Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner

Adobe in Venezuela

without comments

This morning I learned that Adobe is cutting off all subscription services in Venezuela.  This is apparently to comply with Executive Order 13884, which requires US companies to stop doing business in Venezuela.  I find this highly disturbing.

Now if you are a regular reader here, you know already that I am not a fan of the new subscription based model for Adobe, or other working software.  But it never once occurred to me that by government order, you could just wipe out the industry standard set of tools for an entire country like that.  We’ve basically just weaponized the lousy subscription model that so many companies are using now.  And this feels especially dangerous in this case with so much important communication coming through Adobe’s software.  When local media covers a story, they often use Adobe products to put it together and get it out there.  When non-profits need to promote a message, they often use things like Illustrator and In-Design.  I personally work for a publisher and we rely on Adobe all the time.  It’s unfathomable to me what would happen if we were to suddenly lose access to it.

And yes, as if the Venezuelan people haven’t had enough to contend with of late, now an entire industry is being stripped of their tools.  Even if they learn new ones, most international jobs will be out of reach without access to that industry standard.  Also, many individual artists use services like Behance to promote their work and Adobe’s cloud storage to keep files.  They are now faced with having to find somewhere else for all of that or lose their work completely.

So far I haven’t heard about other software doing the same, but if Adobe is doing this to comply with U.S. law, it stands to reason that other companies will make the same choice, or spend the next years in court.

And just to kick that extra bit of sand in the wound, they aren’t even refunding the money Venezuelans have already paid for the services they are now being denied.  According to Adobe, to refund customers would not comply with ceasing all activity there.  Sure seems to me like they could get to that now before the 28th when they officially cut service.

This is just such a mess.

adobe memo

Written by Sara

October 8th, 2019 at 8:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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