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Is there an alternative to Creative Cloud?

Community Beginner ,
Dec 12, 2013

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Basically, I want access to a editing software that is easy to use, up to date, that isn't  subscription based (which I totally detest), and that doesn't require a constant Internet connection - so that I can use it anywhere, anytime, without worry. Unfortunately, it appears that Adobe no longer offers such a compelling and trustworthy option anymore. Am I wrong about this? From my perspective, customers trying to stay up to date with the latest features are being slammed with a very un-consumer friendly push from Adobe, and met with a bunch of legalese that basically strips them of ownership of their content and their right to privacy.

Personally, I don't find anything about Creative Cloud compelling. It is restrictive, subscription based, and cloud based. I want a product with an upfront, non-reoccurring, cost. I have plenty of storage options (If I want cloud storage, there are plenty of options there, as well), so that is not something that interests me. I want to be able to use it on the go, as I have in the past, without worrying about Internet availability - sometimes for days at a time - a common situation for both myself and many people I known that are interested in these types of programs.

What options do I have available outside of CC? Do I have to stop using Adobe products altogether, eventually?

I won't switch to a subscription based, cloud centric suit; does that mean that Adobe has made itself irelevent as a company from my standpoint?

Please help! I don't want to switch to a competitor to stay up-to-date, but at this point I see no alternative. I can wait until what I have is outdated and no longer relevant, and then switch to a competitor -- which would put me at a disadvantage for a time -- or I can go with a competitor now, and spend that time learning their platform, while still using it along side this program,  until this program is no longer needed. The ladder option, unfortunately, seems like the alternative I am going to have to lean toward.

So, any alternatives to Creative Cloud, that is still Adobe based, that will continue to be updated and improved for years to come?

P.S. - This question is not only for indesign, but all of Adobe's Creative Suit programs. Thanks in advance!

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Is there an alternative to Creative Cloud?

Community Beginner ,
Dec 12, 2013

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Basically, I want access to a editing software that is easy to use, up to date, that isn't  subscription based (which I totally detest), and that doesn't require a constant Internet connection - so that I can use it anywhere, anytime, without worry. Unfortunately, it appears that Adobe no longer offers such a compelling and trustworthy option anymore. Am I wrong about this? From my perspective, customers trying to stay up to date with the latest features are being slammed with a very un-consumer friendly push from Adobe, and met with a bunch of legalese that basically strips them of ownership of their content and their right to privacy.

Personally, I don't find anything about Creative Cloud compelling. It is restrictive, subscription based, and cloud based. I want a product with an upfront, non-reoccurring, cost. I have plenty of storage options (If I want cloud storage, there are plenty of options there, as well), so that is not something that interests me. I want to be able to use it on the go, as I have in the past, without worrying about Internet availability - sometimes for days at a time - a common situation for both myself and many people I known that are interested in these types of programs.

What options do I have available outside of CC? Do I have to stop using Adobe products altogether, eventually?

I won't switch to a subscription based, cloud centric suit; does that mean that Adobe has made itself irelevent as a company from my standpoint?

Please help! I don't want to switch to a competitor to stay up-to-date, but at this point I see no alternative. I can wait until what I have is outdated and no longer relevant, and then switch to a competitor -- which would put me at a disadvantage for a time -- or I can go with a competitor now, and spend that time learning their platform, while still using it along side this program,  until this program is no longer needed. The ladder option, unfortunately, seems like the alternative I am going to have to lean toward.

So, any alternatives to Creative Cloud, that is still Adobe based, that will continue to be updated and improved for years to come?

P.S. - This question is not only for indesign, but all of Adobe's Creative Suit programs. Thanks in advance!

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LEGEND ,
Dec 12, 2013

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First, let's correct some misconceptions, starting with ownership of the content you produce. It's yours, always was and always will be. The application software belongs to Adobe (always did), and you obtain a license to use that software. Perpeutal (traditional) licenses don't expire, subscriptions do, and when they do you lose the right to use the software unless you renew. Your files are still yours and can be opened and edited on with properly licensed apps.

You don't need a constant internet connection. The software "phones home" periodically to be sure the license is current, but if the connection is missing you should be able to continue for a period of time until your connection is re-established.

You don't have to store anyting on the internet, and the applications are downloaded, installed, and run on your local computer.

