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New License Model: Changes to the way licensing, updates, and upgrades work




    So if I understand correctly, that means that those of us who used to regularly upgrade (upgrades that went from $99 to $199 over a few years already) their perpetual license will now have to buy a full license each time there is a partial release (.x) ?
    That is a clever move to go to a subscription only model without saying it, as clients with a perpetual license will say goodbye to C1 and C1 will be left only with the subscription customers..

  • Johannes Hloch

    I´m really disappointed by this move. Don´t try to sell it as doing what "many of you told us". This is strictly about optimizing your profit and NOT in the best interest of your customers! Rolling out constant updates only to your subscription based customers and leaving the perpetual licenses as a choice would be the way to go if you really cared what your customers want or need.

  • PS

    Hi C1

    This hurts and is clearly about to anger the community. Pls. cut the marketing speak and be honest of what is happening. Silverfleet and Axel are calling here. 

    One of the key points to get C1 was to avoid Adobe's SaaS-prison. As a private equity-owned business the scheme is clear: in the hopes of maximizing the company's valuation you are trying to force the whole user base sequentially into the subscription model which is proven to cost the users more. LTV, life-time value, is higher when people subscribe, than when they buy a perpetual license. Since Adobe started this drama some years ago with an exploding share price as a result we live in a world where more and more needs to be "subscribed" to. The end result will be a tipping point at one point where people just cancel. I might just stick with Adobe in the end as I cannot skip Photoshop, but I could skip C1 given I have LR in Adobe's CS. I hope Adobe sees the opportunity to claw back some market share as this is very infuriating.

    C1 was spun out of P1 for a reason, ie to unwind it from the digital back business and to put management attention and accountability re R&D focus and project upside in line. That's why C1 mobile still has no support for digital backs and which is why C23 just catered to the sub-community you most recently assessed as being the best next financial category to cover - namely wedding photogs.

    The whole marketing speak of "answering to customer calls" of wanting features sooner is just a charade to make it look good. Like when Prince Harry cites his mother as the reason for "protecting" Meghan although actually, they are lining their pockets with the next Netflix deal.

    Let's be honest here – the PE owners just want to move the user base fully to SaaS as fast as possible to get the highest EBITDA multiple when the business is sold off in the mid-term.

    I hope this will result in a community revolt at one point and/or an opening for a new, better raw processor.

    The employees without equity stake who are slaving away in Athens and Denmark creating the upside for the CEO and the other key employees (plus the few guys at the funds) with vested shares should quit as soon as they economically bear it and found a spin-off modelled on the feature set of C1 but with a different license model.

    Times are changing and people demand freedom from SaaS and employees should ask for equity to participate in the upside they create for the few above who own equity. There's a cost of living crisis around if you haven't noticed and non-essential subscriptions are at the brink of being cut-off. You cannot squeeze the lemon infinitely and between Netflix, Adobe, C1, et. al. at one point one subscription will have to bite the bullet.

    I hope the reaction of the community will be seen in the numbers for this is all that counts when looking at the investment returns.

    @Dear C1 employees: Pls. consider doing a spin-off from C1 and getting equity yourself. Photography software is an attractive niche and you have all the know-how to pull it off. Financially more attractive than to be part of a SaaS community hijack action. I also hope that this post gets shared internally making some programmers, who have the real power (and not the financiers or managers), think whether it is not time to be part of a counter-movement. You will easily find the money.

    Honesty would be the call of the hour, at least. Elon is showing that despite being unpopular sometimes, straight-up communication is valued. Just say it how it is: Our investors want to squeeze the lemon a bit more and who doesn't like it can go as we assume we'll still make more money all around.



  • Martin Hammer

    Ich denke, man könnte sagen, ihr seid Abzocker. Dass ihr das so macht, habt ihr schon vor einem Monat gewusst. Aber dann fleißig ein Upgrade verkauften, das noch nichtmal mehr ein Jahr lang Updates erhält. Ich empfinde das als eine ekelhafte Abzockermentalität. Schämt euch.

  • Roberto Ornelas

    Entonces, ¿los usuarios con licencia perpetua tendremos que comprar una licencia nueva a precio completo si queremos tener las nuevas funcionalidades o seguirán los precios de actualización que al dia de hoy son marginalmente mas altos que el sistema por suscripción?

  • Jack W

    FRATX Each feature release will be paid, but you are not required to purchase every update, in the same way you are not required to purchase a perpetual license every year. It's up to you how often you upgrade; if there are features or camera support that you don't want or need, then it's probably best that you don't purchase an upgrade. 

  • Ian Farlow

    Each feature release will be paid, but you are not required to purchase every update, in the same way you are not required to purchase a perpetual license every year.

