Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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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.

    Paolo


  • 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.

    https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/206532304

    Paolo


  • 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.

    +1


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  • 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, 

    Tomas 


  • 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


  • You do know that there is a two year warranty on the dongle right?

    If the dongle fails and it is within the two year warranty send it in to VSL and they will replace the licenses, and dongle, free of charge.  Unless of course the dongle failed due to negligence on your part.

    The downside of course is you have to buy a new key every two years and transfer the licenses.  But, if you have 12 grand in licenses spread out over 6 keys then spending the 30 or 40 bucks on a new key every two years shouldn't be that much of concern to you. 


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    @jasensmith said:

    You do know that there is a two year warranty on the dongle right?

    If the dongle fails and it is within the two year warranty send it in to VSL and they will replace the licenses, and dongle, free of charge.  Unless of course the dongle failed due to negligence on your part.

    The downside of course is you have to buy a new key every two years and transfer the licenses.  But, if you have 12 grand in licenses spread out over 6 keys then spending the 30 or 40 bucks on a new key every two years shouldn't be that much of concern to you. 

    Yes Jasen - I had read that elsewhere in this thread and until today I wasn't aware of that.  But I'm not sure how exactly that would work.  How does VSL know what licenses are on dongle that failed?  I have two dongles that I purchased in 2015, but I can't look up the serial number of when I registered them and VSL would have no clue what (if anything) I had on them.


  • For me as customer this policy is a cause for serious concern. That is something I will factor in for future purchase decisions. Especially now with the whole new range of Synchron Stage libraries coming I am not likely to spend another several thousand dollars on VSL libraries that all would be lost in case of fire or theft.

    Please VSL revaluate this policy. There must be ways to protect your libraries and still give the customers security. Especially as it is not easy nor cheap to have the licenses insured.


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    @Buzzard said:

    Yes Jasen - I had read that elsewhere in this thread and until today I wasn't aware of that.  But I'm not sure how exactly that would work.  How does VSL know what licenses are on dongle that failed?  I have two dongles that I purchased in 2015, but I can't look up the serial number of when I registered them and VSL would have no clue what (if anything) I had on them.

     

    Go to MyVSL.  In the upper left hand side select MyProducts.  Along the top you will see three items, "Software," "Instruments" and "ViennaKey/elicenser."  I think the Software and Instruments are selected by default so select the ViennaKey/elicenser and scroll all the way down.  There you should see all of your keys when they were registered and their serial numbers. 

    As to which licenses each key is holding Steinberg may have a record of that because you have to go on to their site in order to enter the activation codes.

    I understand your "spread the risk" strategy but you might want to rethink it because it would be a real pain trying to keep six different keys up to warranty.


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    @jasensmith said:

    I understand your "spread the risk" strategy but you might want to rethink it because it would be a real pain trying to keep six different keys up to warranty.

    I agree with you now that I know the rules.  Two of my dongles just expired so I just ordered a new one.  I'm going to dump all of my licences on to that.  The eLicenser software does backup "something" to Steinberg.  So there is some record.

    Thanks for your help on this!!!

    Lenny


  • You're welcome.

    One last point.  If your key fails and it's within that two year warranty you'll have to send the key to VSL with the invoice I guess as proof of purchase.

    However, if you're based in North America and you bought your key from ilio.com you'll have to send it to ilio which is convenient because ilio will have an invoice on record so you don't need to keep it.

    Anywhere else... Keep the invoice.


  • I became aware of this very serious situation about a year ago. I have invested a great deal of time and money purchasing and learning to use VSL products. I 'own' nearly all the libraries, so my financial investment is substantial. (I started buying VSL libraries years ago when they were even more expensive). SO, after reading posts in this thread and others, I decided to try to insure my elicencer key. I have been trying since December to find an insurance company that can figure out a) what an e-licenser is, b) why such an inexpensive item (the key) needs to be insured, c) why my software licenses must be re-purchased in the case of loss or theft (what are the chances othat someone would know that what looks like a flash drive would be valuable). d) why VSL has adopted an arcane system and policy that no other software company uses and that puts the customer in harms way e) how they are supposed to insure information. ?????? VSL customer service has given me names of a few insurance companies to try to contact, but because I live in North America (Canada) there are roadblocks that can't be overcome (according to my insurance broker). I will add that I am not a newcomer with little experience. I have been using music software since rudimentary programs such as Professional Composer and others first came out. I currently use Digital Performer, Finale, etc. since they first came out in the 1980s. I have seen so many strategies to combat software piracy by various companies over the years. Nothing even comes close to the - in my opinion deeply flawed - VSL strategy. I am totally stuck. They only way to protect my investment that I know of is to find an insurance company that will give me some peace of mind in this regard. But I haven't been successful. If someone HAS been successful in finding a way to insure a 'key', please share your information. Again, I am in Canada and need to find a solution that will work for Canadians. Finally, I echo the thoughts of others in this thread in pleading with VSL to fix this seriously unfortunate situation for its customers. Paul Read

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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.

    +1

    I also invested al lot of my few Money in VSL-Products and really like them. I have 2 Computers, one at Home, the other at our Studio. I bought two Licenses of Cubase and Halion because I often forgot my Dongle and was afraid of damaging it by often plugin it in and out. But I won't buy two Licenses of all that VSL Stuff. Other Companys have much better Solutions against Piracy which allow you use their Software on 2 or even 3 Computers and switch the Licenses onlini or via Software!!. "VSL has the worst licensing policy of any software company I have ever dealt with" - Yes thats true and thats because I decidet to buy no more VSL-Products. And I know I'm not the only one... And it makes my sad....  )-:


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    @daerp said:

    I have seen so many strategies to combat software piracy by various companies over the years. Nothing even comes close to the - in my opinion deeply flawed - VSL strategy.

    But if it's "flawed" that would imply that elicenser has been cracked right?  In other words, pirates have broken the codes and are selling them all over the Internet. AFAIK this is not the case.  So to me that would be A flawLESS strategy.  Now it may cost VSL some customers but it must be only a negligible amount because they are still using the same system.

    As far as Insurance is concerned here's my experience:

    I too had a hard time finding anybody who would insure the licenses on a little piece of plastic.  The problem is they have a hard time trying to determine the risk involved when insuring software licenses contained on a USB dongle. Where is this dongle stored? In a locked box? Is the humidity high there? Will a power surge have any affect on key? etc. 

    Every company I went to wanted to know the same thing: Are you a professional musician who needs these software products in order to maintain your livelihood?  Or are you just a hobbyist?

    Oddly enough it was my homeowner's insurance who finally gave me a limited policy.  They already gave me small business insurance to cover the gear in my studio so basically the software was just deemed part of my studio gear so I just increased the value of my gear.  If the key leaves my studio, I'm screwed.  If somebody broke into my studio and stole just the key, leaving the $3,000 system its attached to, I'm screwed.  If the key is beyond the warranty period offered by VSL, I'm screwed.  Otherwise it's covered.

    If you are a hobbyist, you will have a harder time with insurance.