back to article Adobe stops software licence audits in Americas, Europe

Adobe has stopped doing software licence audits in most parts of the world, according to Gartner research director Stephen White. White recently blogged about Adobe's decision, writing that “These programs were closed in the North America, Japan and Latin America markets as of November 2015. Closure of the EMEA program is …

  1. Lee D Silver badge

    How much revenue was ever gained by such audits?

    I mean, sure, look out for suspicious patterns, put things in the code that need activation or registration or whatever else, especially for your major expensive pieces of software. You at least need to get an idea that something is being used without a licence, and on what scale.

    But how often did that lead to a company that then was audited, found wanting, coughed up and continued to use the software afterwards in order to get follow-up licensing? I can't imagine it's a profitable enough venture to even pick up the phone to the lawyers to start the process (I imagine the businesses that did cough did so voluntarily nearly as soon as they got a call and the others told them to bugger off and get a warrant or similar).

    I never saw the economics of it. Microsoft still have it in their licensing and I can't think that it would be worth it. Those places doing such things would cough once and then use that as incentive to migrate, rather than cough up every year or whatever, surely? That's after all the places who just resist it, quickly delete all their copies, or disappear into bankruptcy rather than pay up, and the costs associated with cutting through all that to some evidence.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      I think all the audit programmes were part of the lobbying process to make sure that the relevant legislation was in the industry's interests.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I've no experience of Adobe, but SAP are doing plenty of these audits for their BI software.

        Quite a few folks have the old single CPU licence. Now they have to find a single CPU with just one core or they get clobbered on upgrade.

        Before SAP issue the licence key, they ask for a screen shot of the server information - bang, big bill.

        Worse still for those on older versions pre-dating virtualisation. Where the customer has virtualised the server, they're getting a bill as there were no virtualisation rights back then.

        Anonymous because my account manager at SAP may be reading this.

        1. Ragarath

          Re: SAP!

          SAP are idiots then. You can easily make a piece of software run on a single core of a multi core CPU. Also if they were doing their job right it would be an option in their software. It should even do it automatically based on the license.

          1. David Austin

            Re: SAP!

            Not idiots: Just Greedy.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: SAP!

              In a way, the comment about idiots is correct, but not in the way intended. Customers just switching to other providers regardless of the cost.

              Once bitten, twice shy.

              Microsoft's gain, plus a few bits of Open Source.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: SAP!

                Microsoft's gain?

                I thought they were supposed to be one of the worst offenders for confusing licensing & audits.

  2. David Austin

    I'm not gonna rent software from Adobe

    I don't care how good it is. After their AdobeID Hack (Complete with laughable Password encryption), various pushed out cloud upgrades that have broke badly - to the point one deleted user files (, and the general poor quality code and update systems for various products, I don't have any trust in them, and rewarding them with a monthly revenue stream regardless of how well they perform removes a lot of the incentive for them to get better.

    Luckily, I'm in a software sector when I have the luxury of being able saying No to Adobe. Feel sorry for all the creative professionals they have by the balls: For everyone's sake, I hope (But don't expect) a credible competitor rises to keep them in check, run them out a bit, and well... kinda stop them from being dicks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm not gonna rent software from Adobe

      >Feel sorry for all the creative professionals they have by the balls

      And therein lies the rub. Adobe is lightyears ahead of anyone else, both in terms of product and cross-product integration.

      The competition are lightyears behind, even traditional competitors ...for example, once upon a time every man and his dog used Quark for DTP, today you would be crazy to use anything but Adobe inDesign (Quark still exist, but their marketshare is a hair's width of what it used to be !).

      I am not a designer, but I happen to use Adobe products a lot, and quite frankly they are the mutts nutts. Sure I would rather pay a one-off fee instead of a subscription, but you do get an awful lot of bang for your buck.

      For example, I take lots of photos. I use Adobe Lightroom as an image manager. Sure the techie in me knows that Lightroom is a fancy GUI built on top of SQLite. Not only is Lightroom it a top-notch.

      Going beyond lightroom, I also use inDesign. Not only is it an excellent DTP program in its own right, and well deserving of its marketshare. But its beautifully integrated with the two other Adobe big guns, Photoshop and Illustrator. You don't need to convert file formats to import PSD or AI files into Indesign as they are supported nativley, you can right-click on an asset in inDesign, edit it in Photoshop/Illustrator and the changes get automagically reflected in inDesign without you having to re-import or refresh. Then when it comes to time to send your PDF to the printers, inDesign of course has full PDF functionality at its fingertips.

      Sure the cross-product integration might not sound like much, but they've done such a seamless job of it that it really does make your life easier and save you time.

      Don't get me wrong, I agree with you entirely, Adobe could do with some stiff competition. But quite frankly, I know the realities of software development, and it would take a lot of time and money to get where Adobe are from a standing start (which, effectively is where its competitors are). Therefore, with much regret, I don't see it happening in my lifetime, your lifetime or even a millennial's lifetime.

  3. Daniel von Asmuth

    Does that mean....

    Many parts of the world can now run older versions of their Creative Suite without a license and with impunity?

  4. s. pam Silver badge

    Or it could very well be

    The backlash at Adobe over Flash(aka: the Ebola viruses of insecurity) has cost them so much money they're looking for another way to make a dash for the cash!

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