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VSL instrument licenses vanished from e-licenser

OP
sinkd

sinkd

Senior Member
Is the hub bus-powered or does it have its own mains supply? Dongles tend to play up on bus-powered hubs because they have anti-tamper electronics that trigger on the brownouts you can get if they are drawing power from the host computer over the USB bus.
The hub has its own supply. First thing I tried when having trouble was plugging the dongles directly into the Mac chassis USB. Same behavior when it happened. I am starting to suspect my PSU now, unfortunately...

In the mean time, I do have another response from VSL saying that actually in my case, since only some licenses were affected, they would have been able to take care of it for only 50-100 Euros.
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I understand any of
I'm kind of surprised that there is no occasional "phone home" aspect to the elicenser. That could solve some of these problems. If you report licenses stolen, the elicenser should be wiped next time it checks in. Then I could see them charging a small fee to cover setting up new licenses with Steinberg. And maybe this is what they do. I'm wondering if the 50% charge are for those who regularly "lose" their elicenser?

I do pay for the iLok insurance because I have a few thousand in libraries on it. Okay, maybe closer to $10k if I had to pay full price to replace them. But I've really been thinking about getting regular insurance on everything when I realize how much I have invested in this stuff.
 

robgb

I was young once
I guess if you had their insurance you could report it lost and get everything back.
They sell INSURANCE for THEIR piracy protection scheme? They charge the CUSTOMER in case their completely unnecessary protection scheme fails? Jesus. Greed is not good. And it amazes me that anyone puts up with this.

I recommended VSL to someone a couple days ago. I will never do that again.
 

Shad0wLandsUK

Senior Member
I have to return here and say that contrary to what I said before, though I defence I have always been wary on the copy protection methods, I am now understanding the anti-dongle stance.

I installed Windows 10 1903 earlier today on both my Mac Pro and the PC, noticed that once I went to startup VE Pro it told me I have no licenses... funny that

Looks in machine at elicenser dongle and lo-and-behold it has died on me.
Everytime I plug it into the machine now, I get unrecognised device windows cannot recognise this... blah blah

So I essentially just puked £50 up a wall for this plastic key that in no way has any physical damage and the light comes on, but has apparently malfunctioned and rendered my VE Pro 7 license worthless!

- Lost 1x VE Pro 5/6 and 7 license

:(

UPDATE: I have notified VSL of the broken key, however I do not expect to get a replacement so I purchased an additional VE Pro 7 License anyway
 
Last edited:

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I understand any of
So the warning here seems to be unplug your dongles before letting Windows 10 update?

I know I will forget to do that at some point.
 

Shad0wLandsUK

Senior Member
So the warning here seems to be unplug your dongles before letting Windows 10 update?

I know I will forget to do that at some point.
I don't think this had anything to do with my Windows installation, but I could be wrong.
The message I think is that just because the license does not look physically damaged or faulty in any way, it does not mean it could not kick the bucket at any moment. These must be poorly made devices, or yes, Windows installation did something to the key... who knows
 

SomeGuy

Active Member
Can someone post a link to this 2 year warranty on new e-license keys? I want to make sure it covers existing VSL licenses as well. If it does, why would anyone pay for VSLs 70 euro per dongle protection plan? Confused.
 

reids

Member
Wow horrible to hear some of the awful experiences some vsl users have gone through here. Does Paul from VSL or anyone under them ever comment here and care to answer any of these great questions and concerns regarding usage of their products? I ddon't think spending more money just to ensure that the product you paid for continues to work is a real solution. Also not the customer's fault they cant buy a higher quality made dongle than a weak plastic one which more than surely will break and stop functioning ranging from a few months to years.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Sorry to hear your loss.

The vsl protection is still worth considering because the warranty of the dongle only covers device failure. It does not cover loss, theft or destruction
 

EgM

Game music!
Can someone post a link to this 2 year warranty on new e-license keys? I want to make sure it covers existing VSL licenses as well. If it does, why would anyone pay for VSLs 70 euro per dongle protection plan? Confused.
From Paul Kopf on VSL Forums: "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."
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
They sell INSURANCE for THEIR piracy protection scheme? They charge the CUSTOMER in case their completely unnecessary protection scheme fails? Jesus. Greed is not good. And it amazes me that anyone puts up with this.

I recommended VSL to someone a couple days ago. I will never do that again.
That needs to be a crusade until VSL changes their policy. I warn everyone about it.
 

muk

Senior Member
Time for my mantra to please let VSL know about your concerns regarding their horrible policies. Write a polite e-mail to their support, telling them that you don't approve thier policies, and that you stopped buying and recommending their products as long as they are in place. The more people doing that the better chance that they'll actually change it. I think VSL does not monitor this forum, thus they won't know how much of an issue it is to many people, unless we tell them directly.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
VSL is not going to change folks. People have been complaining about this for years. My estimation is that they are stubborn on this point, they would rather lose customers then lose one penny to piracy. They are bound by principle. Many of us are stubborn on our own principles about things like this from manufacturers from our own point of view, some people will draw a line in the sand and refuse to purchase anymore VSL products and I respect that, though I do not think it will make a difference nor will it help each of you in your own music making. The same stubbornness is why VSL will go out of business before they give in to piracy.

