Let me start out with a big IMO. . .
I doubt GF is really interested in copyright infringement violations by users of theirs anymore so than Adobe is about use of their graphics products by the end user. Probably impossible to monitor with something like a TinEye type technique without “privacy issue” violations.
I see GF use of the cloud to their benefit much more so than for the benefit of the user. It can help keep any “way cool” techniques or technology in their software from being reverse engineered as easily as it otherwise might be. It makes it so they don’t have to worry about platform/OS compatibility to the same extent. Just think of all the Apple and Microsoft o/s’s out there in use today that they won’t have to apply their “secret sauce” to. It’s not difficult of have the old auto “check for updates” in a client based app, so it isn’t about user updates.
I know all the “cool kids” live in SF and the like and have all the high speed bandwith in the world, but there are a few of us that don’t, as in when I spend the summer at the lake. Non-cloud based app would be great for that time of the year on those rainy days.
It will also make it easier for GF to implement those “oh, you want fries with that” upgraded features on a pay-per-use basis with a cloud based solution.
Sorta like. . .
a) cut only (base option)
b) engrave single depth (base option)
c) engrave 5 levels ($0.05 per sq. in.)
d) engrave full variable depth ($0.08 per sq. in.)
e) colour to full grey scale ($0.12 per sq. in.)
f) well, you get the idea
Gotta be a long term revenue stream out there somewhere for GF to support the cloud cost after some value tucked into the original purchase cost passes some theoreticized time frontier.
Anyway, don’t put your tinfoil hat away just yet!