Artist takes on Adobe with lifetime creative software suite Abode

Jun 9, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Artist takes on Adobe with lifetime creative software suite Abode

Jun 9, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Artist and activist Stuart Semple started a new project with a plan to take on “corporate overlords” Adobe. As a response to “renting” Adobe software, he has created Abode, a new software suite for creators. It’s yours to keep forever once you buy it, but there’s a potential problem: everything looks a lot like Adobe, even the logo.

“For a long time, we owned the software we used,” Stuart writes. “Sadly, that is a thing of the past, we now rent the tools of our trade.”

“This means that whenever the landlord feels like it, they can put the rent up. Or remove our features (anyone else woke up recently to your colour palette becoming black squares?)

It’s time that we made and owned our own tools. To be free we need to own our means of production.”

What is Abode?

For this project, Stuart teamed up with an “amazingly passionate team of geeks” to develop the suite. Just like Adobe CC, Abode will offer a set of tools for creators:

  • ONdesign – a familiar and fully featured Desktop publishing application
  • illustrateIT – a vector drawing and illustration package, with all the bits you love using
  • photoPOP – photo editing
  • Impress – super-fast mobile app, full of templates.

The first version of this software will be a full-beta release and will only be made available to backers.

The initial release of Abode tools will be a complete beta version and will be exclusively accessible to backers. Stuart and his team have future plans to develop the suite and offer you lifelong updates for free. You’ll also be able to sync up Abode with all the popular cloud services like DropBox, iCloud, Google Cloud, Amazon storage, etc.

“Please don’t think you are going to back this project and that’s it,” Stuart writes on Kickstarter. “I need the community to help develop the software. You’ll be expected to help with surveys, suggesting features, and testing bits and pieces.”

Stuart’s activism through art

Perhaps you’ve already heard of Stuart. He got in the center of attention after raising his voice against Vantablack and Anish Kapoor’s exclusive right to use it. As a response, Stuart came up with the even blacker acrylic paint he named Black 3.0. He also created the “liquid mirror” paint, the brightest white, the pinkest pink (which also caused some controversy with Anish Kapoor), and most recently, the orangest orange.

Stuart also came up with Freetone after Pantone and Adobe broke up their licensing agreement. Let me remind you, this change replaced all Pantone colors with black, causing major issues for creatives all over the world. If you want to use them – you need to pay. Stuart thought it was ridiculous, so he launched Freetone, a free “Pantone-ish” color palette for Adobe products.

Potential legal risks

The first thing that sprung to mind when I saw Abode’s name and logo was, “Oh Adobe is gonna sue him!” Since the logo and the name are so similar, Adobe could sue for trademark infringement. Even though they’re not identical, there’s still the “likelihood of confusion.”

This is actually one of the questions addressed on Abodde’s Kickstarter FAQ. “I have no idea [if Adobe will sue], but if they come – we are ready for shenanigans,” Stuart wrote.

“I’ve not been sued yet, if you scroll down the main page and watch the ‘New Reality’ video you’ll see an IP lawyer talking about some of my previous work. I think everyone knows where I stand on issues like this.”

The only way this could slide is parody/satire since it’s a form of fair use. Stuart notes that he has used satire in his work as a form of social critique. “The project is a non-profit, so commerce really isn’t the main point at all,” he writes.

“I like to use parody in a lot of my internet art. I believe if an artist authors software, and uses it to be critical it should be protected by the law, just like any other artwork would be.”

Abode availability

Abode is available through Kickstarter and you can get the full software suite download starting at £59.99 ($75 USD). With a month and a half to go, Stuart’s project Abode has surpassed the $62,739 goal and collected nearly $90,000. I just hope he won’t get sued by Adobe and use it all up to pay for lawyers.

[via PetaPixel]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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12 responses to “Artist takes on Adobe with lifetime creative software suite Abode”

  1. Libby Sutherland Avatar
    Libby Sutherland

    Affinity Suite is already out there and the photo editing app is very Photoshop-like. Pay once, that’s it. Frankly, aside from the new Generative Fill, there are so many things I dislike about the latest iteration of Photoshop. Too much crap and I hate all of those annoying little tips pop ups. Gotta see if I can get rid of those. Anyway, yeah the Pantone thing with Adobe was pretty ugly and cause a lot of problems for small designers who do catalogs and such. I do wish this guy success. Nice to know adobe has another competitor.

  2. Paul Aparycki Avatar
    Paul Aparycki

    Stupid.

    I am assuming this is an April fool’s joke in June?

    He is apeing Adobe, not just with the software, but also the corporate image.

    A massive lawsuit is not far behind. Just skimming over this, it looks like he has violated virtually every copyright and trademark protection ever legislated.

    A stupid, stupid way to get attention.

    (he is right, not just about Adobe, but all the other mega billion dollar software companies, but this will do absolutely nothing).

  3. John Atkin Avatar
    John Atkin

    Great stunt, and the more rivals there are, the better for everyone. But a lifetime licence model is unsustainable if you want to keep developing the software.

    1. Nicholas Weston Avatar
      Nicholas Weston

      John AtkinImageLine has a lifetime license with free updates for their FL Studio DAW and they’re doing great. What they do though is to develop their own suite of high end plugins that are essentially the equivalent of DLC packs that you can buy separately. Kind of like if Adobe sold the CameraRAW plugin or the Neutral Filters extension separately. It’s not an essential plugin; but it is nice to have, so you could buy it if you need it. So really it just depends on how you do it.

    2. John Atkin Avatar
      John Atkin

      Nicholas Weston interesting, how much is the lifetime license and how often do they update? One of the considerations for photo editing software is just keeping up with new lenses.

    3. Nicholas Weston Avatar
      Nicholas Weston

      John AtkinThey have different tiers. The first one is $100, second is $50 more (I think) and the top one is like $300 or so. The top one includes all the fancy plugins. They generally put out an update every few months.

  4. Don Smith Avatar
    Don Smith

    Flawed premise: “For a long time, we owned the software we used,” Stuart writes. – No, you never owned the software, ever, you only ever possessed a license to use it. You purchase a license to use software, not the software itself. Depending on the terms of the license, it could be legally revoked at any time, just like now with subscriptions. All that has changed is they can now enforce that revoking and how you pay.

    1. Mario Dennis Avatar
      Mario Dennis

      Don Smith Almost everything I “own” is a subscription: cell service, cable, utilities, mortgage…

  5. Jeff Langford Avatar
    Jeff Langford

    Kickstarter scam.

  6. Clay William Avatar
    Clay William

    I’m glad they’re doing this, but I don’t think they will qualify for fair use.

  7. Stephan Hughes Avatar
    Stephan Hughes

    I will stick to Affinity, I think it’s the better alternative.

  8. jsm Avatar
    jsm

    Dead in a few months.