Tag: adobe

Adobe users – consider signing this petition…

I know I’m late to the ball game, but hear me out…

My beef with Adobe is that their Creative Cloud license locks creative people into a perpetual (lifetime) licence if at any time in the future they wish to work on their art edited using an Adobe product other than Lightroom. Could you imagine any other artist facing this kind of brick wall? “Sorry, Mr. Bateman, but if you want to work up that sketch you did last year into a final painting, you will need to subscribe to our product first.” Or, “sorry, Mr. Part, but if you wish to re-work those choral pieces, you’ll need to buy into our product first.” Thank goodness LR5 is as good as it is for photographers, otherwise I would be jumping ship to Phase1 or Aperture!

Let’s face it, Adobe is screwing us. If we cave into this Creative Cloud licence and Adobe is successful at it, then we can kiss goodbye to the old model for software licensing. Every company will start forcing users into this “monthly rental” model rather than the traditional way of buying a copy of the software and upgrading on an as-need basis.

If you’re not familiar with what has happened, with the introduction of the Creative Cloud, Adobe has chosen to “rent” their software (e.g. Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, etc.) on a monthly or yearly subscription basis. As long as you pay the subscription fee, you have access to their products. Three months after to stop paying, the software stops working. If you choose to work on an image months later or a year later, you’ll need to subscribe again. Worse yet, if you fall on hard times, or simply retire at a lower income, and can’t afford the monthly/yearly subscription, you can no longer (that’s forever) work on the files you created with Adobe products. Yikes!!

Granted, Adobe’s software is designed for working professionals who can write off monthly business expenses. But not everyone who purchases Adobe products are working professionals. Those who cannot afford this monthy expense will now have to look elsewhere (go Pixelmator – bring on the 16-bit editing!!).

So… Derek Schoffstall of Harrisburg, PA has started an online petition in an attempt to create a groundswell of support against Adobe’s move. Here’s the link:

Adobe Systems Incorporated: Eliminate the mandatory “creative cloud” subscription model.

I would add to that a boycott of the Adobe Creative Cloud – here are some articles outlining alternatives:

This is a turning point amongst creative professionals and serious hobbyists. Do we cave in to the “Big Brother” model of total control, or do we find alternatives and politely let Big Brother know we won’t play by their rules?

Isn’t “digital archive” an oxymoron?

Oriel Window, William Fox Talbot
Oriel Window, William Fox Talbot. The 1835 original paper negative.

Has anyone stopped to consider that digital storage and archive technologies are incongruent with  modern business practices that include obsolescence – planned or otherwise?.

The interesting thing about archaic things like books, is that they can still be viewed and read centuries after their creation. While some require translation from Latin, Olde English/French/German to modern languages, the books can still be easily viewed without any technological barrier beyond a pair of cotton gloves. Consider this – if you had written your magnum opus 25 years ago and saved it to the most up-to-date technology of the time- a 5? floppy – you would not be able to read it today. It would be effectively lost and almost unretrievable except through great expense. If you had printed it on paper – you would still have it today and for centuries in the future.

What ever means we use today for digital archive is on a pathway to oblivion within, perhaps, years to a decade. Take format, for example: do you own anything that will read a 5? floppy from the 1980s. You might still have a 3.5? floppy reader from the 1990s – but for how much longer will it be supported? Even large corporations don’t have 5? floppy technology.

For sake of argument, let’s say you have the hardware to read old floppies, how about the application needed to read old files? It’s bad enough even today that anything saved in WordPerfect or Microsoft Works cannot be read by most word processing applications. What about word processing apps that are now defunct? – ClarisWorks comes to mind. Even older versions of the omnipresent Word can prove difficult to open and read.

Now, add to this the rapidly changing operating systems, drivers and apps that are not carrying forward the code for older models of computers (and just as well as OSs become quite bloated, otherwise). Perhaps its the drivers more than anything that will prevent users from plugging old technology into new. Take my 1999 scanner – it’s still as good as anything out there because I’ve grown with it in my knowledge of how to scan effectively. However, there will come a time when the drivers are no longer supported by newer operating systems. It will become a piece of electronic junk – ewaste – not because it doesn’t work or is obsolete, but because the manufacturer would prefer that I buy a new one so they stop updating the code needed for it to work.

Let’s face it, our economy depends on us throwing things out and replacing them with “newer and better”. Companies depend on our computers and software becoming obsolete so that we keep buying. This is insane, not just for the environment (we’e all seen the mountains of e-waste), but also for the longevity of digital works.

I’m a photographer. I’m on my third DSLR and looking forward to when 24mp becomes affordable. But, for how long will the applications I use continue to support files made on my first DSLR. Thank goodness Adobe is trying to standardize file formats on the open source DNG file type. But in then end, years down the road, will my hard drives be readable? My DVDs? What I foresee is a constant upgrading of formats that large corporations can afford but the average person or small business has neither the time nor the money for. Democratization through computing dies at the level of the individual – the very level at which democracy is supposed to work.

On the other hand, maybe that’s a good thing. While we all feel we have something to contribute to society at large, most of it is drivel anyway. My concern is that the really valuable stuff that is being saved is being determined by its popularity (you know, all those dreadful Top Ten lists and the kind of crap that sells supermarket tabloids) and not its inherent value for moving society forward in a thoughtful, constructive way.  What company has the resources for “thoughtful” and “constructive” when their bean counters are saying “we need popular to maintain our bottom line”. “Thoughtful” and “constructive” are not on the radar of the popular media which survives by selling ad space to the very companies that are perpetuating obsolescence.

So where does that leave us? Is there a company out there that will somehow come up with a digital format that can be made “future-safe” like books and manuscripts are today? I hope so! Perhaps Adobe’s DNG format is the way to go.