I'm not a fan of the subscription model, either, but it makes a lot of sense for a professional user -- the cost is lower than keeping up with al the upgrades, you get more frequent updates, and they are released when they are ready, not when marketing says it's time, but if you don't need the new features that will be coming, and are not concerned about eventual inability to run on new hardware, a CS6 perpetual license is still an option.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 12, 2013

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I have spoke to several people on the subject of licensing agreements concerning CC, Including a lawyer, and although Adobe states that your content is yours, it is also clear that anything uploaded to their services, they basically own the rights to. It has to do with the wording of the document and what is implied by using the service. They may not act on it, but it shouldn't even be implied, if you ask me.

And I would rather have to deal with updates with InDesign, than being tied to the cloud. Fact is, I won't stick with InDesign if there is no alternatives to CC going forward. I am just not interested in reoccuring fees for access.

Plus, having a program that may or may not lock you out if you can't find a connection in a timely manner is very counter productive, in my opinion. It is something that I would rather not even chance.

Friends of mine that have taken the dive have stated that CC has been nothing but a headache for them - several deciding to switch back to older programs.

CS6 is only an option for a time, for the reasons both of you listed.

My main question was regarding whether or not there was a non-cloud based, non-subscription based version of indesign, that was was going to be available from Adobe going forward, and I think you answered that. NO! There is no alternative, and Adobe has given its customers only two options: take the CC, or stick with older CS6 products until they no longer function properly, or no longer meet your needs.

I was hoping I missed something somewhere and that I was just hitting the Creative Cloud thing from the InDesign page accidentally and that there was a stand alone product out there somewhere I was missing. Thanks, it is disheartening, but I still appreciate the answer.

I guess I have some research to do so that I can find an alternative platform that meets my needs. I will continue to use InDesign for now, but only until I find and learn an alternative that meets my needs.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 12, 2013

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You can get a year license which costs €22 a month for InDesign on it's own  - that's per month for the year.

And to buy it on a month to month basis it's €34.

I suspect it's cheaper in the US - always has been.

It's not that expensive.

I use the €22 a month over a year.

I have Photoshop CS5 and Illustrator CS5 which suits what I do.

It's way cheaper than paying €100's every 18 months.

And also gives hobbyists a fair price to work under.

Other than that there's loads of alternatives.

Quark

Xara

Scribus

Serif Page Plus

and others

But I see Adobe as the forerunners in this - and have created all the applications to cross-interact and cross-platform.

To be honest - I thought about switching before - but Adobe offers a pretty comprehensive package.


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LEGEND ,
Dec 12, 2013

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You don't have to upload anything to Adobe servers to use CC...

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 12, 2013

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As Peter says...this a MYTH of epic proportions. Save your files where

ever you want.

FWIW (which may well be nothing to many) paid Creative Cloud

subscriptions as of Nov 30 stood at 1.439 million.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 12, 2013

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Chaos Theory,

On behalf of Adobe …

I don't know your lawyer, but it sounds like your lawyer got his law degree at Sears Roebuck (or maybe Wal-Mart)!

As previously mentioned to you, there is no requirement whatsoever that any of your content be uploaded to or stored, permanently or temporarily, on Adobe's servers. And even if you do store digital assets in your folder in the Creative Cloud, Adobe certainly does not own any rights to your content! Nor, unlike Google where apparently you store your e-mail, do we open or otherwise examine your digital assets for any purpose whatsoever. Where your lawyer dreamt that up is beyond us. The only “rights” that Adobe has with regards to the customer files stored on its servers are to move them around physically to optimize use of the server assets and to back up the assets for your protection. Nothing more than that. That is not asset ownership or any intellectual or marketing rights to your content.

I can respect that you prefer a perpetual license as opposed to a subscription, but quite frankly, we have found that the perpetual license arrangement was problematic in any number of ways, especially in terms of our legal and logistical ability to keep our customer base updated with new features, fixes, and even OS-compatibility updates. (We have had to deal with very unrealistic customer expectations that we would rewrite code for ancient CS versions to work with the latest MacOS versions which do not themselves maintain application compatibility!)

Again, it  is unfortunate that this software's moniker of Creative Cloud leads to the understandable perception that this is a “cloud-based service” — it absolutely isn't. The software is distributed from Adobe's server via download and yes it does phone home occasionally to validate that your subscription is current (with grace periods if you lose network connectivity), but the applications themselves install and execute on your computer using your file system with storage in the Creative Cloud simply an available option and definitely not a requirement.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 12, 2013

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By opening up your post with insults and innuendo, you dampen any legitimacy your post may have contained. It discloses a defensive and immature nature, as well as misleading intent. The lawyer in question is quite knowledgeable, and quite successful, on such matters! And definitely more trust worthy than any Adobe PR reps on the Internet. Just saying! His statements had to do with legal language, and were very accurate.

