Forget the Small-Timer: Adobe Versus the Little Guy

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I was going to wait and post this on Monday, but decided the sooner this post goes live, the better.  Please share this post, re-tweet it, add to Facebook, and in whatever circles you actively participate in.  Adobe is about to do something very bad, that will benefit no one but themselves, and hurt the enthusiast/hobbyist in the long run. Seriously, this is very bad.

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Be forewarned and be smart – Adobe has announced a change in their pricing model which will have serious implications for the enthusiast/hobbyist photographers!  I picked this up from the NAPP community, which took me eventually to this link on the Adobe site:

“For customers who prefer to remain on the current licensing model, we will continue to offer our individual point products and Adobe Creative Suite editions as perpetual licenses. With regards to upgrades, we are changing our policy for perpetual license customers. In order to qualify for upgrade pricing when CS6 releases, customers will need to be on the latest version of our software (either CS5 or CS5.5 editions). If our customers are not yet on those versions, we’re offering a 20% discount through December 31, 2011 which will qualify them for upgrade pricing when we release CS6.”

In other words – if you don’t want to rent it, they are forcing you to now upgrade every single time a new full release comes out!  I have to go on record here as saying that while this certainly makes good business sense for them – this is going to be a very expensive change for the enthusiast and hobbyist photographers out there.  The dialog on the NAPP forums has been quite passionate already, and I am sure the larger photography community will react similarly.  ETA: The comments have (not surprisingly) been closed but there are other outlets available – see below…

Before it’s too late, be sure to share your thoughts with Adobe on this policy change that will have a serious impact on many of us!  Think of it – paying $50 a month over a 12 month period is paying roughly $600 – for something you won’t own in the end!  Think of the new pricing model as the equivalent of leasing a car, renting an apartment, or any other situation where you end up with nothing but money out of pocket and nothing to show for it in the end.  These models always benefit the company and never really benefiting the purchaser (or should I say renter?)!

It’s not often I get on a soap box and encourage people to take an active stance against something, but this is just a bad move on the part of Adobe.  There are a couple ways you can reach out to Adobe and let them know your thoughts.  One NAPP member has started a thread in the Adobe community forums (and from what I gather, they do listen there…), and when one of the senior VP’s at Adobe (Bryan O’Neal Hughes) wrote a guest post on Scott Kelby’s blog, he shared his email address: bhughes@adobe.com.  I would encourage you all to use both methods to communicate with Adobe how much you oppose this policy change.  Other outlets that will get attention include:

John Nack: http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/  and his email is jnack@adobe.com
Lightroom Journal: http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/
Terry White: http://terrywhite.com/techblog/and his email is twhite@adobe.com
Julianne Kost: http://jkost.com/and her email is jkost@adobe.com

While I grant you that Adobe has built some amazing software, and is definitely the standard by which all others are measured, there are alternatives out there that are cheaper (Elements sells for $90), or even free (have you heard of GIMP?).  In my humble opinion, there are many much more feasible options going forward if Adobe insists on what I would call nothing more than price gouging in the absence of healthy competition.  Sound off now or you may lose the ability to even get them to listen ever again!  If you want to write, but don’t know what to say, get a text document here to copy/paste into your email program.

For those that wish to just post their thoughts here – I will be compiling an email to Adobe and send it off to Bryan and the rest at the end of the month to let them know just how vocal the photography community is and why this policy is a bad idea, so if nothing else, at least share your thoughts and concerns here – you will have a voice to the extent that I am able!

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Keep in mind, I am not being critical of their product line at all – I love my Adobe products!  Lightroom and CS5 have made my work flow so streamlined and efficient where I would otherwise be flailing in the breeze.  It also bears mentioning that Adobe has sponsored giveaways in the past (although after this post I am not sure that will happen again).  I also understand that Adobe has to make money and that they spend a lot of time on R&D and they should be compensated for that.  But there are better ways to do business than this….