Adobe says you can still use Lightroom when your Creative Cloud subscription ends, but there’s a catch

by Felix Esser

posted Friday, July 11, 2014 at 11:15 AM EST

With the launch of the special Creative Cloud plan for photographers, Adobe has integrated its workflow solution Lightroom further into the 'Cloud,' and for the first time, made it available on a subscription basis. Which raises the -- justified -- question as to what happens to users' catalogs once their Creative Cloud subscription runs out.

In a recent blog post, Adobe has adressed this question and states that with Lightroom 5.5, the desktop application will continue to work even beyond the end of a Creative Cloud membership. So, while neither photographs nor catalogs are in imminent danger, there's one little catch: users who acquired Adobe Lightroom through Creative Cloud will not be able to use the Develop and Map modules once their subscription ends. All other functionality will remain available.

In the comments to the blog post, a Lightroom user who acquired his copy as a standalone version inquires what would happen were he to subscribe to the Creative Cloud's photographers' plan. The good news is that previously acquired, standalone versions of Lightroom will not be affected by this and will continue to be provided with updates by Adobe.

So the "crippling" of Lightroom's functionality -- which, if we're honest, really is a concession to photographers -- will only affect those who acquired a Lightroom license solely as part of a Creative Cloud subscription. If you already own a standalone license for Lightroom and later sign up to Creative Cloud, you won't have to worry, your copy will just work fine. At least that's what Adobe's Tom Hogarty assures in his comments.