Adobe warning of legal problems if subscribers keep using old versions of Creative Cloud a...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 13
Users of older versions of Creative Cloud apps, including Photoshop, Premiere Pro and Lightroom Classic, have been told by Adobe that they are no longer licensed to use them, and anyone who continues to use these versions could face "infringement claims" from other companies.




Users of older versions of Adobe Creative Cloud apps including Photoshop have been told to stop using them or face potential "infringement claims" from third-party companies who are unnamed but suspected to be Dolby. Adobe cites only "ongoing litigation" as the reason for the abrupt announcement.

"Adobe recently discontinued certain older versions of Creative Cloud applications. Customers using those versions have been notified that they are no longer licensed to use them and were provided guidance on how to upgrade to the latest authorized versions," said Adobe in a statement to AppleInsider.

"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."

Instead, users are receiving the equivalent of a cease and desist email, informing them that the apps that they are using are discontinued.

I just got an email from @Adobe that I'm no longer allowed to use the software that I'm paying for. Time to cancel my subscription I guess.

Share plz. pic.twitter.com/ZIIdqK5AkM

-- Matt Roszak (@KupoGames)


Twitter user Matt Roszak was the first to report on the official Adobe email but many others have now followed suit. Each person has received a personalised email specifying the older apps they are using, which so far appear to include Photoshop, Premiere, Lightroom Classic, Animate and Media Director.

In response to other complaints on Twitter, the company's @AdobeCare account repeated the information and added one more detail. "We cannot comment on claims of third party infringement," says a series of tweets, "as it concerns ongoing litigation. Third parties include any person or company who may have a claim of copyright or other IP infringement by virtue of your continued use of the unauthorized products."

Another similar support response says that this is "due to a copyright dispute."

While Adobe has not said who the dispute is with, the company is presently being sued by Dolby. Through a legal complaint filed in March 2019 with the US District Court and the Northern District of California, Dolby is seeking a jury trial over issues of "copyright infringement and breach of contract" against Adobe.

Prior to the creation of the Creative Cloud subscription service, Adobe licensed certain technologies from Dolby with an agreement based on how many discs of certain apps were sold. Now that the software is distributed online, the companies reportedly renegotiated their agreement to be based on how many users are actually running the software.

According to Dolby's legal filing, this agreement was subject to the figures Adobe reported being examined by a third-party audit. "When Dolby sought to exercise its right to audit Adobe's books and records to ensure proper reporting and payment, Adobe refused to engage in even basic auditing and information sharing practices; practices that Adobe itself had demanded of its own licensees," says the filing.

"Adobe apparently determined that it was better to spend years withholding this information from Dolby than to allow Dolby to understand the full scope of Adobe's contractual breaches," it continues. "Yet the limited information that Dolby has reviewed to-date demonstrates that Adobe included Dolby technologies in numerous Adobe software products and collections of products, but refused to report each sale or pay the agreed-upon royalties owed to Dolby."

Customers who continue to use or deploy, unauthorized versions of Creative Cloud may face potential claims of infringement by third parties. We can not comment on claims of third party infringement, as it concerns ongoing litigation. ^CS https://t.co/wx2K8MXov9

-- Adobe Customer Care (@AdobeCare)


Earlier in May, Adobe announced that that users will no longer be able to stay on just any older version they want.

"Please note that going forward, Creative Cloud customers will only have direct download access... to the two most recent major versions of Creative Cloud desktop applications," says the company in a blog post.

If you are a Creative Cloud subscriber using the latest releases, or a recent version, then your apps continue as normal and you need do nothing. This should mean that the majority of users are unaffected. However, up until now, if you pay your subscription you have been entitled to use whichever version you want -- and there are strong reasons to stay on older editions of Adobe apps.

