FabFilter User Forum

Have you considered an optional possibility of iLok license?

Hi, as I freelance many times I need my plugins on different computers. For this, the best would be if all my plugs would have iLok license. Have Fabfilter ever considered to make this option available for us users?

Tamas Dragon — Oct 5, 2014

Respectfully, I understand why this would be convenient for some people, but I just want to say that I do everything I can to avoid software with DRM attached, and I do pay for all of my software.

I own most of the Fabfilter plug-ins (though I still need to demo Pro-MB, Pro-G, and Pro-DS for consideration). It's not just the innovative GUIs, the great DSP, or the many features that their plug-ins have that make me want to purchase Fabfilter's work. It's also the lack of DRM and hoops to jump through. No activation/authentication server. No dongle. No problems.

If it can be made to work alongside the current serial number-only activation, then that's great. I just wouldn't want to see iLok implementation cause the software to require activation (or an iLok) in order to work.

Northland — Oct 5, 2014

I absolutely understand your concerns about the DRM thing. Though I would like to see this as a possibility, not a must-do thing. Like if I want to use the iLok dongle, I can authorise it that way, if you want the original method, use that.

In many commercial places it is a major hurdle to install and authorize/deauthorize every time.

Tamas Dragon — Oct 5, 2014

I don't understand. As far as I'm aware it's already both possible and easy to use FF plugs on multiple computers. I certainly have mine on my laptop and desktop.

If you're at someone else's system who doesn't own them, you'd still need to install them and it's really not too tricky to then also authorize them.

Sander — Oct 5, 2014

A few (more) thoughts from a fellow FF user:

Do the demos not work well for your circumstances, Tamas? In other words, are you working at locations or studios for more than 30 days?

I worked tech support and customer service at a large multimedia software company in the early part of the last decade. I'm guessing you've used software they've produced, particularly if you're on Windows. Six moths before I joined on, they began switching from serial numbers to a challenge-response system. For the two years I worked there, I'd guess that over half of our calls and support cases concerned activation issues. In my experience, that was where the most red-hot user anger came from.

As a user, I'm anti-DRM because it only serves to punish legitimate users (pirates will find a way, unfortunately). iLok'd plug-ins could create unforeseen headaches for users who wouldn't even use a dongle or gain anything from an additional scheme.

Implementing new specs for activation or copy protection also has the potential to suck coding and support time from the developer. FF can turn out great plug-ins at a high rate. I'd hate to see that slow down because they had to rework everything to add and support another software company's DRM spec. Since I don't code, I'm not sure how practical it is to support a product that is both iLokable and easy to activate via a serial number.

If I did need license portability, I'd rather have my favorite plug-in(s) be able to scan for licenses in a folder on a standard FAT32-formatted thumb drive. That would at least get away from a third-party activation scheme. But maybe iLok is easier to deal with than I imagine, though I've read many posts that said otherwise.

Understand that I don't think what you'd like to see (easier activation at other studios) is unreasonable in and of itself, Tamas. I just hope FF doesn't go down any road like that with their plug-ins.

Northland — Oct 6, 2014

I religiously avoid iLok. I'm not sure I could convince myself to get one if FF started requiring it. I do have a regular USB thumbdrive with my Waves stuff on it.

But I again, I really don't understand the issue. It's super easy to authorize FF plugs.

Sander — Oct 6, 2014

Hi guys,

We're not really fond of the iLok system, and the hassle that comes with it on the developers and customers side. However, we do understand that it might be desirable to be able to store your licenses on a USB stick, especially for people that work in different studios a lot... so we're thinking about a solution for this!

Floris (FabFilter) — Oct 6, 2014

Thank you Floris.

I absolutely understand every concern by the user side, though I have to admit that over the years I have had zero authorisation issues with iLok.

The demo thing can also work, good idea.
Usb stick authorisation would be great, a good thing and we wouldn't need an iLok for that.

Tamas Dragon — Oct 6, 2014

I have a few ilok licensed plugins. Activation was hassle free, but I would never do it if those plugins needed a dongle. If you lose the dongle you are screwed most of the times and have to re purchase the licenses again because you deal with the iLok company and not the company of the plugin itself.

Ryan — Oct 6, 2014

If FF makes iLok an option - fine with me. If iLok becomes a requirement in the future FF will have lost its first customer...

Teemeister — Oct 8, 2014

Going by Floris's post above, it sounds like we have nothing to worry about, Teemeister.

Thanks, Floris!

Northland — Oct 9, 2014

You can already install and authorize on multiple computers. The only thing the iLok would help with is not having to enter your license and not having to click "deauthorize" after finishing a mixing session at someone else's place. Or you could use the demo.

Sander — Oct 10, 2014

Also Floris, Mike Hendriks says hi??

Sander — Oct 10, 2014

Just want to bump this for 2018 and see if a solution is in the works.

I freelance in many different studios and it would be super nice to have all of my licenses on dongles. I used to LOATHE iLok and any other dongle solution, but as I started working in multiple studios, it's become a need.

Myles — Jun 13, 2018

I don't think people appreciate that, no matter what, iLok (or a similar scheme) will impact the devs in regard to extra time and effort needed for coding, QA, and support. Please, just no. If a significant part of the user base does need this functionality, I hope it can be done without a scheme that adds complexity and the possibility for end-user trouble and tech support tickets.

Northland — Jun 22, 2018

I'm not a fan of iLok but I have it and use it because I'm forced to. In my opinion, Waves' new USB stick auth feature is a slightly better option by comparison because I don't need invasive software and persistent background tasks installed to authenticate it.

Practically speaking, I prefer neither. It's easier for me to copy and paste the contents of a text file via intranet email than to insert a USB stick, and I'd rather not have to worry about losing my licenses in case of theft or a hardware failure.

I love FabFilter plug-ins as they give an impression of quality in all respects. I'm convinced this software will outlast me and its developers because it doesn't require elaborate infrastructure to function normally - any installation of the ubiquitous Windows can do the job as long as you have a text copy of your license saved somewhere. Meanwhile, iLok is non-functional if you don't want Apple's notorious Bonjour installed (or Apple decides to stop supporting future Windows installations), and both all flash memory sticks can fail or be stolen with catastrophic consequences for the studio.

Thank you, FabFilter & co. for being pragmatic. It's clear Tamas doesn't truly understand what they're requesting.

TD — Jul 16, 2018

Perhas a more elegant solution to this is what GoodHertz do, you have a login to plugins, so if you're workign reomotely, you can just log out of the plugins when you leave. So they remain installed.

Nate — Jul 10, 2019

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