This morning the tech world and software-lovers everywhere went nuts over the incredible news: Adobe was giving out free copies of their Creative Suite! With serial numbers!
OK, granted, it was CS2 from 2005, and it won't work on Macs running Lion or Mountain Lion, and it's a bit tricky to install on Windows running anything later than XP, but still. We're talking a powerful suite of software that STILL retails over $1,000. Seriously, what?
The tech sites saw it a a brilliant marketing move, a way to acknowledge and combat the rampant piracy of their flagship products by offering up older-but-still-serviceable copies to registered users and thereby get them in the fold and sell them newer, shinier copies. What a ballsy move! How cool, how innovative!
Unfortunately, not true.
In a post to the Adobe forums, staffer Dov Isaacs posted this:
On behalf of Adobe Systems Incorporated …
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.) See <http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1114930>.
You are only legally entitled to download and install with that serial number if you have a valid license to the product!
Sorry, millions of people. The copies you spent all day hammering Adobe's servers to get aren't legally yours. They just have perfectly good serial numbers.
Me, I'm hoping Adobe sees this as a chance to say, what the hell, take 'em, use them with our blessing. How often do they sell CS2 anymore, anyway? Why not give 'em out, get people hooked on them, and upsell? Photoshop has been one of the most pirated programs for years, this could be a way to effectively grant amnesty to less-than-legal users and give them a taste of the legitimate life. Look, they can say. You can get updates without panicking! You can stop worrying about getting ratted on by the Geek Squad! You can walk away from GIMP forever! And by the way, the content-aware stuff in the new versions is freaking amazing…
Step up, Adobe, and photoshop this fiasco into a PR goldmine.