Nowhere in my statement was it implied that you had to upload anything, and the legal agreement that you have to agree to to use the service is very vague and over reaching concerning the legal rights and the flexibility it allows Adobe when it comes to interpretation - from what I saw, far more so than past agreements.

And I will reiterate my statement for you: I will not pay a continuing subscription for access to your product. If you want to maintain customers such as myself, you will develop a competitive version of the single pay option... It is possible, your company is just choosing not to do it.

And I find it unlikely that the programming portion of your post is entirely accurate considering you still have to maintain desktop client software for the new suite, and you still have to maintain compatability with current and new OS's going forward, and that still means updates. What you mean to imply, is that with perpetual licenses it is harder to continue making money off of people that don't continually upgrade to new versions of programs.

With a subscription, it is a pay us or else, system. Unlike with past programs, where users could choose to stay with a product indefinitely, if that product continued to meet their needs, you are locked out of using those tools if you don't pay the ransom. I don't find that fair!

I appreciate you clarifying that it isn't a cloud product, but it does little to address the DRM that has to connect to check up on things periodically. Although it is unlikely to cause much of an issue during most use senarios, its intention seems aimed at preventing piracy, which in the long run it absolutely will not do. It is more likely that piracy will more than likely lean towards distributed and virualized compute environments, themselves. So it is just more of an irritant to legitimate customers.

Once again, I was asking about a non Creative Cloud varient of InDesign, and I have my answer. Adobe will not be developing any non CC based, non-subscription based varients of current programs.

Knowing that, It now becomes my job to find an alternative that meets my needs going forward. That's just the way it has to be, I guess.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 12, 2013

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If you don't save your content to Creative Cloud there is no way for Adobe to know what you've saved on your personal computers.

Besides - you were told you retain all rights - you seem to be have been convinced by a laywer - possibly on retainer - that you have rights with Adobe.

Please check again with an independent law affiliate.

If you don't want to use the software then don't.

Screaming about it here won't do anything.

Bottom line is if your lawyer saw any water in the wording - then you wouldn't post it here.

Your lawyer would be all over it like a hot snot.

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Guide ,
May 01, 2014

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Steve: sorry, I can't resist adding my 2¢

Bob: Good to hear Adobe is doing so well with CC, perhaps they would consider lowering the subscription cost or at least pledging not to raise it more than the rate of inflation in the future? That would inspire me to take the plunge.

Sandy: I would defend your right to protest anything you want.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 01, 2014

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Do you know of any other companies taking that pledge? BTW, those subs are very likely over 2 million now.

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Guide ,
May 01, 2014

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Can't hurt to ask. I think it would be a good strategic move on Adobe's part in light of the justified fear of sharp price increases in the future, when subscribers will have little choice but to pay up or loose the ability to open their files.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 01, 2014

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Adobe being a publicly traded company would be treading in very dangerous waters doing something like that.

And FWIW, I think those fears are actually without justification. Adobe has never used its market position to gouge its customers and in fact in some cases has dramatically lowered the price of products. Lightroom comes to mind.

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New Here ,
Apr 21, 2016

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And the security issues of this model?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 21, 2016

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What security issues? Your files exist on your computer unless you send them somewhere else. You're responsible for keeping your computer safe using whatever standard security you choose to use.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2016

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The mummy returns ...

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Engaged ,
Oct 16, 2014

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Hey all,

Just chiming in on this:

Peter states: "I'm not a fan of the subscription model, either, but it makes a lot of sense for a professional user".

Unfortunately, we're a small professional organization, and it doesn't make sense for us (the subscription model). Our costs to continue working in Adobe-branded products has increased, as it requires CONTINUAL payment; with the perpetual licenses we - and most users - enjoyed previously, we upgraded every 3-4 years, and budgeted that way. An annual cost to for 15 seats to CC is roughly $7,000 PER YEAR, while updating a perpetual license for 15 seats was roughly $7,000. That's a three-fold price increase just to be able to use the software, and I do believe Adobe did a "bad". I, too, have been looking for alternatives, as it simply isn't feasible to 'subscribe' and not be able to serve our clients should we not make a monthly payment. We're a big fan of Adobe products, we all grew up on them, but let's get real; subscriptions are for music and tv, which is a choice to either have or not; software which is vital to livelihoods is a requirement for our business, and it shouldn't be at the discretion of the manufacturers to turn it off. Whew! there, I've vented, and sincerely hopes Adobe sees its userbase now has a feeling of being controlled in their business practices. I personally will stay on CS6 until I've located options to switch over--Adobe's "competitor" isn't looking so bad anymore. And sorry if I offended anyone here, you all are my "community".

