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Phase One Capture One Pro 7 Licensing Scheme

This licensing flaw is an unacceptable user-unfriendly approach which is provably unnecessary: the existence proof being Adobe software.

I switched boot drives yesterday. After rebooting, PhaseONE 7 wants to reauthorize, failing to recognize that it is the same machine, same MAC address, same system ID, same memory, same everything hardware. Except the boot drive.

Since I still had the original boot drive, I wasted my time rebooting to that, deauthorizing, then booting back up on my current drive— no small use of my time, having to tear down all programs with their open files with work in progress. Also, that drive could have been erased, and the license would then have been lost.

The Phase one Capture One Pro 7 dialog with “Computer 1” and “Computer 2” (hello?) left me wondering which computer was which. I was forced to guess.

Phase One Capture One Pro 7 ambiguous licensing dialog

I can’t remember to deactivate every last piece of software with an incompetently designed licensing scheme when I switch boot drives (which I do a fair amount due to the nature of my business).

And clone backups of a boot drive are a good and mandatory practice, and those too are screwed if one boots off a backup. It is unreasonable to have to waste my time this way. It’s not just one program, it adds up to a significant 'hit' when multiple program take this approach. Adobe doesn’t foist this stupidity on my usage. All praise Adobe (for that at least).

For my work, this is a very significant strike against the software. Field recovery could mean one is left without functionality if there is a need to boot off a backup drive (demo mode might work, but I really don’t want to comtemplate relying on software in the field which is fond of deactivating on the licensed machine). Or one might simply have to run two versions of the OS for some reason. There are plenty of other reasons. The machine doesn’t change, the user doesn’t change, it’s one usage, it’s reasonable.

As always, one’s most significant vote is with one’s wallet.

Luc O writes:

Yes you are right to mention this issue which I view as an annoying DRM design not a flaw. Like you, I had the same problem recently except that the “old disk” could not be used as it was corrupted. I could deactivate the Capture One licence because I had a license for Media One. Obviously, users of hacked programs do not face this issue and only honest users have to bother.

For the least, Phase One should provide a log in to their web platform to manage the licenses ! Bitdefender does that and it is also a strict process for managing licences but it is convenient and quick.

DIGLLOYD: DRM is OK with me so long as it is clear and fail-safe and doesn’t inflict extra work. The Capture One Pro 7 scheme fails this test/

DxO Optics Pro licensing

I don’t yet know what DxO Optics Pro does in this situation, and I’m a little afraid to find out— in the past it has actually permanently destroyed the license (sent it to license heaven). I have submitted a support request asking this very question.

Eric W writes:

I see that you wonder what about the licences of DxO. In the past I have changed my old computer with a completeley new. I was send an email to DxO who immediately gave me one more licence. Same story a year later with my laptop. They give me one again. Just simple and friendly like that.

DIGLLOYD: The DxO web site has proven excruciatingly slow, and I have recently experienced up to 48 hour delays in getting a support response, with weekends dead entirely. Even a few hours delay is unacceptable when one has work to do, and what would I do up in the mountains (which I regularly visit) when I don’t have internet access? And the game becomes tiresome if one swaps boot drives fairly often, as I do. The point is, the whole approach is anti-user unnecessary nonsense. Adobe can do it right, so why not other vendors.

Here is the brilliant response I received form DxO in response to my query:

I don't think this will work because the activation is hardware based. If you change your system, you will be requested to enter your license code again.

Since when is “I” or “I don’t think” acceptable in response to a customer question? I want the facts, not speculation, this is why I wrote to support. And it’s a big “DUH!” to say it is hardware based. So is Adobe. It’s not a relevant response, the question is specific (whether booting off a clone of my boot drive will kill the license).

Later I got another response from 'Olivier':

Ok it won't work. This is a fact.

Pretty much what I thought would be the case this is too bad.


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