Ask a realistic price from students

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Why do we tax knowledge?

Imagine a world where Leonardo DaVinci couldn't afford to rent a pencil or perhaps a world where Shakespeare couldn't afford ink - worse still, imagine how many people throughout history had to eat the apple out of starvation, never having the chance to question why it fell? The art and ideas of our people have allowed us to develop our cultures.

Today we have a different set of tools, the age of information has transformed the way we interact with the world and the paintbrush, the pen and the drawing board have been augmented to create Photoshop, Illustrator and CAD. Where some companies will offer drastic discounts and even free software to students to allow them to develop themselves and the potential of the software, Adobe have been moving in very much the opposite direction.

I am one of the very few students it seems that actually bothers to purchase software, which is why it pains me so that the fruits of my labours are sacrificed to enable me to continue my development. In the last 3 years Adobe's price plan has jumped from £185 to £256 to a whopping £301 per year. A 62% increase in two years; also taking into consideration that I am in the generation that has been saddled with a debt in the region of £50,000, where maintenance grants have been abolished, when the housing market is straining under austerity, when job security is dwindling, during the time of Brexit and Trump.

You would think that a company that is able to generate $900 Million a year in profits alone, a company that enjoys lucrative tax deals by routing their finances through Ireland would be able to show a little humanity towards those in society that will ultimately carry the weight from the mistakes of our ancestors.

Instead at a time when poverty is on the rise and already stretched students are seeing their food bills go up, Adobe issues a statement that due to the weakness of the Pound on the global markets, they will have to raise their prices! Why is it we have record numbers of mental health problems among young people? It doesn't actually matter; not when we have the tools to improve the society we live in with art, music and film. Tools that are becoming increasingly unavailable to the general public.

It should not be a luxury to create, it has to be our duty.

This is why I ask you to lend me your voices and your comments in asking Adobe to acknowledge the power that they hold and to allow students and individuals worldwide to support the development of their tools by reconsidering the price of their software and making it available instead of exclusive. So that you do not have to become a criminal when you want to make a collage, so that the start-ups can achieve lift off with the tools of our age, so that the public realm isn't one giant neo-liberal advertisement for what life could be like. Let us go out there and build the world we deserve! 

This is a call from the people to the giant faceless corporations of today to remember that we are all human and we are all born penniless and the day that your economic status prevents you from bettering our civilisation is indeed tragic.

With love,


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