Cheers!

-Mikey

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 16, 2014

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You're actually making the case for CC. Even if you don't buy a version, it

still costs Adobe millions of dollars to develop it.

Do you think your business could survive with people stopping in every 3-4

years?

Subscriptions work better and are here to stay. I get that they're not for

everyone but you have practically zero chance of ever seeing perpetually

licensed software from Adobe again.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2014

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professional organization... 15 seats was roughly $7,000

That's $1.50 per day per employee. What are they producing where saving a dollar a day would matter?

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Explorer ,
Oct 17, 2014

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Mikey, thanks for expressing it so well.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2014

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Rob Day wrote:

professional organization... 15 seats was roughly $7,000

That's $1.50 per day per employee. What are they producing where saving a dollar a day would matter?

Well said!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2014

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It's about $9 a week per employee.

If they do 9 jobs a week, tack an extra $1.50 to each job to pay for the software and your admin costs.

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Explorer ,
Oct 17, 2014

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Bob,

Your response puts a fine point on the self-serving nature of Adobe's subscription model: it serves Adobe's business interests. But, a good business model must also meet the needs of its consumers or, as in Adobe's case, be willing to lose them. It's becoming clear that Adobe understood the risk of the subscription model and was willing to risk losing the single/small business users. So be it.

Like Nature, markets hate a void. Soon, some young bucks will recognize the opportunity, get backing from some big bucks and design an alternative. There's probably plenty of business to go around. At least, Adobe seems to think so.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2014

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get backing from some big bucks and design an alternative

That will be great, all though they might hesitate when they crunch the numbers and weigh the cost of engineering a dozen or so highend software packages which together will have to sell for $1 a day or less to get your business

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 17, 2014

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Bob,

  Using your figures and theory, i.e. CC costs $1.50 per seat per day and that there are apparently 2 million subscribers signed up already, are you really telling me that Adobe needs to rake in $3 million a day to make ends meet?? If this is the case then I think they would do far better by looking at their outgoings, because having an overhead of $678 million (allowing 260 working days a year and a profit margin of say 15%), and given that they have no packaging or distribution costs now, this seems a tad excessive to me.

  I would still be interested to know what percentage of Adobe's existing customer base is represented by the '2 million' subscribers to CC? Given that now nearly 18 months have elapsed since CC was released it would be interesting to hear what percentage of the existing user base believe the hype?  Especially as we are always hearing that huge percentages of Apple's user base upgrade within days when a new upgrade comes out.

As I stated in my previous posts I've bought Adobe's products since way way back and I've never objected to paying a FAIR price for them.  But say we compare the CC model with a small design consultancy like mine working for clients on a monthly retainer basis, there is no way on earth I'd get away with selling them on the idea that 'yes, you can use the branding, identity, leaflets, stationery etc. which I've designed for you, but if you want to end the retainer arrangement then you won't be able to use them ever again'!!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2014

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then you won't be able to use them ever again'!!

A perpetual license is perpetual in name only. I still have my Photoshop 1 beta floppies but there's no way I can use them. I might be able to get my CS3 apps to work if I'm willing to hold on to an 8 year old machine and drop back 3 OS versions, but talk about penny wise. I also own an iPhone mostly because it works well, but it's also cheap—it will probably last around 2 years, or $1 a day. I could careless what Apple's profits are— no doubt they are excessive.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 17, 2014

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Actually, there are 3 million subs and growing.

I've said it over and over. CC is not for everyone, but the minute you try

to make everyone happy you make nobody happy.

If you don't want to subscribe, don't. But it won't change the facts.

Subscriptions are here to stay.

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Participant ,
Dec 02, 2015

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Not a fan of the subscription model, either, but in the long run I think it's much less expensive and it's nice to know that major upgrades will just be there without any extra cost beyond maintaining my yearly subscription. Even though I've subscribed to the Creative Cloud and have all the InDesign CC versions, I'm still planning on continuing working predominantly in CS6 (down-saving the CC files that clients send--as long as they haven't used a feature that doesn't exist in CS6--and "up-converting" them when I'm done) because I prefer the way it looks and I like using the numeric keypad for editing, which capability the CC versions have dropped.

