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This developer use case guide will help you to decide which VST 3 licensing model to choose. The VST 3 SDK has new Usage Guidelines to follow for all licensing models, please read them carefully!

Steinberg VST usage guidelines

Whenever VST® is used or the SDK has been used to create a product or the SDK is included (Open-source GPLv3 case), it is required to add the reference to Steinberg by using the VST compatible logo as supplied by Steinberg. Included in the VST SDK, the VST compatible logo can be found in the folder VST_SDK/VST3_SDK/vst3_doc/artwork.

What are the licensing options for VST 3?

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 (License Agreement included!).

Which files fall under which license?

All files describing the VST 3 interface, except VST 2 files, located in the folder "pluginterfaces" of the SDK, fall under the dual-license described previously.

Developer use cases (FAQs)

The following use cases support you to choose the right license.


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