Web Culture

Is Adobe Actively Encouraging International Software Piracy? [Opinion]

Erez Zukerman 06-01-2012

Is Adobe Actively Encouraging International Software Piracy? [Opinion] adobe


A few weeks ago, I decided to do something wild and crazy:

Buy Adobe Creative Suite 5.5. I already own a legal boxed copy of Adobe Creative Suite 3, so how hard can an upgrade be, right? I went over to the Adobe website, to be greeted with this encouraging message:


Is Adobe Actively Encouraging International Software Piracy? [Opinion] adobe3

That’s great, right? 20% savings! After telling Adobe I own a copy of CS3 Design Standard, I got an upgrade price of $699 for Design Standard (not Premium, mind you). That’s a lot of money, but I decided to bite the bullet and buy it anyway. That was when surprising things started happening.


What I Would Expect (Sane Pricing Policies)

Is Adobe Actively Encouraging International Software Piracy? [Opinion] adobe5

Above you can see a screenshot of Steam, one of the main ways to buy downloadable PC software today. Sure, it’s games, but my point is that you see a price, you click, you pay, and you get your download. Pretty simple, right? The Android Market makes this even simpler by converting prices to your own currency. I could find numerous other examples of organizations selling software like this, because this is how software is being sold these days.

So, since I am purchasing a downloadable product, I was expecting to pay for it, get a link and a key, and be on my merry way. Sure, $699 is a lot of money, but that’s the price so I guess I just need to cough up the money.

What Actually Happened

Just before checkout, the promised 20% discount was applied, and the price dropped to $559.20:


Is Adobe Actively Encouraging International Software Piracy? [Opinion] checkout

And then… I clicked Checkout.

Is Adobe Actively Encouraging International Software Piracy? [Opinion] checkout5

What’s that? An error? That’s odd – I didn’t even get a chance to enter my credit card information. Perplexed, I called the number shown above and explain I was trying to buy Adobe CS 5.5 with a valid international credit card.


Adobe’s rep told me that she’s very sorry, but I simply cannot buy CS 5.5 via the website. I must have an American billing address, or else they can’t sell me the product. Country-based limitations are nothing new; Amazon’s Android App Store only works within the US, for example. Hulu and Netflix are also geographically limited. But what’s different in this case is that the product I am trying to buy is available for sale in my territory, by the very same company, Adobe, who keeps offices in Israel (my territory). They just won’t sell it to me via the website.

If this was where the story ended, it would just be an example of corporate inefficiency. Can’t buy it on the site, big deal. But wait, the plot thickens.

Once I realized my only option would be buying the application locally, I had to work with Adobe’s network of local distributors (Adobe would not sell directly to me, a lowly customer). I had to email each of them separately and wait for quotes. After a few days, the quotes started flowing in, and were around the $800 mark for an upgrade from CS 3 to CS 5.5. Adobe sells a separate Middle Eastern version, but I asked specifically for the English version, so the price difference is not because of any difference in the product.

One distributor went so far as to tell me that I would have to wait two weeks after paying, because Adobe does not allow them to hold upgrade boxes in stock. And this is for a product that is available for download from Adobe’s official site, and which I didn’t even want boxed in the first place.


So an Adobe product that costs $559 in the US costs around $800 in Israel, a country where the standard of living and the GDP are by no means higher than in the US. And you can’t download it, but must buy it boxed. And you might have to wait two weeks before you get it.

Interesting, right?

An International Situation

Is Adobe Actively Encouraging International Software Piracy? [Opinion] Intl

At first, I thought Adobe must have something against Israel (it happens). But then I started searching online, and started finding articles like this one (shown above, PC Pro), this one (from The Next Web), as well as forum posts discussing Adobe’s pricing policy. Take Adobe CS 5.5 Master Collection, for example. This item costs $2,599 in the US. If you buy it in the UK, you would have to shell out £2,268, not including the 20% VAT. That is $3,499 pre-VAT – a $900 difference!

