Adobe discontinues old CC software, warns users of legal action

Last week, Adobe discontinued older versions of its Creative Cloud applications and restricted the software that subscribers can download. This week, the company sent warnings to customers still using older versions that they may face legal action if they continue their use.

It all started a week ago, when Adobe announced major changes to Creative Cloud download availability. 

"Please note that going forward, Creative Cloud customers will only have direct download access (from the Creative Cloud Desktop app and to the two most recent major versions of Creative Cloud desktop applications," stated the company, noting that Acrobat is further limited to only the latest version. 

Due to potential litigation, only the two latest versions of each Adobe CC app can be downloaded (image: Petapixel)

Due to potential litigation, only the two latest versions of each Adobe CC app can be downloaded (image: Petapixel)

Adobe tried to paint the situation as centering around ensuring that customers have the latest "security features and capabilities, critical bug fixes and important security updates. We recommend all customers use the latest release of Creative Cloud for optimal performance and benefits."

However, the reason for removing subscribers' ability to continue using software that they are paying for seems to be more litigious in nature. 

"Adobe is in the midst of a lawsuit with Dolby and has accused Adobe of copyright infringement and breach of contract, which could be the reason why past versions of Creative Cloud apps are now restricted," said MacRumors alluding to the ongoing litigation over Adobe's licensing agreement with Dolby (stemming from the initial move to CC from traditional media).  

As if it weren't enough that many paying customers could no longer download software they were previously able to, Adobe has now started to email subscribers warning them of potential legal action if they continue to use older versions of CC applications. 

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With CC subscribers in uproar about the situation (particularly following a series of passive-aggressive tweets from AdobeCare appointing the blame for potential litigation "by virtue of your continued use of the unauthorized products"), Adobe sought to clarify the situation. 

"Adobe recently discontinued certain older versions of Creative Cloud applications. Customers using those versions have been notified that they are no longer licensed to use them and were provided guidance on how to upgrade to the latest authorized versions," reads a company statement to AppleInsider

"Unfortunately, customers who continue to use or deploy older, unauthorized versions of Creative Cloud may face potential claims of infringement by third parties. We cannot comment on claims of third-party infringement, as it concerns ongoing litigation."

It's the latest in a series of black eyes for Adobe, following widespread outcry earlier this month when the company appeared to double its Photography Plan price by removing the £9.98 / $9.99 option. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.