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Adobe’s ‘Free Photoshop CS2 Release’ = Epic Fail!

Recently Adobe made Creative Suite 2 available to download, complete with serial number but without requiring activation. Included were applications Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Elements, Premier Pro, Illustrator, Acrobat Pro and GoLive – available individually or as part of the CS2 bundle. Shortly thereafter the news broke that Adobe was giving away their 10-year-old software for free! It seemed like a late Christmas present.

Well apparently it isn’t. Adobe released an official statement to say:

You have heard wrong! Adobe is absolutely not providing free copies of CS2!

What is true is that Adobe is terminating the activation servers for CS2 and that for existing licensed users of CS2 who need to reinstall their software, copies of CS2 that don’t require activation but do require valid serial numbers are available. (Special serial numbers are provided on the page for each product download.)

So, you can download and install the software from adobes site and it will totally work, but if you don’t already hold a license for the software you are considered to be doing so illegally. By the way there is no warning on the download page that you might inadvertently become a software thief.

So, let me get this straight, Adobe is providing free downloads of CS2… but telling people not to take it? And, in this case, after the horse has bolted and many people have already downloaded it believing it was a Christmas freebie. In short Adobe made a complete and total EPIC FAIL and has come off as a bit of a Grinch.

Personally I think they missed an opportunity. Hardly anyone uses Adobe CS2 any more; it is essentially redundant with people in the creative industries using much more up-to-date versions. If Adobe gave away CS2 it would give an opportunity to people who are not already familiar with the software to try it and get their feet wet with an earlier, simpler version. It would seem generous and encourage brand loyalty. It would also persuade a lot of people to sign up to Adobe’s website. In short it would create new customers.

Just my two pennys worth. What do you think? Is Adobe deliberately encouraging piracy or are they just that dumb?

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39 replies on “Adobe’s ‘Free Photoshop CS2 Release’ = Epic Fail!”

I think you missed the part where you need a valid serial number in order to get the new non-activation serial number, so no one downloaded the software who didn’t already own it.

Considering the number of people using older versions of Photoshop, I don’t think it would be in Adobe’s best interest to give away free software.  All their products have 30 day free trials, which should be enough to encourage brand loyalty – especially since they have no real competition.

Well I am basing this article on heresay since I didn’t download the software myself, however I believe they were handing out the ‘valid serial number’ alongside the sofware

Sorry, but you are in error. Originally, the only requirement for accessing the “free” CS2 was that you have an AdobeID account. There was no verification. Now, well after the debacle, Adobe has even removed THAT requirement. Anybody can download CS2. No security. No validation. No login. Nothing. There’s not even a disclaimer to suggest that this is for license holders only. In fact, it is only the Japanese language version of the CS2 Downloads page which has such a warning. It would seem that Adobe is only restricting Japanese users. Everybody else just sees links, serials, and an advertisment for the Creative Cloud. Nothing more.

The situation is looking more and more like CS2 is unofficially free.

While Adobe Principal Scientist Dov Isaacs has said “no” to the free notion, he doesn’t speak for the execs or marketing. Most people cosider his forum post as being unofficial. The one and only official statement is from the execs, labeled as Community Admin, and it is a vague statement at best. By and large, the rest of the Adobe staff is deathly silent on the topic. They will not comment on the “free” situation. At the same time, they won’t dissuade forun members from believing it to be free either. One forum member even reportedly chatted with their help desk and was told that it WAS okay, despite the fact that he did not own CS2. To make matters worse, Adobe staffer Terri Stone made it clear that Adobe will not come after downloaders. 

As of right now, there are only two pieces of evidence that CS2 is not free. 

1. The word of Dov Isaacs, but the more vague formal statement from the execs trumps that. 
2. The disclaimer one the Japanese page, which exists on no other version of the download page.

The evidence in favor of it being free:

1. Removal of the AdobeID requirement to download the files
2. Readily available links and serials
3. NO disclaimer on the downloads page, except if you’re a Japanese user
4. EULA that says “obtain” instead of “purchase”.
5. A forum staffer saying that Adobe won’t pursue downloaders
6. A help desk operator saying that it WAS okay to download CS2, regardless of ownership
7. Not one Adobe staffer correcting people on the (mis)belief that CS2 is now free
8. Not one DMCA request from Adobe to get other sites to yank the download links or serials

Sorry, but it does look free.

 That said, have you tried to download and install CS2?  Because that’s the only real proof that’s needed that the software is actually free

well, I tried to download it, but my mac is too new and can’t install it.  I can’t use programs that need a powerpc processor.  I have an intel processor.  But if I had an older Mac I think I would have been okay.  

 I think you can use Rosetta on an Intel Mac up to OS 10.4? Maybe 10.5, not sure. Rosetta should enable using CS2.

Now Adobe silently changed the rules on the download page – and thus failed even more epicly…

um, they’re giving away an ancient version of their flagship program for free… why you gotta whine about it? you think they should give away the most recent version for free? or do you just like to whine?

don’t worry, scrote. there are plenty of tards out there living really kick-ass lives. my first wife was tarded. she’s a pilot now. 

1. The real competition is OUT there .. free as well as cheap. Free: Gimp Cheap: Paint Shop Pro. Both are MORE user friendly. Try them .. you’ ll ove what they do

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