It turns out Adobe has an intentionally discriminatory international pricing policy. If you are outside of the US, you will often have to pay much more for the same exact bits and bytes a US customer gets.

PC Pro put it best when they said: This isn’t just a question of best business practice. Adobe’s whole cross-platform design vision is built on the principle of a universal and level playing field. The same can’t be said of its pricing policy and it needs to be changed.

Adobe’s Official Response

Is Adobe Actively Encouraging International Software Piracy? [Opinion] adobe4

I wrote Adobe’s Senior Channel Manager Israel, Mr. Avi Zrihan, to ask what gives. It took him three working days to reply, but he finally got back to me with the following boilerplate:

We establish our prices for Creative Suite products on a regional basis using a consistent methodology. Local market conditions significantly influence our pricing.

Local market conditions include: the costs of doing business in different regions and customer research that assesses the value of the product in the local market.

The cost of doing business in EMEA is significantly higher per unit of revenue earned than it is in North America. For example, in a large homogenous market like North America, we can achieve certain economies of scale that affect pricing. Outside the US, by contrast, we must support diverse regional market situations with 2 major currencies, and 15 major languages—which results in higher costs.

That’s very interesting. How come other companies (Microsoft, Corel, and others) can support the same “diverse regional market” without hiking up the price by a crazy margin?

Another part of corporate newspeak that I like: “The cost […] is significantly higher per unit of revenue earned”. In other words, not as many people buy Adobe’s products in this market. Gee, I wonder why!

Bottom Line

Is Adobe Actively Encouraging International Software Piracy? [Opinion] rapod

Adobe’s pricing policies seem to be as creative as their products. Their inventive regional pricing and bizarre practices leave users with two choices: Pay a crazy markup for the same product, or be a “pirate”. Or am I reading this the wrong way? Let me know below.

Related topics: Opinion & Polls, Software Piracy.

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  1. Meh
    June 15, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I'll be honest just because I own an PS upgrade doesn't mean I tip my hat in their favor, in fact we can just forget the pricing and weigh the product. What exactly does it let one do besides what we all know already?

    Designed for photo editing and touch up with some weird and quirky design that somehow fits into every niche of image manipulation, I would say my overall work in PS covers about 2% of its bloat even then I am left with little choice as far as products go. There simply is no alternative, I use it mostly for textures for use in Max and ZBrush. Even then I feel its an overrated piece of garbage.

    Anyone considering buying Extended I urge you to hold off until you look at it's specs, its really not worth it on top of that it makes heavy use of cloud and that's the last thing an artist needs. Their work owned by some corporate suits.

  2. Rdsns
    May 5, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Yup. Out in the the Rest of the World we get it in the neck from Adobe.

    Superb products. Disgusting pricing policies.

    Such unethical behaviour certainly doesn't discourage unethical behaviour in response.

  3. Ikem
    April 28, 2012 at 5:45 am

    I think it has something to do with some US laws.

    Similar like the Cuba embargo, but not so harsh.

  4. Knock Knock Jokes
    March 16, 2012 at 2:50 am

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  5. Adobe user
    January 10, 2012 at 8:34 pm


    I agree with you 100%. I just got served here in Canada for copyright infringement by Adobe for supposedly selling copies of CS5 to students who can't even afford the student rate for CS5 ($600+). They are taking me to federal court in the next few months to try to punish me for selling copies to people who cannot afford the high expense of CS5 for their schooling. In the end, these same students will use Adobe products and, guess what, will pay for them after they land jobs in the fields in which they are now studying. In a way, Adobe actually should be thanking me for the business, I found them a whole new generation of customers.

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      Woah. Wait, I gotta ask (it's okay if you can't answer): Did you buy those copies in the US and then sell them in Canada? Or were they... not exactly bought in the first place? (You can email me, [my first name]@makeuseof.com)

      • Adobe user
        January 11, 2012 at 1:44 am

        It's totally cool, no worries. Naw, I didn't buy them, I got them from torrents and then sold them. It's a civil suit though, not criminal, it's a total sham, they want me to pay a certain fine to the companies and the law firm, it's totally bogus though.