Users may prefer to wait until any potential bugs are found and fixed in the latest edition, for instance. They may also be unwilling to risk a major update while they are in the middle of a project. Or users may well have chosen to stay on prior versions of the software because they don't want to have to update their Macs to get the best from the newest editions.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,136member
    If ever there was a trigger to increase software piracy, and departing the garbage scow known as Adobe's ecosystem, this is it!
    n2itivguydysamoriaracerhomie3DAalsethjeffharrisbaconstangolsmike54
  • Reply 2 of 28
    Agreed. And wish the courts would step in and stop this “Software as a Service” nonsense too. 
    dysamoriamagman1979toysandmebeowulfschmidtDAalsethjeffharrisbaconstangolsmike54
  • Reply 3 of 28
    bsbeamerbsbeamer Posts: 27member

    Adobe has already been warning people with older versions NOT to install updates to those versions because it would remove functionality with certain features due to licensing. This was clearly provided in the blue link under the individual update for all older versions. Believe this impacted everything from CC 2017 and previous.

    If they really do 100% CUT OFF access to CC 2014 or CC 2015 versions (or prior), that's when an uproar is warranted. As it stands currently, if users have those versions installed and they continue to function as-is (without further updates) I do not see a problem with no longer offering the downloads. It had to eventually happen and you cannot expect them to continue offering 10+ versions of software forever.

    Adobe has actively released updates for almost every older version of their software in the past year to remove Dolby functionality related to this exact issue.  Ultimately, this is a licensing issue on both sides.  People using older software MAY have class-action status based on how the subscription was sold to them and the terms they agreed to at the original purchase.  This would mostly include those who signed up for Creative Cloud the first year or two of it being offered and have continued to subscribe (without lapse).  

  • Reply 4 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,334member
    Never used Adobe’s cloud service because they are untrustworthy.
    dysamoriamagman1979toysandmeDAalsethjeffharrisbaconstangolsmike54pulseimagesviclauyyc
  • Reply 5 of 28
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,044member
    Wow.  This is exactly the kind of crap that was predicted with subscription software.  PR-wise, it's an incredibly dumb e-mail.  Even if their claims are true (users could be sued), they could have simply sent an advisement:  

    "Adobe is engaged in a legal dispute with certain other companies.  As a result, we've been informed that Creative Cloud users who are still using older versions of (insert titles) could be subject to legal action from third parties.  Because we value our customers and don't want to see them negatively affected, we want to advise you of this development.  We strongly recommend you download the free upgrades of CC apps.  This will help ensure your interests as a customer.  Please be aware that if you choose to keep using older versions, Adobe cannot be responsible for the actions of third parties."   

    Something like that.  Apparently they don't have anyone at Adobe who can write a letter.  
    magman1979olsmike54firelock
  • Reply 6 of 28
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 647member
    lord I hope this pushes at least a few people to give Affinity Designer and Pixelmator a fresh look. Adobe apps aren't even good.

    My industry has mostly shifted to Sketch and Figma, and their response (Adobe XD) has fortunately found only moderate traction.
    racerhomie3magman1979toysandmeDAalsethsportyguy209kruegdudebaconstang
  • Reply 7 of 28
    majorslmajorsl Posts: 119unconfirmed, member
    It would be awesome if AI did an article series for equivalent to Adobe [product name] with both paid and open source alternatives. Our University got the same letter and we have Adobe on so much, it'd be nice to try and get our users to try alternatives.
    dysamoriaracerhomie3magman1979toysandmejeffharrissportyguy209olsmike54
  • Reply 8 of 28
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 924member
    Let me get this straight: I purchase/subscribe to Adobe software and a company that has a tiff with Adobe might want to sue me? If they can indeed come after me then there is something seriously wrong with the legal system. The buck needs to stop with Adobe.
    dysamoriamagman1979toysandmejeffharrissportyguy209baconstangolsmike54
  • Reply 9 of 28
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,270member
    bsbeamer said:

    Adobe has already been warning people with older versions NOT to install updates to those versions because it would remove functionality with certain features due to licensing. This was clearly provided in the blue link under the individual update for all older versions. Believe this impacted everything from CC 2017 and previous.

    If they really do 100% CUT OFF access to CC 2014 or CC 2015 versions (or prior), that's when an uproar is warranted. As it stands currently, if users have those versions installed and they continue to function as-is (without further updates) I do not see a problem with no longer offering the downloads. It had to eventually happen and you cannot expect them to continue offering 10+ versions of software forever.

    Adobe has actively released updates for almost every older version of their software in the past year to remove Dolby functionality related to this exact issue.  Ultimately, this is a licensing issue on both sides.  People using older software MAY have class-action status based on how the subscription was sold to them and the terms they agreed to at the original purchase.  This would mostly include those who signed up for Creative Cloud the first year or two of it being offered and have continued to subscribe (without lapse).  

