Adobe replacing old Pantone spot colors with black when you load files using them

Welcome to intellectual property hell, designers! This one's great because you never saw it coming: Adobe removing certain Pantone spot colors should you try to open PSD files containing them. Now you can see nothing at all, because it replaces them with black. Pantone is instead selling a ridiculously expensive subscription plugin.

"Fun times ahead," writes Iain Anderson, reporting his encounter with a license we didn't know we had, let alone lost.

Cory Doctorow: Adobe steals your color.

Doubtless, Adobe will blame Pantone for this, and it's true that Pantone's greed is the root cause here. But this is an utterly foreseeable result of Adobe's SaaS strategy. If Adobe's customers were all running their apps locally, a move like this on Pantone's part would simply cause every affected customer to run older versions of Adobe apps. Adobe wouldn't be able to sell any upgrades and Pantone wouldn't get any license fees.

Here's a guide to disabling updates on Adobe applications.

Someone should make an app that processes PSD files with the Pantone spot colors and replaces them with something less punishing than black, appending metadata that references the correct ink (which may be metallic or pearlescent or offer some other feature not captured by standard color spaces) should it ever need reverting for reprinting.

P.S. this sort of licensing horseshit is scandalous to designers and others who work at the application level, but par for the course for decades in the print business. Every shop and press has old computers in dark corners that no-one is allowed to touch, the decaying avatars of untransferable licenses, irreplaceable software, and extinct knowledge.