Creative Suite users take to Change.org to petition Adobe to abandon what they call a forced march to the cloud.


Some users of Adobe’s Creative Suite software aren’t taking the company’s planned move to the cloud laying down.

A petition posted on Change.org Monday after Adobe announced a shift to all-cloud delivery of new Creative Suite features and versions has 3,000 4,000 signatures as of Thursday. Creative Suite — a bundle of software tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver etc. — is a popular among artists, designers, publishers and others. But the current Creative Suite Version 6 will be frozen with no more updates and users wanting new features will have to shift to Creative Cloud. That requires a subscription costing  $20 to $50 per user per month. If the user stops paying, the software stops working.

According to a petition posted by Derek Schoffstall, the issue is this:

” … all of Adobe’s consumers will not be able to make such a large payment every month on the CC subscription model. In the short term, the subscription model looks to be okay, but over time the only entity that is benefiting from this is Adobe. The (no longer) current model: paying a one time fee for infinite access is a much better business model and is better for the consumer.”

Some comments on the petition echoed what GigaOM readers had said earlier. Namely that freelance artists and designers — a key Adobe constituency — don’t want to rent the tools of their craft. Some threatened to stick with their existing Creative Suite product as long as possible and then seek alternatives like Corel.

One Change.org commenter, Lee Whitman, wrote:

“Due to the nature of the ‘upgrade at gun point’ nature of the change, and the forced ‘renting’ of software at prices that could be jacked up at anytime, I will not continue with the Adobe brand. It’s suicide for a small business model.”

Three thousand people isn’t a huge number out of an estimated installed base of 12.4 million Creative Suite users, but this is certainly not the kind of PR Adobe must have hoped for. The company has not responded to request for comment.

This isn’t the first time Change.org has been used to push tech vendors for change. Other petitions ask Verizon to cancel its wireless contracts and for LinkedIn to protect its users from stalkers.

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  1. Malfoy Roark Thursday, May 9, 2013

    Best story title ever.

  2. Now the argument that the cloud is a killing small business model is crap. When you use a tool and make money with it, you are able to pay for the tool. As easy as it sounds. If you cannot afford the tool because you do not earn enough, you should reconsider your business.

    1. YOU are the TOOL. I paid for my software five years ago and I won’t pay anymore, you adobe shill.

      1. And you get to keep using what you paid for 5 years ago. Where’s the problem?

        1. The problem is that if he focuses on the fact that no one is stopping him from using what he already paid for, he has no one to yell at in CAPITAL LETTERS.

    2. I used CS for 10 years until hardware issues compelled me to upgrade, which I did but until then, I did well with the software I had. And, I am still able to edit all of my old files with CS6.

      Moving forward, I’ll be paying tens of thousands of dollars over the course of my career just to have acces to work created with Adobe CC. Because without a subscription to it, your files become READ-ONLY and will not be editable nor compatible with any previous Adobe products. The only people who believe this model is fair are Adobe employees and those whom Adobe’s massive PR campaign has worked on.

    3. While you and I may make enough using the software to easily pay the fees, that doesn’t mean it’s not a raw deal. But if enough successful but pathetically dismissive people like you cave in, it only serves to embolden them. And what happens when the rate increases, and then increases again, and then again. It reminds me of a poem, which I’ll modify for this situation:

      First they offered Creative Cloud
      And I didn’t subscribe because I already owned Creative Suite.

      Then they stopped selling perpetual licenses
      So I subscribed to Creative Cloud, because I could easily afford the price.

      Then they increased CC to $100 a month
      And I didn’t speak out, because I could still afford it.

      Then they increased CC to $500 a month
      And I said nothing, because I could still afford it.

      Then they stopped improving the software
      And I didn’t speak out, because it still enabled my business to operate

      Then they increased CC to $1000 a month
      And I did nothing, because I had no choice

      Then I went through a few slow months and had to cancel my subscription
      And I said nothing, because I was too busy trying to bring in business

      Then I got a call for an update to something I worked on last year
      And I had to turn it down, because I couldn’t afford to restart my subscription

      Then I had to close my business down
      And no one cared enough to speak for me.

    4. That is an elitist attitude! I dont make that kind of money, I use the creative suite for fine art. I rarely break even. That being said creativity is my therapy, its what keeps me out of myself. The idea that only money making enterprises should have access to the Adobe suites is a load of crap…..

