Is Luminar AI license now limited to one machine?

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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi Robert,

    We added the single seat option at a lower price point because many of our customers requested it. You can still purchase 2 seats (or more if you need to). Just reach out to us at www.skylum.com/support and we'll be happy to help.

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    Robert Kresek

    I haven't noticed any significant price decrease.  All I see is that you reduced the license over the years originally from 5 computers, then down to 2 computers, and now 1 computer.  It looks like you are just trying to increase your revenues by squeezing your long time customers.   For most people two computers are very normal, a portable when we are on the road and a desktop for at home.  We only use one computer at a time.  I hate being asked to not only upgrade each year, but now pay even more for what I consider basic functionality.

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    Bill Buchanan

    Your licensing technique regresses to the old DOS days when companies such as Lotus would restrict (very expensive) software purchases to one individual machine. It was universally hated back then, particularly by tech administrators in businesses and institutions, just as it is now. A company called Borland came out with a revolutionary idea where they licensed software that could be used on any machine, so long as there was only one instance of the software running. They compared it to reading a book; you can only read one book at a time. Before you knew it, companies were following suit, and several removed the copy protection from their software entirely.

    Years ago, Adobe had the ability to count the number of licenses in use across a network, which was basically extending the licensing principle that Borland had established. Institutions such as schools could install Adobe software on every computer in the building, and administrators did not have to worry about the burden of restrictions because once the number of licenses running was exceeded, an alert would notify the user as such. Problem solved.

    Today, with the capabilities of the Internet, there is no reason why Skylum cannot do the same thing. You should provide the customer with the ability to use the software on any device, but they can only have the same number of sessions ("seats", as you call them) as the license prescribes. This way, users do not have to activate/deactivate machines, and you provide flexibility for your customers.

    As to how many licenses is fair when purchasing a basic license, that is another angle, but I think that one is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Unlike the old days where families had one desktop PC/Mac due to their very high costs, today's families likely have several devices, not to mention mobile options (something Skylum does not offer). Therefore, assuming you do not want to implement the suggestions listed above, it is imperative that you seriously evaluate raising the number of licenses. Those who purchased one seat should be upgraded to at least 3, and those who purchased two seats should be upgraded to at least 5. You must also consider your competition. Serif Affinity allows customers to install their software on as many computers as they like, provided that they are legitimately under that user's control/ownership. Having happy customers means having a happy company. I would strongly suggest focusing on the long term big picture rather than limited your scope to the short term as to how much money you can make.

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    Joseph Mina

    I am a long time user of Skylum products. As I activated the recently released version of Luminar AI I just realized you have reduced the license for AI to just 1 machine, asking for even more $$$ to add another machine. Many photographers have a traveling machine and a home computer. The price for AI is no less than for other released versions for Luminar. And now you want more. Whoever is deciding pricing policy is out of touch with customer sentiment. Really pathetic. So much for valuing customer loyalty.

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    Helena Carter

    Hi ,

    Luminar AI is meant to be used by a single person. We’ve discovered that one or two activations are enough for one person in most cases. That's why we give two purchase options: 1 seat/2 seats.

    However, you can always reset your license counter in order to activate Luminar on a different computer if you have already exceeded the limit. 

    Reset buttons are available for each product you own in My Software tab. Click License > Reset All Licenses. 

    Moreover, you are able to add more seats to your license in the "My Software" section of your Skylum account for a fee. 

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    Joseph Mina

    "Luminar AI is meant to be used by a single person. We’ve discovered that one or two activations are enough for one person in most cases."

    You can say the same for Luminar 4, 3, Aurora etc.

    Then why not make it 2 activations instead of asking for more money? 

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    Bill Buchanan

    Joseph, I totally agree with you. Like I said above, having only 1 license in this day and age when users have (most likely) a laptop and a desktop is nothing short of ridiculous.

    Luminar's rationale, according to Helena is, "Luminar AI is meant to be used by a single person. We’ve discovered that one or two activations are enough for one person in most cases."

    Let's look at that statement for a moment. The "single person" remark indicates that there is fear of piracy. Yet, having two licenses as opposed to one can hardly be argued as being a vehicle for piracy for several reasons. First, as mentioned, most households have more than one computer. Secondly, even if I did own a single computer, why would I seek out a friend to give them one of my licenses when I could very well find myself buying another laptop/desktop for the family? If that happened, then I would have to go to my friend and tell them that they can't use the software anymore. Who wants such hassle? And besides, those are the actions of a 15 year-old, not a mature adult who appreciates the importance of using the software as it is intended.

