• Adobe license revoked … Hello, Updated Terms

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    Yesterday, while busy working in Adobe Acrobat Pro (as part of Creative Suite 6), I had an unwelcome pop-up appear while I was in a hurry, telling me
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    • #2260865

      Did you first check directly with Adobe to verify that this came from them and was not spam or worse?

    • #2260866

      Just so I understand…

      You bought the software. Accepted the agreement. Had been using it for a while.

      Then Adobe decided that you could either:

      1. Accept mandatory binding arbitration, or
      2. Stop using the software. Which you’ve already paid for.

      Did I get that right? Man, I thought Microsoft was bad.

      • #2260869

        There’s no way a contract can be unilaterally changed without some penalty? Can it?

        I’m sure the Courts would reject that contract modification, but can a lawyer chime in?

        Not-a-lawyer Martin

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2260874

        The arbitration clause is not new. It’s been virtually unchanged in Adobe’s terms for years.

        There’s absolutely no reason to suppose that revoking the license had anything to do with that.

        Learn why you might get a message noting that the serial number is invalid or has been revoked, and how to fix this issue.

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

      • #2260880

        Did I get that right?


        The original “General Terms of Use” page has a big header that alerts you to the new, changed, terms!


        • #2260885

          The big header does not indicate what has changed.

          It has no connection with the license being revoked.

          Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

      • #2260883

        I have found Adobe’s licensing methodologies to be more abusive than any others that I’ve seen. I had a similar issue several years ago, although I don’t remember the detail.

        [ob disclaimer: I Am Not a Lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.]

        The underlying issue is that most EULA are contracts that are conducted under the parameters of Universal Commercial Code, or UCC.   It’s UCC that allows for boilerplate contracts that are legally binding with “take it or leave it” terms, where there’s no capacity of negotiation, and where the offers, as presented, entirely favor the offerer, including, as described here, requirements of dispute resolution through arbitration.  Another commonly-included item is what I call the “weasel clause”, that allows the offerer to change terms of the contract: unlaterally, immediately, irrevocably, and without prior notice or negotiation.

        My occasional experience with Adobe is that they’re pretty active on invoking the weasel clause to change terms that better suit their preferences at the moment.  Prior payment for software is irrelevant to them. All that matters is the current terms.

        The only way I can see this ever changing is if somebody manages to convince a court that terms are unconscionable, but Adobe’s lawyers are pretty adept at keeping them out of any legal process that they don’t control. They may not win every arbitration case, but they don’t have to.  And even if they lose, since it’s not a court ruling, there’s no precedent that can be used in subsequent disputes.

        Although I detest doing business with Microsoft and their arcane licensing methodologies, I will take them every day over Adobe.  Although there’s enough places where there’s no reasonable alternatives, given the choice between buying Adobe and buying a competing product, I would choose the competing product 6 times out of 5.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2260875

      @Woody, there’s probably some clause in the Adobe Acrobat EULA where they assert the right to decrease the value of your purchase by changing the terms you had agreed upon.

      Over the last several years, Adobe has become as obnoxious as Microsoft, starting with its campaign to push customers onto the cloud.

      The last version of Adobe Acrobat I had was X. For a full-featured PDF editor, now I use Foxit PhantomPDF.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2260884

      Typical Corporate State software. Fine print, 4 point type:

      “You also grant us the right to enter your home at 4 AM any morning, and harvest a vital organ to sell on the black market, for which you will hold us harmless.”

      Start pushing back, people!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2260887

        There was a South Park episode that lampooned this topic, with a particularly over-the-top example of  “you agreed to this when you accepted the EULA,” which is so, erm, toilet-humorish that I don’t even want to post the episode title here, let alone a more detailed synopsis.  Suffice it to say that it starts with “Human” and ends with “iPad,” if you really want to look it up.

        The idea is like your example, to point out that just putting something in a long EULA that they know no one reads doesn’t make it okay or enforceable.

        I’ve never paid Adobe for anything, and I’m even more sure now that I never will than I was before.  I don’t have a problem with the concept of paid software, but once I pay for it, I expect that to be the end of having to think or worry about such matters.  My CPU cycles are not to be used for processes that try to find some licensing-based reason to ruin my day.  Game theorists will tell you that to enter into a game where only the very best outcome is the status quo, and every other outcome represents a loss, is itself a loss.  Why should I be forced to play a game that results in a loss to myself because I’ve purchased software?

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
        Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11 for maintenance)

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    • #2260897

      Hopefully this thread will come up in Google when anyone search’s for Adobe Acrobat Pro 😉

      Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
      All W10 Pro at 22H2,(2 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2260902

      I think I’ve seen the “serial number then re-log in” jig mentioned a couple of times on the Adobe forums in the last few months, but what passes for search isn’t letting me find them, I’m afraid.

