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Adobe Photoshop rule change to hit photographers

Discussion in 'News - Discussion' started by CSBC, May 7, 2013.

  1. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    The new model may point to what was wrong with the old one - in that the world has changed around it and it has been left behind, forcing them to change to protect their ability to make a return on their product.

    In having every copy call home once a month and disabling itself if it's found to have not been paid for, it may suggest that the torrents and file-sharers of cracked versions were very much taking their toll.

    I have no figures, but if there were an illegally downloaded free copy for every legal version sold with cash money, that has in effect just halved the value of every kosher copy sold. Take that sum and apply to real world figures and it may have been looking like the old model was collapsing around their ears.

    As you say (propper) business always had paid for it and this new model very much suggests to me that the gains provided by selling to amateur and non-business users were being very much outweighed by the losses caused by the ease and speed of file sharers cracking the authentication system and releasing it to the world for free. Adobe has not cut us off from their goods by any means, we can still pay for a copy but in a different, more business friendly way, suggesting that the non-business market has very much lost its appeal in the face of illegal downloading.

    That's the way I see it happening, anyway. Adapt to survive, it could help the company no end as long as hackers don't find a way of cracking the call-home system... And also if business users can out up with the huge flaws of the initial releases and new system issues... But with updates happening as and when they choose, they could adapt and update that system along with its authentication every three days making it very tricky for any underhand activity.
  2. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Errr, no. When EA Games released a new version of one of their titles which insisted on being connected to the 'net, a standalone hack was released within 24 hours of the genuine product.

    These sort of "security measures" inconvenience legitimate users far more than criminals. In fact they represent a commercial opportunity to black market operators.
  3. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    I'm not saying that I'm delighted they've done this, far from it, I was going to upgrade my Design CS5 suite but now I know there is no upgrade path after CS6 I'm just going to stick with what I've got. All I'm saying is I can see why they've done this.

    As you say, it is inconveniencing genuine users and they have a damn big job to sort that out before it does real damage. For instance have it handshake every activation so a user will have a solid month since the last time they were in an area with Web, or alternatively issue passports for pre-payment if a user knows they will be out of Web contact for an extended period.

    But looking at the hypothetical sums for non-business users, it becomes apparent that it may not be worth aiming at us anymore, in a business sense. So let's say a new version of PS CS8 or whatever costs a combined development cost including hardware, staff, electricity etc of £20 million (same as a medium to low budget video game) and they sell 30,000 licenced products in the first year to the amateur market at £350 a pop, they are still 9.5 million shy of the initial investment. Then the same amount, 30,000, are illegally downloaded... And the point of selling those original 30,000 was...? Especially if more are illegally obtained than bought, especially when those amateurs start taking work from those who have paid for the software, doing it for free in many cases for the 'work experience', killing the business side which does pony up the cash for a licenced copy.

    It may be like King Canute trying to hold back the tide, but then when the company finally closes their graphics software development wing when it is no longer financially viable, we can all sit on our high horses, go on Internet forums, and condemn those who made the hacks and those who chose to take it for free (or who could simply not afford it and took it).

    I'm not going to jump for joy that they have done this, and neither am I going to condemned the company for trying to save itself.
  4. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    .....and what if you wish to run Photoshop on a stand-alone PC that is not connected to the Internet?
  5. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    With CC7 and beyond you can't, it is not a option. :(

    CS6 is the last version to support such a setup.
  6. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Adobe will only have access to this info, but if they have found that 85% to 95% of customers download their CS from their website rather than buy it as a disk they may well have figured that most customers will have the computer they are installing the product on attached to the Web.

    I believe at point of purchase they also ask what the usage will be for, business, education, home etc, so they would be able to factor that into things. If 99% of business customers download, but only 70% of home users, then it may be that losing 30% of the home market to the competition may be considered worthwhile if it helps them manage piracy more effectively. Spend money to make money, and all that.

    I know I can't back this up with figures, but companies rarely make such a drastic change without reason and considerable research.
  7. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    You can't assum just because software is downloaded it going on a machine that is connected.

    It could be downloaded on one machine then installed on another. Plus the machine might just be connected for download then have the plugged pulled 99% of the time.

    Or it might be on a closed loop network with other machines for image editing.

    I am not sure Adobe would have this information. Given how the product was sold upto CC7.

    Finally it is very easy for users to lie about the usage. :rolleyes:
  8. cr2shooter

    cr2shooter Member

    As this is a magazine for amateur photographers I’ll comment only from that perspective.

    I can’t think of any other company in the photographic industry that has gone as far as Adobe to deliberately antagonise its customers. Their tactics with the CC changes are based on pure greed. Loyal Photoshop users like myself are no longer considered customers for nurturing and encouragement, just revenue generation units. We are faced with not just a price hike but also a very nasty lock-in with the potential for a huge financial hit in the future. My trust in Adobe has vapourised, replaced by loathing at their arrogance. I’ll explain the problems as I see them.

    Firstly the price hike which began last year. In the past, users with Photoshop already could buy an upgrade package (costing £200 in round numbers) to the latest version provided they were no more than two versions behind. So a user with CS3 could use the upgrade to move to CS5 for instance but not someone with CS2. With new Photoshop versions coming out between every 18 months and 2 years apart, the cost of this upgrade strategy would be roughly between £50 and £70 per year. When CS6 came out Adobe changed this so you could no longer skip versions. You could only use the upgrade package to update to the next version meaning that you could only upgrade, for example, from CS6 to CS7 and not from CS5 to CS7. The result is that the Photoshop user who wanted to stay current had to pay £100 to £140 per year – a massive hike.

