Whatever happened to VSL?

kitekrazy

Senior Member
Like Steinberg, they're a very conservative company. They stick to what works for them, and don't look to competitors or newer customer needs. It's an interesting but dangerous approach, and we'll see what it means for their future.
I started on Percussion and More and have moved up to SE Vol.1 and 2. They have a sale about every month. This month buy 2 get one free. The prices are also lower through 3rd party vendors.
 

SimonCharlesHanna

Senior Member
The agreement language is very light on specifics, though, to be fair. It speaks of "handling fees" in the case of a broken elicenser, and just states that lost elicensers "can't be replaced free of charge".

Unless I am missing the specifics elsewhere in the agreement, of course. As somebody who purchased quite a bit of VSL software a while ago I was unaware of any 50% fee for replacing my software should my Elicenser come up missing. It doesn't make much sense considering that they can block/disable a lost one, and the nature of transferring licenses, downloading products. The technology is there to protect their customers and themselves. If the 50% claim is true, I doubt that I will ever buy another VSL instrument knowing how much unnecessary risk is involved.
It is true that they will "be nice" and charge you 50%. Their advice to me was to insure my dongle (as I own almost all of their products). After a day of calling insurance companies, not one would insure a usb dongle holding $Xk worth of software. So if there is a fire (and my dongle disintegrates) or a theft at my house, all my licenses are gone and I would have to pay VSL to get them back - a price I am not sure I would even be able to afford nor be willing to pay.

There's no justification to re-buy VSL's libraries. I am almost certain that they could replace your licenses for almost no cost. But you know, the upkeep of a shiny new sound stage ain't cheap!

The most lively discussions over at VSL forums these days are almost exclusively about their dongle policy.
 
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novaburst

Senior Member
and is afraid the dongle might break as it did for my friends, I can't justify the risk of losing the licenses I spent my money on. I don't have this problem with Cubase because of the Zero Downtime Policy. I
There are maybe hundreds of thousands of users of VSL and cubase who don't seem to have a problem with dongle (USB) licenses.

VSL and cubase do recommend you register your license in case you loose it.

Also you can transfer your license from dongle to dongle when ever it suits you.

There is a risk of breaking or loosing your dongle if you travel a lot with a laptop and are here and there, but we all do that with USB sticks with a problem, why when it comes to dongles there seems to be a problem.

If there is such important information on your USB or dongle for that matter, extra care should be taken when moving around from place to place, a bit like your bank card, driving license, credit card, house keys, car keys,, your purse or wallet,
 

muk

Senior Member
Here is the specific segment from their Terms of License:

"Vienna Symphonic Library GmbH reserves the right to block its Licenses saved on the lost ViennaKey or on any other lost USB eLicenser upon being notified by the registered user of the loss. Lost or stolen Licenses cannot be replaced free of charge by Vienna Symphonic Library GmbH."

Apparently VSL can block the licenses on a lost or stolen key. I understand that VSL will charge a handling fee for doing so. But in my opinion it is out of every proportion to charge 50% of the original library price for that. They should charge for their actual effort of blocking these licenses. If it takes one hour of work, they could charge like 60$ or so.

Since VSL can block the lost/stolen licenses, there is zero damage for the company.
 

Puzzlefactory

Senior Member
I think it's a bit mean to charge 50% of the asking price for a broken/lost dongle. Sure if it seemed suspicious (like the same license being replaced again and again) but for a one off replacement (particularly on such expensive libraries) they should be more forgiving IMO.

Like someone pointed out, would cost them little or nothing to block/change a license.
 

novaburst

Senior Member
Since VSL can block the lost/stolen licenses, there is zero damage for the company.
I think this blocking is to stop any one from using it if stolen or found.

Not sure what they do for damaged dongles.

Bad luck does happen and feel for them who has gone through this with VSL.

You don't have to buy a new car if you break/lose your car keys, you still have the right to your house if you lose your home keys, I don't have to retake driving lessons if I lose a physical driver's license, I don't lose my bank account if I lose my bank card
You may come back to your house and find it emptied of your goods, you also may not see your car any more, also your bank may be compromised, before you find out your card is stolen.

I know it can be a head bang when we loose things, or things get stolen.

I feel all these charges from VSL is to encourage good practice, and take good care of things at the very least to minimise loss or breaks,
 

Puzzlefactory

Senior Member
I disagree, like I said before it seems mean (and greedy) to me. At the end of the day a dongle is just a piece of plastic that can easily break.

