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Adobe: Is There Lightroom After CC Membership Ends? Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

11 July 2014

Because you're building a database of image information and edits in Lightroom, we've always recommended a perpetual license for Lightroom rather than a Creative Cloud subscription. Our concern was that once your subscription ended, you'd lose access to the database, which can only be read by Lightroom.

But in a Lightroom Journal blog post yesterday, Product Manager Tom Hogarty detailed what will actually happen should your subscription expire:

With Lightroom 5.5, at the end of a membership, the desktop application will continue to launch and provide access to the photographs managed within Lightroom as well as the Slide Show, Web, Book or Print creations that we know many photographers painstakingly create. The Develop and Map modules have been disabled in order to signal the end of the membership and the need to renew in order to receive Adobe's continuous innovation in those areas. Access to Lightroom mobile workflows will also cease to function. We hope this meets the expectations of our customers and we look forward to an ongoing dialog.

The explicit description of what's disabled is particularly appreciated since Adobe has made the Photoshop Photography Program available permanently at $9.99 a month. The package deal includes a subscription to Lightroom.

It is worth noting that Lightroom won't be a read-only application if your subscription expires. Hogarty confirmed the Library module will continue to function, allowing you to import new images to the Catalog and use Quick Develop to edit them.

As Hogarty explained in answer to a follow-up question, "This will not impact your previous standalone version of Lightroom and we will continue to provide upgrades to the perpetual versions of Lightroom."

Along with our caution to buy the perpetual license for Lightroom, we've also been concerned about access to our other work in Creative Cloud applications should a subscription end. We did suggest a modest proposal but Adobe had not addressed the issue prior to Hogarty's Lightroom announcement.

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