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Perpetual License Changes and the Loyalty Program - How it Affects You



  • Volker Kek PhD

    I have changed from LR to C1 because licence policy of Adobe. And I was very happy with the perpetual licence conditions. Now You go in the same direction. Many user here, have pronounced what are the facts. You start a licence program to ruin the success of your product. On my opinion C1 is one of the best raw developer in sceene. But there are alternatives. Ich will use C1 22 as long as possible and then change to an other product. Hope you will overthink Your strategy..... By the way there is a big lack, storing picture direct in a free choosable remote database. Prodiby is a compromise.......        

  • Henk de Haan

    David Grover says on Facebook (in the Paul Reiffer Live group) that if you buy version 16.2, you will get updates 16.2.1 and 16.2.2, etc., but once 16.3 is released you will have to pay for it. And so you'd have to pay for upgrades several times a year if you want to stay up to date with new features (and stay on a perpetual license).

    Also, updates with bug fixes (.x.x releases) are only available for free until the next .x version is released.

    Thanks for posting, however I'm hoping Capture One will give us an official statement on this matter. I'm not going to pay for bug-fixes, PERIOD!

  • Propheticus

    updates with bug fixes (.x.x releases) are only available for free until the next .x version is released.

    Which takes what? A couple of months? Unacceptable.

  • Steve Oakley

    I upgraded to C1 23 for one reason only : to get a native M1 / apple silicone vers. clearly you guys weren't going to release C1 22 as native M1 simply to get an upgrade fee. Ok. fine, not happy but I paid because I'm all M1 machines now. 

    this "loyalty"  program is clearly designed to punish the folks who only upgrade every 2+ years - the non-pro users, the folks who have a new  camera and need RAW support for it... or OS or hardware updates force the issue.

    I got into C1 about 4 years ago when I got my Fuji XT3. Now I'm looking at eventually loosing live edits and have to plan to just export everything into PSD files. Funny thing : I had edited some pix in LR about 6 years ago and they looked great. I had a hard time matching the look in C1 a week ago as I needed to export  new versions of the images. Now I guess I get to redo one more time in DXO :/

    I was happy to upgrade every 2 years. if there is any honesty in your tables then a perpetual lic upgraded every other year is cheapest, well assuming you don't try to change the deal again in a couple years. none of us trust you  not to. I don't need the "features" that are useless that I don't use like HDR. So many other apps do panorama stitching that I use once every 4-5 years it doesn't matter to me. I care about  stability, speed, current hardware and OS support because apple loves to break things or deprecate code apps depend on for, well, newer faster more secure API's. Now that apple has gotten their most seamless and least painful CPU change over done, well I'm good.

    Bottom line is DXO is cheaper, maybe not as good right now but I think they are pretty inspired by all of this to do some catch up. there are lots of users to picked off from C1. what a dumb set of planned moves. I'm pissed at loosing all my C1 edits over time when C1 quits running due to some OS update, but not the first time. sad, pathetic, but I don't get locked into a subsciption or over pay for perm license upgrades. I'm done. BYE ! :(

    PS : where are the bug and feature updates I'm still entitled to for C1 23 ???? ya.... get the feeling those are mostly not going to show up. double goodbye.

  • Tom Yeung Loi Keung

    Thanks for typing so many things, and all is useless.

  • Ray Clifton

    Well, this is goodbye from me. I left Lightroom because they played the same money making game and I will now leave you guys. DxO has a great program and they will now be my go to post production provider. Cheerio......

  • Thomas Götze

    You need more money, do you? Me too. You call it Loyalty Program? I call it a blackmail. C1 is a stunning app. I like it very much. Even while you fail since years to fix essential bugs. Want to know what I mean? Since the beginning of plugins 3+ years ago, now and then C1 starts with an "unable to start plugins". Last time 2 weeks ago. The only plugin is the "open with …" made by yourself. So, even your own employees can't create a plugin that works stable in your own environment? You failed to make the luminance masks dialog workable in the first version. Updates don't fixed this. After I've upgraded to the next major version, it works fine. You sell bug fixes as an upgrade? Please, do what you want, but don't tell it a Loyality Program.

    IMHO, you're loosing contact with reality. If you want to be a high price alternative to Adobe, do it so. But do it right. If you don't like $10/month costumers, make it a $50/month only app or more. Tell us, you don't like the amateurs, the hobbyist. No problem. You even can tell us you are fighting with the new Lr, but don't ask me to follow you on that path with an offer I cannot deny.

    I still like your product. I like it with all the flaws and limitations. But please, don't blackmail me …

  • Jesse See Tai

    How does this "Loyalty Program" respect any of C1's customers.