    5. I don’t think I have ever seen such an ignorant response. Scott is right, you’re a TOOL!

    6. Why is it that every time some company goes too far (Adobe), ignorant hacks come out and lecture other developers with condescension like “reconsider your business”?

      These are SERIOUS issues. If you have an opposing viewpoint, by all means express it. But please don’t imply the rest of us don’t know what we’re talking about.

      I’m in the business my friend, and my business model has worked for 20 years

    7. Tools can be owned. Photoshop, Illustrator and the rest of the CS apps can now be considered a service. And when that service ends, you’ll have limited access to your creations.

    8. You sound like an Adobe Stooge. But you’re right, only professional photogs can afford Adobe. Let’s hope that Adobe can afford to stay in business with them as the only customers.

  3. Adobe knows that Photoshop, Indesign, Dreamweaver are essentially not going to change in any big ways. They are out of innovation, most of the new features in CS5 over CS1 (my first version) are useless. Some of them make tasks a little simpler to do, but overall its a gimmic.

    So someone like me upgrades every 7 or 8 years. Meaning I pay around $1,800 for my software in that time. With subscription I will be paying $4,200 – $4,800. A price increase of around 250%. AND if I stop paying I have NOTHING. I cannot even access my own files!

    You wanna talk outrage….. Adobe can stick their cloud where the sun don’t shine.

    1. This is exactly it. Adobe knows they can’t stop the newer graphic packages from catching up any longer so their new business strategy is to try and lock their customers in to the Adobe ecosystem.

    2. I agree. My corporation does not allow us to utilize cloud technology for security reasons. Now I could see adobe using cloud to complement its software, But for them to completely abandon a license model is nonsense. But the awful fact is that many users will succumb. Consumers are very forgiving. Adobe is banking this and our need for immediate satisfaction.

  4. The following DPR interview with Adobe shows that Adobe fully expected and predicted this fallout, but felt that their calculations mean this was the pain needed to gain the expected financial benefits to Adobe of regular income. So please be reassured that Adobe are not now in panic and damage control. No. Adobe foresaw the storm, and are bracing themselves to ride it out. The big bet, therefore, is whether Adobe sinks or swims. I, for one, am not ever committing to Adobe products since I no longer trust that they will stop me from using their software to open my files if I do not pay them a lifetime of monthly fees. Think about it, when I am retired and unable to afford high monthly fees, under the Adobe CC scheme, I won’t be able to run the software to open the files I’ve created over a lifetime. Sure, the files will be on my computer. It’s just that I can’t run the software unless I keep paying till my dying day. No way. No way. People that commit to this haven’t seen the lifetime implications.


    1. O’reilly Hurt Guest Monday, May 20, 2013

      I agree with your conclusion but not with your premise. There is no way Adobe could have foreseen that everyone would want to dump them as a result of this outrage. Try having paid off your mortgage on your house and having the builder come back and say, sorry, give me X amount of dollars a month or I’ll debuild your house.

  5. For sale : Adobe Photoshop 1.07 boxed version with manuals and 2 original floppies that still work . Ad coming soon on Youtube. Free Mac SE with the deal.

    1. PS: and chances are that decision made to sell subscription-only based software was made
      using a non- updated , nonsubscription-only software from another company ( ; ) …

  6. I have no intention of renting Adobe’s suite. It costs too much for my needs, and I don’t need most of the programs.

    A lot of people are voicing outrage now, but the real question is who has the guts to stick it out? Remember the Sony rootkit fiasco? How many of you vowed to never buy another Sony product but eventually did so? I vowed a boycott. I still won’t buy their digital products.

    1. O’reilly Hurt rick Monday, May 20, 2013

      That’s an easy one. If you’ve ever worked for several companies that sometimes used Adobe and sometimes used Corel you’d know that both are adequate. It’s only at the very high end that Adobe makes a difference and there are not enough customers at the high end for Adobe to be profitable so this is a colossal fail for Adobe but a boost to graphics software development for everyone else. Go Adobe!

  7. I believe Adobe persuaded themselves that there would be some measure of “resistance,” which they further convinced themselves they could and would ignore, because they had convinced themselves that what’s best for Adobe is what’s best for everyone. (I love the quote from one of their flacks about “this will make life easier for our engineers;” what happened to making life easier for customers because they’re paying you?)