    Do you even read licensing agreements? Users had no rights at all. Certainly not in the USA. This has been a continuing problem for decades and subscription software “as a service” has only made it worse for consumers.
    toysandmemike54
  • Reply 10 of 28
    ebinrockebinrock Posts: 2member
    Bye bye Encore, for good...
    magman1979toysandme
  • Reply 11 of 28
    ebinrockebinrock Posts: 2member
    (At least for video applications), Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve FTW!  They have a FREE version of Resolve, which provides professional alternatives for Premiere, After Effects, and Audition, and has the Hollywood standard for color correction.  Only thing missing is a Photoshop and Illustrator equivalent for graphics.  Even the full version of Resolve, which adds some necessary features for higher end post houses, is only $200, and that's a ONE TIME payment, NOT subscription!  Can't believe Adobe's not paying attention to this relatively new kid on the block who could easily become the new industry standard in video production if they don't watch out.
    toysandmesportyguy209ols
  • Reply 12 of 28
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 647member
    majorsl said:
    It would be awesome if AI did an article series for equivalent to Adobe [product name] with both paid and open source alternatives. Our University got the same letter and we have Adobe on so much, it'd be nice to try and get our users to try alternatives.
    This would be a great article. While waiting, I can suggest a couple:

    Photoshop Pixelmator Pro. Unlike Photoshop, which is full of clunky cross-platform Adobe Air code, Pixelmator is a real Mac native app. The performance is just bewildering. Affinity Photo looks promising but I don't know much about it.

    Illustrator Affinity Designer. Illustrator also has the drawback of having huge chunks written in freakin’ Java. Slow and decrepit UI, inconsistent not only with Mac but the rest of the Adobe "suite." Affinity Designer is modern, native, and full-featured. I am unsure if the color separation features are as robust as Illustrator, unfortunately. CorelDRAW also has a new native Mac version (and, subjectively to me, a better UI, but that's very controversial), not many reviews thus far. Inkscape has okay word of mouth but it kind of smells of GIMP to me.

    InDesign Affinity Publisher. Still in beta. tbh I'm skeptical that it will be competitive out of the gate, but worth a look.

    Lightroom Apple Aperture. haha just kidding


    The biggest drawback to switching, in my experience, has nothing to do with features or performance or cost, but everything to do with familiarity. Artists don't like to retrain themselves to use different tools. I know countless graphic designers and artists who simply can't handle the mental hurdle of retraining all their keyboard shortcuts. It's a miracle that the industry managed the switch from Quark Xpress to InDesign…
    sportyguy209baconstangols
  • Reply 13 of 28
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,928member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    majorsl said:
    It would be awesome if AI did an article series for equivalent to Adobe [product name] with both paid and open source alternatives. Our University got the same letter and we have Adobe on so much, it'd be nice to try and get our users to try alternatives.
    The biggest drawback to switching, in my experience, has nothing to do with features or performance or cost, but everything to do with familiarity. Artists don't like to retrain themselves to use different tools. I know countless graphic designers and artists who simply can't handle the mental hurdle of retraining all their keyboard shortcuts. It's a miracle that the industry managed the switch from Quark Xpress to InDesign…
    That's the position I'm in now. Upgrading 2 specific design computers used for large format and TBH have been off and on considering replacing Photoshop anyway (CS6 standalone currently). I also use Lightroom 6.14 for the photography side which I've already gradually been moving to On1 even if not entirely ready to dump Adobe altogether (lots of hard-to-replicate plug-ins). This may be just enough to force the move anyway and no I'm not looking forward to three of us learning new menus, shortcuts and commands. 