There are numerous little infuriating UI bugs in all the CC versions of InDesign, but they're not deal-breakers and I would imagine that eventually they'll be addressed. So all in all (and after much trepidation), I think I can live with the Cloud arrangement.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 12, 2013

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Your option is to buy a copy in InDesign CS6 with what's called a perpetual license. It may never be updated. As newer versions of the operating system you're using come out, there's no guarantee that there might not be problems with it.

This issue has been debated endlessly for the past year. This isn't really an InDesign question, and if this thread degenerates, it will be locked.

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Mentor ,
Dec 12, 2013

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You have asked for an alternative to the Creative Cloud that "will continued to be improved and updated for years to come."

Obviously you have not been using personal computer software for 25+ years as I have or you would know that nothing can be relied on to be improved and updated for years to come.

When I started on a Macintosh computer there was a program called SuperPaint that did amazing things for its time. After a while the people who made SuperPaint stopped supporting it. And when I moved to a more modern OS, I couldn't use SuperPaint. All my SuperPaint files were worthless.

Now I'm no lawyer, but I know for certain that the company that made SuperPaint never contracted with me to keep improving and updating the software for years to come. So I switched to a different company's product.

Just like the company that made my favorite salad dressing stopped making it. It's gone. Over. Finished. There are no more bottles to buy. Do I have a right to protest that they have to keep making it? No. There is no implied agreement that I can have that salad dressing for the rest of my life.

Or the electric toothbrush manufacturer who stopped making my favorite electric toothbrush/irrigator combination. So when mine broke after 5 years, I couldn't buy another. There were no new mahines on the market. Nada. Nenio. Bupkis.

You've insisted that your editing software come from Adobe. Why would you want to do business with a company that imposes such arbitrary restrictions on how you use its products? I truly suggest that you purchase the latest version of QuarkXPress as well as some of the competitors to Photoshop and Illustrator. These companies are obviously treating their customers better than Adobe.

Of course if you are open to understanding how many mis-informed facts you have regarding the Creative Cloud, especially how often you need to be connected to the web, there are more than enough people to help you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 12, 2013

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There's a free trial isn't there?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 12, 2013

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There most certainly is. You get almost everything for a month. Doesn't

include DPS SE apps and a few other thing as well.

I wrote this blog post last week and the numbers released today confirm

my opinion. Creative Cloud is here to stay:

http://boblevine.us/why-creative-cloud-subscription-software-is-here-to-stay/

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Mentor ,
Dec 12, 2013

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Chaostheory66821

You've got me very confused and concerned.

Do you mind telling us which part of the Creative Cloud license agreement your lawyer said that would give Adobe the option to own the rights to your product?

I need to ask my lawyer for her advice.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 12, 2013

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As soon as you creat something - you own the copyright.

If you work for a company - then they own it.

End of.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 30, 2014

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I would like to add that I have been an Adobe product user for many years, and the move to cloud based only with no support for downloaded versions (I own CS 6 for both Mac and Win) is extremely disheartening.  I too am now looking at alternatives since when the time comes to upgrade, I won't be going with Adobe's Creative Cloud.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 30, 2014

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CS6 is still sold and supported by Adobe.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 30, 2014

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Ok that's good to know.  I am trying to locate the download to re-install on a computer.  Do you know where that might be? All links for CS 6 seem to go to CC...

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 30, 2014

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http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/policy-pricing/cs6-product-downloads.html

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 30, 2014

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Please read some of the previous postings.

The newest software is not running in the “cloud.” The software is still downloaded and installed and run on your local computer. What is different is that it is licensed by subscription.

          – Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 01, 2014

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the move to cloud based only with no support for downloaded versions (I own CS 6 for both Mac and Win) is extremely disheartening.

I've found the subscription model to be so much better. I  use Acrobat, Bridge, Indesign, Photshop, Illustrator, FlashBuilder almost every day for less than what I spend on coffee. Unless you are going to steal the software, you're going to pay for  upgrades at some point in the future—none of us are using Photoshop 3—this just makes it easier and less stressful.

And, you don't need an internet connection to run the programs, you only need to be connected once a month for validation. If you think something evil is happening on Adobe's servers there are plenty of alternatives to Adobe's cloud service for file storage and sharing.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 01, 2014

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Dropbox!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 01, 2014

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I'll sell you a 1TB hard drive for $49.95

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 01, 2014

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Already have a 4TB drive but I love DB's versioning capability. File goes corrupt? Back up on save and get on with things? Deleted a file by accident? Just restore it. Need to share it? Piece of cake. Computer caught fire? No problem there either. Just install DB on the new machine and everything syncs right up.

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