28 Replies Latest reply on Feb 16, 2012 10:58 AM by Magnus Allgurén

    Surcode reactivation

    Richard M Knight Adobe Community Professional & MVP

      I have had the Surcode plugin for dolby 5.1 for many years now and when I do a clean Windows and Premiere install I just send them the new computer code and they send me a new activation code. I have just done this and they have sent me the new code but it came with a note saying I have had all my activations and I will have to pay for a new licence if I want any more. Has anybody else had this? Will I be stuck when I upgrade to CS6

       

      Richard Knight

        • 1. Re: Surcode reactivation
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Richard,

           

          I haven't experienced it myself, but it seems reasonable that with a good explanation of why your machine code changed, they will reset the activation counter if you ask them. It is not unreasonable if one upgrades to a new system, if the OS disk fails or similar situations that the machine code changes and it does appear logical that they reset the activation counter in those circumstances. Maybe a phonecall will help.

          • 2. Re: Surcode reactivation
            Richard M Knight Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            This is the email I have just had from Surcode when asked about a re-install when CS6 comes along:

             

            Hello Mr. Knight,

            Yes, sorry. You would have to purchase a new license as you have reached your 3 activation limit.

             

            So it seems I will have to spend $300 ish to use software I have already paid for.

             

            If anybody from Adobe is watching perhaps they would like to comment.

             

            Richard Knight

            • 3. Re: Surcode reactivation
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Richard,

               

              Suppose the following situation:

               

              • I buy the Minnetonka plug-in and activate it.
              • My boot disk fails, new machine code after re-install. New activation.
              • I upgrade my PC and need to reactivate with a new machine code, OK
              • My boot disk fails, new machine code after re-install and now I'm f***ed???

               

              This is crazy. You have the license to use the plug-in and can't be held responsible for the number of failed disks, for instance.

               

              If this is Minnetonka official policy, this better be a warning you carefully consider if 5.1 audio is worth the price. If this is the stance of Minnetonka, then you have to seriously consider whether the license price is worth it. You don't have any influence on disk failures and for the misery of those disk failures and the cost and time, Minnetonka penalizes you with a new licence?

               

              Come on, Minnetonka, this is not real.

              • 4. Re: Surcode reactivation
                Richard M Knight Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                I do three major projects a year and I reformat the c: drive and reinstall Windows and cs5.5 before each. Up to now I have just emailed Minnetonka, explained what I have done and they send me a new code. I must have done this about a dozen times. It was this last time when I got the message saying I am on my last reinstall. This three strikes and your out seems to co-inside with their new activation codes, before CS5 it was just a string of numbers and letters now it is made up of 4 letter words.

                I did enquire if it was possible to de-activate and then re-activate after the reinstall but was told this was impossible as the plug-in was part of Premiere.

                 

                Richard Knight

                • 5. Re: Surcode reactivation
                  Richard M Knight Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I have just had this email from Minnetonka:

                   

                  Hello Mr. Knight,

                  What has changed is we are enforcing the policy whereas, in the past, some employees were lax about enforcement.

                  Best regards,

                  Oliver Masciarotte

                   

                  Richard Knight

                  • 6. Re: Surcode reactivation
                    Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    This activation policy does it get mentioned in the e.g. user manual or website, cause i could not find anything about it.

                    • 8. Re: Surcode reactivation
                      Richard M Knight Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      I put the question to Minnetonka of when the program needed reinstalling and this is the reply:

                       

                      Hello Mr. Knight,

                      Whenever the copy protection "decides" that something significant has changed, which is usually changes to the OS or hardware. New or re-installs of Premier will also trigger a re-activation cycle.

                      Best regards,

                      Oliver Masciarotte

                       

                      So you should never reinstall Premiere!!!  Thst's half the solutions on this forum out the window then.

                       

                      Richard Knight

                      • 9. Re: Surcode reactivation
                        Magnus Allgurén Level 2

                        I just emailed the following to Minnetonka, let's see what they say!

                         

                        Hello,

                        I bought a license for SurCode Encoder for Adobe Premiere Pro (PC) mid december of 2011. I have recently been informed that this software can only be installed a total of three times, even though I bought the license. As a customer I find this outrageous and a flaw in your "security" system. If the registration system is not working properly I think you need to be able to trust your clients until such system has been updated to work properly. See, I have to re-install Adobe Premiere about twice a year, since I am keeping my hardware up to date and have to re-install Windows etc with it. By keeping my system up to date, I will very soon run out of "registrations" with Minnetonka. Is it then reasonable for me having to pay $295 every 12-18 months? Even though I have properly paid for the license previously?

