Skip to main content

Capture One Express is coming to an end

Comments

295 comments

  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    John Friend

    What are you reading?  I have no idea if CO Express was profitable or not and have not made any suggestions one way or the other in that regard.

    and

    Someone did a back of the envelope calculation that the company would make more money

    I took this as you making that suggestion.

    0
  • Barry Justice

    Brian Jordan   ACR 9.1.1 was released on July 29 2015 according to Google it's the last release that will work with CS6 but it still works with the new Enhanced-NR  DNG

    0
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Brian Jordan

    Do you not understand that COExpress was dead last week??? But Capture One invested whatever time into reviving it.  When would you have them stop that?

    Yes, I know it died.  That happened because they apparently pushed a new version of it that hadn't not even had rudimentary QA done on it.  That's a broken process in their development team.  And, it makes one wonder a bit what else gets pushed without any QA.  I think 16.2 should have been the last version of Express.  It was functioning and not completely broken.

    If that version stops functioning on 2/2/24 on a Mac because of an OS update, then that's life.  Everyone will have been told that's how its going to be with about 2 months notice.  In reality, that's not very likely and as Barry has pointed out, some software continues to run for a very long time.  I still use my Lightroom 6 library and I can also still run CS6 (though I prefer Affinity Photo 2).  Things tend to keep running longer on Windows than they do on Mac because Apple seems to make more underlying changes in the system/hardware that require software to keep up.

    But, if you want to push the example to the extreme and Apple breaks Express on 2/2/24, then so be it (even though that's not the likely case).  That's not worse than Capture One shutting the license down on Jan 30th.  And, it's Apple's fault that it stopped working, not Capture One's fault.  As long as the customer was notified (probably several times), then that's OK.

    0
  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    M

    Now, going back to cancelling licenses, I'd really like to know why exactly you think leaving the existing software running is a bad choice?

    Answered multiple times.

    You also haven't commented on the legality of it.

    1) I'm not a lawyer.

    2) I don't have a dog in that fight.  I'm not an Express user.  If they cancel my paid for perpetual license, I'll be the very first to talk with an attorney to find out what my actual rights under the license are.  What do they call those class action plaintiffs who get more money than everyone else in the class?  I'll be one of them.  Or I won't because likely the company had an attorney read the contract before they cancelled it.  The same contract I didn't read.

    You say you don't work for free, were you getting paid fine before this change happened?

    You do know none of the mods here work for Capture One, right?  We're volunteer mods.  Capture One users. Just board users like yourself except with a boom and dustpan to clean up some of the spam post and such. 

    Profits are not everything in this world. Sometimes supporting other humans, even at a cost to you (company in this case) is the better thing to do. Morals exist and more companies need them. 

    Yes, sir/ma'am, I agree with you. Unfortunately, that's not the way it works.

    -1
  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    Alright, boys and girls.  I've got work to do.  Y'all have all spoken your piece over the last few days.  I was traveling and not able to participate.  I just wanted to have my day in the sun, too.  Some will agree with me.  Some won't.  Maybe I'm off my rocker but maybe I'm not and I was able to contribute some food for though.

     

    0
  • M

    Brian Jordan You haven't answered it multiple times at all. You have given false answers based on your personal assumptions but nothing based in reality. I'll ask again, why is it bad to let existing software run until it dies? If you have an answered based on fact and not assumptions I'd love to read it. 

    I do know you mods work for free. You are the one who brought up not working for free though. Guess you were lying about that since all this arguing with users you are doing is volunteer work. You must be bored like the rest of us I guess. 

    You don't need to be a lawyer to understand a contract just like I don't need to be an umpire to say that the pitch on 2-2 was ball not a strike. You worked as a COO so I am sure you have more ability to understand contracts than most other people. So I will ask you again, lawyer or not, do you think it's legal? Why or why not? As someone not working right now I'm sure you have time to read a couple document pages and come up with an answer. 

    So while you agree with me that profits aren't everything, you still argue that it's correct and right for C1 to do what they are doing because of money? That doesn't make sense. You referenced your own paycheck as a reason they should disable licenses. Are you sure you agree with me? I'd expect someone who does to be agreeing that disabling licenses is wrong. 

    1
  • M

    Brian Jordan Your perpetual license will be next by the way. Give it time but they will take those away from people too. This is the litmus test for that future decision. As a former C suite employee you really should know how to read a companies moves when they make them. 5 years from now, tag me in this thread an I'll send you $50 if I'm wrong. If you think you don't have a dog in this fight you are wrong.

    4
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    I'll remind folks that I did an amateur read of the license and my comments are here earlier in this thread.  I think there's an argument that they are not allowed to just arbitrarily stop the license when the customer hasn't violated any terms of the license.  You can see my amateur reasoning there.