    • #2260943

      Check this out as well:


      …so in order to use this software one needs to agree that one does not sue them?


      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2261011

        There’s nothing there that says you can’t sue them. It specifically says that you CAN sue Adobe in small claims court.

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

    • #2260944

      …so in order to use this software one needs to agree that one does not sue them?


      The same is true for Microsoft.

      • #2261014

        …so in order to use this software one needs to agree that one does not sue them?


        The same is true for Microsoft.

        It’s not true:

        11. c. Small claims court option. Instead of mailing a Notice of Dispute, and if you meet the court’s requirements, you may sue us in small claims court in your county of residence (or, if a business, your principal place of business) or our principal place of business—King County, Washington USA if your dispute is with Microsoft.

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2261028

          Depending where you live, a small claims court deals with amounts up to a maximum of $10k (typically).

          So you can sue us as long as it’s for a trivial amount that we won’t notice.

          Windows 10 Home 22H2, Acer Aspire TC-1660 desktop + LibreOffice, non-techie

          3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2260961

      Adobe may be afraid that in the current crisis many Creative Cloud users will be tempted to give up their subscriptions and go back to their old desktop paid-for versions.

      Hence this might be an attempt to prevent them doing so.


      • #2261025

        Ad0be faces a problem that many will be tightening their belts as their income decreases. So many will be looking for more reasonably priced ‘once-and-done’ software or dust off older versions of something they already have.

    • #2261038

      It seems to be some sort of license terms global reset for every product that can phone home to the mothership.  I have an active Adobe CC Photo subscription, and it made me re-accept, too.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2261039

        It’s not so much that it “can phone the mothership”, but that if you don’t let it on a regular basis, it won’t work! It’s not necessary every time, but definitely every so often.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2261078

      As a reactionary counter-revolutionist (ha-ha), I decided when this “software-as-an-expensive-service-cloud-dunnable-when-we feel-like-it-gotcha!” thing started, I dug my heels in and swore to have nothing to do with it. Once I acquired it, it was MINE, and I’d use it until it no longer was usable, or functionality or end product failed to meet current standards.

      So far, so good. My old XP workstation (non-internet connected) has $$$$ of non-cloud-blackmailing graphics software on it, and still can deliver quite nicely, thank you. Between open source new freeware and the old software, I’ve been successful at not being held hostage ever since this “cloud” nonsense began years ago. Am still able to turn out 2D, 3D and animated graphics (Bryce, Olde Adobe Pro Suite, and about 14 different other freeware programs for CG).

      They’re getting away with making us “Software Serfs” because we let them; if we’d all resisted this kind of thing energetically from the beginning, we wouldn’t  have “software as a servile state” or “subscriptions” to use cloud-based software at all. Maybe it’s not too late; revolt! It’s pitchfork and torches time, software-metaphorically speaking! As one old source once said,

      “I’ll have no more of this!”

      /off soapbox mode

      Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", 12GB RAM, Group "0Patch", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations. Linux Mint Greenhorn
      "Nine out of 10 doctors say Acid Reflux is mainly caused by computers."

      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2262503

      Check this out as well:


      …so in order to use this software one needs to agree that one does not sue them?


      It’s like the old shrink-wrapped Microsoft EULA in the 80/90s that you had to open to read, and you showed your acceptance by opening the wrapping…

      No matter where you go, there you are.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2274330

      Sure enough, just when you think the problem has disappeared, it reappears… This time, I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled the software (after a lot of unsuccessful attempts to fix, it finally worked), and it is recognised as a valid, genuine software installation – for now, again.

      This was the updated terms notice that came up, for those who may be interested (I hope I don’t encounter this problem again too soon, but it’s not a certainty, as this isn’t an infrequent issue – Adobe’s forums are littered with such issues):

      Updated Terms of Use
      We’ve made some changes to the Adobe General Terms of Use regarding the use of our software and services, including:

      Identified eligibility for free trials
      Reserved the right for Adobe to delete unused free membership accounts
      Defined a “Business” to mean a business, government entity, or other organization
      Explained when a user is a Business user or a personal user
      Clarified that content stored in Adobe’s business plans (such as a teams or enterprise plan) may be accessed and controlled by the Business providing the plan
      The updates regarding “Business”, “Business Profile”, and “Business User” are applicable only to Adobe’s business plans (such as teams and enterprise) customers. Learn more.

      By closing this window, you’ll be unable to continue using Adobe apps and services. By clicking “Accept and Continue,” you agree that you have read and accepted the Terms of Use.

      Remember… this is desktop, not cloud, software ❗

      1 user thanked author for this post.
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