    Yup that's a major drawback for those of us using Adobe for a decade or more. Old dogs and all.... 
    ols
  • Reply 14 of 28
    RJGARJGA Posts: 1member
    And don't forget the very capable PhotoLIne software as a replacement for PhotoShop. PhotoLIne (www.pl32.com) is a hidden gem with a functionality that in many aspects surpasses PhotoShop's functionality.
    toysandmeols
  • Reply 15 of 28
    hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 657member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    majorsl said:
    It would be awesome if AI did an article series for equivalent to Adobe [product name] with both paid and open source alternatives. Our University got the same letter and we have Adobe on so much, it'd be nice to try and get our users to try alternatives.
    This would be a great article. While waiting, I can suggest a couple:

    Photoshop Pixelmator Pro. Unlike Photoshop, which is full of clunky cross-platform Adobe Air code, Pixelmator is a real Mac native app. The performance is just bewildering. Affinity Photo looks promising but I don't know much about it.

    Illustrator Affinity Designer. Illustrator also has the drawback of having huge chunks written in freakin’ Java. Slow and decrepit UI, inconsistent not only with Mac but the rest of the Adobe "suite." Affinity Designer is modern, native, and full-featured. I am unsure if the color separation features are as robust as Illustrator, unfortunately. CorelDRAW also has a new native Mac version (and, subjectively to me, a better UI, but that's very controversial), not many reviews thus far. Inkscape has okay word of mouth but it kind of smells of GIMP to me.

    InDesign Affinity Publisher. Still in beta. tbh I'm skeptical that it will be competitive out of the gate, but worth a look.

    Lightroom Apple Aperture. haha just kidding


    The biggest drawback to switching, in my experience, has nothing to do with features or performance or cost, but everything to do with familiarity. Artists don't like to retrain themselves to use different tools. I know countless graphic designers and artists who simply can't handle the mental hurdle of retraining all their keyboard shortcuts. It's a miracle that the industry managed the switch from Quark Xpress to InDesign…
    I'll second what you mentioned.  I have both Affinity Designer and Photo. Both are fantastic apps. Built from the ground up with the latest OS tech. No bloat. I will purchase Publisher when they launch it, as I have been dabbling in the beta version and if feels solid so far. Yeah, this subscription crap is redonculous, but businesses are in it to make $ etc.. so let the free market decide! I hope to sweet baby Jesus Affinity develops some video editing apps, if they do, they will have people jumping off the Adobe ship. Pixelmator Pro is also another fantastic PS alternative as well. We have options! 
    edited May 13 sportyguy209
  • Reply 16 of 28
    MPrewittMPrewitt Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    The suggested letter by @Sdw2001 above sounds better for sure, but I suspect that the language of Adobe's letter is that they are trying to do "due diligence." It sounds like they anticipate losing the lawsuit with Dolby or whomever it is, and perhaps the judgment against Adobe (the fines) will take into account how many people are currently using the old versions of the affected apps. So Adobe wants to get as many people off of those older versions as possible, before the storm hits. I can see why some people are upset by this. It doesn't affect me at all, since I use the latest versions. But it also seems like people don't comprehend what they read, especially the tweets that make it sound like Adobe is the one threatening legal action. Ridiculous. Regarding what @Eric_WVGG said, I happen to own both Pixelmator and Affinity Designer, and those apps are OK for entry-level design work, but so inferior overall that I have rarely used them. Adobe's software is awesome. XD lags behind Sketch mostly because of the current ecosystem of plugins, but I believe it will soon be more than a match. Photoshop and InDesign are way ahead of everyone else in their respective areas. There is not any similar software on earth I would even consider to replace those, even if it was free.
  • Reply 17 of 28
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,789member
    Eric_WVGG said:

    The biggest drawback to switching, in my experience, has nothing to do with features or performance or cost, but everything to do with familiarity. Artists don't like to retrain themselves to use different tools. I know countless graphic designers and artists who simply can't handle the mental hurdle of retraining all their keyboard shortcuts. It's a miracle that the industry managed the switch from Quark Xpress to InDesign…
    I don’t think relearning a new interface is a determining factor because Adobe is constantly moving things into different menus, changing the features etc of all their apps.

    For me it is ubiquity and compatibility of file formats. We hire freelancers and do a lot of collaboration. For that to work we all need to be on the same platform.

