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Are we on a sinking ship?

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53 comments

  • Jack W
    Admin

    Probably more beneficial to just post a link to the article, especially as it contains some misinformation.

    We are not moving to a subscription only policy and we have not announced anything of the sort.

    Even the "story" that PetaPixel link to, starts with the line "Capture One is changing how the perpetual license of its software will work." which is vastly different to us announcing a "subscription only model" – PetaPixel have been reminded of this time and again.

    You guys in here are free to speak as you want with regards to anything else, but just thought I would make that crystal clear.

    2
  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    PetaPixel is click bait. They sensationalize headlines and often have inaccurate facts. Many of the article authors there are not professional journalists but people who want to see their name next to a headline. Anyone can publish an article on PetaPixel.

    Every company goes through painful reorganization from time to time. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Tesla, Apple, Adobe, pick a name. They all had laid offs in the last 12-18 months. EU labor laws are quite protective of employees. I imagine those impacted by layoffs at Capture One were well taken care of.

    Companies change direction and sometimes the people in certain areas are not suited well to the new direction. Sadly they must be let go to allow the company to pivot to where they need to go. Let's give credit to Capture One for waiting until after the holiday season to do so. We want Capture One to be a strong company that provides a solid product. These decisions can be hard but are sometimes necessary to achieve that goal.

    1
  • Robert Hold

    Given what you guys may feel about PetaPixel, there hasn't been clear communication regarding legay/perpetual license holders and what the roadmap is for us to see updates to the software. I'm looking at upgrading my camera equipment this year to a Fuji GFX100II and I want to be certain that the version of C1P I am running will support it (currently 16.2.x). If I end up having to upgrade to 16.3... what is the mechanism to do so?

    As it stands, it feels as though perpetual license holders are being left behind in favor of a subscription model being pushed.

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Strange.

    Just over a year ago there were similar questions about Adobe.

    I knew nothing about that until this thread prompted me to run a search.

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Robert,

    "As it stands, it feels as though perpetual license holders are being left behind in favor of a subscription model being pushed."

    I would have to agree that it's not something I welcome. 

    However the fiscal side of it, depemnding on how you play it, is not necessarily as negative as it seems at first.

    And as one must observe, the strategy seems to have worked in Adobe's favour and been copied by nearly all large softwear creators and vendors in one form or another in the past few years. 

     

    The world does not yet seem to be condemning all of the them to the scrap heap. One must therefore conclude that the majority of users will, ultimately, go along with the concept of renting software as one uses it.

    People do it for housing, cars, other major purchases and even their mobile phone and home entertainment services. And they do it willingly with much greater total outlay than one might expect.

    It seems like a strange world to me but many seem happy with it  - even those that have realised what they are doing.

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  • OddS.

    > SFA: ...the strategy seems to have worked in Adobe's favour

    Capture One sold licenses to Adobe refugees who believed C1 to be their sanctuary.

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  • Frank Lindner

    I don't understand the whole discussion about the licence model. Nobody is forced to take out a subscription and can buy the software. But I can't expect a purchased version to be developed further for years without paying anything for it. As long as my purchased version harmonises with the operating system everything is fine, if not I just have to see how the problem can be solved, it's always been like that. If I wanted to stay up to date, I had to buy a new version in the past, which was sometimes more expensive, depending on the frequency. Capture One is a good programme and I really wouldn't want to be without it. Keep your fingers crossed for CO that everything will be fine and that the users will understand. I am a private user, I am not sponsored or anything else. Have a nice day!

    3
  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    " As long as my purchased version harmonises with the operating system everything is fine, if not I just have to see how the problem can be solved, it's always been like that. If I wanted to stay up to date, I had to buy a new version in the past, which was sometimes more expensive, depending on the frequency."

    It's always been like that except a perpetual license used to include all incremental updates until a new major version was released, i.e. you did not have to buy incremental updates in the past.

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    OddS.

    "> SFA: ...the strategy seems to have worked in Adobe's favour

    Capture One sold licenses to Adobe refugees who believed C1 to be their sanctuary."

    True enough.

    But once Adobe got most of the old crowd past that and captivated the new people with models intended to ensnare the generations who had always had mobile phones in their images of life, the strategy seemed to do very well for them. It took a few years and they faced the predicted drop in revenues from License sales until the cash flow of subscriptions took over. However, recent years of results suggest that it was short-term pain for long term gain. 

    It seems to have become a popular approach for the big players in recent times.

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Consider this.

    Anyone who buys a subscription, for anything, is looking to the future and assuming they will keep paying for the service until they stop and elect to do something else. Or nothing. Or subscribe to multiple similar services.

    Anyone who buys a perpetual license is, whether they think of it this way or not, planning for the point at which they stop. There is no guarantee that they will make another purchase, though they might.

    Which class of user offer the most likely stream of income in the future at a cash flow that allows a business to operate, develop and deliver with any degree of consistency?

    One could perhaps, pad out the user generated revenue with sponsorship support from manufacturers, but maybe only for a short period during which that idea appeals to the manufacturer's Marketing teams in some way.

    Then what?

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  • Frank Lindner

    @... 

    Why is it not possible to upgrade from 16.2 to 16.3? I had such a case from 16.1 to 16.2, the support immediately answered my question at that time and told me that it was not a problem within the period, at that time 9 months since purchase, and this was true. If Apple, and I am also one of the users, changes its programme logic and software remains unworkable as a result, I don't think it's right to pass the responsibility on to the small companies. But everyone should decide for themselves. Personally, I just realise that companies cannot exist without ongoing revenue. Best regards!

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    You are leaving out the Loyalty Program details. You DON'T pay the FULL price again unless your license is more than 24 months old.

    Perpetual licenses newer than 12 months get 40% discount on upgrades.
    Perpetual licenses 12 to 24 months get 20% discount on upgrades.

    https://support.captureone.com/hc/en-us/articles/8824180384285-Capture-One-Loyalty-Program

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Not entirely true John. Version 16.3 is now at 16.3.4 which means four FREE updates have been released.

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  • Robert Hold

    WalterRowe I have been a user for around a decade. I have had no issues with upgrading to each and every major release. Incremental releases were expected, lauded, and appreciated to keep my workflow going with every little update to my computer (pc and mac). 

    The frustration comes in for me seeing that as a user who has been with Capture One for a DECADE, I have to pay for an INCREMENTAL UPDATE when the prior model had me paying for a full version update (6.x to 7.x to 8.x, and so on). This current licensing model that has been taken up is, in place of other language, significantly distasteful.

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    I completely understand this. As an IT professional since the early 1980s I agree that .X is traditionally a "minor" release and a X. release is traditionally a major release. It seems Capture One has broken with that paradigm where .X is viewed be a major release for them, and .X.X viewed as a minor release. Confusing? Absolutely.

    1
  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    Now that major versions are a thing of the past, will all future updates be incremental updates to version 16?

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Yes, it will go on and on until we reach 16.99.99!

    Seriously, who knows?

    Ian

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  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    I know, no one outside the company would know the answer to that. I'm just curious how they're planning to go about this as one of the consequences of abandoning major version updates seems to be that we'll be stuck with version 16 permanently.

    Thomas

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    My guess is that there will be a version 17 at some stage, maybe if there's a really major update, but I have absolutely no inside information.

    Ian

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    @... said

    Of course, the moment they stop paying their subscription, they lose the use of Capture One for editing, even for editing their existing library.

    This is false and misleading. You can convert a subscription to a persistent license. For each year you subscribe you get 20% MORE discount on persistent license. After 5 years you can convert to a persistent license for free at any point in the future.

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Affinity ran with the same version number for their product family for about 4 years after they added Windows to the Mac product re-work of their previous products and completed most of the work to bring the rest of the modules in their Photoshop competitor suite of programs to the same level.

    The only difference was that they offered free updates for the same period under the same version's primary number.

    I would imagine that the fiscal justification was based on having a new income stream from sales to Mac users. Their previous offering was Windows only.

    I could see potential for serious changes, perhaps requiring a version number change for technical reasons, being driven by outside influences. Perhaps changes to MacOS or Windows or a significant change of underlying database technology.

    Beyond that, a marketing driven change might be brought about by certain developments related to new or ended business relationships, a big play on AI (or something similar), or an entirely new companion product that might take development in a different direction.

    The need to change versions annually probably declines once a subscription model is established. If, at the same time, the seemingly enforced updates, related to new releases of platform OS features, has become less of an influence as the major changes have matured, there may be a period during which it looks frankly suspicious to be changing version numbers simply based on annual cycles.

    Unfortunately, if the .X. equivalent of an annual new version suddenly becomes more of a 6 monthly cycle rather than a year (or more) the move may look equally suspicious. 

    My guess is that the dynamics of purchasing perpetual licenses will evolve as a pattern of updates emerges and customers who are prepared to play the "cost effectiveness" game spot the pattern and adapt accordingly.

    Similar things happen (or maybe these days that should be 'happened' as most software suppliers seem to be using a subscription model) in B2B markets when vendors locked themselves into annual cycles of results reporting.

    For example the drive to make the end of year figures look good would often result in 'doing deals' to close business around the year end. In the case where the normal situation was for all biusinesses to have the same 'year end' it became an annual challenge.

    In tax jurisdictions where 'year end' could be staggered, as in the UK, business might have 2 periods each annual business cycle in which to "do deals". Their own year-end reporting cut-off date and the most common date traditionally used by clients - typically the first week in April. 

    A company I worked for moved its year-end to September, partly because it spread the accounting workload and partly because the Auditors offered lower charges because their workload was spread out.

    Once existing customers recognised how things worked, 95% of deals were agreed in September (related to the business year end) or March/April (related to the traditional year end aligned with the Tax Year in the UK). 

    We also had some International sales that tended to close in December (end of tax year, using budget from the previous period) or January (drawing from the new budget for the new tax year).

    It was, sometimes, fun to play the game of "buy the new order" 3 times each year but, ultimately, probably not the best way to create a stable business able to support customers in the long term.

    In the case of C1 the "Annual" version number change seems to be morphing into a "guess when the next .X. release will be " game. It may be the same thing with different notation, i.e. the .X. exists for a year before moving up. Or the number change frequency used for the past decade or so may apply - so about 3 .X. changes each year. So far we don't have enough history for use of the new approach to make a logical assessment. However we can, and of course do, speculate. 

     

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  • Jim Schaub

    My first concern is the software. The capabilities of the software. Is it better or is it not? Today I was informed that the iPhone sync beta program has been frozen for "now". This is not something I wanted to learn.

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  • Jerry C

    I think the analogy of the specter of the sinking Capture One ship is not entirely on target for some of us. My version of Capture One (16.3...) works just fine. Having delivered software I could easily use for many years without any new improvements, if the ship sinks, it does so after it delivered what I need. If I need compatibility with a new RAW format or lens, then I will need to find a company with a ship that still sails.

    To be clear, I shoot landscapes, wild life, architecture, and street scenes. I run Capture One on a well outfitted Mac Studio Ultra. I am an advanced amateur. I rarely sell a  picture. With AI able to produce/forge images from a description of their content, my interest is in recording scenes I actually see.

    My attitude does not make me indifferent to improvements, or bug fixes, but  folks like me do not support the kind of reliable revenue stream Capture One needs, hence their embrace of subscriptions. 

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  • Jerry C

     In my analogy the ship is Capture One, the company. The cargo is Capture One the software. Analogies are tricky and inherently imperfect. Regardless, you make good points.

    1. Regarding OS changes. Absolutely, if you upgrade the OS to an incompatible version, you have to upgrade the version of Capture One, and I could have included that to be complete. My point was more related to what happens if Capture One is no longer in the market. Right now my Mac Studio runs the current version well and I would be faced with keeping the computer, not updating the OS, and running it off line or in a virtual machine with a compatible OS not attached to the internet if there was an OS incompatibility. This hard choice likely would not come for years, at which point, I would be looking for another piece of software if I did not want to freeze my system or run Capture One in a virtual machine. 

    2. By the time I chose to stay with version 16.3, I think I would have tested my workflow sufficiently to know if I had bugs I could not live with. Again, I am thinking about what I would do if Capture One was never upgraded, again.

    3. I agree with that risk. My catalog is large and at some point, the edited images might not be able to be exported to another application without converting to TIFF or some other exportable format. If another vendor offered software with something I would love to have, I would be stuck. 

    4. Yup. I am more comfortable with the limits of the current version of Capture One than not being able to upgrade my camera, RAW format, or lenses. 

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    My point was more related to what happens if Capture One is no longer in the market.

    If I am not mistaken, they (or someone else) need to keep the activation and license checking servers running (do you think they would do?), otherwise your C1 installation would not open anymore after a few weeks.

     

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  • Jerry C

    Perpetual licenses are not checked to maintain activation, only subscriptions.

    I wrote to Capture One support about this last year about this:

    Jan 10, 2023, 17:13 GMT+1

    In the community discussions, there is discussion about whether or not Capture One checks with the company every 30 days, or some other interval, to make sure a perpetual license is still valid, failing which the software will not work. If so, this would mean one must maintain an internet connection even if one is not updating the software under a perpetual license. The suggested articles do not address this concern.

    So, will a perpetual license work in perpetuity if one does not have an internet connection?
    If not, how often must one connect to the internet to maintain the license and how is this done?

    They replied:

    Gemma Moustafa (Capture One)

    Jan 11, 2023, 10:09 GMT+1

    Dear Jerry,
     
    Thank you for reaching out.
     
    To clarify, using the software doesn't prompt you to be constantly online. You can work offline as long as you wish with a perpetual licence. To use the software on a subscription basis, you must maintain the internet connection for Capture One to be able to validate and reconfirm your valid subscription license in terms of regular payments.
     
    Only perpetual Capture One Pro licenses can be activated offline. If you have a subscription, trial, or Express license - then you cannot activate your license offline.
     
    You should be able to use a perpetual license offline (without Internet access) for as long as you wish, only needing to use internet when upgrading.
     
    If at any point you have receive a message instructing you to re-authenticate your perpetual license please let me know.
     
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  • Kassur

    Thank you for clarifying this! 

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  • Jerry C

    Good point and not part of my question to support last year. No reinstallation without validation. How this can be done offline was not explained in my correspondence. You might want to write to support to explain the off line validation process.

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  • Jerry C

    This article shows what Capture One means by off-line activation: https://support.captureone.com/hc/en-us/articles/360002468637-How-to-activate-Capture-One#h_01GGSDNPE0FZPNVPKSGR9XEA2G After reading this article, I sent a question to Capture One support regarding the steps for off-line activation when you do not have internet access. 

    As you can see, the instructions in the article are oxymoronic. You have to be able to access the Capture One web site to activate "off-line." I especially liked the part where they tell you to go to the off-line activation web page. 

    The universal fear software vendors have about their software being copied without being paid probably means  the need for an internet connection to validate a license is also universal. It may be time to make a TIFF copy of your images so they can be imported into another image editor without losing the edits, just in case. 

     

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  • OddS.

    > Jerry C: ...instructions in the article are oxymoronic.

    Yeah, it reminds me of the BIOS POST message "No Keyboard detected, press F1 to continue."

     

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