Author Topic: Named user license with activation???!!!  (Read 9063 times)


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Named user license with activation???!!!
« on: April 22, 2008, 01:13:51 pm »
Looking through all discussions of 2008 beta testing license problems I understood that a named user license will not need activation. Quite satisfied I upgraded my Windows/Linux bundle to v13. After installing Windows version I see some suspicious activation dialogs. So installing on Linux box I disconnected from network, and what I see: failure to activate, blah-blah-blah... visit for support. What is most funny, even after connecting to network, Linux activation failed!

So my question is: who is behind this ripoff and how can I get my money back?

ScottW, VP of Dev

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Re: Named user license with activation???!!!
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2008, 06:47:25 pm »
Activation is not required. It is an option for those who find it convenient. You can download a portable license file from your registered products page on the SlickEdit website. See this page for complete details:


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Re: Named user license with activation???!!!
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2008, 08:50:29 am »
Sorry for the outbrake, it was such a chock. I've calmed down now and see the options. It would never happened if a license file for a single named user was a default option (I waited whole day to be able to download this file...)


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Re: Named user license with activation???!!!
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2008, 10:33:07 am »
It such a mess though... I tried to deactivate license on my computer, but still SE2008 runs happily without complaining about license. And where can I find a count of computers I activated license for? No clue anywhere... If I try to deactivate it again it says 'Cannot find serial # in trusted storage'. Where is this 'trusted storage' I wonder? Not sector 0 of my hard drive I hope? Why some 'trusted storage' with DRM stuff was created without my consent at all? How I hate it... You should warn with a large letters at your home page that your software is DRM protected. I would never even considered buying it...


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Re: Named user license with activation???!!!
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2008, 08:31:22 pm »

Let me also to clarify a bit. If it was as you say I would never complain. I bought upgrade without media and got a download link and a license key. After I installed software it asked for license key. I have had no license file until 24 hours later, so I provided my license key. After that _without_any_questions_if_I_want_DRM_activation_ it created somewhere a 'trusted storage' and activated my license with DRM stuff. I still had no license file, so I deactivated my DRM license, but SE _continued_ to run happily (and runs still without any license file), and if I try to deactivate _again_ it complains about the absence of trusted storage. Is it not a mess? It _created_ trusted storage in the first place without asking me (since first deactivation was successful) and there is _no_way_ to say how many activations I still have (although I am not going to use any as my installation runs now happily without activation _or_ license file...) But the question remains: _where_ was this 'trusted storage'? Do I have a guarantee that my system is not compromised now with this unasked for DRM activation? I would _never_ allow _any_ DRM stuff on my PC willingly...


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Re: Named user license with activation???!!!
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2008, 01:21:02 pm »

You are correct. I was mistaken. To a point. Yes, they perform checks (that I believe to be reasonalbe) to ensure their product is legitimate and not stolen. The activation method does check the internet for validity and ensures that your serial number & activation key are valid. I do not know how & where this information is stored. 

File-based licensing uses a license file to store the same information.

In neither case, however, does the software "phone home" once it is installed.

You should probably contact support directly for help uninstalling the license that you do not like. 

DRM (Digital Restriction Management  ;)) is all about stopping you from using your software via some hidden process that runs in the background. Microsoft, the recording industry and the movie studios are notorious for this.  There are other companies that do this.

Slickedit doesn't do that. They do check for a valid activation and runs when it is found. If it doesn't find it, it doesn't run. But the license file is valid.

There are, IMO, four ways to look at this
1. Slickedit has every right to do whatever they want with their software.
2. Slickedit can limit their license to a number of machines, instances, whatever.
3. Slickedit has a right to make some check to ensure that their software was probably paid for, but no right to deactivate the software at a later time.
4. Slickedit has no right to do anything. They should let their software install with no checks whatsoever.

I'll stick with number 3.  #1 has never been their intent.  #2 was tried with the initial release of 2008 for named users, but was rescinded. It's still used (in a slightly different way) for their concurrent user license. #4 would involve giving their software away. They'd be out of business and I wouldn't want that. They have every right to protect their investment, and (with a lot of feedback from us) have come to a reasonable compromise that ensures their continued existence (important to me!) without being draconian in their license management.


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Re: Named user license with activation???!!!
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2008, 06:27:00 pm »
Azavor, and any others interested:
A couple more clarifications on top of what jimlangrunner has already provided.

1) When you install SlickEdit, it installs a FLEX license service. This is not trusted storage, but it has the ability to create and read trusted storage.

2) Trusted storage is created as soon as you activate a license on your machine. This is why the very first activation of a license key on a machine takes twice as long as subsequent activations. The first part of the "conversation" with the license server creates the trusted storage area, and then it places the license rights in there. If you never activate a license, no storage is created. (And yes, we took out the track 0 stuff.)

3) If you already have trusted storage, you can use the vsact list command to view the contents. If you want to get rid of the licenses use vsact deactivateor the vsact delete command. Deactivate "re-credits" an activation to our license server after removing it from the machine. This is in place so you can move licenses around if you have a machine you know you are going to reformat or just no longer use SlickEdit on. If you're going 100% license file, the the "re-credit" isn't really needed, and the vsact delete command will just scrub the license without talking over the internet with our server.

4) jimlangrunner is spot on about the usage of the slickedit.lic file. If we detect that file at startup, we try to get a license from there and there only. We don't even load the library that knows how to read trusted storage.

5) Not that anybody has mentioned this in this thread, but I do want to reiterate that activation is not a "phone home" mechanism. It's really just a glorified way of automatically creating an encrypted license file and sending it your machine. And it's a one-time process. Once a trusted storage license is installed, it acts just like a file based license. When the product starts, it either finds a valid license, or it doesn't.