                         

                        Looking forward to a reasonable and fair explanation for the customer.

                         

                        Best regards,

                        Magnus Allgurén

                        • 10. Re: Surcode reactivation
                          Richard M Knight Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          I have also sent this thread to Adobe and Dolby to see what they have to say.

                           

                          Richard Knight

                          • 11. Re: Surcode reactivation
                            Magnus Allgurén Level 2

                            This is the response from Mr. Masciarotte:

                             

                            Hello again Mr. Allgurén,

                             

                             

                             

                            Your license does not mention and is not linked to the activation process. You have purchased a license for the serial number issued to you. As to activation, we have a simple policy that is not limited by time or product software version. You can read it here:

                             

                             

                             

                            http://minnetonkaaudio.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=173&Itemid=130

                             

                             

                            I don't understand what you mean by "If the registration system is not working properly," as our activations does function as designed. We expect the inevitable hardware failure, for which the 3 activations are provided. That said, it is your decision to overhaul your host regularly, which would cause you to require frequent re-activation.

                             

                            My thoughts on routine maintenance...Because of fundamental shortcomings of older versions of the Windows operating system, it may have in the past been necessary to occasionally start from a clean install. However, Windows XP brought us a long way toward long term stability, and Windows 7 has reached a degree of maturity such that it no longer requires such drastic measures as yearly or bi-annual clean installs. We have had Win7 installs running for over 2 years now, without any major changes to the configuration, and that's without anti-malware installed. With the availability of free anti-malware suites, like Avast! and Panda, along with secure browsers like Firefox and RAID6 storage, there should be no reason to have to resort to such drastic measures so often.

                             

                            Best regards,

                             

                            Oliver Masciarotte

                            • 12. Re: Surcode reactivation
                              Jim_Simon Level 8

                              So...basically it's a "screw you" response.

                              • 13. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                lasvideo Level 4

                                Is Surcode the only way to get a Dolby 5.1 mix out of PrP? That would be very unfortunate given this draconian policy.

                                • 14. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                  Magnus Allgurén Level 2

                                  That's what it seems like. I will work hard to make more people aware of this policy and look for alternatives, like maybe MainConcept or others. Initially they may be more expensive, but will be cheaper in the long run! MainConcept Dolby Digital Pro is $330, but requires at least MainConcept Codec Suite Professional $470 to be installed, compared to SurCode's $295. So MC's $800 you'd need to have to start your 3rd round of licensing with SurCode, but eventually I guess the extra cost would save you money. If 5.1 is at all really needed...

                                  • 15. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                    lasvideo Level 4

                                    Wow, there is an alternative. Is their policy a bit less brutal than Minnetonka's?

                                    • 16. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                      Richard M Knight Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      I'm also looking at Sony Vegas as this includes a Dolby Digital encoder, about £475.

                                       

                                      Who knows perhaps CS6 will include its own encoder. (I'm not holding my breath)

                                       

                                      Richard Knight

                                      • 17. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                        Jim_Simon Level 8

                                        There's Dolby's own software for $595.  It's not a plug-in, though.

                                         

                                        http://www.dolby.com/us/en/professional/software/pro-audio/dolby-media-encoder-se.html

                                        • 18. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                          lasvideo Level 4

                                          So Jim, how would that help us when trying to export a Dolby 5.1 mix from PrP or Audition?

                                          • 19. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                            Jim_Simon Level 8

                                            Well, you'd probably have to do things the same way the "pros" do.  Either by exporting out individual audio files, or I think I saw something about XML import into the encoder.

                                             

                                            It's not a perfect alternative.

                                            • 20. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                              lasvideo Level 4

                                              It seems Main Concept is the viable way to go for Adobe users.

                                              • 21. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                                Shadreck Rukweza Level 2

                                                I would like to thank you guys for letting us know about this because I was planning to purchase my licence very soon. With this policy in place I don't see myself investing in this software because I am also one person who reinstall windows and CS5 about 2 to 3 times a year.

                                                • 22. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                                  Magnus Allgurén Level 2

                                                  I am not 100% sure about MC's policy, but think it's based on regular serial number? Can anyone who has it confirm?

