I understand that music software is among the most pirated software there is (second perhaps to Windows). There are bodies like Team ASSiGN working diligently to crack everything that comes out with striking efficiency. The motivation to apply increasingly strong forms of DRM is clear. However, both a constant Internet connection and a dongle have disadvantages that I find crippling, and for that reason I am simply not going to buy Reason 6, no matter how polished I keep hearing it is.
Apart from my main production studio at home, I also have a laptop and a pair of travel headphones. I love to jot down ideas on the bus, on the plane, and without this capability I would lose a significant portion of my creative capital. I have no trouble doing this with Reason 5. But now suppose I had Reason 6.
Suppose I forgot my dongle. If I have 3G, I have to put up with Reason 6 freezing every so often due to my unreliable connection. If I don't have 3G, I simply can't produce.
Suppose I brought my dongle. I now have a chunk of aluminum sticking out the side of my laptop, brushing against the armrest or the person beside me, weakening the contact in my USB port and making me an awkward neighbor. The USB port eventually deteriorates to the point of unusability (which happened to my Dell Inspiron in 2007 due to my pen drive before Dells sucked).
Now suppose I'm at home in my production studio and my unreliable Canadian Internet goes out. I'm running Logic, Protools, Cubase, Reason 6, all of which have to use a dongle. Now I have to manage a lot of dongles. OK, that's not that big a problem because I can just buy a USB hub, but you can see how this problem is going to scale when more and more companies start using this method of DRM. Then suppose I lose the Dongle because I'm continually bringing it on the bus and the plane in order to produce there and I happen to misplace it one day. Well, now I'm screwed.
And so, I, a paying customer who loves and supports the software, am being punished with all sorts of inconvenience because someone else is behaving immorally. I wish Propellerheads was publicly traded so I could see if this DRM is actually causing an increase in profit. If it is, then one can't but draw the conclusion that there is in fact a significant number of producers with a moral compass so terrible that they choose to pirate Reason, simply because they can, despite having the money to buy it, and they don't buy it even after they learn that they enjoy it and wish for the development of new versions of it to continue. I hope, perhaps naively, that this isn't the case.
Now, this is the feature suggestion forum, so it would only be fair to actually suggest an alternative to the dongle and/or constant connection DRM paradigm. So, let's suppose that there is proof that some form of piracy control is necessary for the comfortable continuation of Propellerheads, and see if we can find a better form than currently exists.
Does anyone here use Steam? The digital video game distribution service? What they have is a form of DRM similar to the always-online that comes with Reason 6. However, there is one important difference that makes me find Steam DRM tolerable, and Reason 6 DRM intolerable. Steam has an offline mode that allows you to play your games for a few days without signing in. No, my games don't freeze the moment I lose my internet connection. They go on running for a few days. Given the enormous success of Steam, this DRM paradigm must be somewhat effective. Can we make it happen for Reason?
(FAQ about Steam offline mode)