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Author Topic: Adobe CS2
Member # 9506

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The source of the controversy is right here.

It's the best and worst move by a software company that I've seen in a while. Adobe's released its CS2 software online, on its website, to download for free. It's provided serial numbers and everything. This software line is several years old, but it's still got more brand power to it than GIMP or Paint.NET, whether or not it deserves the popularity.

But then representatives come forward and say that they're not giving out their software for free, that it's for paying customers only, and that we'd better not dare think of ourselves as deserving of their attention until we cough up some money. More or less. This right after they've posted software for free, on their website.

Well, they started to take it down, and yet it still works for a lot of people. They've also apparently deleted message boards where they've stated clarification for the release of CS2, so there's some degree of confusion about the entire thing.

I've got it downloading as I type this--still several hours to go, but I thought of this as too good of an opportunity to pass by. What are your thoughts on this? I think Adobe is shooting themselves in the foot if they withdraw their support for this "free download" and insist that it was a mistake. It's probably the best mistake that they could make, because it'll keep people from pirating their stuff and turning to free alternatives.

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Member # 9712

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It'll keep people from pirating their stuff... because they're just going to give it away? Please elaborate on this business model.

Edited to reduce sarcasm. Sorry, it's late.

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Member # 9506

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What I mean is that they can either attract people to their brand officially or unofficially... though your point makes sense. I just feel that as a matter of publicity, they stand to gain more from this release than they'd lose--it would give people who don't pirate software (such as myself) access to their product and make me more likely to look to them for products in the future.

Maybe that's all just a hypothetical projection of my own experiences. But I think they could vastly expand their customer base by making their stuff a little more accessible, even their obsolete stuff.

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Member # 8299

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I'd say you are right, that this a great way to get the market going...for those of us who can't afford the $2,600 for CS6, this is a great way to get as many people as possible using their products, getting used to them and their docs in their formats, and some are going to need to step to up to the pro level eventually, and now they will likely pick the same suite of programs they learned to love for free.
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Member # 2422

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So, I have downloaded this software from the link. I can't decide if it is unethical or not to use it. They say I am not supposed to, but they let me do it anyway from their own servers.

This sure seems like a "We are letting you have this for free, but we are "supposed" to say it is only for existing CS2 owners."

Am I supposed to honestly believe that they can't help their existing CS2 owners without giving it all away for free to everyone else?

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Chris Bridges
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What happened, as far as I can tell, is this:

For whatever reason, they didn't want to maintain the servers/services used for authenticating the older CS2 software and they shut them down. But people who owned this software complained once they tried to install it -- either because they just bought a copy or because they were moving to a new machine -- so Adobe responded by putting copies with open serial numbers where these people could download them. The idea was that if you owned a legal copy but couldn't install it, you could use these instead.

I do not know why this page was made available to anyone with an Adobe account (which is free), although it's possible setting it up to check for valid owners might have been as resources heavy as just leaving the old authentication up in the first place. Possibly whoever did it didn't think this would happen. But the link got out, and news services began promoting it as an amazing and bold move by Adobe, even though there was no word from Adobe about it.

Adobe shut down the page, but not the links, and people have saved them so downloads continued. When they finally posted something about it in their forums, they said these were for paying customers only but they didn't go as far as to say anyone who downloaded them was in the wrong. And if they're for people who legally acquired them from Adobe, well, they were downloaded from Adobe with valid serial numbers...

My best guess is that someone there screwed up big time and they're hoping it will go away. I'd have no problem using any of these programs myself, but I wouldn't install them in a corporate environment because a software audit might not consider them valid. I also think Adobe should have owned it and turned it into one hell of a way to bring pirates back into the fold.

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