Somewhere within the walls of Adobe’s San Jose headquarters, someone must be cussing up a storm. It seems pretty clear that the company’s transition to Creative Cloud for its Creative Suite software was, at least in part, driven by the simple desire to end the piracy of its extremely popular editing tools. After all, with a subscription model, users would certainly be forced to communicate with Adobe’s servers regularly, making it easy for the company to verify authorized users.
At least in theory.
The new Creative Cloud offering that the company announced in May just launched this week, and one day after it debuted, Photoshop CC — the jewel in the crown of this software suite — was cracked and tossed into the free-for-all of bit torrent sites. One listing for “Adobe Photoshop CC 14.0 Final Multilanguage” (for Windows)” appears on The Pirate Bay with user comments confirming that the hacked software is authentic and indeed operational.
That it was laid bare is no surprise, but that it was split wide open inside of a single day is just embarrassing. Photoshop is one of the most pirated software programs in all technology, and this was the company’s bold move to (debatably) increase convenience for users and draw in a more regular flow of revenue (certainly), all while protecting its software against piracy.
Perhaps we should’ve seen this coming. Although the subscription model lowers the cost of entry, it doesn’t actually save customers any money. In fact, over time, it will wind up being more expensive. The subscription suite includes Photoshop CC, InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Dreamweaver CC and Premiere Pro CC, all officially available for a monthly fee. Users can choose individual applications for $19.99 per month á la carte, or choose a package for all of the programs for $74.99 monthly (or $49.99, with a one-year commitment). While registered users of CS3 or later got a 40 percent discount on a one-year subscription, the benefit is obviously short-lived.
Although previous non-subscription-based versions of CS were heart-stoppingly expensive — CS6 retailed for $1,299 (Design Standard suite) and $2,599 (Master Collection), while Photoshop cost $699 — owners could hold on to their software and could use them for as long as they wanted.
Well, apparently so will a new wave of pirates.