        • James Bruce
          January 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

          I wish you all the luck with your case. Perhaps you could post back to us once it's over?

        • Adobe user
          January 11, 2012 at 6:49 pm

          Sure, if I'm allowed to talk about it after it's over, then I will. Since it's a civil case, there may be restrictions on it, I have no idea. I'll be more than willing to tell the story, I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of it at all. In fact, I contacted some journalists about this, just to tell them what happened and if they'd be interested in covering this if it ever did go to trial.

        • Erez Zukerman
          January 11, 2012 at 10:34 am

          Wow. Would love to hear how it all turns out! Good luck...

        • Adobe user
          January 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm


          I only brought this up to point out that people have gone the route of piracy because Adobe has just outpriced a lot of users now. I don't endorse piracy but I get why people do it. I don't lecture people on it, if they want it, then it's their own moral decision to not buy it retail. Do I think it's right? That's up to an individual, not for me to decide. I certainly don't force someone to make a decision, only that I'll help them if they need it.

          In the end, Adobe is responsible for their own lax in securing their products. There's software called iDefrag, made for Mac. It's pretty much impossible to crack or hack it, it's so secure that even the best crackers can't get it to run. And the company who makes it coded it in such a way that even if you manage to crack it, they'll find out about it as it will send back a transmission to them without you even knowing about it (complete with your IP address). It's only $30 to buy, so people just pay for it, it's not worth the hassle at all. A great piece of software from a company (Coriolis) that only makes three software titles... they've managed to stump even the best crackers.

          My point is: Adobe could lock down their software like Coriolis does with their code or even provide a dongle with each retail set but they refuse to do it. Why? Because of the network effect. Copies of software, bought through retail or pirated, establishes market dominance which, in turn, leads to higher profits and more future sales. Even people who use pirated software end up buying books to use with it, more sales are generated. They get used to the products and then eventually start buying it in the future.

          Do I feel bad for Adobe? Absolutely not, they made over a billion in revenue in 2011. Their layoffs of 750 people in 2011 also had nothing to do with them losing money due to piracy as well, it was in positions that were phased out due to the shuffling in their new technology and strategies. Adobe is making more money than ever but their stance in piracy is such that they could combat it if they really want to but when it makes them money, what's the point?

        • Adobe user
          January 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm

          Sorry, I should clarify something. I'm not talking about this to rub it into anyone who legitimately bought CS5 or another other Adobe software or to brag about it either. I'm just giving you a side of the story regarding piracy, that's all. Believe it or not, I actually buy lots of different software, I do support products for my mac because it's the right thing to do. Maybe it's a contradiction but as much as I don't endorse piracy for Adobe, I still help people out with it. You don't have to have any sympathy for the people I help out (or for me even), just think though these are decent people who just are mortgaged to the hilt with bills, loans and debts and need a break. I'm not coming out to say it's a victimless crime but these aren't people who'll be don't devious things with software, they'll be learning, developing and creating things (hopefully) for the good of everyone else. And, yes, I have no doubt they'll be Adobe users for life and will become legitimate customers once they can afford it. Not that it matters either but, no, I'm not into drugs/drinking/gambling either. I have a fulltime job, no criminal record and I'm not a devious person by nature either. I don't do this for money because it actually doesn't really pay at all when it comes right down to it. I really just do it to help people out. I'm not expecting anyone to find this acceptable, just know that I'm not someone who's too lazy to work or am riding around in a pimped out BMW while ripping people off.

        • Tina
          January 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm

          So you illegally downloaded a copy of software you never purchased using Torrents. Then you sold illegal copies of that software to poor students, essentially ripping them off.

          Why do I not have sympathy?

