Simple ways to restrict use to paid VST subscribers

Haven’t decided on a one-time or subscription model, but either way, would like to restrict users of plugin to those that paid.

Ideally when they buy it, could send them a secret serial number or something.

No matter what, it seems like I’d need my C++ VST to make an HTTP request to some server of mine (or maybe some service that does this?) to respond whether it’s valid or not?

But I might also need to disable a serial if 1000 different IPs are using one serial number.

Curious how folks usually handle or DIY light DRM for their plugins!

FYI: A few years ago Steinberg stopped granting licenses for VST plugins. So, unless you have an existing license with Steinberg you cannot sell VST plugins.

This is true, but just to clarify: you can still obtain a license for selling VST3 plug-ins. It took about a month for my 1-person company to get approval from Steinberg, but they did eventually respond with signed approval.

Reference: VST 3 Licensing (VST 3 Developer Portal)

1 Like

Have they gone after anyone for that?

I have no first hand knowledge of Steinberg pursuing people for selling unlicensed VST plugins. But the license is required to sell them, and Steinberg could take legal action if they chose to do so. So, I would say that it is unwise to try to sell them without the license.

As has been said, you can get a license for VST3. That is probably the best option.

Yeah, I have a VST3 license. I was just sort of curious, given how long it’s been since they introduced VST3, as to whether they would actually police whether you released a VST version as well or not, as long as you had a VST3. Not that I’m considering doing it. :wink: