VSL, along with many other major development companies require the use of an eLicenser dongle/key in order to use their products. The eLicenser is a USB key, designed to store the users' license(s) in order to use specific software products (on both Mac and PC). One eLicenser key can store multiple licenses on it, so you wouldn't need to have multiple eLicenser keys in use.
Please note: The Steinberg / Yamaha eLicenser key is not to be confused with the PACE iLok key system. The iLok is a different type of USB key and licenses which require one of these keys will not work on the other! So please ensure you have checked the System Requirements on a product page to see what licensing key your software requires (if it needs one at all!).
A question which pops up now and again, which we hope to address is "What happens if the eLicneser key is lost, stolen or broken? Will I be sent a new one?"
VSL had this to say on the issue:
Generally, the most valuable part of VSL products is the license which is stored on the dongle/key. With our copy protection partner eLicenser (owned by Steinberg / Yamaha), we don't have access to the licenses on the keys of our users, so we're not able to restore and/or transfer any lost or stolen license to a new key. Also, it's technically not possible to disable the licenses or the key via remote. This means that whoever steals or finds a key can use the contained license without any restrictions, if he also has access to the samples, and software, e.g., from a friend.
Users who lost the key (or whose key has been stolen) will have to purchase a new license, and of course a new key. What we can offer uninsured users to meet them halfway in this situation is a replacement license at the reduced price of 50% of the full price of the licensed product(s).
Every user is responsible for his/her keys and licenses, we're not obliged to replace any lost or stolen keys at all, like e.g. lost or stolen jewelry wouldn't be replaced unless it's insured. That's why we recommend to insure all products you licensed.
In case a ViennaKey is damaged, users have to send it to our office in Vienna to enable us to take a look at the kind of the damage.
If the user damaged the ViennaKey, they will of course have to pay for the new ViennaKey, and a handling fee for the new licenses (EUR 20 per contained license, minimum fee EUR 30). If a ViennaKey is registered, it's a lot easier for us to find out which licenses were stored on the Key.
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. That's why we recommend to purchase a new key every two years.
The quickest and easiest temporary solution in a case like this is to buy a new ViennaKey. We can then send you a demo license which enables you to bridge at least some time (48 hours) until the order of the replacement license is processed, which usually takes 1-3 business days once we've received the broken key.
Of course it's not a bad idea to have a spare key in your studio, to ensure that you have no downtime at all in the event of a lost or broken key.
For more information, or to contact VSL about a damaged or lost / stolen key, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org