    Adobe’s recently announced CC model means that you can’t buy Photoshop, only rent it by the month. In round numbers this costs £17.50 per month regular price or ~£9 for existing customers. Equivalents are £210 per year or £105 which is a huge price hike compared to the situation a year ago and a substantial rise on the recent upgrade cost.

    Far worse than this is the lock-in. If you sign up for the CC monthly rental scheme and then stop paying the rent you can no longer use Photoshop to access your edited photos, rendering them useless unless you’ve saved them in a standard format or have a compatible competing product to use instead. If you want to retain access you have to keep paying – forever. What’s to stop Adobe making a massive price hike in future, effectively holding users to ransom ? After all, they’ve just made the conscious decision to stuff loyal users for a lot more money so there’s the precedent to suggest they will do it again in future. This behaviour is holding customers to ransom and isn’t acceptable.

    Of course my existing copy of CS6 will continue to work so I don’t have a problem now but I may want to upgrade in future. I’m not prepared to rent my software so will pay more attention to alternatives from Corel and Serif so that I’m ready when the time comes.

    This magazine has done a fine job standing up for amateur photographers over the years. One of the reasons I maintain a subscription is because of AP’s support for us on the big issues. For example the problem of police harassment of anyone with a big camera is much less than it was, in part due to intervention by this magazine. With this Photoshop storm I ask the AP team to do two things:

    1. feed back our views to Adobe management
    2. prepare a series of in-depth technical tests of competitors to Photoshop so that photographers can select the best alternative product instead of adopting the Adobe CC rental model
  9. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    I agree with you that AP should certainly explore in depth if any standalone software can offer the same results as PS.

    A side by side edit test could be good for some APs to see. :)

    As you pointed out it does seem a fleecing exercise as the new upgrade structure seem to be. :rolleyes:

    If it was about piracy only, the price would be lower not higher on the basis that now every copy generates money. :rolleyes:

    Adobe can just sit back and let the money roll in without doing any upgrade work at all.

    So in theory the upgrade/improvement path could slow right down.

    Where with the old model there was pressure to improve the product to sell upgrades.

    Where is the pressure now? Gone as far as I can see.
  10. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    They would definitely have figures on how many download sales they have in comparison to disc box sales. And as far as a computer being connected to download the software and not being connected again, or the upload going on another machine - that is the end users choice. They know how the system works and can choose to take it or leave it, as many are now choosing.

    I'd just like to state again that I am not jumping for joy about what they are doing, but then neither am I for or against it, I am just commenting that given the correct circumstances that are not outside the bounds of reality to be happening at present, I can see why they may have chosen this route.

    I've a question - As Photoshop software is unquestionably a professional level tool, and not aimed at the amateur at all, where exactly does our voice actually fall in all this? The new subscription model is clearly big business friendly with its ability to open and close subscription on an ongoing basis making mass licencing much simpler with expansion and contraction of trading etc.

    I'm trying to think of a similar situation were singing is hired as required rather than owned outright... Taxis perhaps...?
  11. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Perhaps as a magazine for AMATEURS (see magazine title), all future editing tutorials should be based on Photoshop Elements NOT Photoshop; or even the GIMP or Paint.NET or even, dare I say it, Serif PhotoPlus. Perhaps we would then have a level playing field........
  12. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Not really. We have many APs using pro cameras, like D800 or 1Ds etc.

    Just in the past PS as been with in reach of most APs by updating at a slower rate than pro etc. This has halted that option.

    There will be some APs who will just take the hit.
  13. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Surely, just because you use a pro camera, doesn't mean you need a pro editing program?

    And aren't you suggesting that AP should pander to a minority (people who use "pro cameras") when what they should be doing is looking after the majority (amateurs)? Very few amateurs can afford Photoshop, and a lot of those who do use it are probably using illegal copies. I am not against the odd tutorial using Photoshop (for the pros) but believe that the majority of tutorials should be aimed at Elements (and others) users.
  14. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    Surely this would be like having spreadsheet tutorials that weren't based on Microsoft Excel - but on some free download tool.

    Elements ? Yes in What Digital Camera.

    Light Room? Yes in a mag like Black and White Photography.

    Aperture 3 ? Yes in a an Apple specialist mag.

    But Serif, GIMP, and Paint.NET ? Would only appeal to the minority - who wouldn't fork out the cash for AP anyway.
  15. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Until I finished work in 1997, the company I worked for used Lotus 1-2-3 for both Word Processing and Spreadsheets. Both IMHO were superior to Word/Excel, I just wish I could get them now.

    Then why not in AP?

    Serif is around the same price as Elements for the current version, GIMP is well thought of in many places, and Paint.NET can do most of what Photoshop can do. Just because one is not prepared to spend oodles of cash on a program that they will use 5% of, does not mean that they cannot necessarily afford to, just choose not to. As AMATEURS go, are not Photoshop users a minority?

    Isn't it about time that AP decided who its main customers are - AMATEURS - and stopped pandering to the cash-rich.
  16. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    Other perfectly adequate - and free - spreadsheet programs are available! :)
  17. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Exactly. I choose not to spend money on Microsoft or Adobe products when I can achieve the same results with Linux and free software. The money saved each year easily pays for my camera gear :)
    Last edited: May 20, 2013

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