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VSL LOST KEY POLICY
Last post Thu, Oct 18 2018 by stefan_telser, 112 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Oct 23 2017 09:11
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12173

Hello Matteo, 

This is the current situation with eLicenser: 

Generally, the most valuable part of our products is the license which is stored on the ViennaKey or other eLicenser USB Key. With our copy protection partner eLicenser (owned by Steinberg / Yamaha), we don't have access to the licenses on the keys of our users, so we're not able to restore and/or transfer any lost or stolen license to a new key. Also, it's technically not possible to disable the licenses or the key via remote. This means that whoever steals or finds a key can use the contained license without any restrictions, if he also has access to the samples, and software, e.g., from a friend.

Users who lost the key (or whose key has been stolen) will have to purchase a new license, and of course a new key. What we can offer uninsured users to meet them halfway in this situation is a replacement license at the reduced price of 50% of the full price of the licensed product(s).
Every user is responsible for his keys and licenses himself, we're not obliged to replace any lost or stolen keys at all, like e.g. lost or stolen jewelry wouldn't be replaced unless it's insured. That's why we recommend to insure all products you licensed.

In case a ViennaKey is damaged, users have to send it to our office in Vienna (American users: to the office of our distributor ILIO based in California) to enable us to take a look at the kind of the damage.
If the damage on the ViennaKey shows signs of external force, he will of course have to pay for the new ViennaKey, and a handling fee for the new licenses (EUR 20 per contained license, minimum fee EUR 30). If a ViennaKey is registered to a user account, it's a lot easier for us to find out which licenses were stored on the Key.
If the ViennaKey breaks within the warranty period (two years) without extraneous cause, the user gets a new ViennaKey and the new license free of charge if he can verify the warranty period by sending us the invoice of the purchase of the ViennaKey or other eLicenser USB Key. That's why we recommend to purchase a new key every two years and to keep the invoice at a safe place.

The quickest and easiest temporary solution in a case like this is to buy a new ViennaKey or other eLicenser USB Key. After registration of the new key, we can send you a demo license which enables you to bridge at least some time (48 hours) until the order of the replacement license is processed, which usually takes 1-3 business days once we’ve received the broken key. Of course it's not a bad idea to have a spare key in your studio, to ensure that you have no downtime at all in the event of a lost or broken key.

 

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Oct 23 2017 11:03
by Matteo Nahum
Joined on Tue, Sep 03 2013, Posts 6

Good morning Paul,

I appreciate the completeness and rapidity of your answer, even if I need some more clarifications and also, I would like to offer some considerations about this.

I don't understand what you mean for "buying a new licence" (sorry, my bad) for 20 euro. If I understand it correctly I would not be requested to buy the whole products (in my case VEP5 and the S Edition) that is more than a thousand  euros but a 20 euros licence for every library or product I owe, am I right?

I didn't knew about an insurance for your libraries/licensers: in my case, the key, that is perfectly working is older than 2 years (2014). What is your raccomandations or plans available for any incident that actually can happen? Having a second key with a copy of the licenses? Should I buy a new key and "transfer" the licenses from the older to the newest so that I'm again in a renewed warranty period?

As you can imagine, being a media composer at the early stages of the carreer, and being at this point the SE and VEP5 literally the core of my orchestral template, I cannot run risks with it and even if I take care of my things, accidents in life happen on a regular basis. I'm sure you understand that being forced to buy again the same product (if I'm not understanding it wrongly) that is also no longer new and "fresh" let's say, other than being economically impossible would literally make no sense and, as a consequence would literally throw me away as a (happy, up to now) Vienna customer. But, of course, I may have understood it incorrectly.

By the way, owning also 2 iLoks (for altiverb, note performer and many other licenses) I cannot avoid noticing a difference in politics and manageabiliy of the licenses that is absolutely not viable for a "surviving" composer.

hope my questions are clear,

all the best,

Matteo Nahum

Posted on Mon, Oct 23 2017 11:54
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12173

Hello Matteo, 

Let's try to filter your questions: 

1) I don't understand what you mean for "buying a new licence" (sorry, my bad) for 20 euro. If I understand it correctly I would not be requested to buy the whole products (in my case VEP5 and the S Edition) that is more than a thousand  euros but a 20 euros licence for every library or product I owe, am I right?

=> If we know that the license is stored on a key that does not work anymore, we also know that we can hand out a replacement license. This replacement license is 20 EUR.

2) I didn't knew about an insurance for your libraries/licensers: in my case, the key, that is perfectly working is older than 2 years (2014). What is your raccomandations or plans available for any incident that actually can happen?

