Arrrgh! Where is my dongle?

I just received an interesting E-mail from MI7, the Steinberg distributors.

Here’s what they are trying to tell me:

As from today we can no longer replace stolen or lost USB keys. This is due to a new policy from Steinberg. We ask everyone to have understanding about this.

Here are the guidlines we have got:

1. Customer has lost his USB Key:
Customer has to buy a new licence (i.e. product). Having this covered by an insureance he can get compensation from his insureance company.

2. Customers USB Key was stolen:
Customer has to buy a new licence (i.e. product). Having this covered by an insureance he can get compensation from his insurance company.

3. Customer has defective Steinberg Key within the sealed package:
MI-Seven have to replace Steinberg Key for the customer.

4. Customer has negligent damaged his Steinberg Key:
Customer has to buy an empty Steinberg Key. Activation codes can be replaced by MI-Seven, if we receive the damaged Steinberg Key and the Key number is readable or all registration data is available.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions please email us at
The MI7 Team.

Take note, many typos in the above text: ‘guidlines’, ‘licence’, ‘insureance’. I mean, my English is far from perfect, but those guys are funny too 🙂

For those of you who don’t know what a dongle is; a dongle is an USB-stick which is used as copy-protection for some software. It doesn’t have many fans because:

  • It causes serious trouble on some systems
  • With a laptop, those USB-sticks are sticking out, so there’s a danger of breaking them easily
  • You always forget to take them with you when you take your laptop somewhere
  • They are easy to steal, they are small
  • It simply doesn’t work. Some people who have bought the official version of Nuendo are using a cracked version because they had trouble with the dongle. This cracked version has the same bugs as the official release except for the dongle problems.
  • If you loose them, Steinberg says you need to buy a new license. And Steinberg software (for example Nuendo) ain’t cheap!

I need to say I am not a happy Steinberg customer. But this makes things even worse I guess. I would really prefer a program which runs without the need of a dongle. Propellerhead Reason, ReCycle, Ableton Live and even Steinberg’s Wavelab for example.

I think it’s time for some smart kids to re-engineer the program. Wouldn’t it be better if we all could use the official version without a dongle?

And how much will a dongle cost you? One dollar, two dollars maybe? Sure, a new license is a better deal for Steinberg, mo’ money. But man, I would really feel bad about it when I would loose my dongle. I would be pushed to pay again for another package. And what will I recieve? The same old package with the outdated version on the CD-rom I already have (and never got installed because it had 45 official reported bugs), an instruction manual you already had. So you’re only paying for a dongle and a new registration number? Steinberg, what were you thinking? Time for a donation button? Steinberg Open Source 🙂


I’m with you. you can’t even make a copy of the dongle in case you loose the original, since you can only transfer licenses from one dongle to another.

You’re completely right, and that’s why I will move over to Cakewalk Sonar after many years of Cubase. Sonar had a great evolution of the last years (which Cubase SX had not) and they have a different attitude towards their customers than Steinberg.

Pls see here:



Its good to see Steinburg are losing customers.
Their attitude to customers is appalling concerning lost security keys.
If they feel the need for an external USB device they should develop a soundcard a la Pro Tools M-box’s. It’d be worth the extra say £60.
The size and ease of loss of the dongle smacks of cynical profiteering + as this is obviously not suitable for mobile engineers and musicians this should be made clear in all adverts and packaging.
I tempted to sue on grounds of unnecesery stress.


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