    They can stop developing or offering or supporting Express at any time.  I have no issues with that.

    Not that their legal obligations actually mean much in the real world.  It would take a group of Express users with a lawyer to actually make any legal obligations come close to mattering here.

    Of bigger concern is that Capture One the company doesn't seem to care at all what they do to their customer base or how their moves are perceived by customers or even how they communicate those moves.  They are either just evil or tone deaf (don't have a clue) - I'm honestly not sure which it is. 

    It would have cost them nothing additional at all to just let the existing Express users continue to use their existing Express software until it no longer ran on their OS/hardware rather than turn off all their licenses on Jan 30th.  And, it would have made a HUGE difference in how this was all perceived.  Their move was just mean and pointless and entirely brings into question when they might do that with our perpetual licenses for Capture One Pro.  And, it's yet another example of treating customers poorly that calls into question why we should stay with Capture One going forward.

    Speaking of treating customers poorly.  I have multiple unanswered support requests now too.  That part of the company appears to be broken too.

    0
  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    You would need to study contract law in Denmark. The license agreement explicitly says they are governed by the laws of Denmark.

    -1
  • Antonio F. Shalders

    My two cents here:

    Obviously the company is completely backed by the law. I doubt the are stupid enough to make a such basic mistake. People should refrain theorizing about this.

    The complaint here is only about the greed and the completely unnecessary need to kill existing installations of a properly running software that can be used by people that can't afford to pay for it and preventing to access all the work done.  Is this allowed by the law ? I bet it is but actually I don't care, even less about specific aspects of Denmarks law.

    I refuse to believe that someone here didn't understand the two points above. If yes, someone has some sort of comprehension problem.

    The problem here is the relationship between a software maker and customers. It's sour at the present time.

    I don't use the express version anymore. I stopped a long time ago when I decided to buy the "perpetual" license. So why do I bother about the express ? Simple, I see all this situation as very fishy, raising some very genuine and perfectly logical suspicions about how the company will behave from now.

    What I clearly see is the company trying to push users extremely hard to the subscription model by shortening the update cycle of the "perpetual" licenses making them unusable in the long run. I don't like to be pushed this way like a blackmail. Mistrust is the feeling, the damage was done no matter what they say.

    My raw editors of choice are DxO and RawTherapee since many years. There are some damn good freeware remote tethering tools and the Affinity suite is awesome. There are plenty of options abroad.

    This is why I decided to keep my C1 Pro 21 license and not upgrade it anymore. I'll use it as a TIFF editor for the time it runs and that's it.

    Farewell.

     

    2
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Walter Rowe

    Do you think that Denmark contract law applies to software licensed to a person in the U.S.?  It seems to me that when you license something in another country, you have to follow the other country's laws.

    0
  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    John Friend

    From the Capture One Pro agreement (I assume the same clauses are included in the Express agreements):

      1. Controlling Law, Venue and Severability
      2. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the Kingdom of Denmark save that any rules concerning choice of law and venue and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”) are explicitly excluded and will not apply. 
      3. Any dispute shall be settled by the District Court of Copenhagen, Denmark, as the court of first instance.

    Also, I'm pretty sure there is no civil remedy for a free product unless you've suffered personal injury or loss.  I do not think specific performance is an option for a free product.  To my knowledge, no C1Express product has ever been "sold". Again, I am not a lawyer.

    -1
  • John Zandbergen

    Here's a little history, Phase One A/S press release when Fujifilm and Phase One came to an agreement. 

    https://www.mynewsdesk.com/phase-one/pressreleases/phase-one-announces-software-collaboration-with-fujifilm-2714024

    Phase One announces software collaboration with Fujifilm

    COPENHAGEN, Sep. 25, 2018 – Phase One A/S, the world’s leading manufacturer of full frame medium format digital photography systems and imaging solutions today announced a strategic software agreement with Fujifilm.

    Under terms of this agreement, Phase One and Fujifilm are collaborating to broaden and deepen Capture One software support of more Fujifilm cameras. With the release of Capture One 11.3 (see today’s announcement) Capture One has significantly expanded its Fujifilm camera support, with full Fujifilm RAW file and basic tethered support for select cameras. Future development will integrate Fujifilm Film Simulations with Capture One and provide enhanced tethered support for select professional Fujifilm cameras.

    ......

    Capture One Express Fujifilm is free for all Fujifilm camera owners

    ......

    0
  • OddS.

    > Brian Jordan: ...Good will doesn't pay rent or salaries...

    On the mental side of it, what else does? Bad will?

    Thom Hogan wrote about Capture One: "While a business has to concentrate on dollars and cents, customers think about dollars and sense."

    0
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Brian Jordan

    Good will doesn't pay rent or salaries.

    Actually it can pay salaries. 

    • It's one reason why customers remain with a company and buy upgrades. 
    • It's one reason why customers recommend your product to their friends or business associates rather than recommending against it.
    • It's one reason why customers buy or upgrade to a Pro version vs. go pick a competitor's product after being treated poorly
    • It's one reason why customers with perpetual licenses don't start thinking that maybe the company can't be trusted and may now be thinking about cancelling their own perpetual licenses.

    And conversely, customers who don't feel any good will or feel like they are being poorly treated are:

    • Less likely to buy an upgrade
    • More likely to consider moving to a competitor's product
    • Less likely to recommend the product to their friends

    And, don't assume that the way Express customers are treated doesn't spill over into how Pro customers feel about the company.  It absolutely does.  It informs your opinion about how the company treats customers and how they might treat you in the future even if a specific action isn't directed at your particular product.

    In short, good will can be worth a LOT (of real money) and lack of it can hurt you a lot. 

    But, you seem to be following the same script that Capture One is in assigning no business value at all to customer good will.  That is apparently the entire problem in a nutshell.

    All of this mess could have been avoided, if they just communicated that Express and support for Express was being discontinued, offer a special deal for people to upgrade to Pro and didn't shut down any existing licenses and let the software just die naturally over time as the frozen in time version gets old with respect to operating systems, hardware and camera support.  Apparently, nobody at Capture One "gets" that.

    5
  • Northbankboy

    Well said, Brian

    -1
  • Thomas Schneider

    Just one example of how to deal correctly with the expiry of software:

    In 2008 I bought one of my first photo software: Nikon Capture NX2

    I still use the program, even though it was discontinued by Nikon years ago.

    Even today I am still able to install and authorize it on a Windows 11 computer.

    5
  • Antonio F. Shalders

    John Friend

    That's exactly the point.

    I'm sure the company knows everything you are telling but they just don't care, they want just the big fishes.

    It's a lot of work to establish a good reputation, but losing it is a matter of seconds.

    Example: X losing publicity due to Mr. Musk nonsense.

    2
  • Anbaric

    Brian Jordan writes:

    Why would they ever do such a thing?  I think possibly the answer for that is right in the last update cycle.  Something happened so that there was a significant problem with the Express versions.  I don't know the in-and-outs of it but I do remember that some fix had to be pushed because the tools panel disappeared.  That right there is the answer, I believe.  

    Those are all free versions.  Free as in non-revenue generating.  Good will doesn't pay rent or salaries.  But, pushing that fix did cost developer and QA time.  So, Capture One has a choice:  Let it zombie on and flat out fail at some point sooner or later or kill it.  If they go with the former, it dies with no notice to users.  Something happens with an OS upgrade or some shared code and users wake up to find the application DOA with no notice.  Or they can give users notice and take it on the chin but allow users a graceful spin-down period with a set deadline.

    You can put yourself through all sorts of mental contortions imagining a 'good' reason for C1 to act in this way when the obvious explanation is probably the correct one - they imagine they will be able to force more upgrades to Pro this way. Whether that's the case or not remains to be seen, because goodwill and trust, qualities that many successful companies cultivate in a highly competitive market, are being lost here. And they feed directly into purchasing decisions. If someone who got burned by this trick starts to look at Lightroom and ON1 and DxO and Luminar and Silkypix and Affinity, maybe the company that did not reach out to their computer and snatch away the software they had no reason to believe they wouldn't be able to use indefinitely will get their cash. When influencers like Thom Hogan are binning C1 because of this stunt and the devaluing of the 'perpetual' version with a drastically shortened support period, it may be time for even C1's management to take notice.

    The broken version of Express is a red herring - that, as I understand it, was a defective C1 update, not a compatibility problem with an OS update, which is an entirely different thing. If users were allowed to continue using a stable version after the end of support, this sort of issue would not arise since they would be receiving no new updates, broken or otherwise. It's possible, of course, that some future OS update would break things, and obviously new cameras would not be supported, but that's expected from discontinued, unsupported software. It's exactly the same for the 'perpetually' licensed C1 Pro copies that are still on sale. By your argument, shouldn't these be killed off too at some defined end date, 'for the good of the users'? After all, they are no longer generating any revenue. Should we expect some future seasonal greeting from C1 to announce the switch-off of older 'perpetual' versions? Moderators on this forum say no, but they won't be the ones making the decisions.

    Fundamentally, discontinuing a product and withdrawing active support (which nobody here is saying they can't do) are very different to C1 throwing a kill switch we never knew existed just because they can, not with what I would describe as a 'graceful spin-down period', but at extremely short notice. They wouldn't have to spend another penny on further development to allow continued use of the licenses until the sofware becomes too outdated to be useful, any more than they do on old versions of C1 Pro. Instead, they've chosen to cut off Express users in a way that even Adobe would blush at.

