Government takes Adobe to court on cancellations

Jun 19, 2024 at 03:30 pm by admin

Two decades after it switched to a subscription model, Photoshop developer Adobe is being sued by the US government for allegedly making cancelling too hard.

The company that invented PostScript and revolutionised desktop publishing with products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat and InDesign, moved to a software-as-a-service subscription model in 2013, claiming they would be able to roll out upgrades faster.

It’s been a bone of contention ever since, and many of those who can – it requires use an outdated computer system – still run the Creative Suite versions (up to CS5.5) they were able to buy outright.

Now, in a case filed in San Jose, California, the US federal trade commission is alleging Adobe conceals hefty termination fees under its “annual paid monthly” plan, and makes it difficult for users to cancel subscriptions. The FTC says Adobe calculates “early termination” fees in the first year as half the remaining payments that would be due.

Adobe says it is transparent with terms and conditions, and will refute the claims in court.

At the start of the desktop publishing revolution in the mid-1980s, the PostScript page description language was created by John Warnock, Charles Geschke and others at Adobe.

Aldus founder Paul Brainerd (Aldus PageMaker layout programme) and Apple – with the Mac computer and LaserWriter printer – created the other components, with PageMaker acquired by Adobe in 1994 and evolved into InDesign. Brainerd had worked on the Atex editing system at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, leaving in the early 1980s to found Aldus.

Sections: Digital business


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