        • Erez Zukerman
          January 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm

          Wish I'd have thought to say that.

        • Adobe user
          January 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm

          I'm not asking for sympathy at all. But I didn't rip anyone off either. They couldn't afford to pay even the student rates for CS5, so I provided them with working copies, I haven't heard otherwise about any issues whatsoever from them. I suppose I can justify it by saying that if they're going to get a copy of any software that they can't afford to pay retail for, at least go to a reliable source who won't rip you off or give you a virus. I feel absolutely no shame though, I helped someone out who needed it and from the last time I looked, Adobe was posting a record in terms of revenue. It's the network effect, read up on it, Adobe actually still profits from copies that aren't purchased through them or retailers.

        • Mike
          January 12, 2012 at 12:07 am

          Sorry, but that's like the worst excuse I ever heard of...
          You don't steal a Porsche or Ferrari in Europe/US and sell them to the third world because they can't afford it, right?

          Do you actually know about the legal status of this? 

          In the US for example knowingly selling illegal copies is considered a civil and criminal act. 
          Civil punishments range from $500 to $30.000 statutory damages and up to $150.000 for the willful act. On the criminal side it can be considered a felony with 1-5 years. Some states even rule it as organized crime...In Europe it's up to $5.000 per sold copy and/or 6 months up to several years imprisonment.

        • Adobe user
          January 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm


          It's actually not an excuse or defense at all, it's the truth as it's been presented to me. I don't expect anyone to either understand it, agree with it or think it's right. I'm being honest about my situation and I'm totally at peace with it.

          In terms of your analogy, this situation you provided isn't close to what's going on with the one I'm in. If it was the same as this case, then Ferraris or Porsches would be in an unprotected lot (ie a torrent website), the keys would be in the ignition and the owners (software developers) wouldn't have either installed alarms or other protection to protect against theft (ie dongle cable or DRM locks). As well, the people hired to oversee the unprotected lot (the ISP) would turn their backs on it and not do a thing to stop a theft. The manufacturers would actually allow thefts to happen, not caring if one or 1000 cars went missing. In fact, they'd encourage thefts by providing multiple sets of keys to circulate and not try to change the locks. Of course, the police in this case wouldn't care about the thefts, they have real things to investigate (ie serious crimes), so the owners of the cars start to cry foul, knowing they can now try to recoup their so-called losses through a repo man (let's call them lawyers in this case). The repo men don't go after the people who actually are in possession of the cars, rather, they go after the person who told them about the lot. Possession is supposedly 9/10's of the law, but in this case, they'd rather go the easy route of getting the person who knew where the lot was and told everyone else. Of course, the repo men have a great plan to try to get 10-50 times as much for the actual retail of the car from the person who told everyone about the cars. They go back to the people who oversaw the lot, not the actual owners of the lot though, and get them to find out who told everyone about the cars. In the end, the repo men and the owners of the cars gets much more money than what the cars were worth at the car dealership, the person who told everyone about the cars has the possibility of more time than what a pedophile. money launderer, people convicted of manslaughter, insider trading and aggressive or sexual assault, all in the name of the owners of the car making more money than what the claimed they lost.

          How ridiculous does this sound?

          Not sure about American or European law, it's doesn't apply to Canada obviously. Not my issue either, I don't really care what they think they're going to get either, Canadian law is what it is.

          In the eyes of the law, maybe Robin Hood was considered a thief. In the eyes of society though, he was justified in what he did. Am I a hero? Absolutely not. But it doesn't matter anyway, I'm not looking for an excuse or public opinion, I did what I did and that's my own choice.

        • Mike
          January 13, 2012 at 12:04 am

          I'm afraid that's not how things work... 

          You illegally reproduced something that is protected both legal (copyright) and technical (license key, online activation) for a non-personal use and made profit from it.

          That's as much of an infringement to the Canadian Copyright Act as it is in any other country.

          As a side note I'm pretty sure the CRTC prohibits a service provider from even throttling downloads via torrent let alone monitor or block it.

          But who knows, maybe you just get a cease and desist order... personally, I can't reason with it.

        • Adobe user
          January 13, 2012 at 6:08 am

          Yes Mike, you're the legal and internet expert. Unless you're Canadian, no, you don't know how things work.

          Cease and desist order? Dude, it's being filed with the federal courts, they're going for the throat, not a slap on the wrist. Am I worried? What are they going to do, fine me such an exorbitant amount that I could never possibly pay it back? Throw me in jail? You're talking Canadian law here. I used to work in law, it's passive and lenient at the best of times. 

          Anyway, I'm done talking about it. I originally wanted to make the point about piracy about Adobe and how people of all backgrounds have resorted to it (and, of course, I've seen it firsthand).

          Here's a stat though before I go regarding Photoshop: 60% of Photoshop users are using a pirated version of it. I'm guessing it's at least as high for Lightroom as well (since people seem to dig it as well). Yet Adobe posted over 1 billion in sales for 2011. Tell me their suffering from piracy and I've got some prime land way up in Northern Canada for you to buy. 

        • Anonymous
          June 8, 2015 at 7:32 pm

          Soo.... out of sheer morbid curiosity, what happened to the guy above?

  6. Jack van Lelyveld
    January 9, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Isn't it just irritating to deal with arrogant companies giving everybody they deal with, the Finger while vying for your money. I believe they do drive their customers into the loving, caring arms of the Pirate World, who it seems exhibit much better customer service and so forth. Sorry. I just can't stomache arrogant business practice.

  7. Anonymous
    January 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Steve Jobs died before he bought Adobe. What a shame.

  8. ferdinandfrancis93
    January 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    this act of adobe is frustrating and ridiculous . foreign users should have the excess to the product range .

  9. Jason
    January 7, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Try living in Australia it's even worse. What I buy from iTunes is more expensive for the same product and same delivery medium compared to USA. How can a song in USA cost $1 but that same song in Australia cost $1.50?

  10. Richard Servello
    January 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Just so you know, Steam in Australia charges almost twice as much as the US.

    • Jack
      April 21, 2012 at 5:23 am

      Same as everything in this country.

  11. Robert
    January 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Maybe you could have someone in the US purchase it and upload it to you as a 'gift'.

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Yeah, that's one way to solve it. Too bad they force you to go around them just to use their software legally.

  12. j arthur rank
    January 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I know that Aptana doesn't do everything that Creative Suite can do, but the more that people get familiar with using it and sharing in its development, the less we all will have to rely on Adobe.

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Aptana? The IDE, you mean?

  13. Gogolart
    January 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    You'd think piracy would be more difficult to achieve than legal purchasing however it's completely backwards most of the time. 

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Exactly!!! So frustrating!

  14. Mytimbuk2
    January 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I could understand software for home-use costing around $59 to say $129, but these prices are absurd to say the least.  They would probably make more profit by selling at a much lower price because more of us would buy.

  15. nataliekean09
    January 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    erez you have explained your experience so well and i believe that adobe is promoting piracy , for international users company should come up with a plan .

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Thanks Natalie, and I agree. It's just crazy IMHO.

  16. Wegweg
    January 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Adobe, get your sh*t together!

  17. p riehl
    January 7, 2012 at 10:18 am

    From http://piracy.ssrc.org/adobe-logic/:

    "So piracy helps maintain Adobe’s tools as standards, and at the same
    time shifts a lot of the training costs associated with its tools into
    the informal sector–at home, in school, or in small businesses.  Because
    Adobe charges $1300-2600 for its Creative Suite tools, it can
    anticipate a lot of piracy in these contexts–and close to universal
    piracy in developing countries where price/income ratios become absurd.
    Such a strategy seems to make good business sense for Adobe.  It made $3.8 billion in 2010, up 29% from 2009.