    Helena's second remark: "We’ve discovered that one or two activations are enough for one person in most cases."

    Then what difference does it make to you as the company that people are within their limits? By that rationale, I find that driving my car at city speeds is sufficient in most cases. Should the car manufacturers slap a regulator on the vehicle to ensure that is always the case?

    The bottom line here is, as usual, money. Luminar's board has convened and they have agreed that they need to make more money, and the fastest method beyond product adoption in the marketplace is to raise the cost of the software. I would be stunned if that were not the case.

    Checking my records, as an existing Luminar customer, I paid $49 US for Luminar 4 when it came out. Luminar AI cost me $64 US. So the price of the software has increased, and then they reduced the number of "seats" that Luminar 4 had. Mission accomplished from the accountant's point of view. Mission blown from the customer's point of view. It is amazing that companies do not even know the basics of effective marketing.

    Luminar needs to correct the Price mix (the Product, Promotion, and Place mixes are fine). Failure to do so will result in searching for competitive alternatives, and for that reason alone, the one thing that a company should NEVER do is give the customer a reason to look elsewhere. NEVER do that. 

    This issue also arose with Luminar 4, as you may or may not be aware. After a backlash reducing the licenses from 5 to 2, Luminar relented and told their user base through this forum that Luminar would raise their licenses from 2 to 5 if they contacted Support by a certain date. Sure, it shut up the people who knew about this, but for those that didn't, they were stuck at 2. How is that fair? Same pricing - different licensing terms.

    So listen, Luminar staff, stop with the fancy words and explanations because we can see through their transparency. Do the right thing and raise the number of licenses for everyone and stop the charade. Otherwise, you may find that Luminar AI Deluxe, or whatever the next version will be called, will not be embraced as heartily by the user base as you may think. Look down the road and not at the present. I encourage you to present my message to the board and see what they have to say. I emphasize to them that short-term monetary gain is NOT worth long-term customer losses. Think about that.

     

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    Joseph Mina

    Well said, Bill.

    Helena, I looked back at your comment. As a customer, I find it insulting.

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    Vaughan White

    I use one computer that I triple boot between Windows, Catralina and Big Sur. Every time I want to use Luminar AI I would have to login and reset my licence even though technically I am only using one computer, just different OSs. My licence is for one computer not one OS.

    Adobe, for instance, manages this by just popping up a windows and allowing me to sign one of the other OSs out, a simple solution that takes a matter of seconds to achieve and allow me to get on with what I want to do with little effort.

    Maybe Skylum could have a look at this simple solution and implement something similar?

     

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    Kirk Osborn

    Please note that the 2-seats version of LuminarAI is also available for purchase. In fact, you can purchase as many seats as you want in your Skylum Account.

    We wanted to provide customers with more options. Some customers have only one computer, and we received a lot of requests with these customers asking for additional discounts in exchange for the seats that they would never use. So we decided to provide customers with an option to purchase 1-seat versions of our apps, so they could get the apps at the lowest prices possible. We have also added the option to add more seats if customers had more than 1 device.

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    Robert Kresek

    Kirk, I find it hard to believe your statement that "we received a lot of requests with customers asking for additional discounts in exchange for seats".   Why don't you admit the truth that it's just a way to raise prices and get more money from your current customers.   Although you have a good product there are lots of other good alternatives in the market if Skylum goes out of its way to piss off their current customers.

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    Joseph Mina

    This is such a lame talking point. The price for AI is essentially the same as earlier versions of Luminar except you took away the activations. Now you are asking us to pay for that which was part of earlier packages. So please stop with these ridiculous company-fueled talking points. They are insulting.

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    Vaughan White

    Kirk,

    The fact remains that I am only using the software on 1 physical computer, which I multi boot. Why should I have to purchase additional 'seats' when I am not using the software on additional computers? As I multiboot it is not possible to run the software on multiple machines at the same time, I can only boot into 1 operating system at a time.

    Other companies, eg Adobe, offer a simple solution to this without me having to log into their system to activate and deactivate licenses every time I want to use their software.