    This is incredible. You want to accelerate the feature releases, but you also want customers with perpetual licenses to pay for each and every feature release? This sounds like the cost of perpetual licenses will be going up over the course of a year, which as others have pointed out is a shady way of pushing perpetual customers into a subscription.

    So very sad. I had just started moving all of my photos out of Lightroom (was actually importing some into Capture One as the email with this announcement arrived), but now I suppose I should just stop. If I'm going to get a subscription, I might as well just stick with Adobe.

  • Aoma Tani

    Limiting major features to major releases are acceptable and that has always been the way with software. The same went for Lightroom in the past when it still had a perpetual license. We received minor updates such as small feature improvements and camera/lens support in the form of eg "6.x" updates. However, I feel it is not acceptable if even minor improvements are withheld as "major features" and packaged as a "major release" ("x.0" versions).

  • mark druziak

    I feel like I was misled when I purchased the upgrade to 23.  I expected one year of upgrades but it looks like I'm only going to get 10 months.  Loyalty Program license costs will be important.  If I need to purchase a full license every year, I am going to look at alternative software.  I was just going to convert my LR library over to C1. I think I wait until the Loyalty Program costs are announced.

  • Jan Khur

    Hi - this is super disappointing - I just bought the 23 licenses and it makes me feel left out with no support - it's not even 12 months from the date you are switching to no future upgrades. Hilarius. Can I request my money back since you made a super cool pre-order deal and now you have come out with this scam? 


  • Alessio Furlan

    Suggestion to all:

    - If you have purchased the license or update with PayPal, make a dispute to the payment (I just did it).

    - If you have used the credit card, open a dispute with your supplier.

    Motivation: "Unilateral change of the license conditions subsequently the purchase".

    The banks, Paypal and FastSpring, if he receives many disputes for the same product, will not let the thing pass and will probably be forced to apply reimbursements.


    I feel cheated.
    Why didn't you make this announcement a few weeks ago? No. You waited for people like me to buy/renew the perpetual license and then slammed in the face that I will only have 10 months of complete updates. 10 months, not even 12.

    This is already sufficient to request a refund through my lawyer. Indeed ... now I proceed.

    Absurd move and bad idea. As a point, if I have to pay a subscription, I only keep the Adobe one, after all Photoshop I am already paying it ... you might be worth converting everything to the Adobe Photo subscription (which I remember ... inlcude also Lightroom Cloud, Bridge, Portfolio Many other software and all mobile applications).

    But who was the capture genius who thought of this absurdity?

  • Chris

    Oh, well I just migrated from Lightroom to CP1 because of the track you are heading right now. It is time for an other high-quality RAW converter to be released. I am ready to leave CP1 as very new user (some months) now. Which converter can you suggest insted of CP1 or LR?

  • Lorenzo

    Yes, really "wonderful" news! Keep punishing the regulars! :-( What were you thinking guys??? 

    Poor idea, bad customer loyalty, bad customer care ... BAD; BAD; BAD news! Think again about it, you're loosing your sympathy like brand!

    Maybe it's time to switch back to ADOBE LIGHTROOM (we all own it for "free"!) ...? However: thank you for the idea! Sorry, I'm very disappointed!

  • Rainer Schmidt

    You write

    After 1st February 2023, new perpetual license purchases will not receive any feature updates (16.x)

    Why didn't you mention this when offering the upgrade?

    I bought the upgrade and expected one year of upgrades.

    I feel betrayed. 


  • Shane Baker

    mark druziak I feel like I was misled when I purchased the upgrade to 23.  I expected one year of upgrades but it looks like I'm only going to get 10 months.  Loyalty Program license costs will be important.

    I'm with you, Mark. I'm feeling super-screwed at the moment.

    I also agree with Pablo: C1's forcing us into their subscription model.


  • Hans-Joachim Guhr

    Ich fühle mich betrogen.

    Erst noch ein Upgrade auf V23 verkaufen. Dann sollen in  diesem nur noch ein ¾ Jahr Updates enthalten sein. Und danach nur noch volle Lizenzen verkaufen (keine Upgrades mehr).

    Auch andere Hersteller haben "hübsche Töchter". Mit Verlaub sieht das für mein Ende mit C1 nach weit über 10 Jahren (beginnend mit Version 3!) aus.

  • Ian Farlow

    Can I request my money back...

    This would be nice as I would like mine back as well having just upgraded to 23, but it's not likely to happen.

  • Alessio Furlan

    Can I request my money back...

    This would be nice as I would like mine back as well having just upgraded to 23, but it's not likely to happen.


    Why not? 

    I just sent a refund request. Do it all.

    If they do not refund me, I make you send by my lawyer, calling them into question. Nothing costs me ... my girlfriend's sister is a lawyer.

  • Lorenzo

    I totally agreed with (most) of the other people, specially with Alessio Forlan, nobody seems to be very "amused" about this wrong and stupid move!

