Adobe Photoshop CC Has Already Been Pirated In Just One Day

Adobe Photoshop CC Has Already Been Pirated In Just One Day

With all the recent discussion about Adobe's Creative Cloud model and the polarizing opinions surrounding it, one of the topics people have been mentioning is how it will stop the pirating of Photoshop and other Adobe products in the suite. Some felt that many people were just upset with the model because it could no longer be pirated by those who did not pay. 

Now that Photoshop Creative Cloud went live just the other day, we didn't know what to expect. However, news is out that just a day after the release, Photoshop CC has already been pirated and available. Although we do not condone piracy, we're shocked to see that it was that easy to circumvent the new model. The reason is how CC works, “An Internet connection is required the first time you install and license your desktop apps, but you can use the apps in offline mode with a valid software license. The desktop apps will attempt to validate your software licenses every 30 days.”

With the constant need for validation and continual updates through the cloud, many felt it would be difficult to pirate something that requires constant contact for it to stay updated. However, it took no less than a day for pirates to get around it.

We're not engineers by any means, however you would think that any means of pirating the software would have been cross checked so it would not be possible this time around. Considering Photoshop is one of the most pirated software in the world, is it by design that makes it so hard to stop? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

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Carlos Bruno's picture

Have you ever tried to say this to a photographer???

Andrew Sible's picture

It's a reality none of us like, but it is a reality. I've actually argued that theft of images isn't inherently damaging to a photographer's income because, aside from known client theft, anonymous theft doesn't really take money away from the photographer. If your watermark gets through or your photo recognized then you've even got some publicity!
If it's never found out, so what? Nobody will go buy from that photographer who stole the image RATHER than buy from you. If they do spend money toward the thief, chances are they probably wouldn't find your original copy anyway so again, you don't loose.

Everything can get stolen, to severely compromise your product because you might loose a few sales is not a great idea in my opinion. If you can do it without much degradation of product image (no HUGE watermarks for example), then it's worth it. Otherwise, like Michael said, it's part of it.

uniquename72's picture

I'm a photographer, writer, musician, and pirate. People pirate my stuff. I pirate other people's stuff. Who cares? I still put food on the table.

Carlos Bruno's picture

Yup ... WHO cares right?

Friday Wedding Photography's picture

The reason it's so polarizing is that it's a deceiving prompted debate. Creative Cloud IS A LIE! CC is just like Windows 8 or any program you've ever purchased that ever checks for updates via the internet. The "Checking for updates" makes it a part of the cloud? Really?

Sure Windows 8 and iTunes both give you cloud storage (a limited amount) the real "program" is just regular software you buy. Except, in this case, Windows is still a purchase where you own that version and updates. iTunes is still FREE. The difference? Adobe decided to take their product that you'd purchase and own with updates (or discounted upgrades to a newer version) and instead require a maintenance fee/renting of their software.

The shift from Owner to Renter sucks for many who don't like moving. I like owning for a longer time and upgrading every 2 versions (saving money). But now, they've required I keep paying or my software will stop working. That is, until I (and millions of others) find a replacement for Adobe.

Luckily, competition in the marketplace is great for consumers. So while I'm not holding my breath for Photoshop replacement, I've been watching what Apple's got going on with FCP and Sony Vegas and the others are doing. I can't wait until Adobe gets a taste of it's own poison.

Lastly, I'd be totally fine if they called it CS7 but changed it to a license only/rental. But to try to say it's a "Cloud" based software is just a LIE.


Alan Ralph's picture

Wait, you're mad because Creative Cloud *isn't* cloud-based software? That's funny, a lot of people I've seen railing against Creative Cloud in blog and forum comments were complaining because they thought it *was* cloud-based, therefore the performance would suck and they wouldn't have their work on their own computer.

Zach Sutton's picture

An industry that freaks the hell out whenever anyone steals they're images or asks them to work for free. The same industry then goes off and steal software that other creative minds have invested countless hours on without blinking an eye.

Does anyone else see the problem in this?

Antonio Carrasco's picture

There is a difference between earning a healthy profit and bleeding your customers dry. Adobe was already earning a healthy profit before they forced this on loyal customers

Zach Sutton's picture

So the second that you're making a healthy living in photography, I can go into your garage and steal your car?

Jaron Schneider's picture

No that's absurd. Go for the camera, since it's more relevant.

Julia Kuzmenko McKim's picture

Zach that kinda doesn't make sense, because photographers didn't start stealing Photoshop after Adobe started making healthy profits.

