This post will be completely off-topic. I won’t be talking about vintage ephemera, though what I’m going to discuss has a certain ephemeral quality to it.

I’m going to ask you a question I’d like you to ponder.

How would you like a future where the software you use on your computer is rented from month to month? You no longer purchase and install the software, deciding down the line if you want to upgrade when it’s convenient and affordable for you. Instead, along with your monthly utility bills, mortgage/rent payment, insurance, car expense bills, etc., you have to add in rental of computer software. Imagine all the software you use has a monthly fee you must pay. If you miss a payment or decide to stop paying you will no longer be able to open the native files you created in the software. And the actual software on your computer will cease working even though the price you have paid over a series of years is now much more than if you’d been able to actually buy the product. They promise amazing upgrades, though you know that is unlikely. And you’ll be paying for software you don’t even want simply because if you want and need certain software you have to pay for all of it.

The manufacturer promises you that it will be a set fee per month if you sign up for a year. They don’t promise that the next year the cost won’t go up 50% or even 120% or more. You’ll simply never know what it will cost from year to year. You will be at the mercy of the monopoly that manufacturers your software. And by paying for eternity you’ll have paid far far more than if you’d been able to buy it. But hey, the CEO of the company can now plan ahead about that sailing yacht he was thinking about buying.

Imagine all software being rental only. Your web browser for $25 a month. Your Office package for $45 a month. Your operating system for $75 a month. Games? Maybe $15 for low end games, but high games could be $80 a month. With prices like this you’d be paying out $2700 a year to software companies. Does this sound crazy?

Welcome to the world today, not the world of tomorrow. Adobe has decided that from now on they will not sell any new high end software such as Photoshop and InDesign. If you wish to use their newest software you must pay them a rental fee of $50 a month with a year contract. They call it Creative Cloud. They want all customers to be indentured customers for eternity. Well, you can cancel the service, but then you can’t open any of the work you created because they shut your software down. And they want you to store your work on their servers. What’s wrong with this picture? Do you want a software company to be part of your team? Do you want to be a part of theirs? Or do you just want to buy the software from the manufacturer, install it, and be left alone by the corporation. You certainly don’t want the corporation being able to spy on your usage of their product since you must have a net connection when you rent it. The contract will be very intrusive leaving the end user with no rights. It’s all in the fine print.

This is here and now. This isn’t the future. And if Adobe isn’t stopped you can bet that more and more companies will consider doing this. The floodgates of renting software are about to open. As consumers we won’t be able to stop it if Adobe gets away with this.

Think of this as my public service announcement. This has been a warning, only a warning, unless you use Adobe products, then it’s reality. The other software companies are waiting in the wings hoping to jump on this bandwagon.

If you're easily offended don't click on the video below.


  1. Maybe we should all go back to Ruby Lift and Clip Art...

    Just another example that our Gilded Age has now surpassed the Victorian's.

    1. Indeed. I honestly do miss cutting rubylith. I still have a pad of amberlith that I just can't bear to throw out. I was actually very good at cutting the stuff. No detail too small for me. Of course, my eyesight was a lot better then.

  2. That makes me see red. I still cant work out why every drawing I have posted on the blog lands up in a Picasa website?

  3. And a wonderful video.

  4. I work at a university library and this sounds just like our database vendors. We pay ridiculous amounts annually, and then we can lose access to all those journals if the company is bought out, the price spikes (which the American Chemical Society recently did), or we just decide we don't need it anymore. No backfiles or anything, it's all gone.

    1. I think it's only going to get worse.