Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Photographer's Hypocrisy

I was reading a photography forum, at Photo Net, where a photographer posted the instructions he found on another photographer's blog, a successful wedding photographer (meaning professionally and financially successful), about jailbreaking Adobe's Lightroom 3, a photo library and editing software package.

I have this software, and while I don't use it very much, prefer using Photoshop for most editing, Lightroom is handy for catalogs and other uses. But if you read Adobe's license agreement for Lightroom it stipulates each copy is for one user with two computers, one main PC/Mac and one laptop. Any additional users have to use that copy on those computers.

Adobe specifically designed catalog sharing tools into Lightroom so other photographers in a photography studio can share images across copies of Lightroom. Note across copies of the software, sharing the catalog but not the software. Each must have a copy of Lightroom or use the individual's computer(s).

This means it wasn't designed to be use on a network. Catalogs can be shared across a network but not the software. At $300 per user license, it's not cheap, but any successful photographer can afford copies for their studio. It's good business. But this individual tricked his computer to be a network server for one copy across his office computers, and users, on the network.

This was not how Lightroom was designed to work or intended to be used. It clearly violates the license agreement. But this didn't bother the photographer, because they're out to save money to make more money for themselves, and as we like to think, software companies are rich and can afford people prirating their software or simply mis-using it.

But if you ask any photographer if they would allow anyone to do likewise with their images, you'd get a long, loud lecture on copyright infringement or outright theft. In short, what's good for them is only good for them, and everything else is open to stealing. That's hypocrisy.

When I questioned it, I was told my posts weren't on topic. Ok, true, but I only asked why they suggested jailbreaking Lightroom and linked to the instructions when it's not what they agreed to when the bought their copy. Apparently there are degrees of stealing and robbing Adobe of their software isn't a bad one.

Anyway, I forwarded the thread and the blog entry about the jailbreak, which identifies the photographer violating the license agreement, to Adobe, who immediately thanked me for the information. What they will do I don't know, nor really care. A successful photographer can easily afford additional copies.

And he certainly loses rights to bitch if someone steals his images, "Gee, I was just jailbreaking your catalog of images. What's the problem?" Like hypocrisy?

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