    There are a few things that caused the mass migration from Quark. One, unlike inDesign Quark did not have drop shadows, did not support Photoshop files, you had to be connected to the internet every time you launch it to check your serial number it didn’t support drag and drop from the Finder and Adobe was giving inDesign away for free to anyone with a license to Pagemaker.  inDesign had much better PDF export workflow capabilities. Given all that along with other outstanding features made it a no brainer to switch.
    sportyguy209
  • Reply 18 of 28
    hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 657member
    MPrewitt said:
    Regarding what @Eric_WVGG said, I happen to own both Pixelmator and Affinity Designer, and those apps are OK for entry-level design work, but so inferior overall that I have rarely used them. Adobe's software is awesome. XD lags behind Sketch mostly because of the current ecosystem of plugins, but I believe it will soon be more than a match. Photoshop and InDesign are way ahead of everyone else in their respective areas. There is not any similar software on earth I would even consider to replace those, even if it was free.
    I have to disagree with you a tad there in regards to Affinity. Granted they are a new company and don't have 20+ yrs of development behind them, but they are far more robust than entry level. Over time they will be really close, or on par with Adobe's apps I suspect. The amount legacy code in Adobe's ecosystem (from what I understand, as I am not a developer) makes for a clunky experience at times. But to each their own in the end. I for one have enjoyed what Affinity has been doing so far. I look forward to see what they develop next.
    sportyguy209
  • Reply 19 of 28
    Eric_WVGG said:
    majorsl said:
    It would be awesome if AI did an article series for equivalent to Adobe [product name] with both paid and open source alternatives. Our University got the same letter and we have Adobe on so much, it'd be nice to try and get our users to try alternatives.
    This would be a great article. While waiting, I can suggest a couple:

    Photoshop Pixelmator Pro. Unlike Photoshop, which is full of clunky cross-platform Adobe Air code, Pixelmator is a real Mac native app. The performance is just bewildering. Affinity Photo looks promising but I don't know much about it.

    Illustrator Affinity Designer. Illustrator also has the drawback of having huge chunks written in freakin’ Java. Slow and decrepit UI, inconsistent not only with Mac but the rest of the Adobe "suite." Affinity Designer is modern, native, and full-featured. I am unsure if the color separation features are as robust as Illustrator, unfortunately. CorelDRAW also has a new native Mac version (and, subjectively to me, a better UI, but that's very controversial), not many reviews thus far. Inkscape has okay word of mouth but it kind of smells of GIMP to me.

    InDesign Affinity Publisher. Still in beta. tbh I'm skeptical that it will be competitive out of the gate, but worth a look.

    Lightroom Apple Aperture. haha just kidding


    The biggest drawback to switching, in my experience, has nothing to do with features or performance or cost, but everything to do with familiarity. Artists don't like to retrain themselves to use different tools. I know countless graphic designers and artists who simply can't handle the mental hurdle of retraining all their keyboard shortcuts. It's a miracle that the industry managed the switch from Quark Xpress to InDesign…
    Lightroom On1 Photo RAW 2019. A great program no one has ever heard of, but I found is a great replacement for Aperture (and that other one).
  • Reply 20 of 28
    volcan said:
    Eric_WVGG said:

    The biggest drawback to switching, in my experience, has nothing to do with features or performance or cost, but everything to do with familiarity. Artists don't like to retrain themselves to use different tools. I know countless graphic designers and artists who simply can't handle the mental hurdle of retraining all their keyboard shortcuts. It's a miracle that the industry managed the switch from Quark Xpress to InDesign…
    I don’t think relearning a new interface is a determining factor because Adobe is constantly moving things into different menus, changing the features etc of all their apps.

    For me it is ubiquity and compatibility of file formats. We hire freelancers and do a lot of collaboration. For that to work we all need to be on the same platform.

    There are a few things that caused the mass migration from Quark. One, unlike inDesign Quark did not have drop shadows, did not support Photoshop files, you had to be connected to the internet every time you launch it to check your serial number it didn’t support drag and drop from the Finder and Adobe was giving inDesign away for free to anyone with a license to Pagemaker.  inDesign had much better PDF export workflow capabilities. Given all that along with other outstanding features made it a no brainer to switch.
    Years ago, I couldn't wait for InDesign because Quark was such a difficult company to work with and was slow to upgrade their software. Unfortunately, Adobe poisoned it with software rental. These are exactly the reasons why many users will jump ship to Affinity Publisher when it comes out. Currently using the beta and loving it, much potential!
    hypoluxa
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