Adobe CLP Departmental License Information

Details of the Adobe Cumulative License Agreement (CLP) for University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Technical College System Departments.

In November, 2013, UW System signed an Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) with Adobe. It is in effect at least until November, 2022. Most Adobe software is licensed under that agreement, and only the software not licensed under the ETLA should still be purchased under the CLP.

Quick Guide for Adobe Catalog Terms

Adobe CLP Frequently Asked Questions


The UW's Adobe CLP contract lasts for two years. The current contract expires on May 11th, 2022, and will probably not be renewed.


Only University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Technical College System departments are eligible to purchase, using departmental funds, under the Adobe Cumulative Licensing Program (CLP). This contract does not allow sales to UW Hospital. All software must be purchased using school funds.


The Adobe CLP is a volume licensing program and not a site license. Every installation of the software must be licensed.


All licenses purchased under the CLP are perpetual; departments own the licenses at the purchased version (or at the version current at the expiration of any maintenance covering that license) forever.

Adobe retains ownership of all software licensed under this program. When you purchase software licenses under this program, you are purchasing a right to use the software. That right is limited by the End User License Agreement (EULA) you must agree to when you install the software.


When you install Adobe software licensed under the CLP, you will be required to sign in with an Adobe ID and register the software within 7 days of installation.

Types of Licenses:

Standard Licenses - Standard licenses give you the right to install the software in one operating system environment on one computer. For example, if you purchase four standard licenses you may install the program on four departmentally-owned machines. Dual-boot machines with the software installed on both operating systems would require two licenses (one for each installation).

Concurrent Licenses are not available under the CLP.

Upgrade Protection (Maintenance):

Upgrade Protection (or maintenance) provides the right to upgrade to new versions of the software released by Adobe during the contract term. One copy of maintenance must be purchased for each license you want to include under maintenance.

Maintenance is not mandatory under the CLP. If you do want it, it must be purchased on the same order on which the new license is purchased. The exception to that is during the first 3 months of a new University of Wisconsin/Wisconsin Technical College System CLP contract. During that time:

As of May, 2016, the price of 24 months of maintenance is approximately 40% of the price of a new license. Maintenance is always purchased for the remaining term of the current CLP contract; prices are prorated every 3 months.

Adobe does not allow the sale of maintenance during the last month of a CLP contract.


If you need physical installation media, buy it!

Please don't plan on downloading the software from Adobe unless you've fully mastered the idiosyncrasies of the Adobe Licensing Web Site. The money you spend on the media will more than pay for itself in time not spent attempting to download the software.

Some serial numbers (installation keys) distributed under the Adobe CLP will not work to unlock trial versions of the software.


Departments are responsible for ensuring they are properly licensed. The most common illegal use is installing the software without buying enough licenses. Adobe has the right to audit use of the software sold under this program at any University of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Technical College campus during and after the contract term. If a discrepancy of more than 5% is discovered during the course of an audit, departments will be required to immediately purchase all necessary licenses at full retail (commercial) price.

Inappropriate Use

End Users may not resell, rent, lease, sublicense or lend the software. Software purchased by departments under the Adobe CLP is only for installation on school-owned computers, with the exception of home use (below).

Home Use: 

End Users may use the products on a personally-owned or leased computer (such as a home computer or a laptop), if using the same products on a computer at work. Both computers must be the same platform (both Mac or both Win). The software may not be used on the home computer at the same time the software on the work computer is being used.

If an employee's employment ends, they must remove the software installed for Home Use from their home computer.


The support included with our Adobe CLP is minimal. Adobe Support for all apps is for installation help only, and runs out for each application 90 days after the first person from the UW contacts Adobe. According to Adobe, educational pricing precludes any other free support.

This is the general Adobe support page:

There are a few payment options -- you can buy per incident or a support plan to cover the application. Here is a link to their support site:

If you are an employee of UW-Madison you may also see if the Help Desk, 264-HELP (4357), supports the product.

Adobe Licensing Website (LWS):

Adobe maintains a website where you can, if you wish, view Adobe's records of your purchases:

Please note that it is not necessary for you to visit that website.

If you need additional help navigating the LWS, finding your order, or finding your password, please call Adobe customer service at 1-800-443-8158.

Quick Guide for Catalog Terms:

Serial Numbers (Installation Keys)
Installation keys are sent to the email address on your order within an hour after you place your order. Keys are only sent when media is purchased. If an individual purchases on behalf of someone else, it is their responsibility to forward the email appropriately. If you purchase only a license, you are expected to install the software using your previously-purchased media and key.

Physical Installation Media 
Media can only be purchased with a license. The same media can be used for installations on multiple computers as long as you have purchased enough licenses to license all the installations. Media ship from a distributor in Madison, so allow 3-5 working days for delivery. It is not stocked at the DoIT Tech Store and cannot be picked up there.

Maintenance is a per-license fee that offers the End User the right to upgrade their software to any versions that may be released during the term of the maintenance. It can be renewed during the first 3 months of a new CLP contract term.

New License 
The right to install and use the Software in one operating system environment on one computer. All licenses are perpetual licenses.

For questions about the program or about ordering, please email