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Adobe Photoshop Keeps Pantone Colors Black Without The License

Adobe Photoshop ARM

Because separate license payments are now required from Adobe customers for the use of certain protected and standardized colors, Photoshop simply paints the corresponding areas black when opening files with these colors. A disaster.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a lucrative business, especially for manufacturers and their partners. This sales approach repeatedly causes massive problems for customers, as is the case with Adobe.

Pantone goes from technology provider to IP marketer

Because the Pantone color library and Adobe don’t have a handle on their licensing agreements with each other, users of Adobe’s subscription-only design tools like Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator now have to pay extra to use certain colors.

This means that the customer has to pay for the Adobe subscription for his software on the one hand, but also accept separate costs for the option of using certain Pantone colors on the other. As of November 2022, these color palettes, which are considered the absolute industry standard in the design industry, will no longer be offered as a direct part of the subscription for Adobe products.

This applies to all Pantone colors that are not included in the three “Pantone Color Books” supplied with Photoshop with the designations “Pantone + CMYK Coated”, “Pantone + CMYK Uncoated” and “Pantone + Metallic Coated”. Instead, Adobe software users now have to pay for a separate subscription with Pantone.

The biggest problem, however, is that Adobe deals with the topic in a highly questionable manner. Anyone who now opens a file in which certain Pantone colors are used without a corresponding license from Pantone will only see black instead of the respective color. Under certain circumstances, this can even render files that are decades old unusable. It is also problematic that Pantone does not actually hold any actual copyright to the colors to be licensed.

Instead, the company is now trying to capitalize directly on the widespread use of its color palettes and asking users to pay for themselves, since the Pantone system has become the industry standard in the many years since its inception and therefore in all areas, in which printing inks are used.