    4
  • Christian Damhus

    still a bad decision, regardless whether you are a user of Express or Pro.

    2
  • Reuf

    As a long time Fuji hobbyist photographer I am also deeply disappointed with the decision to discontinue Capture One Express and mostly with the fact that existing installations will stop working. As a full time software developer for more than 10 years I am fully aware of the costs of developing complex specialized software and the costs of keeping up with all the latest cameras and lenses.

    However, I can also not justify the costs of the Pro version - for me the Express feature set + adjustment layers with only basic masking capabilities (and maybe Dehaze) restricted for a single camera brand is all I (and many enthusiasts) would ever need and would gladly pay a reduced fee for such a product. The perpetual license doesn't work for me - I could pay it once and would have done it a long time ago if it wasn't for the fear that tomorrow it will not work with my new camera/lens and I would have to pay the full price again to upgrade. That is ridiculous - I've already paid for the majority of features, the new lens support shouldn't cost another $350. That's why I've limited myself to the Express version even with the lack of Adjustment layers that I occasionally feel I need.

    2
  • M

    Reuf As a software dev, are you able to speak on whether it would be easy or not for C1 to just let the existing installations run their course instead of completely disabling them? It's pretty much the main reason why a lot of others are pissed off about C1's choice to disable licenses and make the software unusable.

    1
  • M

    Anbaric Well said. Hit the nail right on the head. Rafael should take a read. 

    Rafael is the CEO of C1 so if anyone from C1 should be commenting on this it's him. His company, his responsibility, his problem. 

    2
  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Regarding the disabling of existing installations on customers computers, a 6 month period (or more) would have been much more acceptable than 7 weeks, the latter is really ridiculous. Period. I have not seen a single argument which would justify this short notice.

    If the Express version is like the Pro version then letting the installations running for good is associated a cost, i.e. the servers which the software is periodically connecting to in order have the license key verified. If that is a considerable cost or not of course I don't know. But I understand that C1 does not want to be bothered with this for years. 

     

    Right next to shutting down licenses is yanking away bug fixes from perpetual licenses.  Because your product is FULL of bugs, many of which take a really long time to get fixed, it's ridiculous that a perpetual license customer only gets bug fixes for 1-3 months.

    Fully agree. Ridiculous. Period. If the software would be nearly free of bugs, or at least fully free of regression bugs, this could be sort of acceptable. But the opposite is true, unfortunately.

    1
  • Reuf

    M I think there might be a fundamentally different way of how the Pro version and the Express versions authenticate to the server. Somebody mentioned that even if you put Capture One Express behind a firewall and prevent it from connecting to the internet it will stop working after a month of not being able to talk to its authentication server, which means that letting existing users keep using the Express version would require an active authentication server. I don't think that's the case with the Pro version, if you can use it fully offline which would again indicate a different authentication workflow that would be putting some burden on the team to support. Putting the cost of running that server and database aside (which should be really negligible), the only logical technical reason I can see for shutting down existing activations is that they don't have a way to prevent new Express activations without some extra development effort that they are not willing to spend.

    0
  • M

    Reuf Would it be fairly easy to push a small update to disable the need for authentication all together? If so, they wouldn't need to maintain anything on their end afterwards including the auth servers. Surely that wouldn't take more than a day to put together? 

    0
  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Would it be fairly easy to push a small update to disable the need for authentication all together?

    Then they would give away their control over Express installations completely.

     

    "Your (Pro) subscription has not been verified in the last 30 days"

    https://support.captureone.com/hc/en-us/articles/360013384657-Your-subscription-has-not-been-verified-in-the-last-30-days

     

    0
  • M

    BeO I don't see a problem with them giving up control of it. I highly doubt this software hasn't been pirated yet, especially now. If they don't want to deal with it than the community can. I look at it in a similar way to aftermarket car parts. You can buy stuff for a 1970's muscle car but it won't be something new from the manufacturers, it will be by a 3rd party who is supporting the muscle car platform. 

    0
  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    They could not deactivate it on your computer in the future, never. Who knows if they consider this a problem.

    0
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    The zero work option would be for Capture One to just stop issuing any new licenses for Express, allow all existing licenses to just keep working like they always did and stop supporting or offering for download Express.  And, then communicate clearly to the Express customers that are already activated what they are doing and what their upgrade offer to Pro is.  That's ALL they had to do.

    There's zero chance that Express clients connecting to their activation server every once in a while to verify  their license is a big (or even meaningful) expense.  That is not a problem that needs to be solved.  And, even if it had a small expense, it would be worth paying for that to not create such bad will with your customer base.

    All these other solutions that involve them doing additional engineering are just red herrings.  They've already chosen to avoid as much work as possible with Express so asking them to do things that require more engineering than nothing are unlikely to be well received.

    0

Please sign in to leave a comment.