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Adobe warns users of older Creative Cloud apps of potential copyright claims

By David Matthews · 6 replies
May 14, 2019
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  1. Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers may be in legal trouble if they're using older versions of the CC applications. Adobe sent emails to customers warning that continued use of the older apps could put them "at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties." This development follows Adobe's recent discontinuation of older versions of its popular content creation suite.

    Adobe posted a message on its blog last week announcing that subscribers will only be able to download the two most recent versions of all CC applications except Acrobat (which only has the most recent). The emails sent to customers also note that because the older versions were discontinued, customers are no longer licensed to use them.

    The actual legal implication is unknown, however. Adobe doesn't disclose what it means by "infringement by third parties" but according to Apple Insider, Dolby is suing Adobe for breaching their licensing contract. Adobe is contractually obligated to inform Dolby of sales figures in order to pay Dolby the requisite royalty fees. Dolby claims that Adobe is selling products which use Dolby's technology without paying royalty fees and refusing to provide auditing information.

    It seems that Adobe could be indirectly warning customers that Dolby may seek copyright infringement against subscribers themselves. Discontinuing older versions may be a way for Adobe to protect itself legally by claiming that it's not liable for "unlicensed" software thus absolving it of royalty payments.

    There are many reasons why users may stick with older versions. Perhaps their project may break if the underlying program is updated. They may be financially unable to upgrade to hardware that supports the last two versions. There also might be features or changes that break the current workflow of the user.

    While it's unknown what exactly copyright infringement has to do with Creative Cloud subscriptions, it doesn't seem fair to paying customers who just want to use their applications without issue. This also highlights one of the inherent problems with subscription based services versus owning a product outright.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,814   +3,203

    Oh boy, what a fiasco. Who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to put businesses and consumers on the same monthly subscription system?
  3. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 782   +163

    Adobe thinks it is above the law, and is going to be sued.
  4. Dosahka

    Dosahka TS Booster Posts: 121   +44

    I don't know much about the guy with the tweet in the article, but it seems like he is one of the "updates slowdown my computer and newer versions can't run older stuff", not to mention that he stuck in 2015, it's time to upgrade...
    I don't see the point not to upgrade, unless breaking something fundamental in the software, if you are subscribed then you can do it for free with Adobe.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,696   +3,848

    I'm kind of wondering if this is going to have any affect on my bought and paid for DVD copies of Photoshop Elements, PSCS-4, and Lightroom 4.4.

    It does make me wonder if they'll try to revoke my licenses.
  6. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,517   +1,724

    "I don't see the point not to upgrade"

    "newer versions can't run older stuff"

    You just answered your own question there bud. If I have an expensive project that wont run on a newer version of creative cloud for whatever reason, I'm not going to upgrade anyway because some internet peon can understand why you might need older software.

    This isnt like your videogames where updates that break stuff are accepted. In the professional and semi-professional world, software breaking something costs $$$ and causes strife within a company when it occurs. Hence, this kind of thing is a really big deal to said professionals.
    Impudicus likes this.
  7. Dosahka

    Dosahka TS Booster Posts: 121   +44

    "I don't see the point not to upgrade"
    I wanted to point out that there is no reason to keep the old version because between consecutive major versions (I.e 2015 to 2016) there is no big changes which completely break you projects and won't disable the option to update or convert them, therefore you have to spend small amount of time to do so compared skipping half decade of updates because of no reasons (adobe defo not charge you for major version update) then figure out which code has been deprecated or been replaced...
    I bet you missed my quotes too, if you have an old project from said version (2015) then you should've updated/upgraded throughout the years or convert with tools and add extra sweat to make it work (Flash will be discontinued by the end 2020 and will be completely unsupported by all major browsers too), if Adobe really did a mistake, they will remove said versions which affected from their servers and forcibly make all of those version unlicensed, therefore you won't be able to use it anymore with your sub.

    You get it now? The reason behind updates it to keep you work in line with the new trends and help you to make it high efficiency (with less time and resource), not to mention new features and new add-ons (which probably not compatible with older versions).

    and just before you say that I'm nuts no, I am an IT professional I know what updates means and can break softwares from time to time (that's why you have backups), but it's not irreversible or something that you can't fix or wait for the next update (which actually fix it and skipping not 1 year worth of updates), but if you keep being ignorant then just just have to think about that it's on you, you shouldn't blame some else for you own mistake, I know it's easy to blame someone else,
    I get it a lot of these "this is a pice of cocoa, why IT can't fix it" and turns out it was a user who clicked on an option they didn't read (or had any clue about it) but clicked on it anyway and turned some feature on or off but they will say "ahh I didn't see that", it's a common user error.

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