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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 Fri, Apr 07 2017 15:25
by TomasD
Joined on Wed, Dec 07 2016, Posts 1

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 

Posted on Fri, Apr 07 2017 16:36
by C.B.
Joined on Wed, Aug 11 2010, Quebec Canada, Posts 122

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.

C.B.
Posted on Fri, Apr 07 2017 17:37
by Buzzard
Joined on Wed, Nov 26 2014, Posts 3

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

Tags: eLicenser
Posted on Sat, Apr 08 2017 01:54
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1571

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. 


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Sat, Apr 08 2017 02:20
by Buzzard
Joined on Wed, Nov 26 2014, Posts 3

Originally Posted by: jasensmith Go to Quoted Post

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.

Posted on Sat, Apr 08 2017 07:07
by Dominique
Joined on Fri, Aug 08 2008, Posts 178

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.

Posted on Sat, Apr 08 2017 10:57
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1571

Originally Posted by: Buzzard Go to Quoted Post

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.


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Sat, Apr 08 2017 12:13
by Buzzard
Joined on Wed, Nov 26 2014, Posts 3

Originally Posted by: jasensmith Go to Quoted Post

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

Posted on Sun, Apr 09 2017 01:26
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1571

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.


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Mon, Apr 17 2017 13:27
by daerp
Joined on Thu, Jan 18 2007, Toronto, ON CANADA, Posts 148
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
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 Thu, Apr 20 2017 09:37
by Mjusick
Joined on Sat, Feb 13 2016, Posts 6

Originally Posted by: RLD Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: antcarrier Go to Quoted Post
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....  )-:

Tags: dongle
Posted on Thu, Apr 20 2017 11:14
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1571

Originally Posted by: daerp Go to Quoted Post
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.


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Thu, Apr 20 2017 13:44
by daerp
Joined on Thu, Jan 18 2007, Toronto, ON CANADA, Posts 148
Yes, all those questions you list are exactly the problem..

And I have to agree. My choice of the word, "flawed" was not the best. I have never heard of someone using pirated VSL licenses.
But I will say that while this policy protects VSL, it doesn't protect the customer effectively.

I am not a "hobbyist", but I think you are probably right that an insurance company might let the VSL customer's way of making a living factor into their decision as to whether or not to insure the VSL ke. But if that WAS the case, in my view, said insurance company would be dead wrong in refusing coverage.

My home owner's insurance was the first place I tried. I was refused. I have wondered if my broker didn't represent my case as well as she might. She doesn't seeem to really 'get' the concept of insuraing licenses, Way too abstract for the uninformed to grasp. But she did try multiple companies and I did put her in touch with VSL support. No luck.

As a career composer/arranger/performer/educator, now mostly RETIRED, I should not be treated any differently than any other VSL library owner. I should not be seen as less or more of a risk by insurance companies. I don't suspect I am. But why should a hobbyist be seen as needing or deserving less protection than the active professional? I know you were just speculating that a hobbyist would have a harder time getting insurance than me or you, but I am steadfast in defending the amateur (not in the literal sense) against any discrimination of this sort.

The only other 'dongle' I own is an iLok that is used to protect Altiverb 7 software. I actually don't know their policy re replacement, but it matters much less to me. My VSL investment is SUBSTANTIAL and I want the peace of mind that insuring would provide.

I'm still stuck. And no one in this thread has mentioned a specific insurance company to approach...yet.

I'm still hopeful I will hear from other VSLers' about their having found an insurer I could try.
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 Thu, Apr 20 2017 19:03
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1571

Originally Posted by: daerp Go to Quoted Post
why should a hobbyist be seen as needing or deserving less protection than the active professional? I know you were just speculating that a hobbyist would have a harder time getting insurance than me or you, but I am steadfast in defending the amateur (not in the literal sense) against any discrimination of this sort.

.