I agree with Antonio also because I had been trying to make my ends meet trying to follow my passion and be a full-time photographer for years. I know that there are hundreds of thousands photographers who are doing that now, and I know that in very many countries other than the US a couple hundred bucks a year is a lot of money.

It's sad that Adobe IS forcing this on their customers. I don't know if they are just being greedy (I haven't seen their P&L reports), but for some reason I feel like they have been doing just fine charging over $600 a pop.

Jeff Roberts's picture

You wouldn't steal a car...

209670938609387's picture

That commercial (PSA) is so misleading... what it should say is "YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS TO ANYTHING YOU #%&@*$% BUY ANYMORE! DO AS WE TELL YOU OR GO TO JAIL!

...Oh, and enjoy your DVD."

John's picture

If them charging money for a product they created is "bleeding people dry," then what would you consider someone stealing their livelihood and giving it away for free? Personally, I like, "Cutting out their still-beating-heart and sacrificing them, Aztec style."

Hugh Hamilton's picture

Them not charging on a level playing field is bleeding people dry. CS6 was over $4000 in Australia and less than half that in the US - for a product delivered over the internet.....

John's picture

That's not adobe's fault, that's global economies. I'm sorry, did you honestly say you were mad that they aren't "charging on a level playing field"????? REALLY?!?!!! You know what happens if I charge 1billion dollars for a head shot? No one bitches about me not charging on a "level playing field." They would simply laugh and take their money elsewhere. Your argument implies that you have the RIGHT to their products at what you have deemed a reasonable price. In that case, I think I have the right to all your gear, and I think a fair price is $3. Do you want a used McDonald's Gift card, or would you prefer that in quarters I found in my sofa?

John's picture

Adobe issued a statement on this. They had to charge more in Australia because not as many people were buying that, and they still had to maintain a certain profit margin. As more people bought it, they could afford to bring the price down, and it's now on par with the US

Antonio Carrasco's picture


You believed that? How have you not fallen down an elevator shaft or walked off a cliff yet??

John's picture

Because I actually have an understanding of businesses models which incorporate international expansion.

Why would they charge exorbitant prices in other market's unless they absolutely have to? Clearly there's a huge backlash, and all of the countries are gong to file injunctions just as the did in Australia. Plus, charging higher prices makes their product less available, and greatly increases the likelihood of it being pirated. If their going to make the same amount of money selling it to a few people at a high price, or more people at a lower price, wouldn't they prefer more people, to increase the popularity of their product? 75% of the consumer market is based outside of the US, so they aren't just blowing off 3/4 of their consumers! It all goes back to demand. They have to make a certain amount of money in order to stay in business in a country. The argument that it's a product delivered over the internet, so it should be the same price everywhere is mistaken in that adobe actually sets up shop all over the globe. They have massive corporate offices, hundreds of employees working on everything from product development to ad campaigns. They have to change how they market the product in different countries according to the state of the market in different countries. They HAVE to meet a certain profit margin in order to stay in business in that country. Basic rules of business state that if there is not a high demand for a product in a certain area, then the price of the product will be higher, in order to maintain their profit margin, and support all of their employees in that country. If demand increases, then they can afford to bring the prices down, which they did.

So yes, I do believe that. As for falling down an elevator shaft/ walking off a cliff, I always keep a substancial amount of bubble wrap with me at all times. I'd be more than happy to get you in touch with my supplier, if you're having that same problem, as your inherent lack of awareness suggests. :)

Antonio Carrasco's picture

Logic and common sense are lost upon you, so there is no point in trying to show you facts... Good day!

John's picture

Logic and common sense? You literally just laughed at me and insulted me, and failed to address the list of facts and logic i presented to you. So I think your a wee bit confused about who logic and facts are lost upon :)

Carlos Bruno's picture

They don't force you to do ANYTHING ... you buy of you want.
They CREATE the desire on you to have the latest version, but you don't need anything more than a PS7 to treat your images ... well ... "treat" ... I know a bunch of photographers that are using LR now ...

Ronnie Boehm's picture

If 20/month for software is "bleeding you dry" as a professional photographer, you are doing something wrong. That is like 5$ more than WoW, an old game people play for fun! And here there are people complaining about 20$, seriously? If you are a hobbyist, what makes you think professional software should be priced to your demands? "Wahhh I need a calculator but Matlab is like 12 000$, how dare they!?"

Antonio Carrasco's picture

It's $20 introductory price. come on man!!! You really think it will stay that price??

TonkaTuck's picture

Naive people believe all sorts of things. Just wait for the first price increase and enjoy watching these same people trying to justify how awesome it is to pay more per month for the exact same thing.

