Adobe Customers Using Old Software Threatened With Legal Action, Company in Battle With Dolby

Adobe Customers Using Old Software Threatened With Legal Action, Company in Battle With Dolby

Adobe’s recent decision to scrap its smaller price plans for Creative Cloud angered many of its loyal customers. The company then discontinued older versions of its applications and restricted the software available for download. Now, to make matters worse, customers using older versions are being warned they may face legal action.

A little over a week ago, Adobe announced:

Please note that going forward, Creative Cloud customers will only have direct download access (from the Creative Cloud Desktop app and Adobe.com) to the two most recent major versions of Creative Cloud desktop applications.

They tried to paint the incident in a positive light, claiming they simply wanted customers to have the latest "security features and capabilities, critical bug fixes, and important security updates.” However, it’s since emerged there may be another reason for removing subscribers' permission to use older software.

According to MacRumors, Adobe is facing a hefty legal battle with Dolby, whereby Adobe is being accused of copyright infringement and breach of contract. Thus, there’s much speculation that this may be the reason behind the Creative Cloud restrictions.

Adobe commented:

Unfortunately, customers who continue to use or deploy older, unauthorized versions of Creative Cloud may face potential claims of infringement by third parties. We cannot comment on claims of third-party infringement, as it concerns ongoing litigation.

Lead image credit: Photo by Matan Segev from Pexels

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29 Comments

Michael Jin's picture

So Adobe is telling you not to use the older software in legal contention because of potential copyright issues that you might get sued over. Why the hell, after hearing that, would you still be wanting to use that software anyway? Seems like Adobe is in the right in this case (never thought I'd say that...).

Johnny Rico's picture

The Gentlemen explains it in his Twitter replies, his old projects no longer compile in the newer version. Also that they have removed features and is slower do to becoming bloatware.

Michael Jin's picture

So he'd prefer to risk getting sued by Dolby? That's stupid.

Laughing Cow's picture

Yes, why you still be wanting to use that software anyway…
There are so much valid alternatives today: Capture One, Alien Exposure, Affinity, Raw Therapee, etc.
So, why to continue use Adobe software anyway…

Michael Jin's picture

Because Adobe CC is still the best overall software suite for graphic design and there are really no perfect replacements for Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

Laughing Cow's picture

Yes you are right, they are difficult to replace, and this is the reason why in another post I speak about "abuse of dominant position" on the market. But times are changing…
And frankly how better than Adobe CS6 Adobe CC is?

Michael Jin's picture

Well, it's not as if they didn't have competition getting to that dominant position so obviously they did something right. Whether they're still doing something right is up for debate.

I think CC is only really an advantage if you actually are a multimedia professional who is going to need to keep up with the rest of the field in terms of new camera support, taking advantage of new workflows for increased efficiency, etc. as well as be able to open any files that other people might provide (this is the big one for me). For the hobbyist, it's a difficult sell. I actually like CC and I like the steady stream of quality-of-life updates, but that's all they are for the most part: quality-of-life updates.

That being said, I also pay for Capture One and ProTools because I think C1 has better RAW processing and I'm just way more used to ProTools than Audition.

Laughing Cow's picture

Yes, but what as CC over CS? Almost nothing. All these years of updates for almost nothing… a jack up the a..
Protools is great. Few things to compete with it.
Personally I have always used Digital Performer (Performer) times before Protools exists :)
And oh, I use a lot Adobe products, I just don't like them as a company, the way they are…

Michael Jin's picture

I actually like the cloud integration that allows me to keep and migrate assets over not only between programs on the same computer, but between different computers. It does make life a bit easier. Honestly, there hasn't been much in the way of revolutionary improvements between the old Creative Suite and the new Creative Cloud. It's mostly been a lot of incremental updates and a couple of new solutions to problems that speed things up (eg. Select Subject is a pretty good way to get your rough selection down before refining it.)

I don't imagine that anything truly groundbreaking will happen in the same way that things changed through major versions of software. The incremental updating makes it all a gradual process, which is actually a lot easier to take in as a professional as opposed to sometimes upgrading and then being hit with a million new things at once.

Jonathan Brady's picture

Maybe Adobe should put some of those impressive profits into a settlement so their customers can continue using what they paid for.

Laughing Cow's picture

It smells like the end for Adobe....
After doubling the price of subscriptions, this...
Competition is serious and it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to abuse a position that is no longer dominant....

