Adobe Cuts Off all Creative Cloud users in Venezuela

Adobe’s official post here.

Now, I understand that this is a fairly extreme occurrence and situation, but this does show one of the biggest flaws in any subscription based software model.

This is not about politics, this is about the fact that in theory Adobe controls the software from a standpoint that it can be deactivated at any time by them and that you have no control over it.

I believe Adobe currently has a mindset of the fact that they are too large to fail, which, IMO, was similar to Quark’s mindset. Now, granted, Adobe’s products have much more reach than Quark ever did, but they are certainly not too large to fail. I’m glad that Affinity and others are willing to provide alternatives and I hope that competition continues to drive innovation and alternatives.


Affinity has a cost. This looks like all small transactions are done no matter who the company is.

The whole part about refunds is BS too, if they have until the 18th. I’d be downright peeved about that.

But it does seriously bring up the issue of being suddenly cut off from software that keeps your business running. This has always been my concern with any subscription based software.

What is your backup plan?

Your point isn’t lost on me, Craig. In essence, I agree that software licensing by subscription is a proverbial short end of the stick for consumers, and anyone who relies on the product.

But, I don’t think any company’s measures taken to comply with an Executive Order constitute a malicious decision on the company’s part to “cut off” their subscribers. I have no sense of the size of Adobe’s Venezuelan market, but at any rate, it’s lost market share, revenue, and customer confidence for Adobe; not any kind of win.

I work at a company where all manner of “compliance” is a huge deal. It’s always an added expense and an obstacle to business growth, never a boost.

I understand that being an Executive Order is an extreme. But, if those companies had bought the software and had control over installing it, they’d be unaffected.

I concede it was not the result of a malicious choice by Adobe.

I was curious and poked around online to see if it affected other “key” subscription services such as Office 365, but was unable to find anything.

And, despite this being an extreme situation, at the end of the day it is a harsh reminder that Adobe CC subscribers own nothing.

From what I am reading… this isn’t on Adobe. They had no choice but to comply with the asshats in Washington.


Adobe, or course, is not responsible for the situation in Venezuela nor the Trump administration’s executive orders. Adobe, as a U.S. company, has to follow U.S. law.

What I blame Adobe for is setting up a subscription model that made it possible to cut off their subscribers and render their paid-for software unusable.


Yeah, no argument with that.

Technically you own your work product—but not the format—so yeah, nothing.

100% agree. Once gain, not trying to drag politics into this even though I understand it’s clearly political. The point is if it was a “traditional” perpetual license, it only would have affected those trying to purchase the software during the ban.

I’m not faulting Adobe. They do have to comply with the band and the law. But it’s sobering and illustrates how the subscription model is faulty.

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Ya know… I read that EO 3 times and nowhere does it seem to state that Adobe has to cut off support to anyone other than those affiliated with the Government of Venezuela and/or the Maduro regime - ie “blocked persons.” I can see where blocking the Central Bank of Venezuela may be a problem but I’m just not getting the total denial of service thing.
< not a lawyer

Yeah, I might even go so far as to say this statement of Adobe’s:

Executive order 13884, orders the cessation of all activity with the entities including no sales, service, support, refunds, credits, etc.

. . . doesn’t appear stem directly from any clause of the Executive Order as I read it at the link provided.
</also not a lawyer

Maybe the headline “all creative cloud users in Venezuela” is a little too inclusive?


Just speculation, but this goes back to what I mentioned earlier about compliance measures. It’s often a matter of risk management. If Adobe’s Legal Department finds the risk of violating the EO is great enough to warrant shutting off sales to the entire country, that’s what they’ll direct. The size of the risk vs. the size of the market would determine a threshold. And/or, maybe they fear “the entities” could be impossible to positively identify, and therefore could potentially be anyone anywhere in Venezuela, so the only way to mitigate their risk is by blacking out the whole market.

@PrintDriverThis other article seems to indicate it is actually all users, and it even mentions that others, such as Microsoft 365 seem to still be available.

This Reuters article also indicates it’s all users and (not surprising) that it’s resulting in CC users looking for workarounds including piracy.

I see.
I also see rather than taking this opportunity to bash the business model of Adobe, who can hold an entire country’s users hostage with the flick of a switch and seems to be the only software company doing it, it becomes a political issue instead.

Did you read the comments at Reuters? Adobe has made people notice how much of a hostage they are and for those that already knew, it’s an “I told you so” moment. A lot of hate for Adobe on there.

Side note. Not all CS6 software will work if you upgrade to Mac OS Catalina.
Dreamweaver CS6
Adobe Content viewer CS6
Adobe Extension Manager CS6
Fireworks and Flash CS6
Indesign CS6
It also looks like a sub-routine called adobe_licutil won’t work either. But it’s a 2018 thing not a CS6.
(license utility?) I wonder what “unintended consequence” that may have?

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Y’all just let me know when we are ready to occupy Adobe HQ in protest for their terrible practices. :sweat_smile: This monopoly needs to end.

If I was a new Adobe user in Velenzuela I would be in trouble - If I was a long standing user with bought-and-paid-for install disks I would just go back to those and carry on. Current jobs would have to be recreated as they could not be opened on older software but how many of the ‘new features’ since 2015 would you actually miss?

I have so far refused to upgrade to the ransomware version of Creative Suite and this incident simply convinces me more that I never will.

Assuming you retire before you run out of old computers and OS installers.
If you haven’t done so already, make a boot-and-load disk for the earliest OS you can grab (I don’t think you can go back more than a couple mountains on Apple OS now.)

Looks like Affinity Designer is gonna pick up some new clients in Venzuela. Serif, the maker of Affinity is located in Europe. No EO there.

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