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    Bill Buchanan

    They clearly are not listening. Maybe they should try googling the importance of customer satisfaction and go from there. To help get them started, here is one article from LinkedIn entitled, "15 Statistics That Should Change the Business World - But Haven't". And here is another from inc.com that examines the "secret ratio", i.e. the number of positive reviews it takes to undo the damage of a single negative review. These are only a few of the hundreds of similar reports. Sadly, the Luminar support team is not providing any type of real resolution to the complaints mentioned here; they are merely confirming the status quo (i.e. Luminar is meant for a single user, you can buy additional licenses, you can activate/deactivate machines when needed). The sad thing is that if they were to return to their previous practice of offering 5 licenses per purchase, none of these postings here would exist. Que sera sera. I'm done.

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    Joseph Mina

    I’m done too! 🤬

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    James Burchell

    I don’t have Luminar but I came here after being about to checkout and purchase Luminar AI for the first time.
    To give a brand new customers point of view - I won’t be purchasing Luminar AI under this pricing model. In this day and age, there is no need to charge clients more to use two of their own computers. Fair enough limit how many times you can simultaneously signed in but this just seems like a pricing model from the 80s that everyone hated. You haven’t even got raw support for the R5 yet which tells me you’re not spending all that money on quick delivery of updates either.
    I won’t be purchasing and I’m disappointed to have to say that.

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    Francois Meyer

    As a long standing Macphun and Skylum customer I was about to purchase an upgrade to Luminar Ai. Luckily I noticed the switch that indicates 1 or 2 seats.

    Upon investigation it turns out that Skylum is reducing the number of activations from 5 in Luminar 4 to 1 in Luminar Ai, sure you can go up to 5 (or however many you want) but at an extra cost.

    Reading this thread with the pathetic excuses/justifications put forward by the likes of Kirk and Helen convinced me not to proceed with the purchase as it is clear that they take their customers for fools - just admit it, your licensing model changed, not because your customers did not want so many activations but rather because you want to milk your user base for more money.

    Your are out of touch with reality.

    Good luck making money without a customer base.

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    James Burchell

    I totally agree. Most apps I have that use this model allow at least 2 activations recognising that most people have a desktop and laptop. I also enquired about the lack of R5 support and was told to use a DNG converter. I'm not signing up to something that'll make my workflow longer - that's not really the idea! 

    Like Francois says, out of touch with reality sadly.

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    Joseph Mina

    1 customer post usually has at least 25 or more readers nodding in agreement.

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    Rob Skilo

    I purchased this software to try out and ended up liking it only to find out will only be able to use on my desktop. Unlike lightroom or photoshop where I am able to use on my desktop and laptop if im away from home.

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    Margaret Bright

    Hi Rob,

    If you need to have more seats for the app - it’s not a problem. You can purchase more seats in your Skylum Account.

    Login to your Skylum account here: https://skylum.com/user/login 

    In case you forgot your password you can reset it here: https://skylum.com/user/request-password-reset 

    Go to My Software tab. You will see a button 'Get seats' next to your LuminarAI: https://prnt.sc/ube0tv 

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    Francois Meyer

    The response from Margaret refers:

    What and incredible answer. People are complaining about the fact that they have to pay for an additional seat to use a personal license on their own computers (e.g. desktop and laptop) and the answer is GO BUY AN ADDITIONAL SEAT.

    What incredible arrogance!!

    This is a sure way to alienate your user base. Well done Skylum!

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    Joseph Mina

    Rob Skilo you can use on either machine, however, before using on the 2nd computer you would need to deactivate the license via your account (go to your Skylum profile (My Account) and select My Software. There remove the activation from Luminar AI.  Next, open Luminar AI on the other machine to activate it there. This back/forth is simply a PITA but it's the only way you'll be able to use the software on two machines with only 1 activation, or "seat" as Skylum calls it.

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    Bill Buchanan

    Let's look at the Luminar AI user experience from two perspectives:

    Scenario 1 - Current Situation with Luminar AI having 1 "Seat"

    Rob wants to run Luminar AI on his laptop. He discovers that he can't run the software that he legitimately paid for on any machine aside from his desktop. Luminar Support says, "Buy another seat". Fellow user Joseph provides helpful (but painful) guidelines so that Rob can run the software on his laptop. Rob follows the guidelines, but knows that when he wants to use the desktop later in the evening, he has to go through the same tedious process all over again. In Skylum's eyes, this is what many of their customers requested so that they can save money. Over time, Rob is resentful that he is being asked to pay for convenience that is readily provided with other vendors of similar software. He decides to support them instead. Luminar AI Ultra is released one year down the road, and Rob immediately declines the invitation to order it.

