Users of Adobe Photoshop will be forced to pay a subscription for access to new versions of the popular image editing software.

From June, photographers will only be granted access to Photoshop by paying a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud, a membership-based service that allows users to download applications over the internet.

Adobe Creative Suite 6 will be the last version available to buy as a standalone product.

The move – which is likely to provoke an angry response from many – spells the end for photographers who were happy to continue with their original Creative Suite software and pick and choose future updates.

The Creative Suite 6 software will reportedly only be updated by Adobe to address any future bugs.

Yearly membership of Creative Cloud, for the complete Creative Suite package, costs around £47 per month.

It will cost around £18 a month to access a single application, such as Photoshop.

Business ‘teams’ will be asked to pay a monthly fee of around £65.

Among the first to voice concern was Amateur Photographer (AP) forum member ‘AndyTake2′, who wrote on the AP website earlier: ‘Adobe is killing off their software range in retail form. Instead, you will have to sign up to their Creative Cloud system, which is a monthly subscription.

‘No more buying Photoshop and using it for several years, just because you don’t need the latest widgets and gizmos – you either agree to 12-monthly licences or month-to-month licensing which is going to cost.’

However, AP reader Barney Allen was more phlegmatic. He wrote on Facebook: ‘Given the value I get from Creative Suite apps I think it represents good value, especially when you take into account the cost of upgrades and it being tax deductable.’

Adobe claims that the move will ‘put innovation in our members’ hands at a much faster pace’.

In a statement, released yesterday, Adobe said: ‘While Adobe Creative Suite 6 products will continue to be supported and available for purchase, the company has no plans for future releases of Creative Suite or other CS products.’

‘Focusing future development on Creative Cloud will not only accelerate the rate at which Adobe can innovate, but also broaden the type of innovation the company can offer the creative community.’

Adobe says that Lightroom 5 will continue to be available to buy as a standalone product, and that more than 500,000 have signed up as paid members of Creative Cloud since it was launch in April 2012.

Adobe’s UK office had yet to respond to a request for comment at the time of writing.

  • Des Gardner FRPS

    Well thats one PS user you have lost! there’s plenty of other Photo editing software out there! that will do me…….

  • Brian D Steel

    I haven’t paid any money to Kodak for several years. They sent a bailiff round to take all my 35mm transparencies away so I can never see them again. And now that Kodak has gone bust, I can’t even get my slides back by paying.

    Twilight Zone? Or simply the New Reality. Thanks, Adobe, NOT.

  • John

    I wail stop buying Their products ,

  • Bryan

    I am so annoyed with Adobe and their proposed cloud access. This will kill off the amateur / keen club photographers
    and leave only the wealthy / privileged few. For some time now I have asked many fellow photographers, why do we have to buy such powerful software that covers graphic artists, authors, artists and photographers. When all we want is the / a dedicated section for photography. If Adobe could provide modules to cater for each discipline, I truly believe that they would not only sell more BUT would reduce pirate copies being made, provided that the price was sensible for each module.

  • Alan

    We won’t be going down this road. CS6 will be the last PS we buy. At least for now LR is still available, but if this stops too, we will probably follow other photographers who are switching to Aperture and using it to replace LR for managing their library, developing raws and also to replace PS for editing.

    As for tax, I don’t understand the comment. If you buy PS as a business expense, you pay directly from the company income (i.e. before tax if self-employed), however as a capital asset you can also offset tax based on the devaluation of the capital. If you only rent the software, it is not a capital asset, and as such there is no tax offset. In addition, the day you stop renting the software, all of *your* work is suddenly unavailable to you.

  • Marshall Walker

    Both my sons enjoy learning photoshop at home – who knows how they may develop the skills they are learning in the future. Isn’t Adobe shooting themselves in the foot here by removing access to a whole heap of future users. Surely I can’t be the only parent who will struggle to add more monthly payments to the household bill, particularly in the current climate.

  • Chris

    Look out world this is a future disaster in its infancy…It May be just about workable for one big company to try this method but when the other big boys decide to do it to you will be renting your windows your office apps your net browser,media player,subscribing to individual games ETC ETC..
    Start learning linux now.
    Also Adobe only think they are the only game in town.

  • Trevor Kirk

    CS6 is about £630 on Amazon at the moment, so 35 months at £18 works out at the same price; not such a bad deal really.

  • Stan

    I have a single app subscription to CS6 but once it ends I wont be renewing. No way could I afford £47 a month and I think Adobe will lose more than they will gain from trying to force a payment on anyone.

  • Rich G

    Well as I live in an area with poor internet access i guess that means i’ll be sticking with CS6 for the indefinate future!

  • John Haynes

    The problem here is simple greed. For a number of years I was a “subscriber” to Autodesk on Max which was an annual fee, the difference there was that when you “opted out of subscription”, you got to keep the last version you had as a subscriber. With the Adobe model, you “stop paying, you stop playing” and that isn’t right. Also given the complexity of Adobe’s product range in terms of a really big learning curve for products like Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, After Effects let alone the rest, how does having access to all these components benefit an individual user ?

    For many years I did IT support and Microsoft Office was a good example of bloataware. Most users only used one application from the suite and of that, only 10% of the potential of that application. But for companies it made financial sense, it was cheaper than the cost of individual applications and tracking licences. Where I think Adobe is wrong is that they have forgotten that they are dealing with “creatives” not your average office worker, that mistake could be costly for them.

  • Shawn

    The grave danger of a subscription model like this lies in the user’s back-catalogue of work.

    £18 per month may seem fine now, while you save all your files in that format.

    What if next year, Adobe decide to charge £80 per month.

    How do you open all the files you have saved during this year.

    At least in the past, if Adobe decided to to make their pricing unreasonable, you could just stick with your old version.

    Now it seems they could effectively force you to pay anything they like if you want continued access to your own files.

    Smells of danger to me.

  • Linda Shepherd

    I think £47 a month is unreasonable for a retired person who is a keen amateur photographer on a very limited income. I hope it will be possible to select the applications one wants to use at a more reasonable cost.

  • Bill Ford-Smith

    I imagine this stupid move of Adobe’s will cause most amateur photographers to simply carry on using their existing PS and not upgrade. Eventually, when/if OS changes mean they won’t run, they’ll switch to alternatives.

    Suggest running an article on alternatives in the magazine and also not going above CS6 in ‘how to’ pieces from now on.

  • Rex Kersley

    This move is really a killer for me!
    1. I live in Vanuatu and Adobe wont accept payments from here, despite the fact that I have a paypal account and my credit card is from an Australian bank.
    2. I am an amateur, this means that all my photo work is done on my home machine. I do not have an internet connection there. To get a connection with any near reasonable speed would cost me about GBP60 a month.
    3. If I cancel my subscription I can no longer use the software.

    Cheers Rex

  • David C

    “…likely to provoke an angry response…”

    It already has!! Take a look on the Adobe PS Facebook page. Hundreds of comments from some very unhappy users. Hardly any positive comments.

  • Mark smith

    Not sure about Barney Allens comment about it being tax deductible, this may be true if you are a pro, but if you are an amateur it is not any help. Buying a version and using it for a few years is one thing, but £18 a month not thank you. I will stick to CS3