=> You should get a new key every 2 years and transfer the licenses onto this new key. This way, the hardware warranty will allow us to replace both the key and the licenses without any costs, if it fails without any signs of misuse or damage. 

 

3) Having a second key with a copy of the licenses?

=> No. It is all about copy protection. You cannot copy licenses. 

 

4) Should I buy a new key and "transfer" the licenses from the older to the newest so that I'm again in a renewed warranty period?

=> Yes. 

You are also correct that iLok has a different system. We all hope that we can come up with a better solution with eLicenser/Steinberg, and we rely 100% on their help here. 

Right now, we are working with the available possibilities. 

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Oct 23 2017 12:07
by Matteo Nahum
Joined on Tue, Sep 03 2013, Posts 6

Thanks Paul.

I'm absolutely fine in purchasing a new key even if mine is perfectly working but....

....what happens in the worst scenario where the key is lost/stolen due to traveling, moving by

car - train - plane with it, with all the connected risks?

Should I literally buy again all of my products (you already know I own it because of registration

and bank account transfer and invoice you emitted), even if at half prize (not doable, of course....)?

M

Posted on Mon, Oct 23 2017 12:45
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 707
Posted on Mon, Oct 23 2017 13:09
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12173

Hello Matteo, 

Yes, in case of loss and theft the only possibility (if the licenses are not insured) is to purchase replacement licenses for 50% of the full price. 

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Oct 23 2017 17:08
by bbelius
Joined on Sat, Mar 14 2015, Posts 796

Hi Paul!

can you recommend any insurance company in Germany / Europe that not onlycovers the hardware dongle, but also the licenses on that key? I have not found any on the web :(

Best regards,

Ben

Ben
Technical Support - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Oct 23 2017 18:05
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12173

Hi Ben, 

The last time we checked, we found 2 insurance companies in Austria, but it is a very specific request, especially if you are not insuring all other music gear in your studio. 

Unfortunately it's hard to keep track of all possibilities, but an insurance broker should be able to help. 

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Oct 24 2017 07:42
by RLD
Joined on Thu, Jan 26 2017, Posts 68

Hello

Can you give us the name and the contact references of those two insurances

Thanks

Posted on Tue, Oct 24 2017 13:15
by Matteo Nahum
Joined on Tue, Sep 03 2013, Posts 6

Hello Paul, thanks again for answering.

I understand from the following answers that there is no "insurance" service Vienna is offering but that I have to go to a normal private insurance company and try to explain this situation, am I right? If not, where can I find informations about such an insurance plan?

I am not a sound libraries producer and dealer so I'm not commenting or discussing your position but I would like to examine the situation from my side, hoping that this will push you to move to a different anti-piracy system.

At this point I am supposed to pay some more money to a third party (if I'm not wrong, otherwise sorry about that) to be sure I can continue using an essential part of equipment that I already have bought (and there are tangible proves of it) in case of loss of an USB key that is not only on no value for me but also annoying since, as the equally annoying iLOK, it makes me use a supplementary usb hub that I don't need otherwise. But there is piracy and it's understandable as well as I would like to protect my records. What, to my point of view, appears less fair is that in consequences, I am forced to pay more money for not running the risk of having my activity heavily hit because someone else is pirating your libraries. With the same logic I should sell my records at 50euros or so because of piracy or spotify, so that I make the honest dealer pay also for the thief. Remember, that's only the situation seen from my side.

Moreover, this situations, as far as I know (I am also a happy Native Instruments, Motu, Spitfire Audio etc. client) is only specific to Vienna. Probably the other ones accept piracy as part of the business (as well as I do for my records, and I'm aware it's a problem!) or have a better functioning anti-piracy system, that I really urge you to organize because, at this point this situation have some consequences:

I feel that having my system based on Vienna products is simply too risky: at some points you mentioned that I should take care to my usb as it were jewelry but the use of my usb vienna key and of a diamond are quite different, as long as you don't travel on plane, train, car, stay in hotels, move from studio to studio with a diamond because...it's too dangerous.... :) 

In practical terms, even if I'm a *very happy* Vienna libraries and, even more, VEP user I'm literally forced to update my libraries (as soon as I economically can) moving to other companies that don't put my activity at risk so that I can rely only to VEP as the core of my system and minimize the risk. By the way I'll be updating to 6 (that was on my to-do list) only if an unfortunate loss happen. 

So....from one side I feel like I'm literally pushed away from your products (again, that I love) and on the other you're not selling me anything more, unless you change the licensing system and even worse, even if I want to.