    For subscription customers, in order to get a free perpetual license you have to pay subscriptions for 5 years. If paid annually that's $179 x 5, which equals $895. If you actually want to reward subscription customers you would give them a free perpetual license once they have paid the full price of a perpetual license... which would be every 2 years, $179 x 2 equals $358.

    For perpetual license customers it's literally only negative. Unless you upgrade every year, the upgrade discount is terrible. You will now have no updates with features, including new camera profiles. There is no roadmap or any indication of how often new versions will be released, so perpetual license users could potentially need to pay $179 2-3 times a year if they wanted to stay current. This is absurd.

    Not really sure how any of this instills trust or loyalty. Also, Adobe charges $10 a month for Lightroom and Photoshop + the iPad apps. How does CO think $24 a month is a fair price? I really don't understand these choices and it's obviously going to drive away a lot of longtime and new users. It really is a shame.

  • Patrick Schwarz

    This is my first time writing a comment on this site – but I hope the marketing team reads any comment carefully.

    I've been using C1 since 2010 and have been a strong promoter among colleagues, students, and clients for the quality and control you get with C1 and C1 cultural heritage. For the same period of time I have been using PhaseOne cameras and one thing they always had in common are the bugs featured in every new version. I've been quite unhappy how the company communicates and handles inquiries. Especially regarding the compatibility and schedules regarding the M1 release or roadmaps for lensprofiles.

    This "loyalty" program is quite a joke, and it is painful to see how mistaken you are evaluating your position in the market. Your marketing is great, but your products don't live up to it. You want people to pay for bug fixes? Because that's what it will be in the long run. Paying for mistakes you made in the first place? Well that's great. Good luck!

    The way you treat your customers is embarrassing, and should expect that you will lose a significant amount of them for such "loyal" treatment.

    I'll move back to lightroom and will not encourage my clients to buy C1 anymore.

  • Class A

    @Thomas Kyhn

    You asked: "Does this mean that if there are, say, four updates with new features during a year, and you were to buy all of them, you would have to pay $179 for each of them, i.e. $716 in all?"

    You'd have to pay $716 in total if you wanted each new version immediately.

    If you can wait until the last version update of your 12 month $176 window then you can get by with paying $176/year, while still getting all new features and bug fixes.

    Interestingly, saving money this way will lead to customers receiving new features much later than has been the case in the past. Capture One motivated the change by claiming users wanted to have quicker access to new features, but for subscribers the update frequency will probably remain about the same, while perpetual licence owners will have to wait much longer unless they are prepared to pay inordinate amounts of money. 

    Judging from past releases, it is unlikely that Capture One will release enough improvements in a year that would allow me to stay on the highest loyalty discount.

    The biggest issue, AFAIC, will be bug fixes. People won't be happy if bugs that bother them won't be fixed before the next version comes out.

  • Kip Vaughan

    I keep reading about the low cost of a subscription but I continually do not buy it since I realize the major difference between merely claiming to release features and actually delivering those features. A company can promise features all day long but that is all talk until they actually release that product. I can't just look to past updates I enjoyed and just assume the future updates will continue to address my needs. You shouldn't receive a dime until there is clear evidence that specific functionality has actually been developed or at least in currently in development.

    I don't need to pay for vaporware or broken promises. I need an actual tangible feature set.

  • Aleš Kubovič

    I take pictures sometimes, for fun, as a hobby. About a year ago, I bought C1 because I liked the interface, I also bought several preset packages and I also liked the classic license format. I left Adobe as soon as they started using "trial" rentals.
    Now I'm confused.
    But I can say that I really like the policy of Affinity, which I have been using for several years. Trouble-free activation even after several reinstallations of the system or purchase of a new machine. Free update unless a brand new version comes out.
    I often choose software according to company policy. And I don't like it when the rules of the game change over time. Of course, addons also cost some money.
    I still hope that this software remains for the buyers to own, without the need for a constant internet connection and such like some companies are trying to do.

    Good luck for the future, it's certainly a very good piece of software, but it's far from the only one.

    I'm waiting

  • pavel wohrizek

    So, what does Loyalty actualy get me as a Perpetual license buyer since 2016 ?

    Where can i look that up, is that a secret?

  • FirstName LastName
    This is nothing but a forced change to a subscription, this is the reason that I switched from adobe to capture one, not happy.
    I will look to another option for my editing software.
  • David Palugyay

    So....can we expect a new font perhaps in the GUI?  Maybe you will move some of the ICONS around again.  Take away a perfectly good image exporter, then put it back?  Because that is the GARBAGE updates you have given us the past two years, and the reason I didn't upgrade to 23.  There is simply no benefit to me giving you my hard earned money for minimal and sometimes ass backwards changes you make to the software.  I'll use 22 until you go out of business, which might be sooner that you like given your awful business decision.