    Ultimate final result: 1 user runs 1 instance of Luminar AI at great inconvenience. Customer is not happy. Unlikely to recommend to others. Unlikely to purchase future versions of the software.

    Scenario 2 - Luminar Is Permitted to Run On Up to 5 "Seats"

    Rob wants to run Luminar AI on his laptop. He completes his task and goes home after a long day's work to relax. Later, he decides to continue his project on his desktop. He runs Luminar AI and gets the job done. Everything works beautifully. Rob is a happy camper and tells his friends about this fantastic software. His friends buy it and can't thank Rob enough for the fine recommendation. A year later, Luminar AI Ultra is announced, and Rob is offered a chance to buy the software. He is excited at the prospect and accepts.

    Ultimate final result: 1 user runs 1 instance of Luminar AI conveniently. Customer is very happy. Likely to recommend to others. More than willing to purchase future versions of the software.

    What is stunning with the above scenarios is that Skylum chose and defends the first scenario. In this very thread, users Francois and James have indicated that they will not be purchasing the software under this licensing model. I will say right now on the record that I have no plans to purchase the next version of Luminar unless changes are made to the licensing system. I know that I am not alone. Skylum had better open their eyes and realize the cost of their short-sightedness.

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    James Burchell

    Spot on Bill. If the second scenario was reality, I would have almost certainly purchased - even overlooking the missing camera compatibility with my EOS R5.
    I guess it’s just customer feedback and they can take it or leave it - the latter seeming to be the choice. Seems short sighted, especially when so eloquently illustrated by your scenarios.

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    Francois Meyer

    Bill, couldn’t agree more. The sad thing is that the product is really good and fitted very nicely with my, and I’m sure many other, user’s workflow.

    Sadly the arrogance of the people at Skylum has destroyed that.

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    William White

    I have had enough!  Skylum fail to listen to their customers on most things.  They are a very greedy company that attempt to fob their customers off with lies as to why they have changed Luminar Ai to seats.  Each one will cost when it comes to upgrading every year!  Like most photographers I have a PC at home and a laptop when on the road.  I can only use one seat at a time so why should I pay for two.  Luminar is not a large part of my wotkflow I only use it to finish off my final image.  5 minutes more in photoshop will achieve the same result.  Or it can wait till I get home.  So far I have purchased Luminar 4, Luminar Ai and Aurora from Skylum.  No more.  I said that after Luminar 4 but this time I mean it :-)  Skylum you have just lost another customer through your greed and unwillingness to listen to your customer base.  You can bet that for every disgruntled customer in your forums there are another thousand not bothering to voice their opinions.  But me....I am gone :-)

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    Artemi Ollin

    Totally fair feedback. Many started using Skylum as a try to move away from the forced subscription with Adobe. Many ended up keeping both Lightroom and Luminar at the end of the day, now Skylum is reducing the seat count and heavily advertising their subscription version. Guys, you will not be able to compete with Adbe by becoming Adobe.

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    William White

    I am only back to say I totaly agree with all negative comments above :-)  I have learned the hard way, as a DAM Luminar is not a patch on lightroom and as for processing Photoshop is far more versatile and superior.  Luminar is ok as a plugin for fast tweaks but it can't do anything that can't be done in photoshop (only better).  And the way they are pricing it the Lightroom / Photoshop combo are cheaper in the long run :-)

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    David Z

    I almost bought Luminar AI when they were pushing hard on youtube, but I didn't eventually buy.

    Then they have this big promotion now and on the final payment page, i decided to do a little research about this one seat situation. As an adobe user, i'm quite familiar with the limited active seat situation, but i find adobe did a great job to let user switch the machine easily. And from what I read on this thread, it is not as easy for Luminar AI.

    More importantly, after reading all the comments from their team on this thread, I don't think they care about customer feedback, they would prefer spending tons of money on Youtubers & influencers to promote the software instead of saving all these marketing money on their customer experience ( 2 seats or a better way to manage active seats).

    So, never mind, you almost got a new customer. I'll keep paying Adobe, HAPPILY!

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