obtaining a new license file from us, which would then invalidate the license on the old system.

Another downside was that we had to source dongle hardware, ship dongles for software evaluations and demos, and replace dongles when they broke.

Dongle became a bad word here for some time.

Needless to say, it has been a breath of fresh air to get away from dongles in terms of how quickly we can fulfill an order or automate the process of getting users evaluation licenses.

That said, I understand the request is for a more friendly implementation where the dongle is the key to the software, so it can be moved around without our intervention. The software-only licensing would remain so that we wouldn’t always have to deliver dongles before someone could use the software.

If we do this, though, there is a greater liability for the dongle itself. If someone “loses” the dongle, what is the expected? Do they just have to buy another copy?

Aside from the initial implementation it also means more overhead on our part which has an ongoing cost. Is this something people are willing to pay for?

Within four walls, another possible implementation would be a license server which could allow licenses to float. But that’s not a great solution for those that are renting systems out to others.

If you have experience with other software vendors that handle things in a way you prefer, let us know more of the details with regards to how they handle some of the questions above.

I use a dongle with Avid - physically the same dongle for 12 years now. I don’t know what Avid charges if it breaks or is lost, but I do know Avid charges around $300 for it in the first place. And this is true of any permanent license they sell, you can opt for a dongle. I use this dongle to run Avid on the NuCoda for troubleshooting conforms, on the Cortex for building bins, and on my own standalone machine for when I need to edit.

Possibly another option would be to allow licensing of X number of system IDs, but allow us to purchase a usb hardware key that allows the operation of the software. This way it is not the dongle that is licensed, you could dictate the number of system IDs, and if it’s lost it’s not a license out in the world. I have no idea how any of this impacts your overhead, or even how possible this is, but I can say that even a 2 system flexibility would go along way.

I do realize that the request for the dongle does come from my own controlled facility environment. I’m not sending any of my systems out on the road.

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A thought concerning “What happens if the dongle is lost?”:

Obviously the end user should pay to get a replacement dongle. Then add some kind of dongle “blacklist” so the dongle that has been reported missing/stolen is no longer accepted on future versions of Cortex.

Like @runningman said - we used Avid dongles as well. There are two licensing models for Avid: node locked and dongle. Dongle costs extra, but can now “float” among workstations.

There are two sides to the dongle coin. On one side the added cost to the user and the work of code implementation. But on the other side a more versatile system.

We don’t rent any machines so I can’t comment much on that. But a license server might be just as good as dongles. We get to use whatever machine we need, but there’s nothing physical to lose or get stolen.

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I would support floating license- however in my experience floating solutions often are geared toward much larger facilities and often have a price tag that wouldn’t make sense for a couple of workstations. Even Avid’s floating license option starts at 20 seats I think.

There is one more thing I would add to this - and sorry for the excessive use of Avid for comparison - but even with their Software-Only licensing it’s possible to deactivate a system and then activate any system within a matter of minutes. You can only run that license on 1 machine, but they don’t limit you to which machine. If there is resistance for moving to Dongle licensing, maybe this could be an option.


I also work with software from Dolby & DTS that needs dongle protection. I feel much more flexible with the PACE dongle, because I can manage my licenses in the way I want & I can use it on the machine that have less load. PACE realizes the licensing service to the web, no need to worry about an extra license server.
It works for me like a charme.

A software at this price tag should always have the chance to float!

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Recently we were making some changes to PC hardware. (Adding/changing ethernet ports.) This caused Cortex to think it was a new machine and locked out the licensing. Thankfully @amy let us clear the activation and we were quickly up and running again.

But if we had dongles it wouldn’t be an issue.

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