    "I thought this was probably the whole story.  Then I got involved in
    the production of the MPEE report.  Like a lot of publishing projects,
    the production of MPEE was a small scale collaboration involving free
    lance help for book layout, maps, and proofing. Once the text is laid
    out in publishing software (for us, InDesign), all of these stages are
    most easily done in InDesign.  Here, we learned a painful lesson.  Adobe
    has released 3 versions of InDesign in 4 years.  All of them break
    compatibility with the previous versions.  So when our layout designer
    (CS3) handed the doc off to our map illustrator (CS4), the document
    saved up and was no longer readable by the former.  We bought CS5 in our
    Columbia U office (via a not-ridiculously-priced academic license at
    $300), but the original layout had used Mac fonts, which the PC rendered
    differently.  Ultimately, everyone had to upgrade to the trial version
    of  CS5, and then the clock was ticking and we had 1 month to finish.
     When you visit the Adobe site for help after going crazy with these
    issues, you get advice like this:

    "I don’t see keeping 3-5 versions of InDesign as being too
    much to expect of a freelancer. Also probably a good idea to keep
    Illustrator CS3 at minimum for the compatibility. I think it just comes
    with the territory."

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      That is SO Adobe.

      • Miggs
        January 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm

        It's true. A few moths ago there were rumors on the internet that an Adobe official have said piracy keeps their lower-priced competition away. 

        That's also the case with Windows. If there were no piracy, many users ( especially young ones ) out there would switch to free alternatives.
        Microsoft even gives free Windows, Visual Studio and many other products for free to academies for students. This way, future programmers and users would have learned to use them and write it in their CVs.  

        • Erez Zukerman
          January 8, 2012 at 2:57 pm

          Yeah, but the difference is that Microsoft actually has sane pricing outside the US. Windows in Israel is cheaper than Windows in the US, which makes sense.

        • Mike
          January 11, 2012 at 7:11 am

          Both is understandable, the high pricing for Adobe products (because they are industry standards) and their blindness in terms of piracy.
          people illegally download a $100 Windows licence [which they use daily]
          people illegally download a $50 game they are going to play for hours
          people illegally download a $15 tool which they were not able to find a free alternative

          Even if Adobe products were priced at $300 for Photoshop and $700 for a Creative Suit there is no indication that home users are going to spend money on it.

          I used to work with Paint Shop Pro before I tried Photoshop and while PSP offered everything I need I never went back ~ simply because Adobe was more streamlined and intuitive working with. The same goes for Gimp, Pixelmator and whatever else is considered an alternative.

          My issue is not with the [high] Adobe pricing itself ~ I am willing to pay $700 for a graphics tool which I find superior to all alternatives. My issue is with the fact that my legal version will cost ~$350 more than for someone in the US.

  18. James Bruce
    January 7, 2012 at 8:59 am

    In all fairness, we have 20% VAT on top of any purchases in the UK, so everything is more expensive here. 

    • garrido
      January 7, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Yes, but the price difference mentioned in the article for the UK are all _before VAT_. It's US$900 more expensive + VAT.

      • James Bruce
        January 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        Good catch. That really is outrageous. Boycott!

  19. Norker
    January 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

    to hell with adobe and their fraked up pricing.  if you need to be legal about it, there are similarly capable but less expensive alternatives to most of adobe's suite out there.

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      True! I didn't want the article to favor any one company, but I personally love Corel products. So much saner.

  20. Vitaly Gusarov
    January 7, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Absolutely the same here in Russia.
    With only one exception - local version IS NOT AVAILABLE!
    The price for Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium English version from the official ADOBE.RU store is USD400 higher then in States.
    While local incomes are much lower then in States...
    Torrents forever.

  21. David Martínez
    January 7, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Screw Adobe. No one needs to go through all of this bullshit. Their products are all available via torrent and DD sites. They make us go through that route. So, yeah, screw Adobe, and screw them hard. Maybe they'll learn.

