Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • Smarter, better ideas on this anyone ?
    All VSL clients understand piracy, we create music that is the most pirated item in the world.  

    MIchael from VSLsays it here clearly: VSL clients will loose their entire investment to their products the second their key is damaged or lost ! 

    About VSL/Michaels examble: If you invest money to buy  an expensive car, you don't automatically assume that you need to buy a new car if you loose or damage the key. The seller should absolutely state clearly every step of the way that this is their policy, why would they not...? Because it does not make any sence. 
    Especially, when the key itself is a 1-inch piece of cheap plastic sticking out of a computer.


    - VSL should state their policy clearly every step of the way and let their customers decide if this makes sence 
    - state and remind this clearly upon buying, registering and updating
    - use a licence that can be traced and changed over the internet
    - use a license that is not a cheap, small piece of plastic (a fist size metal cube?)
    - do not use a method where you assume and punish all clients as they were pirates

    VSL, you know software, we are not all pirates and support your efforts, but this is not smart or correct. Step one, don't defend it, improve or change it. I know you can. I lost my investment and I am not a pirate. 

  • This topic has already been discussed here. No official solution yet. An own VSL-Webtool with access,for every user could be a solution. (only for online-use. but a good solution for the ones who have lost the key) VSL need a way to make pressure on Steinberg. Without an own solution like a Webtool they cannot do that. In a perfect world they would take a few drinks with Steinberg-Responsibles at a NAMM-evening ... but we do not live an a perfect world. Pressure, pressure, pressure. Steinberg do not want to lose their supporters either.

  • This is a VSL policy, not the policy of Steinberg. I would like to hear how VSL is going on about changing this and when. Right now, they are just telling us that they treat us all as pirates when accidents/incidents happen.

    Everybody is using internet who works with VSL, so online solution would be the way to go and it already exists. VSL is capable of making software solutions, so why not solve this in a way that makes sence. 

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    @Tomi Ervi said:

    Everybody is using internet who works with VSL...

    Not me.  And I would much prefer it that way😊

    No, I'm against any sort of web based validation or revalidation of licenses.  Having to rearrange my studio to accomodate a wifi signal would be a real pain in the $crotum sack for me🤢  Not happening.


    Do a forum search on this lost/broken Vienna key matter and you will find that nearly all of these "solutions" have been suggested in one form or another.  In fact, I think I could earn a University PHD in figuring out exactly how many "solutions" have been suggested to altar VSL's copy protection.

    (******** I'm not going to bother to respond to any replies on this because it woulld require me to copy and paste my responses from the umteen thousand previous threads generated regarding this matter.) 

    Happy New Year!

  • MIchael Hula, am I to understand that VSL is capable of making such incredible software that they are not able to implement any of the sugested solutions instead of assuming that anyone who lost their key is a pirate? 

  • No one said that one model should replace the other model. The best of both worlds. The offline solution keeps the elicenser, but in addition to that a WEB-solution was great. Why not? A little bit (bad) science-fiction-thinking for a reason why the elicenser-Model is important: Just imagine VSL should be insolvent or close their doors one day. With an "only-online-solution" which of course needs constant Human external support, we would completely be lost in space. (But if Steinberg AND VSL close their doors both ... we are totally fu**ed ;)

  • Nitrox, I think you're mixing up two things which aren't basicly connected. We wouldn't grant a discounted replacement license to product pirates, so our effort to help is obvious. I'm aware that a lost key is a difficult situation for a customer, but you can't blame the copy protection system itself in such a case. Best, Michael

  • VSL users are online to update their software anyway, so online solution seems obvious to me.

    Competitors, fellow software manufacturers have solved this license issue in multiple ways. 
    Monthly an yearly subscriptions seem to be the trend with many software developers to gain more users/money = good for all. 

    VSL should be capable of providing a new "key" to customers who bought their "car", 
    it would be the decent, obvious, right thing to do. 

  • Since VSL is aware of this potential for "difficult situation for customers" that e-licenser and VSL policy presents, 
    why not to inform clients clearly about what it means to loose/damage the e-licenser ?

    As a start, no mention here on the VSL "e-licencer" page:

    How about: "this e-licencer holds all the products you buy and if it is lost/damaged you will loose your investment with us"... OK, I admit it does not sound so good...

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    @michi said:

    We'd prefer to live in a world without product piracy. But as long this isn't the case, we all have to deal with copy protection. We're providing our customers with a safe system, it hasn't been cracked up to now and works offline as well. So, if a key get's lost, everybody who finds this key has unrestricted acces to the licenses. Free replacement licenses would harm our company, we simply can't afford such a solution. We believe, taking care of the key is nothing but self-responsibility. You won't expect any kind of warning if you put 1.000 bucks into your wallet. It's common sense that you won't get the money back if you loose it. To meet uninsured customers half way in lost key matters, we're offering 50% discount for the replacement licenses and a free 48 hours all application license as first, quick help.

    Regards, Michael Hula
    VSL Support

    The solution for me is sadly just not to purchase too much from VSL, so in case I lose the dongle the damage is not that devastating.

    If you think I'm alone and you're not missing out on more sales because of this, then you should think about this more from a client's perspective.

    Steinberg has a  Zero Downtime policy that has proven to work, and is still strict. Ignoring these advancements is not just bad for us customers, but also to your company's detriment.

  • As ominiq, I will stop purchasing VSL products, until a more reasonable solution is found to protect the user. I can't feel confident to work with a tool that I will not be able to purchase again, in case the key breaks or gets lost or stolen. It's a very sad situation.


  • This is how Steinberg's Zero Downtime system works. A replacement for all the licenses stored in a registered key is available for free, and in a very short time. In addition, you just need a replacement key to continue working as soon as you have it.