    My first version was 3.7.  I've been here awhile now.  My "loyalty" is to woever wants to make and sell a good product at a good price.  That hasn't been Capture One for several years now.  I'm back on Lightroom after I swore I would never do a subscription.  At least the Adobe plan is amazingly priced compared to you.

  • Jeffrey Kogler

    Capture One v23 was released to me by Capture One on November 8 2022 (after I had pre ordered it).  So if a new version is released between September 30 2023 and November 8 2023 I can upgrade to it for $US179?


  • Olof Forsberg

    C1, in your price comparison guide.. 

    ... you have one option buying a license every 2nd year. How is that linked to "You will receive bug fixes until a new version is released" ? What will be the conditions the 2nd year?

    And is bug fixes including compatibility with OS upgrades? Being on Mac there is a major release every year...

    I hope you can clarify this to help taking decision on options. 



  • Michael Parker

    I find the loyalty scheme for perpetual licence holders to be nothing such.

    In fact the offering is similar to what other companies do, which is to give a discount if they release a new version within a short period of time of one buying a copy of their program.
    Admittedly there is no new version in this case , but a fundamental change to ongoing licensing, to call this a loyalty scheme for perpetual licence holders is wrong.
    There is no recognition in this scheme of whether you just bought your very first copy of the program within 12 months or upgraded over several years from previous versions.

    In your words -

    “The Loyalty Program has two parts, one for users on a subscription, and one for users with a perpetual license.”

    ‘’Under the Loyalty Program, you'll receive benefits based on how recently you bought your perpetual license for Capture One Pro.’’

    “On 14 February we’ll send you a code that you can use to claim your discounts in our store.”

  • David Henry

    So is there loyalty for loyalty?! I have been w C1 for a long time.

    If I buy the latest version late in its development, do I get the absolute latest version, or version x.0?!

  • Petr Bajer

    For upgrade from 22 to 23, I paid 167 EURO, now it will be 209 EURO?. And much worse conditions (no new updates during a year, but after next purchase, limited bug fixes). Is it correct or am I missing something?

  • Petr Bajer

    "Please note that our Loyalty Program allows you to purchase a perpetual license at a discount if you stop a subscription. You’ll get 20% off for each year you have been a subscriber (yes, that means after 5 years you can get it for free). That way you will always have a version of Capture One Pro that you own and supports your catalog." – Now, this make sense to me! I like it. That's, how subscription should work.

  • Olof Forsberg

    Thank you Michael Parker for helping me understand.

  • Johannes LastName

    Earning money with photography is becoming increasingly difficult. Spending money on equipment and software is getting easier. I hope C-1 your pricing model backfires and you come to your senses. 

  • Alban Leroux

    I will try to say my point of view in the better english I could.

    I'm so disapointed by that move.

    I bought Capture One 20, upgrade to version 22 and my plan was to upgrade again to the 24. 

    It's already quite a lot for an amature. I’m waiting multiple years to buy a good lens. I just can't pay that much for a software as good as is.

    Now my plans was to stick to C1 22 and say good bye all. This is sad.

    I left Adobe Lightroom when Adobe go in that direction and kept my LR licence as is. I still running it when using my olds catalogs. I had replaced LR to C1 just for that question and because was C1 is better but at a highter cost!

    For a non pro it's a bit too much money to put in a photography hobby. 

    My thoughts is that's kind of rental business is certainly good for pros but pushing a lot of passionate users out of the photography world.

    Maths are certainly in the favour of the royalty option. 
    royalty minus client losts = much more money than licence.

    It's a decision guided by business not decision guided by the loving of photography.

    Capture One, you are fighting again lot's a canibals that eating photography with IA, cheap smartphone etc…
    I’m thinking, 
    You are making much harder to resist to all of that.
    You are just making harder to access to the real photography world.

    In fact you are closing the photography world. You are killing your mother world.

    Did you not learn anything about software editors around you? Adobe killed lightroom, the day they stop the licence. They still make money but the lightroom fever is gone.
    Google killed skeckup just like that too.

    All friends of mine, in their hobby bubble are stuck with old software because of "the rental system"...

    Studies says that's 30$ per month is a price point that is acceptable for everyone.
    I'm ok with that. 

    But I have a familly, I just can't afford 30$/m for phone data, 30$/m internet access, 30$/m cloud things, 30$/m music, 30$/m streamings etc. lots more, and 30$/m for photograhy for my hobby.

    I really dislike the principle of "throwable".
    I prefer building slowly thing that I'll can aford and be proud of the path I gone throught. This is the kind of things I'm trying to learn to my children.

