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Old May 27th, 2011, 11:58 PM   #1
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List of Cineform Licensing issues

Hi! This thread is for people who have had licensing issues with Cineform. I have had a long saga as I change and tweak my systems a lot.

1. Re-enter Activation with each upgrade. This is just really annoying as I am unaware of any software that forces you to do so. Imagine Apple or Microsoft forcing you to enter the license each time you apply an update.

2. Changing challenge codes. Turns out that the challenge code for CF products changes with a hardware change to the system. However, the challenge code stays the same in the CF window until the next time you apply a patch. And voila! You are now locked out, and CF thinks you are misusing their software.

I am actually musing getting rid of CF altogether and just going with ProRes.

Could some of you post your experiences as well ?

Its worse for me as I am in Australia, and I am sleeping during CF work hours.
So it takes a few days to get my system fixed up.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 01:08 AM   #2
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Re: List of Cineform Licensing issues

I agree. About two years ago I suffered a series of hard drive crashes. Re-installing and licensing Neo Scene was a horrible experience. About a year ago I bought a new computer. Same licensing problems. About three months ago my Neo Scene sound messed up. No matter what I do I get a files with garbled distorted sound. Re-installed Neo Scene three times, and re-installed codecs like Ac3. I am now using Mpeg Streamclip and Pazera.

Neo Scene just wore me out.

Sorry....
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Old May 30th, 2011, 06:33 AM   #3
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Re: List of Cineform Licensing issues

Just about the reactivation thing - I had to de/re-activate when I UPGRADED from NeoScene to NeoHD, but I've never had to reactivate when UPDATING to new versions of NeoHD and now Neo. I do uninstall each time and empty the 'Program Files (x86)/Cineform' folder (I'm on Windows 7) for a clean(ish) install but this does not alter the activation.

If you have just been deactivating as a matter of course on updates, try just uninstalling next time.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 06:59 AM   #4
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Re: List of Cineform Licensing issues

Thats worth trying.
But the issues I was hit with, during the weekend were related to hardware changes. If you change your CPU, or maybe your NIC, or something else, cineform will carry on with the old setup.

One day you will try to upgrade, and voila - your challenge code has changed.

And what happens during a system crash and reinstall ? The Cineform licensing model is just really messed up.

Instead of tying it to a system code, they could easily tie it to a MAC address. Now you can buy a USB Ethernet or wireless dongle. Voila! You have a movable license tied to your license key.

Its really not that hard to do!
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Old May 30th, 2011, 12:29 PM   #5
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Re: List of Cineform Licensing issues

These types of licensing are surprisingly rare, not to say there aren't many factors that can and will be improved (like the email based activation lost to spam filters.) In the meantime an email to support at cineform.com will get you solved quickly.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 01:21 AM   #6
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Re: List of Cineform Licensing issues

Hi David. I would disagree with that "rare" comment.
If I reinstall OSX or FCP in the event of a system crash, or even upgrade hardware, the OS and FCP work. As do all the software in the system.

The CF model of licensing with very strict hardware requirements (due to the System ID or Challenge Code) is the one thats the issue. I would argue that this licensing model is rare. It restricts the user in a huge way.

Also, what happens when something occurs in a different time zone ? Or as it happened with me just before the holiday on Saturday.

I originally thought I would edit on both Windows and Mac. And a few years ago, CF was the only option for cross-platform editing.

If I had to start all over, I would not tie myself to CF. I'm sorry, but with all the advantages that CF advertises, its pointless if the darn software just does not work if there is a hardware change or a reinstall.

Unfortunately, 2/3rd of my film is already edited, so I will finish this project. After this, its a FCP and ProRes only workflow for me.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 03:42 AM   #7
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Re: List of Cineform Licensing issues

Just curious, is the hardware fingerprint tied to motherboard or CPU (or both)? Because if it's just motherboard (which I believe it is) then I dont understand how or why you are having so much difficulty.

I just recently swapped out my quad core i7 920 chip to an i7 990x hexa-core chip and switched my graphics card from a GTX260 to a GTX 570 and haven't had any issues with Cineform or Adobe. This isn't that much different than Microsoft with Windows 7 which only detects motherboard changes. I dont know how this goes with Macs however. So are you changing the whole computer setup that often? Especially in the middle of a project? I mean I thought it was best to stick with what works in your workflow (not updating or getting new gear) until after critical projects are finished.

Likewise I've never had problems deactivating license from one system to another when I did have to transfer. Personally I dont like the idea of a physical dongle cuz such a device could be lost. And MAC addresses can be spoofed leading to unathorized license cracks and preventing that is the point of licensing in the first place. Just my 2 cents....
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Old May 31st, 2011, 04:46 PM   #8
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Re: List of Cineform Licensing issues

Anmol,

Oh, Mac is a little different, the licensing is getting better, but it was more finicky several month back. Today version can encode to HD 4:2:2 with an expired license from FCP, getting ore friendly (you couldn't do that months ago.) Generally if you have to do a fresh install you get 15-days on a fully featured trial, so licensing issues can be solved in that time. We use MAC Address and CPU IDs, and a boot drive ID. If you change boot drives, just to a clean Neo install for 15-days flexible before you get a new license key.

James,

On the PC fingerprint is tied to BIOS, CPU IDs, MAC Address, drive and RAM goemetries, and you can any four at once so it is pretty flexible. I never had a licensing issue once activated through a system change.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 07:22 AM   #9
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Re: List of Cineform Licensing issues

Hi David. Regarding the 15-day trial, I shelled out for NeoHD with the promise of RT in FCP.

I did have the trial installed, but the stutter during editing made me stop and just take a break.

Usually this is a quick fix, this time it fell into the long holiday. And hence I had about a week with no work time.

And some other things happened.

Anyway, there is nothing you can do from your end.
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