from the closing-up-(photo)shop dept
Update: After this story was written, but before it got published, Adobe backtracked and agreed that it would, in fact, return the money. However, users are still out of luck going forward.
Adobe has long had a history of questionable behavior, when it comes to the rights of its customers, and how the public is informed on all things Adobe. With the constant hammering on the concept that software it sells is licensed rather than purchased, not to mention with the move to more SaaS and cloud-based software, the company is, frankly, one of the pack leaders in consumers not actually owning what they bought.
But what’s happening in Venezuela is something completely different. Adobe will be disabling its services entirely in that country, announcing that it was giving customers there roughly a month to download any content stored in the cloud. After that, poof, no more official Adobe access in Venezuela. That includes access for SaaS services that were prepaid. For such prepaid services, Adobe has also announced that zero refunds will be provided.
Why is this happening? According to Adobe, it’s to comply with Trump’s Executive Order 13884.
In the document, Adobe explains: “The U.S. Government issued Executive Order 13884, the practical effect of which is to prohibit almost all transactions and services between U.S. companies, entities, and individuals in Venezuela. To remain compliant with this order, Adobe is deactivating all accounts in Venezuela.”
To make matters worse, customers won’t be able to receive refunds for any purchases or outstanding subscriptions, as Adobe says that the executive order calls for “the cessation of all activity with the entities including no sales, service, support, refunds, credits, etc.”
As the Verge post points out, if you’re shrugging at the idea that the average Venezuelan citizen just got bilked out of money or software for which they paid, private citizens aren’t the only ones who will be affected by this. NGOs and news outfits will likewise be impacted by the move and those are some of the organizations attempting to affect change in Venezuela.
If nothing else, this should highlight just how risky engaging in SaaS-style tech service has become. It’s one thing to pay your money and not actually own what you’ve bought. It’s quite another to pay that money, not own what you bought, and not get your money back when you don’t even get that thing you don’t own at all — because of international politics.
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