I discovered this is not happening only to me so, really, I hope there will be very soon a change in this system so that I can be your client again.

hope you get this analysis as a positive criticism, that is the way I intended it and hope we can stay in touch with good news soon.

all the best,

Matteo Nahum, media composer, Valencia (Spain)

Posted on Tue, Oct 24 2017 15:42
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12173

Hi, 

Thanks for your input, we are very aware that this is not the best solution, but it is the only one we can offer at this point. 

As mentioned before, it has been a while, so I cannot guarantee anything, but here are two links to German / Austrian insurances where we know that they offer/used to offer insurance for licenses on dongles / keys:

http://www.vhv-vertriebsinfo.de

http://www.zurich.de

=> More specifically, insurance of hardware keys/licenses is only possible when insuring "bigger bundles":

In Austria, you can also check here:
http://www.klugfuermusiker.at

USA:

MusicPro Insurance recommended by ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers):

http://www.ascap.com/benefits/musicpro.aspx

http://www.musicproinsurance.com

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Oct 25 2017 09:19
by antcarrier
Joined on Fri, Sep 24 2010, Australia, Posts 62
Hi Paul,

Do you know of any insurance companies that will insure licenses in Australia?

So far I have only found insurance that will insure the key itself, but not the licenses stored on the key.

Thanks.
Posted on Wed, Oct 25 2017 09:55
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12173

Hi, 

I'm afraid it is impossible to scan all insurances in so many countries, but I suggest to contact an insurance broker. 

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sat, Nov 04 2017 10:31
by Jef de Corte
Joined on Wed, Sep 26 2007, Wichelen, Belgium, Posts 53

Last night I had a nightmarish experience with my license key. 
I was working on a piece of music, went for dinner and when I returned I got an error message from Logic that it could not read my VSL licenses.
I downloaded and installed the latest Elicenser software, hoping that this would solve the problem. Unfortunately the eLicenser Control Center recognised the key, but told me it was broken, and maintenance did not solve the problem.
I restarted my Mac, but this did not help.
I tried all my different USB ports and hubs, but still the eLisenser said it was broken.

I then installed the eLisenser software on my wife's iMac and there the key appeared just fine, with all my licenses.

When I returned to my Mac, it still did not work. However after restarting the software and trying another USB port it worked again.

Is there any way to simply prevent this kind of nightmare without spending any cash on software you already payed for?
Above I read horrible stories about having to buy all your licenses again.
If this is truly the case I will not be buying any more licenses from VSL, although I am a long term customer and I like the software. 

I do understand that piracy is a big problem for software companies.
Big companies like Native Instruments have a good online solution without dongle problems, and they also start having decent alternatives for orchestral sound libraries. For people like me, who are not professional composers, this seems a better solution than having to rebuy licenses when a small piece of hardware gets suddenly broken...


Anyway, I hope VSL will come up with a decent customer friendly solution for this, because what I read above is unacceptable for me.

Posted on Sat, Nov 04 2017 15:49
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12173

Hi Jef, 

Glad to hear that your key worked right away after a restart. It is often a problem with a USB port that is causing such scary moments. 

The gist of the many postings before, regarding broken keys:

1) If you purchase a new key every 2 years, your hardware warranty will cover the damage. Contact us, send in the key for us to check (insured and trackable), with a proof of purchase within the last 2 years, and you will receive a new key with new licenses without any costs (if it was a hwardare failure).

2) If your key broke from any damage outside (dogs, hammer, whatever...), you will also contact us and send in the key. Replacement licenses will be 20 EUR for each license contained on the broken key(minimum: 30 EUR). 

To bridge the time, we will always supply you with a 48 hourse demo license as soon as you have registered a new key, or your key has been sent). 

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sat, Nov 04 2017 16:12
by Jef de Corte
Joined on Wed, Sep 26 2007, Wichelen, Belgium, Posts 53

Hi Paul,

so if I get it right, I would buy a new key from Bestservice.de, transfer my licenses to the new key and then I am covered from the date of purchase of the new key for 2 years under the conditions you mentioned ?

Jef

Posted on Sat, Nov 04 2017 16:19
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12173

Hi Jef, 

Yes, you have a hardware warranty of 2 years on every ViennaKey / eLicenser USB key. 
Please register your keys here.

Best,
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, Nov 26 2017 12:33
by badibeat
Joined on Thu, Jan 15 2009, Posts 7

Maybe it's about time VSL and Steinberg discontinue eLicenser and switch to iLok instead.

