VSL protection using Steinberg eLicenser - To Daniel


VSL user are having a big problem with VSL protection using the eLicenser.

VSL is charging 50 % if you lose your dongle or it is stolen. User could own for more than 10 000 euro of VSL libs.

If your dongle is dead after two years VSL is charging an amount per library registered.

Users wants to understand why !

Is this 50 % going to Steinberg ? is Steinberg the big greedy Woolf :unamused: ?

What is happening with the other firm using the eLicenser in case you lose your dongle, get it stollen or destroyed ?

User have ask to VSL to be able to transfer a license from a dongle to another in one click, it’s only possible if you have two working dongle and you have to do it license by license, so if you have 100 licences it is HELL

It will be so simple to transfer licenses from the computer to a dongle, you just need to associate the dongle number and the license number, allowing the user to change the dongle number and disabling the previous dongle

VSL users like me do not want to take there dongle when they leave there studio.

Thank in advance for your answers



Hi Cyril,
Companies who are utilizing the Steinberg license management system are having their own policies. Steinberg doesn’t stipulate any regulations nor we get paid from any revenue made by re-activation or replacement of licenses. VSL policies and those of other software vendors are solely their own regulations which are not related to SMTG in any way.

As you may know, we offer a Steinberg Zero Downtime and as part of that the free replacement of Steinberg licenses. All that is needed is another new or already used USB-eLicenser.

At this point it is unfortunately not possible to transfer multiple licenses from one USB-eLicenser to the other.

Hello Ed

Thanks for your answer.
I did not know about the zero downtime policy, it is a great policy, you are a GREAT COMPANY

If we buy the dongle from Steinberg, Is it possible that the VSL users have access to the zero downtime policy ?

May I post or put a link to your answer in VSL forum ?

Is it possible that you put in your todo list the transfer of multiple licenses from one USB-eLicenser to the other.
It will help a lot VSL users as VSL told us we must change our USB-eLicenser every two year as they are under guarantee.

Many Thanks



I also wish Zero Downtime was a global service for all eLicenser licenses. There has to be a way, since VSL knows what licenses I bought from them, and they must have the same authority to disable a lost/broken dongle, I’d hope.

I get pretty paranoid about losing my rather humble collection of VSL libraries, and it discourages me from risking to invest more since I could lose it so easily. I don’t think that’s the intended result of this copy protection…

If you look in MyVSL/MyProducts you have all your licences number and there Authorisation code (click on “i”)

To my knowledge, if I lose my dongle I can’t just reactivate these licenses on a new one… I’ve heard of people having to buy back their licenses at 50% price.

You are right you need to pay 50 % ! what do you call that ?

Thanks, Cyrill! Unfortunately, we cannot cover other licenses than ours in our Zero Downtime due to the above mentioned reasons.
You can post a link, sure!

I’ll forward the request of a batch license transfer to my colleagues in charge but it might be a while until we see something like that.

Hello Ed

Thanks for your answer

I’ll forward the request of a batch license transfer to my colleagues in charge but it might be a while until we see something like that.

It is a very trivial modification ; is just a loop to add in the program

a = count license
For I = 1 to a do
Call move-routine (i, licensenumber)
Next I

I have been programming for 20 years ! :wink:

Many thanks again


Hello Ed

On the VSL forum users are having many questions about your dongle :

    • If a user lose or has it’s dongle stolen what his happening on Steinberg side ?
  • Do you mark this dongle to be stolen so it cannot be used ?
  • Do you give a new license number ? or is the license number is associated to the dongle and you just change the dongle number from the license ?
  • If a dongle is broken or is burn in a fire ? what is happening ?
  • If the dongle has been stolen, when do you check that somebody is using a stolen dongle ?

Thanks in advance for your answers

Best Regards from Paris


You should be able to find the answers here: https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/206532304-Steinberg-Zero-Downtime

As djw mentioned, most is covered in our Help Center article. We disable broken or defective USB-eLicensers no matter whether it contained only Steinberg licenses or other 3rd party licenses as well. We do not give out new license numbers as each USB-eLicenser has an individual one itself. A thief wouldn’t be able to do any license transaction or even register the USB-eLicenser on his account.

Hello Ed
Thanks for your answer.

You said :

A thief wouldn’t be able to do any license transaction or even register the USB-eLicenser on his account.

So if he does not launch the eLicenser he can use the librairies !

If it is the case I quite understand VSL position !

Could you automatically check when a user is connected on Internet if his dongle is valid ?
And if after 2 to 3 weeks he has not connected, to ask him to connect to check his licenses ?
Now there is WIFI in every MacDonalds there is no problem :laughing:


We don’t do that at this point so he will have to use the eLicenser Control Center for that to happen.

Hello Ed

Thanks for your answer.

So VSL is not a hundred % sure that the stolen dongle will not be used, as the robber can use it all the time he wants without running the eLC program
To have a 100 % workable solution you should check ! and may be VSL will suppress this 50 % clause

Is there is a way in the VSL software to call your database to check up of the stolen or lost dongle ? if yes THIS IS THE SOLUTION. :smiley:

Best regards


Well, any other options need to be dicussed with VSL I guess. That’s the way it works for us now.

Hello Ed

If you can find a solution all VSL users will thank you, and VSL will stop loosing customers !

I have postpone buying more VSL libs until a solution is found, I have more than 10 000 euro of VSL products ! I dont want to have to re-pay 5 000 € if I loose my dongles or if they are stolen in my studio.

I dont take my dongle away from my studio being so scared !

Tell us if you comme to a solution !

Thanks again


If there were internet checks then this would negate any upsides of using a dongle for the customer. One of the few is that there’s no activation or requirement to be online.

I disagree that this possibility of theft that can make a thief use the libraries is an excuse for VSL to not offer the same ZDT service as Steinberg. It’s not about the morality of one or two people using it illegimately on a stolen dongle - they can still do that now, and you the legitimate customer can’t even use it yourself anymore!

How many people do you think are using Cubase on a deactivated dongle this way? Not many, as you have to let Steinberg know when you want to disable the old licenser, and if it was abused a ton then they’d already know.

As it stands, VSL would only gain money from people like us that are currently discouraged from spending on their libraries, in case of loss, failure and perhaps theft. Them recommending to insure your dongle is absurd. This is about taking care of your customers, and it should only be a matter of time before VSL realizes that they’re harming their own sales by not exercising good faith in their customers.

You’re free to quote my reasoning on the Vienna forums.

Hello DJW

I agree 100 % with you, I have been ban twice from VSL Forum because I was speaking too much of the subject.
They did not like my last post where I copy an article from Steinberg on Dorico’s Forum, saying that they are working on a protection without dongle.

I Phone and mail to many insurances company in Europe, no one would insure the contents of the dongle.
I have just send a mail to Marnix at VSL to contact Ed*. Hope they will come with a solution.

There is a VSL free group on Facebook (please pass the information )




  • IF I am still ban next Monday VSL is going to hear from me
    • Ed can you tell me if you have receive any new from VSL ?

I wouldn’t post here much more about VSL either since in the end it’s not Steinberg that made these decisions. If you really got banned twice then you should try to be more tactful in the way you discuss these things.