  • Claudia Haarfee

    As C1 was not able to fix a major error affecting any image with higher ISO since September 13 2020.

    I've bought three updates without getting the issue fixed. The support marked my case as solved without any change to the behaviour and without a workaround. So this was the last version I paid for. Buggy, bad support, and now you want to force us into a subscription. The last paid version wil have a lifetime less than a year, so I will switch back to LR, it is included in the CC.

    This move will cost you a lot of customers. Disappointing, very Disappointing...

  • Richard OLIER

    It's the right moment to change the name of Capture One Pro to Capture One CC or Lightroom CC Capture One édition. Adobe will thanks you a lot.
    This poor idea is the best way to help users to switch for ever to the Creative Cloud Edition...
    I think you want to stop to produce this software..
    A very bad Christmas gift.

  • Mark

    Eine unglaubliche Frechheit, nachdem ich vor zwei wochen den vollen upgrade Preis fur version 23 bezahlt habe. 
    gibt es dann alle 3 monate eine volle neue Y.X version für 300€ weil jetzt ein slider jetzt mit "Künstlicher Intelligenz " sich nach rechts schiebt?🤬

  • Noah Bershatsky

    I echo everyone’s upset sentiment above.

    I too would like a full refund for my recent purchase of a perpetual license of version 23.

  • Henk de Haan

    One of the main reasons I have a perpetual license is the ability to keep using the version of the program I bought.

    I don't mind a subscription model as long it is possible to keep using the program after I cancelled the subscription. I understand Capture One doesn't want short-term 'run-and-grab' subscriptions, but they could work out a plan for long-term-subscribers (e.g. lifelong access to the previous version if you were a subscriber for 12 months or more).  

  • Paul Jenkin

    As with other commenters, above, I've 'upgraded' to C1Pro23 recently and would have expected, at the very least, to have had C1Pro23 for another year before the anticipated 'upgrade' cycle kicked in. Prior to upgrading, I was genuinely considering reverting to Adobe LR which, at a subscription cost of about £10 per month for LR and Photoshop, now seems like exceptional value compared to the increasingly regular C1 upgrade fees I've paid in the period since I switched to C1. 

    In addition, I recently discovered that C1Pro23 doesn't interact directly with the colour checking software bundled with 'Datacolor' and 'X-Rite' colour checker targets in the same way as LR / PS does. Apparently, the only way around this is to take shots of the target in the prevailing lighting conditions and then go through the time-consuming process of setting up camera / lens profiles for every one. When I queried this with a member of your customer service team, I was told that although I'm not the first to raise / request this, there aren't any guarantees that such an upgrade will be considered or delivered. 

    I'm more than disappointed at the announcement. I wish you'd made this announcement prior to the release of C1Pro23 as I'd now be back with Adobe. Still, I suppose business is business, these days...

  • Hans-Joachim Guhr

    Ich habe mir erlaubt, ein Ticket zu erstellen, um den Upgradepreis zurück zu erhalten!

    Mal sehen, ob und wann C1 darauf reagiert.


    I took the liberty of creating a ticket to get the upgrade price back!

    Let's see if and when C1 responds.


  • Kip Vaughan

    The updates are already extremely frequent. It is not possible for it to be more frequent as you need to put out bug fixes between those three month major releases. I have no major complaints with the current distribution at all. You put out a good update and every year and I buy it since the updates keep addressing the issues that I ask for.

  • Markus Ullius

    I'm really disappointed about this and the marketing bla-bla

    "many of you have told us you want access to new tools and improvements sooner, rather than have them all in one ‘major’ version of Capture One Pro at the end of each year." 

    This could be also possible using the existing licensing model.

    Probably it's time to look for another solution. It is always sad when good tools are destroyed by marketing-people to "optimise" profit.

    Maybe DxO Photolab  ( will be an alternative. I'll evaluate it. No C1-Upgrade for me any more and no subscription.

  • Lorenzo

    @ FRATX Each feature release will be paid, but you are not required to purchase every update, in the same way you are not required to purchase a perpetual license every year. It's up to you how often you upgrade; if there are features or camera support that you don't want or need, then it's probably best that you don't purchase an upgrade. 

    Sorry, but ARE YOU SERiOUSLY? Thank you for giving us the opportunity to not upgrade all the time for the full price? Thank you very much, very generous! Adobe CC, we're coming back, a lot of us!

  • Larry Williams

    I am disappointed to receive this news.

    As occurred with Adobe several years ago, I moved on to other software to avoid the subscription model. They thus lost the proceeds from my quite dependable annual upgrade and my loyalty.

    Can I inquire as to why you didn't release this information right before the 23 upgrade rather than right after? I believe that answer is quite obvious to everyone thus I call "BS" on your contention you are benevolent and responsive to your users.

    I cling to a slight hope you will reconsider this decision; otherwise, I am really going to miss you.



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