The only thing that might improve the situation is if Steinberg improves the elicenser technology in some way that allows VSL to be more lenient without ever losing one penny to piracy.

As of today, if you want to use VSL products, which some people may or may not consider best in class, as I do, then you just have to deal with it, at least you can pay for the protection and sleep at night about whether you will ever lose your $10k worth of licenses. If you aren't willing to bear that cost, and I wouldn't blame you if not, because it is a high cost for sure and not everyone will be able to justify VSL products because of that, but if you can't justify the price, then use something else and get on with it.

It bothers me too that they are nickel and diming us to death, but on the other hand, I also consider it best in class for what it is, and there is a premium price for that, and that's it. Whether or not VSL is making the most revenus possible that way, nobody can know but it is what it is.
 
OP
sinkd

sinkd

Senior Member
I kind of look at it like a foreign car. If I really want to own and drive a SAAB, I need to know that it will be a little bit expensive and and a PITA if i need to have it serviced, or if it needs a new water pump. If I like the SAAB enough, then I put up with it.

I like VSL enough (more than enough) and I trust that the costs they are passing along are in order to keep servicing the "foreign car" that I park in my driveway and like to drive around town.

Best thing will be to keep a <2years licenser in the slot and then keep the replaced dongles as a spare in case I need an "emergency" license. If I break one then that is on me, of course.
 

667

Senior Member
I stopped buying VSL over this issue. I will live with dongle-based copy protection if the company treats me right.

But this 'buy a dongle every two years to stay in warranty' thing is.... it's a Kafkaesque reading of the world, of reality. Put your FAKE thingies (licenses, which are just bits of data) on this REAL thingy through this artificially limited means (software that only lets you MOVE a bit of data from one usb key to another rather than copy it) and then if the REAL thingy fails within the policy of hardware warranty we will let you recover the FAKE thingies that were on it?!

Like seriously, the hardware warranty for the $25 dongle is the thing that protects your $10k of licenses? That's the way you're gonna go here? That's the best decision you can make, the best solution to this problem, the thing that makes the most sense, is best for your customers, is fair to them?

I guess it's cheaper than insurance but that's absolutely the only thing VSL gets right here.
 

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
When I first got into the virtual instrument game, almost everything was either eLicenser or iLok, and one by one, most vendors left both (especially eLicenser, due to its frequent macOS issues that don't get fixed very quickly on the whole -- though it's mostly been OK for a couple of years except for the occasional "licenses not found" issue mid-session). So it wasn't a factor in my decision-making, as few if any of the quality vendors at the time avoided the dongle approach.

I rarely have trouble with iLok (although it had its own birthing issues), and nothing has ever happened with it that is so severe that it scares me vs. being just a short-term inconvenience or something that interrupts workflow and requires a reboot to (usually) sort out.

My eLicenser still frightens me to death though, as issues with it are so frequent, including being on the edge of facing the issue in the original post several times. This is just a side hobby for me and I can't afford the insurance (I own the complete collection except for the Synchronized stuff, and it took me MANY years of financial sacrifices in every aspect of my life to get to this point).

When vendors stick with dongles but offer a choice, I switch to iLok. Several were eLicenser before. I now only have a little bit of Steinberg stuff, a lot of VSL, and a couple of remnant Waldorf and Eiosis products, on my eLicenser. If I was starting over, I would avoid all of these products, as wonderful as they are, because now I have years of experience that have taught me how dangerous this dongle is.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
VSL is not going to change folks. People have been complaining about this for years. My estimation is that they are stubborn on this point, they would rather lose customers then lose one penny to piracy. They are bound by principle. Many of us are stubborn on our own principles about things like this from manufacturers from our own point of view, some people will draw a line in the sand and refuse to purchase anymore VSL products and I respect that, though I do not think it will make a difference nor will it help each of you in your own music making. The same stubbornness is why VSL will go out of business before they give in to piracy.
Why wouldn't they change something about it? They're a company, not a religious cult. They've been adamant about recording in the silent stage and going for a detailed classical sound and complex workflow for years, but noticed there's too huge of a current market for readymades and "out of the box" to ignore.

I think nobody should ever get too tired of reminding them how ghastly the whole eLicenser deal is.
 
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Dewdman42

Senior Member
Religious cult? Please stop with the red herrings.


I already explained why I don't think they are going to change, which has nothing at all to do with the quality of their product. People have been complaining about this for years and they have not deviated from their principled stance. I don't expect that to change.
 

667

Senior Member
They've already made changes-- the license insurance product is brand new, in response to this issue. It's not a good response, but they are listening at least.

Certainly much better than their old policy of reselling you your licenses for 50% discount.

So if we're still not happy we should absolutely be clear about why, because they may indeed listen and do better.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
i disagree. They have not changed their stance ever. The protection plan is case in point that they are unwilling to adjust their stance as I have stated. Instead they asked users to pay even more money to insure they don’t lose a penny to piracy.
 
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