Ryan Davis's picture

A lot of times companies that are hugely successful, and have long dominated the market, have a hard time adjusting their mentality and culture to recognize that they no longer can hold and can continue to exploit that dominant position. They just on't believe their customers will go away.

I grew up in a Kodak town, where all our Dads worked for Kodak. I've seen this before.

That's exactly what happened with the Record Industry, they were making a killing for so long and the internet disrupted it, rather than embrace it, they went into kill or be killed mode, trying to sue everyone etc. Their markup on the costs of supporting an artist and funding album creation was ludicrous, they're still working on adapting to the new world but it's been such a slow process.

HUGE companies fell. its no different to think adobe can as well.

Rk K's picture

You guys need to realise that Adobe isn't living off Lightroom in the $10 photography subscription. Photoshop, illustrator, indesign, after effects, Substance, etc - all of these are industry standard packages with little credible competition.

Dolby would have to be thoroughly retarded to go after end users. Adobe is just trying to shift responsibility away from themselves and onto consumers.

I only agree with the first half of this. I also think it is highly unlikely that Dolby would go after consumers (although they would possibly go after large enterprises). However, I don't agree that Adobe is trying to shift responsibility away from themselves.

They are making consumers aware that there is a relationship between consumer and third party that the consumer is probably unaware of (because who reads all the terms and conditions of their software license agreement, right?) and that that relationship has changed.

It's one of the downsides of a subscription model, but it is certainly not unique to the Adobe version of the subscription model. You don't just subscribe to the headline product but to every third party that the product relies on. In many ways, Adobe are unlucky to have become the first highly public victim of this because I don't think it has been widely recognised as a problem by either consumers or software vendors before now.

But, if you check the terms of any other SaaS product you may be using such as Office 365, you'll find opportunities for a similar situation to arise.

Its' Customer Appreciation Day at Adobe. I hear you, Adobe.

Chad D's picture

been using C1 since it came out for my own work
PS is tough since its so strong so much out there the other apps still fall short for now ?

our small design company where we need to offer companies certain files and adobe is the standard

also InDesign is unique enough Quark lost out long ago to it so why go backwards ? if anything Affinity has the chance of being budget adobe with its other apps ?

at this point for a working biz its not to bad yet BUT who knows

said this before its the tiny companies not offering much like password program wanting monthly and forcing users in bad work around ways to go sub
THEY are the biggest rip offs IMHO

Actually, Zoner Photo Studio X comes with an integrated editor with layers, masks & various blending modes as well.

Brian Rodgers Jr.'s picture

In my opinion, if Adobe is going to limit Creative Cloud subscribers access to the two most recent versions of Photoshop (using the Creative Cloud Desktop app) They really need to start focusing more on getting rid of bugs prior to releasing updates. I've had nothing but erratic issues with Photoshop CC 2019. I used to update promptly when a new version was released, now I'm always hesitant because I never know what kind of issues I'll run into.

Keith Meinhold's picture

Adobe is being sued for copyright infringement and in order to no longer infringe they need you to stop using the older software. I would think that compensating customers rather than threatening them would be the course.

Rick Nash's picture

Expiration of End user right to use licensing seems to be directly tied to the cloud model of rental software use with term limits. Bet few saw this coming. The contractual agreement most likely defines limitations that include Adobe revoking the end user's right to use, should 3rd party licenses expire.
Imagine if this license relationship existed in the software of your new automobile or worse yet, aircraft flight system. It would suck that you couldn't legally operate the machine because the licenses had expired.

Ivan Lantsov's picture

no "Rent-to-Rent" use Affinity

Ok Adobe thanks so much for looking out for me, I'll take my chances with Dolby - in the meantime go pound sand.

Never cared for the subscription models of software companies. I won’t subscribe to those company’s products. I can still do majority of my photography editing using CS6 and other newer software from other companies. Other than CS6 I don’t use or will purchase Adobe products. Too many good alternatives.

Murry Cave's picture

logic would suggest the best solution would for Adobe to provide a free upgrade to more recent versions to mitigate the legal threat from Dolby

David T's picture

Don't see why people get so mad over this issue specifically.
It's like renting a car and getting a call that you have to return to the station and exchange it for a different one because there might be a problem they were just made aware of. You paid for a car, you still get to use a car.

Annoying yes, not the end of the world.

#1 Adobe didn't double their subscription price.
#2 this affects animate (Flash) and has nothing to do with Photoshop or Lightroom or anything a "photographer" uses in said subscription price.