Digital media market self-destruction

April 18th, 2005 by

Today Adobe announces its purchase of Macromedia and I am forced to wonder, how much further consolidation can the digital media market endure? How far from competition can a market stray before it begins to collapse in on itself like some bloatware blackhole? I am very concerned about the future of the products under the new Adobe/Macromedia umbrella. Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Premier, Dreamweaver, Director, and Flash (in both cracked and legal form) are tools that have enabled the development of an art space online free from credential and geography. How will this community be affected? Also, can we expect even more restrictive anti-piracy measures?

Widespread piracy of these softwares is due largely to their lofty retail prices (even with an educator’s discount.) As such, purchasing them legally is simply foolish for the majority of hobbyists and amateurs with no hope or intention of recouping that expense through revenue or as a tax write-off. With even less competition influencing pricing, will we see more people looking to f/oss solutions such as the Gimp?

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