  22. Suyash Dwivedi
    January 7, 2012 at 5:55 am

    I think u should have got ur upgrade in the first place from their website only but that didnt happened and a whole lot of faults came out  in their product selling system looks loke a big design flaw in their system

  23. Kaushik
    January 7, 2012 at 5:12 am

    This wants me to download CS5.5 from torrent, just to show Adobe to finger. Infuriating.

  24. Ailioiu
    January 7, 2012 at 5:05 am

    this is nothing new. if you check any price of software, it equipment, etc, you will see that one item that is 100 usd on usa is listed in europe at 100 eur (best scenario) or 100 gbp (worst). where's this globalization that i keep hearing about?

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Equipment, yes. But software?

  25. Mike
    January 7, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Adobe pricing has always been a b****...

    For example in the Adobe US store the download version of Photoshop costs the same as the box. In the local Adobe store the download version costs more than the box version (~€20 ~ $25.45)

    In the US Adobe Store Photoshop Full (eng) costs $699.00
    In my local store Photoshop Full (eng) costs €826.80 which is ~ $1051.94

  26. Spooky Burrito
    January 7, 2012 at 4:50 am

    This is part of why I started using GIMP. It's true there's some things you can't do in GIMP that you can do with photoshop, but they are quite few.

    • Ikem
      April 28, 2012 at 6:02 am

      Maybe darktable[1] is even better then Gimp.

      [1] http://www.darktable.org/

      • Erez Zukerman
        April 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm

        Interesting app! too bad it doisn't run on Windows. :(

  27. Gábor Fábián
    January 7, 2012 at 2:38 am

    I have my Adobe licenses from ThePirateBay webshop. Really fast and easy to use it. Sorry Adobe, you won't get my money!

    • James Bruce
      January 7, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Always such a good selection in stock!

  28. Alison M Wheeler
    January 7, 2012 at 12:56 am

    "two major currencies"? So not like accepting US$ and CAN$ in North America then :-O

    I once managed to get a free upgrade from them (UK) by reading their own T&Cs to them, but yes you're right about their pricing. An option was to use the 'trial' option to get the software and then argue about the price for licenses.

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 7, 2012 at 7:26 pm

      Wait, that sounds like a really interesting story. How'd you get the free upgrade?

      • Mike
        January 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm

        It mostly depends on where and when you bought the products.

        Adobe has a "Technology Guarantee Program". In general both volume licensing (CLP, TLP) and EDU purchases are eligible for a free upgrade if the purchase was made within a specific time frame before a new release.

        I am not sure about single (box) licenses but they would definitely have to be bought from an official Adobe Partner [who also offers volume licensing etc.]

  29. Jon
    January 7, 2012 at 12:07 am

    This constantly plagued my startup when we were operating in Israel. We just used our US company credit cards to buy the product. Found it ridiculous.

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      With other vendors too, or mainly Adobe?

  30. Dave J. (Scoop0901)
    January 7, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I purchased Adobe CS5 Premium Design from Adobe. Two weeks later they release CS5.5. Do they give a free update? Nope. They wanted $300 or $400 for the in-version "upgrade."

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      !!! How can a company run like this and not expect its users to hate it?

  31. That Guy
    January 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    In this case, piracy could look even favorable to many people. This is absolutely ridiculous and international customers are being discriminated against and I find these sorts of business practices disgusting. Really sorry that Adobe has hassled you so much Erez.

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you -- I appreciate the sentiment. What's frustrating is that I think Adobe _knows_ how people feel, and just doesn't care.

  32. Joel Lee
    January 6, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    I view this in the same light as DRM: while there are a few notable exceptions (like Steam, which you mentioned), companies make it so difficult to actually buy and enjoy their products and services.

    Customers who pay are punished with exorbitant prices, crappy customer service, and terrible company policies. Pirates get it all for free at their own convenience with fewer hassles.

    It's hard NOT to sympathize with the piracy movement right now.