There should be some provisions in place move a license from one stick to another.

Particularly so, if the companies advice is "insure your dongle" but at the same time no insurance company will insure a USB stick with thousands of pounds worth of software on it (as a previous poster claimed).
 

xenon1

New Member
If there is such important information on your USB or dongle for that matter, extra care should be taken when moving around from place to place, a bit like your bank card, driving license, credit card, house keys, car keys,, your purse or wallet,
Sad to say this, but as far as I know, no one has been rescued from VSL who lost usb dongle.
and we VSL's customer didn't buy hardware. We just bought their software and elicenser is just the key to use their software. car, wallet, jewelry... they are all hardwares.
 

muk

Senior Member
Reading a bit on the VSL forum. Michael Hula from VSL support posted that they can not block the licenses on it:

"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."

https://www.vsl.co.at/community/posts/t42581-VSL-LOST-KEY-POLICY#post256404

In that case, surely this part in their Terms of License is a bit misleading:

"Vienna Symphonic Library GmbH reserves the right to block its Licenses saved on the lost ViennaKey".

They reserve the right, but apparently they can not actually do it. Maybe that's something to work on, it would improve customer security quite a bit.
 

dtcomposer

Active Member
What is East Wests policy with their ilok licences?
I accidentally left my whole collection (basically everything up through the Hollywood series ensemble instruments) on the equivalent to a "soft e-licenser" on my computer, and then stupidly changed my motherboard, and sold the old one without uninstalling the licenses. There was no way to get the motherboard back, no way to uninstall the licenses from the other computer. There was also no way for the next owner to access the licenses either, obviously.

They just generated completely new licenses, and canceled the other ones on the Ilok account. I was worried that they would have some heavy handed policy since they have kind of a bad reputation, but it was very simple, and they didn't even charge a fee. Maybe VSL needs to switch over to Ilok if the vienna key tech is so far behind?
 

novaburst

Senior Member
I have broken a dongle into an L shape thankfully it still registered on my machine, but i transferred everything on that dongle to another one.

But even that gave me a good lesson, i am ever so careful when moving or working on my machines, even when laying my machine down i remove all dongles.

Anyway VSL and dongles for ever.........Just kidding :rofl:
 

Christof

Senior Member
I accidentally left my whole collection (basically everything up through the Hollywood series ensemble instruments) on the equivalent to a "soft e-licenser" on my computer, and then stupidly changed my motherboard, and sold the old one without uninstalling the licenses. There was no way to get the motherboard back, no way to uninstall the licenses from the other computer. There was also no way for the next owner to access the licenses either, obviously.

They just generated completely new licenses, and canceled the other ones on the Ilok account. I was worried that they would have some heavy handed policy since they have kind of a bad reputation, but it was very simple, and they didn't even charge a fee. Maybe VSL needs to switch over to Ilok if the vienna key tech is so far behind?
Actually it's the same dongle/system Steinberg uses.
There is no Vienna key.
 

dtcomposer

Active Member
Actually it's the same dongle/system Steinberg uses.
There is no Vienna key.
Correct. They just call it the Vienna Key. Either way, if there is a limitation on the technology end that impacts their users in such a punitive way, I think it would be wise to move to a more customer-friendly system. It doesn't even really make sense from a business perspective assuming they inform their potential customers.

But if they feel the moral obligation to continue the 50% practice, don't they also have a moral obligation to inform their users of the specifics? I support a company setting whatever policies they want, but not informing their potential customers seems predatory. Now that I know the policy, it's my responsibility to decide if the risk is worth the product.
 

muk

Senior Member
Actually it's the same dongle/system Steinberg uses.
That is true for VSL, but not for Eastwest. Eiter with iLok you can deactivate licenses, or Eastwest is more customer friendly in that regard.

It seems to be a policy thing anyway. Cubase licenses are apparently covered if your dongle is stolen or lost. The VSL licenses on the same key are not.
 

marclawsonmusic

Senior Member
But if they feel the moral obligation to continue the 50% practice, don't they also have a moral obligation to inform their users of the specifics? I support a company setting whatever policies they want, but not informing their potential customers seems predatory. Now that I know the policy, it's my responsibility to decide if the risk is worth the product.
Are you talking about the same VSL that allows you to resell your samples to someone else? And you call this company predatory? Hmmm...