                                                  • 23. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                                    Magnus Allgurén Level 2

                                                    Please don't hesitate to pass it on!

                                                    • 24. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                                      Magnus Allgurén Level 2

                                                      Richard, this is the line of discussion I've had with Mr. Masciarotte. It may be too late in your case, but you might be able to sway him over.

                                                       

                                                      From: Magnus Allgurén

                                                      To: Oliver Masciarotte

                                                      Cc:

                                                      Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2012 21:56:08 -0500

                                                      Subject: Re: SurCode for Dolby Digital 5.1 Encoder for Premier Pro Inquiry

                                                       

                                                      Dear Oliver,

                                                       

                                                      I am just not fond of the business concept of "renting" software, as opposed to buying it. With this I mean, buying it you own your copy and can reinstall/activate however many times you need to without having to break the end user agreement. Some people may be very unfortunate with their installations, hardware or storage media, thus having to reinstall. Since your customers are capped at 3 installations/activations I would call that "renting" the software. Would it not be possible to deactivate the license if reinstall would be needed? There must be ways to monitor whether more than one "copy" is running, thus preventing using the license on multiple installations? Why the need to assume your client is breaking the agreement, when in fact just upgrading the system, such as the cpu or the motherboard. Those installations are not covered by Windows 7's excellent backup and requires reinstall. Even software companies such as Adobe, Microsoft or other Premiere Pro plugin companies such as Red Giant/Trapcode, Video CoPilot, ReVision FX or DigiEffects all allow you to use your license multiple times as long as it only be used on one system.


                                                      I still cannot understand what the philosophy would be behind the 3 time cap? More than to prevent piracy of course, but to a huge cost to us who are honest users!


                                                      Sincerely,

                                                      Magnus Allgurén

                                                       

                                                      ------------------

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Hello again Mr. Allgurén,

                                                      Unfortunately, no, it is not possible to deactivate an existing license for the challenge/response, file-based type of license used in Premier Pro. The licensing subsystem is also not able to monitor how many instances are running simultaneously.

                                                      Our re-activation policy is in place to discourage abuse. We have many thousands of users around the world who expect and receive a professional level of support, and customers that requires re-activation due to catastrophic failure or scheduled maintenance are taken care of as a exception.

                                                      Best regards,

                                                      Oliver Masciarotte

                                                       

                                                      --------------------------------

                                                       

                                                      From: Magnus Allgurén

                                                      To: Oliver Masciarotte

                                                      Cc:

                                                      Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2012 17:40:36 -0500

                                                      Subject: Re: re[2]: SurCode for Dolby Digital 5.1 Encoder for Premier Pro Inquiry

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Thank you for your response, Oliver!

                                                       

                                                      So do I understand correctly that if worse comes to worst, given a reasonable explanation, one could still keep the license even though having been used 3 times?


                                                      Best Regards,

                                                      Magnus Allgurén

                                                       


                                                      --------------------

                                                      Hello Mr. Allgurén,

                                                      Yes, if a catastrophic failure occurs, we can accommodate a re-activation request. If you were planning scheduled maintenance, you would sensibly de-activate your installation of Premier. Since we cannot de-activate the SurCode Encoder as you can with Premier, simply send us an e-mail and let us know you are planning an overhaul.Then, after performing scheduled maintenance, fill out our registration form, including your original serial number and the new System Code, and we'll get you going again as quickly as possible.

                                                       

                                                      Best regards,
                                                      Oliver Masciarotte

                                                      • 25. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                        Magnus,

                                                         

                                                        This is good to hear and actually confirms my post #1.

                                                        • 26. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                                          Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                          That is good to hear there is some provision for flexibility, but given other statements, "catastrophic" is too narrow. Upgrading a machine or reinstalling Premiere do not appear to be in their definition of exceptions for exceeding the 3 activations in the life of a license.

                                                          • 27. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                                            Richard M Knight Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                            The stand alone Dolby software looks good but it seems it is only for a Mac.

                                                             

                                                            Who's going to be the first of us to contact Surcode when we upgrade to CS6? Perhaps someone with some lives left would volunteer,,,

                                                             

                                                            Richard KNight

                                                            • 28. Re: Surcode reactivation
                                                              Magnus Allgurén Level 2

                                                              I will reactivate after upgrading to CS6, although I have one activations left so should not be a problem until I will be rebuilding my system at the end of the year. What I will do then is to also attach Mr. Masciarotte's quote to my re-activation request.