Non-Attribution in Free VSTs Question

I recently contacted Steinberg by email at, asking a legal question concerning the licensing of freely available (online or otherwise) VSTs. They told me to refer to the forums and sent me a link here. I apologize if this topic has been created in the wrong section of this forum.

My question: If I notice that a freely available VST (such as a freeware, shareware, or donationware VST or other types of freely available VSTs) does not meet the appropriate attribution provisions of the licence agreement (such as not including Steinberg’s copyright disclaimer within the VST nor including it in the website from which the plugin is available or even entirely not including the VST Logo anywhere at all), is it still legal for me, the consumer, to use these free VSTs?

I know the question seems silly and esoteric, but to me if a developer fails to follow the provisions outlined under section 9.2 of the VST3 SDK, the VST they are developing becomes unlicensed. I also plan to potentially use these VSTs for audio in commercial applications.

Thank you for your time.

As a user you’re allowed to use VST software, even if the author of the software has forgotten to fulfil his duties according to the VST SDK License Agreement. You can help us to help the author of the VST software to follow the obligations. Just send us an email pointing out the insufficient software, we’ll do the rest.

Kind regards