To Shantanu Narayen, Scott Belsky, Anil Chakravarthy, and all the other thieves at Adobe.

I bought one of the first versions of Photoshop back in the 1990s and upgraded to every version through C6. The software was good and the company reliable.

Then they went bad. They changed from selling their software to forcing users to rent it. That’s where I drew the line, refusing to go beyond Photoshop version C6.

Adobe had built into C6 a “validation” thing where, if you wanted to move your copy of Photoshop to another computer, you had to unload it, install it on the new computer, then validate it with Adobe.

I did exactly that a few years ago, but the validation was no longer automated. I had to call Adobe to validate my copy of Photoshop. When I called, I was told Adobe “no longer supported” version C6.

Nice. When I would try to use the software I would be blocked with the message that I had to validate it. Which meant calling Adobe service. Which meant being told they no longer supported that version.

Which means Adobe effectively stole my copy of Photoshop. It is no different than if they had hacked into my computer and dismantled the software.

That’s actually what they did, if you think of it in terms of “pre-hacking.” They built into the software an ability to stop me from eventually using it if I didn’t buy into their rental scam. I’m sure they cynically compounded this scheme in the secure probability that every user would eventually have to change to a newer computer. Exactly the kind of scheme that has caused many of us to lose all respect for American businesses. The only thing you can count on these days from American enterprise is greed and indifference to anything but profit.

As far as Photoshop itself goes I really don’t care all that much. There are a multitude of software programs that do the same thing and that cost a lot less. Some of the best are even free. A few years ago, no longer able to use Photoshop because of Adobe’s corrupt practices, I started using Gimp.

This stupidly named free software, in my experience, does everything Photoshop did. At the same time that I changed to Gimp I switched over to Lenux, an open source free operating system that replaces Microsoft Windows (another corrupt, infuriating piece of American crap that actually does not work in case you haven’t noticed). I’ve been very happy with those changes.

So all in all I’m better off disconnected from all Adobe and Microsoft products. Life is better without them, but I resent the way both of those companies are able to dominate and thrive through thievery and greed. American needs a consumer protection agency with teeth to advocate for us. But don’t hold your breath.

If you are using Photoshop, give yourself a break and move to open source software. You’ll be happier, less stressed, maybe even get rid of your hemorrhoids. And save a lot of money.

By Charles E. Henderson, PhD

Charles E. “Chuck” Henderson PhD has had three careers. As a professional woodwind musician he worked with a number of well-known groups and musicians in America and Europe. When CTS ended his musical career he went into sales where for 16 years he broke numerous national sales records. He retired from sales to earn three college degrees (BA, MA, PhD) in communication and psychology. His research and clinical specialty has focused on subliminal communication and he has been a leader in the research and development of self-hypnosis techniques and applications. The author of nine books and numerous articles and audio recordings, he lives with his wife in Madison. Wisconsin.

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