Actually, that wasn't speculation.  I was told that a "hobbyist," and that was the word they used, wouldn't take as much care of the key as a professional whose livelihood depended on the licenses the key contained.  Now you may think that's a bunch of crap and I would have to agree but there was a time when car insurance companies in the United States used to charge more for red colored cars than any other color because they thought that anybody who wanted a red car was surely a wild risk taker, thus more of a liability.  Of course today this practice is illegal.

As I said in my last post, insurance companies are just having a hard time trying to assess the risk factor involved. Anything else, cars, homes, jewelry, etc. they just plug into their computer models which do the assessing for them and come out with a premium.

To give you an idea of just how completely clueless insurance brokers are in this arena I remember a conversation I was having with one while shopping for insurance for my key years ago in which the broker told me she would have to talk to VSL to find out exactly why they warranty the key for only two years.  When I told her VSL was based in Vienna, Austria she told me she would have to contact their European office.  A week went by before I finally wrote her back for a resolution.  She said, "I'm sorry but it would appear that nobody in our European office speaks Austrian only German"

So feeling like a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest I just gave up and asked Allstate which is my home owners insurance.


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Fri, Apr 21 2017 06:11
by Mjusick
Joined on Sat, Feb 13 2016, Posts 6

Perhaps it sounds like a joke for many insurance companies to insure software....
I struggled hard with the decision to sell my VSL Licenses to get rid of my Dongle nightmares and to buy from a more custumer friendly company. But it may be hard to find a buyer...

(Because: "To find a buyer, these are the rules:

  1. The buyer must be found privately and the products must not be advertised in the VSL forum.
  2. Auction platform like eBay are not allowed.  ")
Posted on Fri, Apr 21 2017 07:19
by Dominique
Joined on Fri, Aug 08 2008, Posts 178

You should be able to find a buyer on KVR audio or on vi-control. Just be aware that some other sample developers don't allow resales. You might want to factor that in for future buying decisions. In that regard VSL is on the customer friendlier site.

Posted on Thu, Apr 27 2017 09:47
by FabioA
Joined on Fri, Jan 13 2012, Posts 89
Hi guys,

Is it purchasing a new elicenser every two years a solution for the break policy?
Posted on Thu, Apr 27 2017 10:17
by Dominique
Joined on Fri, Aug 08 2008, Posts 178

If your elicenser key is under warranty you won't have to pay the 20€ per license to restore them. So yes, buying a new key every two years spares you these costs in case of dongle failure. It doesn't help you if the dongle is stolen or lost, though. In these cases you'll have to rebuy the libraries at 50% of their list price.

Posted on Thu, Apr 27 2017 15:55
by FabioA
Joined on Fri, Jan 13 2012, Posts 89

Thanks a lot Dominique. 
Yep, obviously It was pretty clear to me it can't help in case the dongle in stolen or lost. But I'm seriusly thinking to purchase a new elicenser. This one I have is from my first Cubase 6, that means like 2011!

Posted on Mon, Oct 23 2017 05:27
by Matteo Nahum
Joined on Tue, Sep 03 2013, Posts 6

Good morning, 

I am really hoping someone at Vienna is replying to this: I discovered by chance this thread and I'm literally horrified but, before jumping to conclusions and make decicions I want to be sure of what I read here:

Any licence for any Vienna product is ONLY existing/valid inside the usb licencer that I have (I own the whole Special Edition and VEP5). If it deteriorates (yes, this happens) or is stolen/lost, broken or whatever AM I LOOSING ALL OF MY PRODUCTS? By the way, is this legal at all?

I mean, there are objective proofs of every one one of these purchases, like regular receipts and of course, registered bank transactions. 

I am understanding that even with these evidences if, let's say, a cup of coffee falls on my key on my table or it falls while I'm moving from one city to another (that happens 2 times a week) I am literally loosing the core of my library in the middle of projects deadlines?

I'm really hoping I'm wrong and I'll get an answer from someone from Vienna.

best regards,

Matteo Nahum

media composer, Valencia

ps. no one walks with 1000 buck in the wallet, guess why...

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