Post Production

Premiere Pro 6, After Effects 11, PS 13: did Adobe just say you can’t use them?

Adobe has warned CC subscribers that only the recent versions of CC apps can be downloaded. Adobe suggests too, apparently, that perpetual licensed software may be in “infringement” now.

Adobe distributed a document to its clients with the new CC download rules, but the document also suggests that owners of Premiere Pro 6 or After Effects 11 may no longer be licensed to use them.

Adobe has been in the news recently and not for good reasons: besides limiting the download of the CC apps, the company has made the $10 Adobe Photography Plan vanish from the options, for some users. According to Adobe, the company is testing if users accept the $20 plan with more cloud storage. While there are no more news about the future of the photography plan, many users are worried by the limitations in availability of older versions of the Creative Cloud apps.

The limitation, according to Adobe allows the company to focus its “efforts on the latest two major releases of Creative Cloud applications, which the vast majority of Adobe customers are already using, will further enable us to develop the features and functionality most requested by customers and ensure peak performance and benefits across Windows and Mac operating systems. Business customers in need of an older version of a Creative Cloud application should contact their IT Administrator to see if one is available.”

A scary letter from Adobe

Independently of the reasons, the limitations do create problems to users, as Scott Simmons noted in this article here at ProVideo Coalition, which I suggest you read, as most of the story is there, including the notes about the Dolby patent that may be behind this unexpected announcement of discontinued versions. Yes, Adobe does state that “business customers in need of an older version of a Creative Cloud application should contact their IT Administrator to see if one is available”, but what if you do not have an IT Administrator and rely on being able to download it from Adobe? More about this in a moment.

While everybody is discussing the note on Adobe’s blog and the first part of the letter sent by Adobe to some clients, a scary letter that Scot Simmons mentions in his article, what worried me was the second part of the letter, that apparently no one is talking much about. The letter Scott Simmons mentions states that “for customers who have not yet updated to the latest version of the Creative Cloud, please note that you are no longer licensed to use certain older versions of the applications or deploy packages contanining these older versions. We ask that your organisation discontinues all usage of the unauthorised products listed in the table below…”

Your perpetual license has ended?

OK that’s enough and takes us where I want. Everybody seems to live in a Creative Cloud world, so I believe no one really saw the other half of the document. Yes people looked, but they did not SEE. Because the document suggests that more software than the old Creative Cloud apps is, according to Adobe, “no longer licensed…” That includes Photoshop 13 (included in the Creative Suite 6), Premiere 6 After Effects 11 (also in CS6) and InDesign 8. The list continues, and includes Media Encoder 6, Animate, 12, Audition 5, Prelude 1 and SpeedGrade 6. I publish here a copy of the table, so you can check. No, these are not CC versions, that’s for sure…

As far as I know, these are all products which Adobe sold under a perpetual license, so what Adobe is telling users now is that if they continue to use these programs they “may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties.” I tried to get a reply from Adobe in due time, waited a couple of days and nothing. But there is  apparently no doubt, and I double checked all the names, that Adobe is suggesting the owners of the perpetual license software sold by Adobe may no longer use the software they have a license for.

My downloads are no longer there

Now, I am not a CC subscriber, in fact, these days, I only use Photoshop CS6 for some small editing, mainly for web, having moved my workflow elsewhere. But I was curious, so I checked my account at Adobe, to see if I could download my software, which is registered there. There is a page showing the products, but there is no download option, despite the fact that I believe was there.  Now the only option I have is to subscribe the CC plan.

I’ve backup copies of all the software I’ve downloaded, so I have no problem if I need to reinstall the Creative Suite 6 or even Lightroom 5, but not being able to download my products made me curious, so I got in touch with the online help – as Adobe press-offices did not reply to my query – and asked them if  there was a problem, going forward, with my copy of CS6.

The help center did not help much

Obviously, the help center online knows nothing about the letters issued to Adobe’s clients, so when I posed them the question the conversation went like this:

JA – I am still using Photoshop CS6. I read a note from you stating that if I continue to use it, I may have problems. The note states this: “Please be aware that should you use the discontinued version(s), you may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties.” Does this apply to my perpetual license copy?

Adobe Help Center – Hello, I’ll be happy to assist you. You are facing issue while using the CS6 subscription, correct?

JA – No. I just have a note you’ve distributed that states that I am “at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties” by using CS 6 products. I want to know if that is true.

Adobe Help Center –  Sorry, but a different team handles your question.

I waited while they connected me with a specialist “as soon as possible”.

Adobe Help Center Specialist –  Hello, I’ll be happy to assist you. I understand you are facing issue with CS6.

JA –  No. I just have a note you’ve distributed that states that I am “at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties” by using CS 6 products. I want to know if that is true.

Adobe Help Center Specialist  – If you want the link for CS6 I can share it with you.

JA – You did not understand my question. I want to know if there are legal problems by using CS6, as Adobe suggests.

Adobe Help Center Specialist   – I do apologize for the inconvenience. And I would like to inform you that there is no issue with CS6 and it is legal and safe to use.

JA – Then, why has Adobe issued a note stating this: “Please be aware that should you use the discontinued version(s), you may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties.” that includes Photoshop CS6 and a series of other products as having the issue?

Adobe Help Center Specialist –  I do apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. And would like to inform you that please ignore that. It will not create any issue with your product CS6.

JA – But the message states otherwise. It also points to Premiere 6 and After Effects 11 as being included in the same list of products with problems.

Adobe Help Center Specialist – May I know if you are facing any issue while using the application?

JA – My only issue is that Adobe states by using it I may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties. I would like to know what Adobe means by that. Do I have to remove the program from my computer. Isn’t it a perpetual license?

Adobe Help Center Specialist -Yes, it is a perpetual license. And you can use it without any issue.

JA – So I should not pay attention to the note issued by Adobe to its clients?

Adobe Help Center Specialist – Yes, please try to ignore that because as we all know that Adobe is the legal and well known product and you are using the Adobe products and it is safe to use without any issue. If we have any issue we will inform our customer through email.

So, is a perpetual license perpetual?

At that moment I knew there was no reason to continue the conversation. This leaves me with a question that has not yet been answered: has Adobe also decided that the perpetual licenses are no more? Probably, as part of a plan where Adobe recommends “all customers use the latest release of our Creative Cloud applications.”

While I understand that Adobe stops having older versions of apps available, albeit offering registered users the option to download specific version if they need it, I don’t see how the company can even suggest that whoever is still using the apps from CS6 – and there is a whole lot of people, because of compatibility issues –  may, from now “be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties.”

One thing is true: the list ( I include on this page the whole document from Adobe) of Discontinued Major Product Versions & all dot releases does includes Photoshop CS6, Premiere 6 After Effects 11 and many other programs that have a perpetual license. “What does perpetual license mean at Adobe?”  I asked, but I am still waiting for a reply from the company.


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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