Adobe Gives Away Software While It Denies Giving It Away

Adobe Creative Suite 2 was released in 2005, but despite what Adobe says, unfettered downloads of some of its most popular and expensive software is growing.

Adobe CS BoxHey, pal! Cumonov’r. You want a deal on some of Adobe’s most popular software? Heh? You knows—Creative Suite, Photoshop, Preview Pro, Illustrator, InDesign–for Windows and Mac. Hot stuff!

No, I didn’t mean, ya know, hot. This all legit, legal, and not crippled trial versions. The cost? Zero, nada, and zilch. That’s right! Adobe Systems is giving it away!

The catch? Well, there is the fact that all the software is from CS2 versions or thereabouts for programs such as Acrobat Pro, and Photoshop Elements. CS2 was released in 2005, and so you’re not getting the   latest cutting-edge tools.

All this is providing Adobe doesn’t change its mind and jerk back the Web page that lists the downloads along with matching serial numbers. According to Ars Technica and Practical Photoshop, over the weekend Adobe posted the page called “CS2 Downloads,” then took it down, and after a bit, has put it up again. Practical Photoshop cites a notice posted on the Adobe forum that claims the company is not giving away its products, according to Adobe scientist Dov Isaacs:

“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.)”

I particularly like Isaacs pointing out that the serial numbers–which are the only things needed to make the software work, legally or illegally–are also posted on the site. It’s like telling a burglar, “No. You absolutely may not break into my house, but, here, let me show the door I don’t have a lock on.”

Despite what Adobe says, unfettered downloads of some of its most popular—and expensive—software must be a siren’s song to computer users without the cash for CS6 versions of the programs and without a concern that the downloads are out of date.

In case Adobe takes down the page a second time, before you’ve had a chance to take a look, here’s a look at it.

CS2 Downloads

I heard the song of the siren and downloaded Adobe Premier Pro2.0, Adobe’s video editing leader of the pack. The 1gig program took more than an hour to download in the middle of the night, an indication that there’s an unusually large number of users sucking down software. It took me only a few minutes to install and to enter the 24-digit serial number. The program flicker to live without calling the cops. It won’t make anyone a Spielberg, but it’s a powerful program for editing the vacation videos.

And it’s free.



  1. Forrest Hopkins


    EDIT: Nevermind, found it :D

  2. Steve Krause

    Honestly…. not the best way to provide software to customers. Very odd in-fact and a tad lazy…

    • Ann Ashworth

      The software will not install on my windows 7 – I keep getting error message “corrupted file. check file integrity”

      • Brian Burgess

        Have you tried to re-download it and try again?

  3. jersonu

    How do You pass the Adobe Installer on Mac OS X Lion? It gives an error message: “..can’t open adobe Installer because PowerPC applications are no longer supported”

    • jersonu


      • Brian Burgess

        Ouch, looks like it might actually be because OS X Lion won’t support older software. I know there were a lot of complaints that Lion wouldn’t support Rosetta software, and some other stuff… Quicken maybe?

        Anyway, you should be able to run a VM and install CS2 that way, but I haven’t tried it.

        • jersonu

          Thanks, that is a good idea. I actually searched in the Apple communities and they explain:
          “PowerPC applications are unsupported, so downgrade to Snow Leopard or install it in a partition..”

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