The scary issue of lost or stolen dongles is solved if you purchase zero downtime for iLoks and activate Theft and Loss coverage aka TLC. The licenses are replaced with 90 day temporary licenses which get refreshed whenever the iLok "sees" the server. This covers all licenses from all manufacturers on that dongle. The yearly fee of some 30 EUR/USD per covered dongle is not much higher than the price of a new eLicenser I buy every year just to renew the hardware guarantee and get some small protection against a defect but not loss or theft.

With iLok I would need only a single dongle per computer, plus license protection was provided by third parties.

I understand the need of protection against piracy, and a dongle provides also some flexibility to use your licenses on a guest computer. However, I believe VSL and Steinberg should put their focus on keeping their products up-to-date and provide us customers with the new stuff we are willing to pay the price for.

Badibeat

Posted on Sun, Nov 26 2017 13:09
by daerp
Joined on Thu, Jan 18 2007, Toronto, ON CANADA, Posts 149

Paul Kopf:

My eLicencer key is just fine. I've had it for many years. Only by reading this thread have I become aware of the 'need' to buy a new key every two years. I suppose that will be cheaper than purchasing insurance (finding insurers is VERY diffricult and my insurance broker has given up trying to find a company that will insure the licences). The dongle hardware is worth peanuts of course, by comparison.

So reading this thread has me pondering this whole issue once again.

I read your comment in the thread where you say, "We all hope that we can come up with a better solution with eLicenser/Steinberg, and we rely 100% on their help here." Any updates on this?

What problems do you face with a policy which separates the lost/stolen key issue from the damaged key issue? If I send a damaged key to you and you know that I own that key, why couldn't you simply replace the key for the cost of shipping? I'm not sure why there would be any additional charges. It all seems so unneccesarily arcane and even fussy.

I own a great deal of software of all kinds and many sample libraries. The only company policy that causes considerable worry and stress re significant cost and inconvenience in regarding a key being damaged or lost is VSL. All others seem to be successful in safeguarding their products with lo/no-stress policies for their customers. Am I wrong?

My iLok dongle (for Sibelius and Altiverb) does not work in the same way. At least, no one is suggesting insuring my iLok. I admit, I don't know what their replacement policy is, but no one seems to be worried about it in the same way.

I am a huge VSL fan. I've spent many hours learning to use your software programs and libraries and made considerable investment in VSL products. You have record of my purchases so you know I am a fully vetted customer. I understand that owning a second (backup) key would be very problematic (for VSL). Too many untrustworthy folks would be selling, sharing. It is unfortunate that these practices are so common, but it is useless to bemoan what can't be changed.

Hoping you and the good people at VSL will find a customer friendly solution that respects its clients' investments and, even loyalties.

Paul R

MAC OS X 10.15.2
Finale 26.1
Digital Performer 10.11
VEP7
Many VSL libraries, MIR Pro and Vienna Suite Pro
VIP, Synchron Player, Synchron Pianos
Posted on Mon, Nov 27 2017 11:32
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12173

Hi Paul, 

Thanks for your post. We do understand your situation, and we are working on a better solution. 
As soon as such a solution is available, we will inform you.  

Many questions we have discussed in many many threads before, I will try to answer them as clear and short as possible: 

1) If I send a damaged key to you and you know that I own that key, why couldn't you simply replace the key for the cost of shipping?

=> The hardware warranty for the eLicenser key is 2 years.
=> If the key broke without any signs of applied force, the licenses and the key will be replaced for free.

=> If a key that is older than 2 years broke, this hardware warranty does not apply.
=> E..g., your key that contains all your licenses is now 11 years old. Hardware does wear down, when you are taking the key many places more than when it is connected to your computer all the time. 

 

2) The only company policy that causes considerable worry and stress re significant cost and inconvenience in regarding a key being damaged or lost is VSL. All others seem to be successful in safeguarding their products with lo/no-stress policies for their customers. Am I wrong?


=> I do not know if you are wrong, as I also didn’t read through the license agreements of all sample developers. 
=> Unfortunately eLicenser does not offer a cloud-based solution, but we hope that we can offer a different "safety-net” in the future.

 

3) My iLok dongle (for Sibelius and Altiverb) does not work in the same way. At least, no one is suggesting insuring my iLok. I admit, I don't know what their replacement policy is, but no one seems to be worried about it in the same way.

 

=> My advice: Check out the details for iLok and their license protection once again.

 We are aware that this is not an ideal situation, and it takes longer than we hoped to present an alternative to the existing license-model. 

But we are on it, and we are listening. 

 

Best, 

Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
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