    I don’t believe Adobe expected the degree they have genuinely infuriated a substantial number of their customers, though. “The company has not responded to request for comment” doesn’t sound like an organization that is 100% calm and confident.

  8. I’ve read a lot of the complaints regarding the change, and if you peel back the emotion, you find that it really boils down to Adobe’s customers are coming into the software at a number of price points per month. Some may be giddy with the idea of paying $75 a month because they no longer have to buy a full seat for their temporary team. Some are happy with $50 a month because it keeps them to date and they’re doing it anyway. But the continuum goes all the way down to the businesses that need some base capability but not the new version every year to the students and others who realistically can only justify $5/month because their needs are not the same as a design house. These people currently gain access to the functionality they need and control their costs by delaying their upgrades until it meets their price point or some shotgun event like an OS upgrade. The new Adobe pricing model removes the ability for the customer to negotiate their own cost per month and still gain access to new features when it makes sense for them. It’s those customers who are complaining. If you don’t need every new feature, you can ride CS6 for a looong time and get your price point per month to where you need it. Adobe has made the calculation that the segment of customers who are at a low cost per month and yet still need access to new features every month is not a segment that is profitable to them. Everybody else can make this model work.

    1. Jessica Sprague ctrezza Friday, May 10, 2013

      Well said here! Totally agree. I teach online classes to hobbyists, who love Photoshop but probably can’t justify the monthly cost for “just a hobby”. For me, however, in order to teach them, I had to buy 5 suites every upgrade. CC for Teams makes sense for me, but not for the majority of my students.

    2. O’reilly Hurt ctrezza Monday, May 20, 2013

      Sounds like an Adobe apologist stooge. The fact is that the first item Adobe asks for is your date of birth (read their fine print) for the new model and you don’t own your creation either, regardless of you’re paying them to infinity and beyond. I know I sound harsh but do read the license agreement or google it and you will not be so soft on them again.

  9. ancienttechie Friday, May 10, 2013

    I recently attended an art exhibit by a septuagenerian painter/photographer who occasionally sells paintings, but very few photographs. His exquisite photographs are truly a labor of love. Just prior to retiring a few years ago, he purchased a digital SLR, a photo quality printer and a copy of Photoshop in order to pursue his passion. He, like many artists, does not use Adobe’s products to generate significant cash-flow and necessarily regards the purchase of that software a major investment to be distributed over as long a time span as feasible.

    Ah well, at least paint brushes can still be purchased and used without an attendant monthly fee. (Please, Adobe, don’t purchase Grumbacher!)

    1. Adobe has a near-monopoly in this sector and sees a ton of people pirating. The pirates are who are affected most by this change, in my opinion.

      I think this will in the end be a good thing, because I hope that this will open the door for healthier competition and better alternatives. Or at the very least a larger user-base for the competition that does exist.

      The example you’re painting is a perfect case of someone who could probably achieve much of the same things with open-source tools. It will be a bit of a learning curve, but in the end he will be better off. If enough people do this, everyone will be better off.

      1. You’re a complete moron if you think this will end the piracy of adobe products… the bay will always find a way. It is likely Adobe’s blatant disregard for the people that want to use their products will only increase piracy, look at Game of Thrones or any other HBO show.

      2. This will have have as much effect on ‘piracy’ as the anti piracy warning that you, the paying customer, is forced to watch on the DVD’s and BluRays that you’ve carried home from the shop.

        What is the evidence that a significant number of those who collect pirated software, would have paid for it, if it were impossible to rip off, actually? – Piracy is used as a marketing tool by these companies, claiming lost revinue, to get paying customers to accept price hikes and totally one sided business practices like the ‘creative cloud’. – It is customers, like myself, on variable income who will be affected most by this rent only model. The ‘pirates’ will be largely unaffected.

        It takes years to become proficient in the use of some of these programmes, a large investment of time and expense on assosiated educational material. I’ve used Photoshop since 1998 and Illustrator since about 2002. I upgrade as and when I can afford it, about every 3 to 5 years. It may not be as often as Adobe would like, but it’s a damn site more revinue than they get from the pirates. If they don’t reintroduce a purchasing option for their product, they’ve seen the last of my money.

  10. Sean O’Grady Friday, May 10, 2013

    The situation is even worse in Europe. No delivery issues because of the online nature of the software, and somehow we are paying about 100% more than our US counterparts.

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