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14,000 petition Adobe to revive the Creative Suites

Thursday, May 16th, 2013 | Posted by Jim Thacker


Almost 14,000 people have signed a petition calling on Adobe to reinstate development of its Creative Suites following the developer’s decision to can perpetual licences of its software in favour of online subscriptions.

The petition, launched by student Derek Schoffstall on the campaign website, is addressed to senior Adobe executives including CEO Shantanu Narayen, and has 13,897 signatures at the time of posting.

So what caused all the fuss?
Adobe announced last week that Photoshop CS6, After Effects CS6 and their sister products will be the final releases under the Creative Suite brand.

When the new versions of the software go on sale in June, they will require monthly or annual subscriptions to Adobe’s Creative Cloud. For new users, prices start at $19.99 per month for a single app, or $49.99 per month for access to all the creative products. Cancel your membership, and the tools stop working after three months.

Conventional licences of the CS6 tools will remain available for the immediate future, but Adobe says that it “do[es] not have any current plans to release future CC tools outside Creative Cloud”.

So why are users upset?
The announcement has divided Adobe’s user base. Although those who own many Adobe products and upgrade regularly stand to save money, those who own few products or upgrade infrequently do not.

Schoffstall’s petition calls upon Adobe to retain its current licence model, in which individual creative products can be licensed in perpetuity, for the sake of these users:

“Do it for the freelancers. For the small businesses. For the average consumer. For the people who use your products on an inconsistent basis.”

Those signing the petition cite increased annual costs, the lack of an alternative licensing model, and Adobe’s perceived abuse of its dominant market position as causes of complaint.

One fairly typical comment reads: “$600+ a year forever, and you don’t get to keep it if you decide to stop using it? Not okay.”

So does this really matter to Adobe?
For its part, Adobe has told CNET that the feedback it received prior to last week’s announcement skewed “overwhelmingly” in favour of a subscription model.

And indeed, 15,000 signatures represents only a tiny fraction of the reported 12.8 million users of the developer’s creative tools.

It is, however, an angry and vocal fraction. It will be interesting to see if Adobe feels that it is angry or vocal enough to consider revising its licensing policy.

Read the petition on

Read an analysis of the relative costs of Creative Cloud subscriptions and the old Creative Suites
(Note: assumes that you currently buy every upgrade Adobe releases)

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11 responses to “14,000 petition Adobe to revive the Creative Suites”

  1. T.E. Mencer said:

    Let’s be honest here. People will petition just about anything. this is a business decision and yeah, while it seems kind of a stupid one, people need to accept it. Why is it everyone feels they’re entitled to anything? Bad customer relations set aside, Adobe can hike the price to $5000 per product and really people can’t say ‘boo’ about it. Either fork out the cash or go to another (less robust) software like Paint Shop Pro or Gimp or any number or horrible PS clones.

    Petitions are the 21st century version of suing someone without the obligation or financial risk. It’s a worthless gesture.

    The way I see it, if Adobe wants to go “rental” with their software, that’s their choice. We, as consumers, can either rent or not. That’s our choice. Trying to force a company into our ideals makes no sense.

    8:19 am on Thursday, May 16, 2013

  2. Kurt said:

    Don’t toss bad customer relations aside. That’s the whole point of the petition – to give Adobe an opportunity to address the concerns of those customers who feel put-out by this move. How Adobe manages their business is entirely up to them (and their stock holders), but customers always have a voice and get to say ‘boo’ whenever they feel like it.

    The real question is, will Adobe listen or care? If they haven’t responded to individual customer reactions, will they respond to a group of them (ie, this petition)? Perhaps the only thing Adobe will “hear” is these customers’ money going elsewhere (which will likely not be felt for years to come). Then again, perhaps Adobe cares about providing options for customers – after all, they used to provide customers with many flavors of Creative Suites. Perhaps they’re willing to put up with the costs of maintaining various suites, working with resellers, and training their sales staff to pitch the correct product lines.

    You are right, however, Adobe has final say over how they sell their products and customers have final say over whether they buy or not. The only difference is most customers probably feel pressured by their clients to continue with Adobe products whereas Adobe is pressured by their stock holders to reduce their costs and increase their revenue.

    12:27 pm on Thursday, May 16, 2013

  3. RazorXcom said:

    The illegal flaw in Adobe’s forced subscription plan is a violation rights for accessing your very own media assets and even your client’s assets the second you cancel. Do you think it’s fair that you could spend two years creating media on the cloud and then all of a sudden if you can’t afford to pay, or you cancel that you cannot open ANY of the files you worked hard to create in the last two years? And to think Adobe accused Apple of being a Walled Garden!

    7:37 am on Friday, May 17, 2013

  4. Adamski said:

    My biggest beef is the inability to open files should I choose to cancel my subscription. Hopefully Adobe listens.

    11:24 am on Saturday, May 18, 2013

  5. RazorXcom said:

    It’s not about denying Adobe the right to sell their products however they want to, or at what price. It’s about Adobe maintaining complete ownership over the Intellectual Property of all content developers. How can it be legal for Adobe to tell me I cannot access my own media property unless I pay them first before I can even open and view my OWN media files? I should be able to maintain full ownership of my own Intellectual property and be able to access it anytime I need to without having to pay Adobe just to access my own work! What Adobe is trying to do is an illegal violation of IP.

    7:34 pm on Sunday, May 19, 2013

  6. Facebook User said:

    “Overwhelmingly”? I don’t believe them either.

    11:00 pm on Monday, May 20, 2013

  7. Paco said:

    I hope other companies look at this as an amazing opportunity to make a robust product that mimic Photoshop, Illustrator and its brothers. Pixologic and Autodesk. I am looking at you guys.That or a fresh company as Corel or Macromedia.

    5:16 am on Friday, May 31, 2013

  8. gannj said:

    EULA, and when installed, you clicked ‘Agree’.

    2:34 pm on Friday, August 9, 2013

  9. gannj said:

    also, the IP thing goes both ways, they own their code too.

    2:35 pm on Friday, August 9, 2013

  10. RazorXcom said:

    It doesn’t matter what the EULA says. Intellectual Property is defined in the 1976 Copyright Act: Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, also known as the Copyright Clause which covers Intellectual Property. Adobe cannot legally control, administer, withhold, or perpetually charge you to access your own Intellectual Property.

    10:52 am on Saturday, August 10, 2013

  11. RazorXcom said:

    It has nothing to do with ideals, but everything to do with IP law.

    10:55 am on Saturday, August 10, 2013

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