More than 7,000 angry users have signed an online petition protesting against Adobe Systems' price hikes for European customers.
Direct from Adobe before tax, an upgrade to the company's new Creative Suite 3 software bundle will cost Europeans anywhere from 89 per cent more (Germany, Premium version) to a brutal 106 per cent more (UK, Standard version).
Once taxes are applied, the Brit user's eyes will be left watering as he or she gets handed a bill for 130 per cent more than an American.
One sturdy Swiss netizenne, however, isn't taking this lying down. Danielle Libine has launched an online petition, which had 7,430 signatures at the time of writing. She tells us she has now placed the matter in the hands of the European Union and is awaiting a response.
Of course, Europeans are used to US companies charging higher in Europe than they do in America. There is even justification, perhaps, for a small price increase where different languages must be supported. However, UK customers who would mostly be happy to use unmodified American-English software often get charged even more than their Continental counterparts. Brits not uncommonly have to pay a dollar price with a pound sign in front of it. With Monopoly-money greenbacks going for no more than fifty pence at the moment, that's an awfully big pillow to bite.
Some of this is due to higher sales tax in the UK, but a lot of it isn't. A damning analysis with full figures is available here.
Adobe is largely hiding under the duvet with the phone off the hook on this one, refusing to offer any comment other than the standard issue.
"The costs of doing business in European markets are significantly higher per unit of revenue than in the US," the company told El Reg.
"We have a long history of serving our customers in local markets the way they want to do business."
But it seems doubtful that this really is the way that Adobe's European customers want to do business. Thousands of tech-savvy creative types across the continent have signed the petition, and so can be assumed to be cheesed off with the company. It seems a safe bet that many a beret has been angrily hurled to the floor, many a gesticulating tirade been delivered in trendy cafes. The chin-beards are on the march; it surely can't be long until someone mentions the word "flashmob" (or even "keygen".)
It's always possible, if the protests gain enough momentum, that the EU's Neelie Kroes might turn aside briefly from her long-running battle with Microsoft and open up at least a small can of Brussels whip-ass on Adobe. ®