Greed, Greed, Greed.

So, this time, the article is by me…Sr. Frances. I’m writing this article because I’m absolutely shocked, livid, so mad about it I could spit nails!

I am a Graphic Designer, as I’ve said many times on our “No Prisoners, No Mercy podcast”. I had to quit in 2003 to take care of mom for 5.5 years, and then I’ve spent the next 3.5 years just getting my health back. Well, now I’m ready to really start working in the world of design again, and today, I found out something that has me just…dumbfounded.

Adobe is the producer of 95% of the software that I and many designers use to create printed graphics, media graphics, web sites, etc…They create programs like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, and Flash, plus many more. I use Photoshop on a daily basis. It will be the main program I use when I really get going with my business, but today I found out Adobe is going to be doing something that is akin to extortion.

I own one of their “suite” of programs, called “Creative Suite” or “CS” for short. I had purchase CS 3 about 7 or 8 years ago. Every time they came out with a new upgraded version, I could only eye it with longing, as I never had the money to purchase the upgrade and I’ve wanted to buy the next upgrade for the last 3 years! Finally this year, I have the money. The upgrade numbers are now up to CS6! I’ve missed 3 complete upgrades, waiting till I had the money to buy the next upgrade! And now Adobe is going to implement a new strategy…you can only buy the upgrade at a discounted price, IF you already own the closest previous version down, otherwise you have to pay FULL PURCHASE PRICE! So, people like me, who had to save their pennies just to buy the next upgrade, and had to wait 3 versions to do it, will be literally up a creek! Once this new policy takes effect, anyone who does NOT have CS6 will be completely out of luck once CS7 comes out. They will have to buy the entire Creative Suite AT FULL RETAIL PRICE, like they never owned this product before! Wow, the greed of this company and the world is making my head spin!

So many customers of Adobe complained about the new policy, that they said they would “delay” it until 2013. So get ready, as of 01-01-13 you may have to buy the Creative Suite at full purchase price if you don’t have CS6.

Let me give a little background. Adobe products have been used in the design industry for 30+ years now. Always improving on their software, they usually would come out with a new “upgrade” every year or two. Every time a new version or upgrade came out, if you already owned ANY one of the previous products, you got a discount when you went to buy the upgrade. So, if I owned Photoshop 2, and I wanted to upgrade to Photoshop 5, I could do so at a discount BECAUSE I owned Photoshop 2 and I had to lay out $1000 just for that! So, now since I’ve paid my $1000, I could buy the upgrade for $300 instead of having to pay another FULL price of $1000! But because these programs were so expensive, people were waiting longer and longer to upgrade. So, Adobe raised the price of the upgrades. And now, they will be forcing you to buy every single upgrade if you want any kind of a discount on the price! Wait too long, and oop…I’m sorry, you’ll have to pay FULL price, and what is that? $2,242.14 for Creative Suite Web & Design Premium. What? You mean, before I could spend $300 to $500 dollars, and get the most recent version, no matter how old my current version was…but in 2013 I will have to pay FULL PRICE unless I buy every new upgrade that comes out??

Then there is Adobe’s whole “Cloud” System that they want you to pay a subscription fee every month to use. So get this…you pay them $30 a month to use their software and create files, but should you decide you can’t afford it, or don’t want to pay and, oop…now you can’t open ANY of your files! Why? because they still own the software, and because they do, they want to extort money from you to even just access your files…files YOU SPEND HUNDREDS OF HOURS CREATING YOURSELF…YET THEY “OWN” THEM????!!! Here is a post that a designer friend of mine sent me…

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If this makes you angry, like it did me, why can’t we do something about it? Well, we can. First we can find alternative software to use instead of Adobe software, but granted, I do not know if there is anything out there like Photoshop, that does ALL the things that Photoshop does. There are some programs that come close, but not with the same level of detail…but why can’t someone with some imagination just get together with other people and create a program that does what Photoshop does? There is so much out there now available for free…why do we have to be held hostage by Adobe? With Open Source software…why isn’t there a group of people out there trying to put together software that does exactly what Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, and Dreamweaver does? I believe it’s because of the patents that Adobe holds on those programs. Anyone who might want to create anything similar, will be faced with a team of lawyers breathing down their necks, with lawsuits in hand!

There is always a writing campaign. You know, actual letters, printed on real paper, sent with a stamp in an envelope. The problem is, unless Adobe is bombarded with letters, nothing will be done. The only other way is to speak with our pocketbooks. But what if you are a small business owner, who gets his/her living from using these programs. Sooner or later you will be FORCED to pay through the nose to get the most recent upgrade, either that, or go out of business! What disturbs me is that Adobe is turning into Microsoft…the BIG BULLY in the world, who is going to TELL you what YOU WILL BUY and WHEN YOU WILL BUY IT (by God)! (Actually in my mind, God is NOWHERE in this situation!)

What can I say to make an impact on software creators out there? To cheer them on, to say, “don’t let the big bully knock you down…there MUST be a way to do this!” If you are as fed up with the greed as I am, I ask that you spend 10 or 15 minutes out of your day to actually WRITE a letter to the CEO of Adobe…Shantanu Narayen is president and chief executive officer of Adobe Systems Incorporated. Their address is Adobe Systems Incorporated, 345 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95110-2704, Tel: 408-536-6000. If nothing else, it might get them to re-think their strategy.

It just seems to me, that this world is cracking apart, with an ever widening chasm between types of people…those that are concerned for others’ lives, and those who just want money, money, and more money at any cost, no matter who gets put out on the street, no matter who is left without a business, no matter who dies. It’s just WRONG!! If we don’t care for each other…we are ALL headed for extinction. Only when people put greed aside, and realize that the planet, people’s lives, and people’s livelihood are MORE IMPORTANT than money, then we are headed for one outcome only…total annihilation. So, actually thinking about OTHERS, is what will save your own life, our own family, and and our own livelihood.

God save us all!

Sr. Frances

One Response to Greed, Greed, Greed.
  1. Taman
    September 13, 2012 | 7:35 am

    That stinks! I hope they don’t go through with that plan. I don’t do graphics work, but I know Gimp is probably one of the most powerful open source image editors and has lots of online tutorials. RapidWeaver or Nvu are supposed to be good alternatives to Dreamweaver.

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