    This is compliant with the principle that a customer owns the rights to use the software, not the protection key. And it just seems like good commercial practice, where a customer in troubles is not considered as a potential thieve. I doubt Steinberg is increasing piracy with this system.


  • Wow,i wasn't aware of this lost key policy,i have all my licenses in a Steinberg elicenser key. Now i read that in order to be safe i need to buy a new dongle every two years? Something breaks and i have to pay for a registered product half the price AGAIN? That's pretty discouraging , makes me want to avoid purchasing VSL's fine products...There must be a better method,why don't you adopt Steinberg's Zero Downtime system?

  • I'm I big fan of VSL and own a lot of their products. That said, I always feel a bit apprehensive about buying new VSL products since becoming aware of this issue. VSL has the worst licensing policy of any software company I have ever dealt with. I've guarded my keys with my life, but if anything did ever happen to them and I had to deal with this policy, I think I'd feel a bit insulted as a long term VSL customer, especially considering the significant financial investment required to buy the library over the years. I understand that piracy needs to be prevented, but the VSL license policy just seems to be punishing the hard working, honest musos that pay for their tools.

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    @antcarrier said:

    I'm I big fan of VSL and own a lot of their products. That said, I always feel a bit apprehensive about buying new VSL products since becoming aware of this issue. VSL has the worst licensing policy of any software company I have ever dealt with. I've guarded my keys with my life, but if anything did ever happen to them and I had to deal with this policy, I think I'd feel a bit insulted as a long term VSL customer, especially considering the significant financial investment required to buy the library over the years. I understand that piracy needs to be prevented, but the VSL license policy just seems to be punishing the hard working, honest musos that pay for their tools.


  • +2

  • In my opinion VSL libraries are best sounding, most flexible and most versatile on the market. I bought a special edition 1 & Plus last year as a starter.  At the moment I searched through the market and decided to heavly invest in VSL and make it my only orchestral sample library.  

    But before that I wanted to find some more information what happens when dongle is broken/damaged/lost.

    And I found this thread... and I am not going to spend no more EUR (apart from MIRx bundle in April sales) because risk is to high. I use dongle with my portable laptop and I travel a lot so probably the dongle will be broken because of heavy use at some point in the future. I am really sorry that I need to leave VSL sound and go for some other library for the time being.  

    I still hope that VSL will find some other solution - especially that many of those exist on the market and are proved to be working fine. 

    VSL team please keep us informed I hope you will find some solution to the dongle issue.  

    Best regards, 


  • Hello,

    I am also a loyal user of VSL products for almost 8 years. I'd even say that I'm a VSL fan. I started with the Special Edition, then I gradually invested large sums of money to complete my collection. Today, I am lucky to have the complete Vienna libraries and software.

    The issue raised here is fundamental, even if it is not new at all. By consulting the forum, we can go back a long way ... I am surprised that Vienna has not reconsidered its position and took opportunities offered by technological change as they did, for example, using more and more systematically direct download for the purchase of new instruments. I note, like others, that in all the products I use for my work (academic studies in the humanities) or my leisure activities (serious amateur musician), VSL is the only company whose practice in the field of intellectual property protection is so severe and harmful to its honest customers.

    How can we justify such commercial practices in 2017 when other companies have found satisfactory solutions for all? Steinberg seems to be a good example of this. In addition, in recent years other products have come to compete more and more seriously VSL for professional uses. Although I still believe that VSL is well ahead, I think this is a challenge not to be overlooked and that the dongle replacement policy is a more and more negative element not only for its current customers, but also for potential new customers.

    Finally, I do not think Vienna could maintain its policy if it were based in my country because it would conflict with the legislation. Moreover, I still didn’t find yet an insurance company that agrees to cover my risks.

    Thank you for continuing to keep our exchanges of views in this thread in a spirit of mutual respect.

    Claude B.

  • I too have a lot of money tied up on these little dongles.  I'm not so afraid of losing them, but I'm afraid of them failing.  Plus I have to manage my licenses carefully which is too much overhead.  I can only use VSL in my home studio since I'm too afraid to take the dongles anywhere; I keep them locked up when not in use.

    My bigger fear is that one will fail.  I just had a scare today when the eLicenser software said one of my dongles had failed.  I pretty much freaked.  Fortunately I went over to an older computer that had USB 2.0 and an older version of the eLicenser software and the dongle worked there.  I copied the licenses off to known good dongle.  Then I took the known good dongle and put it back in the orignal computer.  This time I could read the dongle, but the licenses were wrong.  I killed the licensing software and rebooted the computer and "magically" I could see my missing licenses.  This has happened before and doesn't give me a lot of confidence.

    I keep my VSL licenses on 6 different dongles, just in case one does acually fail.  This would minimize my loss.  I suppose if my house burns down I could claim the $12,000 or so dollars on my insurance, but then I would be saying goodbye to VSL for good.

    A better approach to me is like the iLok or Waves solution.  For my purchases protected by iLok, I can transfer the licenses to the iLok Cloud when I'm not using them.  The only time I keep licenses on my iLok is if I'm using them.  The same goes for Waves, I don't keep the Wave licenses on my computer unless I'm using them.  I travel a lot and if someone were to steal my iLok or my laptop, my iLok and Waves licenses are safely stored in "The Cloud".  Doing all of these transfers is still a major pain, but at least I can protect my investments.  eLicense doesn't have a "Cloud" where licenses can be offloaded when not in use.

    Recently I have been largely switching to products that do not require iLok and I tend to use those more.  VSL now has a lot of serious and good competition in this field.  They would be wise to a better solution for thier loyal customers otherwise they will lose them to Kontakt library makers.  I can use my Kontakt libraries without having to resort to all the overhead involved in dealing with dongles or moving liceneses to the cloud.

    Lenny H