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Adobe Tells Users They Can Get Sued for Using Old Versions of Photoshop. “You are no longer licensed to use the software,” Adobe told them.

Adobe is warning some owners of its Creative Cloud software applications that they’re no longer allowed to use older versions of the software. It’s yet another example of how in the modern era, you increasingly don’t actually own the things you’ve spent your hard-earned money on.

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.

“We have recently discontinued certain older versions of Creative Cloud applications and and a result, under the terms of our agreement, you are no longer licensed to use them,” Adobe said in the email. “Please be aware that should you continue to use the discontinued version(s), you may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties.”

Users were less than enthusiastic about the sudden restrictions.

The company didn’t inform users why they needed to discontinue use of the software, but the company’s Twitter account indicated the issue stems from “ongoing litigation.” AppleInsider, which first reported the notices, pointed to a copyright lawsuit filed last year by Dolby Labs.


In a controversial move, Adobe pivoted away from the standard software model to the cloud-based subscription model in 2013, resulting in notably higher revenues (and higher prices for customers). Dolby’s lawsuit accused Adobe of copyright violations related to how the licensing costs Adobe paid to Dolby would be calculated under this new model.

In a statement to Motherboard, Adobe confirmed the letter’s authenticity, but wouldn’t provide any additional detail beyond what was included in the notices.

It’s yet another example of how the products we buy in the modern era can lose functionality or stop working entirely on a lark. Be it a game console that loses features with a firmware update or entertainment products that just suddenly disappear, it’s a problem that’s increasing popping up in the always online era.

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