Adobe Tells Users They Can Get Sued for Using Old Versions of Photoshop

Adobe this week began sending some users of its Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, Premiere, Animate, and Media Director programs a letter warning them that they were no longer legally authorized to use the software they may have thought they owned.

“Unless Adobe has violated the terms of its licensing agreement by this sudden discontinuance of support for an earlier software version, which is unlikely, these impacted users have to just grin and bear it,” Gilbert said.

Activist, author, and copyright expert Cory Doctorow agreed, telling Motherboard in an email that this kind of thinking has increasingly permeated countless sectors, including DRM-based media, software as a service, and even client-server games.

Both Doctorow and Gilbert noted that this kind of shifting landscape can often be particularly problematic for artists and creators, who often don’t want to risk ongoing projects by suddenly jumping to new versions of software that may contain unforeseen bugs.

“When your tools are designed to treat you as a mere tenant, rather than an owner, you're subject to the whims, machinations, and unforeseeable risks of the landlord from whom you rent,” Doctorow noted.

It’s a comical, lopsided arrangement that copyright experts say isn’t changing anytime soon, leaving consumers with only one real option: when possible, don’t buy products from companies with a history of pulling the carpet out from beneath your feet.

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