Amanda S. Green wrote a lengthy post on Adobe, and their upcoming changes to DRM. I commented on it, and then decided I’d up the signal noise and share my experiences here on my blog, as well. Just so it’s clear, my publisher, StonyCroft Publishing, does not use DRM. Me, as a reader, I will steer clear of a DRM book. I may not be all that old, but I was on the rising wave of ebooks, and I have heard many stories (indeed, been caught myself) of people losing entire ebook libraries when DRM-formats were suddenly no longer supported. It’s not acceptable. And I’m not going to stand for it.
This is more about Adobe’s track record of screwing over users of their software, and why I WILL NOT buy InDesign again.
I used to use InDesign extensively for the business. Then, not too long before the partnership broke up, my ex downloaded a trial upgrade for me. Had we kept the business, I would have bought and utilized it… but we broke up. I let the trial expire, and a few months later, when I needed to have some of my design work for a portfolio, discovered to my dismay that I could no longer access ANY of my InDesign files. Now, I owned a licensed copy of ID. The trial was just that, no commitments… but ten years of work was suddenly locked up, out of my reach, just because I hadn’t upgraded. Nothing worked. Not uninstalling and scrubbing my computer of all obvious and non-obvious Adboe files, then re-installing from disk… I will never again be able to use this computer – my primary work computer – for an Adobe program.
I did wind up using my disks to install my copy of inDesign on another computer, reluctantly, but then I found that I wouldn’t have to use it for design, and I never will again, nor will I willingly install any Adobe products on my computer. I have no nice words for the company, and if it goes out of business (unlikely, but a girl can dream) I will stand up and cheer.
If you are a designer looking for alternatives, I highly recommend GIMP. The older versions were painfully difficult to use, but the new version, 2.8, is powerful and sleek – and it can use a lot of Photoshop features, if you are already familiar with that program. Between Pages (I am a Mac girl, yes) and GIMP, I have been able to do everything I used to do in InDesign, and I haven’t looked back.
I urge you to consider other alternatives. If they are going to do this time and time again, how long will you have unfettered acess to things you bought, and even to your own work? It’s a dangerously vulnerable position to be in, as a creator and artist. As a consumer, don’t buy into the myth that you only ‘rent’ or ‘lease’ your ebooks. You bought them, you own them. Back them up, with Calibre or another program, and keep your library intact no matter the vagaries of the middlemen and publishers.