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What are the licensing options

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You can choose between the Proprietary Steinberg VST 3 or the Open-source GPLv3 license (dual-license) depending on how you want to distribute your VST 3 plug-in/host. The License Agreement could be found here and in the VST SDK package.

Proprietary Steinberg VST 3 license

The "Proprietary Steinberg VST 3" license allows you to distribute your VST 3 plug-in/host in a binary form. However, please note the following requirements:

  • You need written permission from Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH in order to distribute your VST 3 plug-in/host (Steinberg will send you the countersigned License agreement included in the SDK that you signed and sent to us).
  • You need to mention Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH in the about box and/or documentation of your VST 3 plug-in/host and follow the Steinberg VST usage guidelines.

For more details please read the "Proprietary Steinberg VST 3" license agreement. If you accept it, please enter all required information, sign it and send it back to us, either via land mail (to the Steinberg address mentioned in the license), or via e-mail to reception@steinberg.de or via fax (+49 (0)40 210 35-300). We will countersign the license agreement and send it back to you.

As PDF
The License agreement is part of the VST SDK package, too.

Open-source GPLv3 license

The open-source license lets you share the source code of your VST 3 plug-in/host including the VST 3 SDK's sources which are subject to the GPLv3.

Note
Note that VST 2 sources are NOT part of the GPLv3!

For more information about GPLv3 check this link. It also permits you to change and modify the VST 3 SDK's sources as long as you share your changes and make them available for everyone (e.g. on an Internet hosting service like GitHub). Note that you have to follow the Steinberg VST usage guidelines.

Steinberg Dual-License file

//----------------------------------------------------------------------------
// LICENSE
// (c) 2022, Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH, All Rights Reserved
//----------------------------------------------------------------------------
This license applies only to files referencing this license,
for other files of the Software Development Kit therespective embedded license text
is applicable. The license can be found at: <http://www.steinberg.net/sdklicenses_vst3>

This Software Development Kit is licensed under the terms ofthe Steinberg VST 3 License,
or alternatively under the terms of the General PublicLicense (GPL) Version 3.
You may use the Software Development Kit according to eitherof these licenses as it is
most appropriate for your project on a case-by-case basis(commercial or not).

a) Proprietary Steinberg VST 3 License
The Software Development Kit may not be distributed in partsor its entirety
without prior written agreement by Steinberg MediaTechnologies GmbH.
The SDK must not be used to re-engineer or manipulate anytechnology used
in any Steinberg or Third-party application or softwaremodule,
unless permitted by law.
Neither the name of the Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH northe names of its
contributors may be used to endorse or promote productsderived from this
software without specific prior written permission.
Before publishing a software under the proprietary license, you need to obtain a copy
of the License Agreement signed by Steinberg MediaTechnologies GmbH.
The Steinberg VST SDK License Agreement can be found at:
<http://www.steinberg.net/en/company/developers.html>

THE SDK IS PROVIDED BY STEINBERG MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES GMBH "ASIS" AND
ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITEDTO, THE IMPLIED
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULARPURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED.
IN NO EVENT SHALL STEINBERG MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES GMBH BE LIABLEFOR ANY DIRECT,
INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIALDAMAGES (INCLUDING,
BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS ORSERVICES; LOSS OF USE,
DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSEDAND ON ANY THEORY OF
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT(INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE
OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THISSOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED
OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

b) General Public License (GPL) Version 3
Details of these licenses can be found at: <http://www.gnu.orglicenses/gpl-3.0.html>
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------