Yes, it's not quite the title that you'd expect is it? However, read on, and let me know what you think. I take photographs, and I like playing around with them, and Adobe Photoshop is about the best product that's on the market. It's also hideously, insanely expensive. Even on Amazon it's over £600. You can buy computers for less and still have change to buy a good printer. However, they do various offers - if you're a student or teacher you can get it for a much more acceptable price, and there's also an upgrade version if you have an older version.
So, this was my cunning plan. A couple of years ago I bought a copy of PhotoShop CS3 - one version down from the current version at the time. I went to Amazon and got it through one of their resellers. It cos £354. Still not cheap, but just about managable. I thought that, give it a couple of years when a new version comes out, I'll have the pennies to afford to upgrade.
That day arrived a couple of weeks ago, and I paid £200 for the upgrade, which was duely sent to me. Typed in the upgrade serial number, and it came back and said that I didn't have a version of PhotoShop on my system, despite the fact that I'd been using it for two years AND it had been happily going to the Adobe site and updating software patches and the like. Puzzled, I went onto their chat help system. The chap that I talked to said that the serial number wasn't acceptable. He didn't come right out and say it, but clearly he thought that I'd hacked it. I needed to provide them with proof of purchase, and they could then issue me with another number.
Finding a 'proof of purchase' from 2 years ago is not always easy - especially when they don't define what proof of purchase actually is. However, I managed to find the invoice note, with order ID, the whole thing. Ran off a copy and sent it to Adobe. They came back and told me that as I had bought the product from an Amazon reseller they wouldn't help. They only provided support if I'd bought it directly from Amazon. Then they closed the case.
So I emailed the reseller direct. No response. They're still a reseller, but no email from them. Amazon are not interested because I bought the product over 2 years ago. Now, admittedly the version CS3 worked fine. Updated fine. But - if I can't upgrade it, there's a problem with it isn't there? I'm not going to go so far as to state that the Amazon reseller WAS selling a hacked version, but when I ran the serial number through a search engine there was one result - in Russian, with the words Photoshop and cracked in English. Draw your own conclusions.
Now, I want to be honest - I don't approve of piracy. But, like most people, if I can get something a bit cheaper, I'm happy to do so. So I've got software which may well be illegal, an upgrade that is of no use to me and I've got to send back. Adobe has just lost out on £200 which they'll refund to me, and I can't use a product. I also don't trust Amazon as much as I did, and certainly not the reseller. How does this situation help anyone? I lose, Amazon lose, and Adobe certainly lose! I get that Adobe want to protect their product, but how was I doing anything wrong?
Now, we all know that it's pretty damn easy to crack Photoshop. A search for Photoshop CSx serial numbers results in links to keygen sites and serial numbers. Since the software is not only an upgrade, but also a full version, it would be easy for me to get an illegal copy running on my system. So, other than morals and ethics, why shouldn't I? In fact - it's quite clear that Adobe think I *have* got an illegal copy, and they don't care. So if they don't care, why should I? I saw a statistic recently that said that 60% of the copies of Photoshop that are being used are illegal. Given Adobe's attitude - I'm not surprised!