Being one of the countries under US sanctions will get to affect Venezuelan content creators who use Adobe tools when the company ceases to offer their services in the country towards the end of this month.
The US government issues an executive order in August prohibiting trade with the country. Unfortunately for Venezuelan Adobe paid users there will be no refunds with Adobe citing that the executive order will not allow them to do so:
We are unable to issue refunds. Executive order 13884, orders the cessation of all activity with the entities including no sales, service, support, refunds, credits, etc.
Adobe has given their users in Venezuela until the 28th of October to download any content stored in Adobe accounts after which these accounts will be deactivated.
The ban will affect both Adobe’s free and paid services which I can only imagine will be a huge blow to Venezuelan designers, illustrators and other creatives.
This is one of the problems with subscription-based models – people pay for a product/service but don’t own it. For creators/teams that had paid for the service beyond October, that will be cut and there won’t be a refund which is pretty disappointing.
The situation is worsened by the fact that this ban will most likely affect people who have nothing to do with the turmoil in Venezuela.
Whilst it’s easy to say Adobe is just complying with a government order, the company is not exactly a shining light when it comes to treating customers fairly.
Earlier this year, Adobe warned customers that using older versions of their apps could get them sued. Yes, even if you had paid for those particular apps Adobe threatened to sue consumers who weren’t moving with the times.
Will this promote piracy?
For customers in countries that are facing the threat of sanctions, placing long-term bets on Adobe might seem like a risky investment and if some creators are not willing to adapt to other tools outside of Adobe’s suite they may resort to downloading pirate versions of Adobe software.