    I'm in the photography world since 20 years now. And I will continue because I love that. I love Capture One too, it's a dam'n software! The future will be without Capture One. 

    Good luck, that's just sad. It's waste.

  • truepictures
    @ Petr Bajer
    "Please note that our Loyalty Program allows you to purchase a perpetual license at a discount if you stop a subscription. You’ll get 20% off for each year you have been a subscriber (yes, that means after 5 years you can get it for free). That way you will always have a version of Capture One Pro that you own and supports your catalog." – Now, this make sense to me! I like it. That's, how subscription should work.

    This offer assumes that C1 will still exist in 5 years. At the moment, this is more questionable than reliable. 

    It would have been fair to receive a permanent licence for the then current version without further function upgrades but with permanent bug updates after only one year of subscription payment.

  • Henk de Haan

    info, This and several suggestions have already been made in the comments to various articles on this site and on other platforms. Until now Capture One doesn't have the guts to give any reaction to them or to answer any direct questions.

    This includes the head of support: Christine-M, the CEO: Rafeal Orta and the 'Vice President, Customer Growth': Delphine Guesnon.

    It's funny they have a 'Vice President, Customer Growth', I think she is doing a great JOB!

    BTW, I also found on LinkedIn that Hans J Skovgaard has left Capture One as 'CTO.& Vice President of R&D', is that a sign?

  • Joshua Meadows

    I've used Capture One now for many years (since Version 11).  I've purchased the new version each year since then (despite a few years where the new features and fixes where of the "meh" variety) but I wanted to support the software I like with a company who offered a fair license without forcing clients into subscriptions.  I've promoted the Capture One software every chance I got convincing many to give it a go and purchase licenses. 

    My issue with this new license is that it now punishes people like me who purchase the new license every year.   I don't mind paying a fair price for a years worth of updates with the ability to stop and keep the license I last purchased.  (It's what I've done for many years now as a loyal customer).  Now my yearly upgrade purchase to the new version I no longer get a full year of updates instead, I have to purchase another license upgrade to keep current?   

    Yes I know you offer monthly subscription, and those costumers get a free perpetual license after their 5th year.  That's fine and dandy.  It's a good offering for them.  For users like me I get 40% discount when I purchase a new license or if I change over to a subscription.  What happens to my perpetual license and then when I change to a subscription, and say in 2 years if I stop the subscription and want to change back to a perpetual license model, what then?

    This whole thing is kinda muddy and unclear still.  I would think the loyalty program would be as simple as:

    • Do you have the current version Perpetual License?  You get a discount (40%) paying for the next 12 months of subscription.  When paid up front for the year.
    • Do you have an older Perpetual License version? You get a lesser discount (20%) paying for the next 12 months of subscription.  When paid up front for the year.
    • Have you monthly subscribed for 5 consecutive years and don't have a perpetual license?  If you are a Subscriber for 5 full years you will be granted a Perpetual License for the current version after your 60th consecutive month as a loyalty reward.  If you quit your subscription before receiving a perpetual license the months counter for the loyalty reward will be reset to 0.
    • Already have a Perpetual License but didn't upgrade AND now you've started a subscription?  Your perpetual license will be renewed to the current version for every 12 consecutive months you subscribe.
  • Piotr Dobrowolski

    I have written in the other tread: The honest subscription is subscribing the upgrade, not renting and (almost) have nothing.

    So being a perpetual license holder who have bought it with a full price - there should be an option to subscribe the next upgrade with the monthly/yearly paid fee, so the upgrade time the perpetual license will upgrade to next version, but all the support should be as if someone was renting. So if perpetual license holder entered such subscription - his/her license will still be perpetual - and if the subscription was suspended the user would be holding the last update that was on subscription.

    The perpetual license holders still paid You initial fee when buying the initial license .. and with the new model You treat us as "random new licensee"... and that is sad. 

  • Johan Berg

    I think the price point is getting to high for amateurs. Many will probably start looking elsewhere.

  • Simon Bergman

    This is a mess. As a perpetual license user for about five years I have seen prices for upgrades go up significantly. At least the model was clear - by upgrading you were covered for about one year of upgrades if you bought it before or when it was released.

    The bad thing about that model was that - to get it at the best price you needed to buy it prior to release, when discount was about 20-30 %.

    With the new model you have no idea how long it will be useable. When a new feature upgrade is released, you get no bug fixes. An operating system upgrade can make it unusable at any time.

    Another change: Until now every version of Capture One was upgradeable. And you got the same deal for new software. With the new model, upgrade price will be higher if you bought your last version more than a year ago.

    It sucks to be a perpetual license user. Subscription is not an option for me, by principle.


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