Samantha Citizen's picture

it's not like Adobe is paying those creative people anything extra than their paycheck for what they do. So extra sales only line the stock holders pockets.

Mike K.'s picture

Sorry, are you talking about Adobe employees or creative people who make a living using Adobe products?

I gladly pay my $50/mo so I can work, doing what I love.

Also, which stockholders are you talking about? The retirees who diligently saved their money in their 401(k)s who probably own mutual funds that hold Adobe stock? ;)

Antonio Carrasco's picture

Adobe is glad you're willing to pay that $50 a month. Like any good gangster, next year Adobe gonna be collecting $100 a month from you.

John's picture

You dont seem to understand, they don't just COLLECT the money from you, you have to pay it willingly. If they charge too much, then everyone will just pirate their software, and they'll go out of business. So it is in THEIR BEST INTEREST to keep the price low enough to maintain their current customer base, and therefore, their profit margin. Unless they want to commit financial suicide, they will keep it at this price. The fact that they went to this method with this pricing, shows there are enough customers that are satisfied with this model, most likely hard working, SUCCESSFUL PROFESSIONALS, who are too busy being good at their jobs to comment on forums like these. If you think they just went to this without any focus group testing or surveying their target market, then you're in denial.

Robertt1's picture

You seem to know perfectly what and how "they think".

It would have been in their best interest to keep the old licensing model along with the CC alternative, to avoid such a big scandal and bad publicity.

John's picture

It's common sense

CurrentCo's picture

Well, they are a business. regardless of who is getting the money, maximizing profit is sorta the point to running a business.

John's picture

Making money, and making people's lives easier. Thats what business is about, and thats what Adobe is doing, unless someone really wants to argue that photoshop HASN'T made our lives a billion times easier...

Steve Thurston's picture

Got any statistics to back that up? I cut open a vein and paid for my copy. People using my images without permission is a negative on my P&L. How many of these people who steal it are running successful photography businesses?

Boomcha's picture

You would be VERY VERY surprised how much of this goes on. Photographers are cheap too.

John's picture

YOU would also be VERY VERY surprised how many AREN'T stealing. Most REAL professionals are able to see the similarity between stealing this product, and stealing someone's images. I know a huge amount of real professionals that are absolutely appalled by how many so called "pros" in our industry don't see how morally wrong this is.
And saying that Adobe makes too much money off of us doesn't justify it either. Chase Jarvis makes a ton of money from his work, does that mean people should be able to steal it?

CurrentCo's picture

Excellent point! It is perhaps the lack of perspective in an American culture. Any one who says, "there is a certain point where a company gets big enough or makes enough profit to where it then becomes 'OK' " for that individual to pirate there product is drawing a shaky (if not unrealistic) line. We've seen the argument play out with music. People say it's OK for them to download music because the artist will make enough money off of shows, when in reality, making up your own rules doesn't change right & wrong.

John's picture

I agree with you, but I fail to see how this is purely an American cultural issue??? Piracy is abundant all over the world, especially in poorer countries. Plenty of posts here defending piracy are from other countries! The tendency towards piracy is completely global and your completely ignorant if you think you can blame this on American culture.

CurrentCo's picture

Whoah buddy no need to get offensive. Perhaps I should have explained why I said "American". I'm only commenting on American culture because it's the only one I've lived in, therefore the only one I have any sort of right to speak (write) on. Even though this is a "human" issue and not just an "american" issue, wouldn't it be more ignorant to comment on other cultures I have little to no experience in?

John's picture

You're right, I apologize. Quite a few people have been taking shots at me and Americans during this discussion and I assumed you were one of them. I completely agree that people should only be commenting on the cultures that they are familiar with, as you were doing. Proceed, good sir.

RUSS T.'s picture

i would assume that HACKERS would be the people that pirated the software.
The photographers, I assume, didn't hack the software.
But what do i know. :).

John's picture

SO. RIGHT. It blows my freaking mind that people dont understand this!!!

Rob Taylor-Case's picture

It's unlikely that Adobe will ever admit it, but given how easy it's always been to pirate, I think it's an unofficial business strategy; get the kids hooked into the Adobe ecosystem, then they'll end up using it professionally.

Of course, that makes more sense for something like Premiere or After Effects, where there's competition... Is there even an alternative to Photoshop? GIMP doesn't count.

There'll always be an element of the piracy contingent that are fundamentally opposed to paying for software- those aren't lost sales, because they would never have paid for it even if it was impossible to pirate. Creative Cloud is a way to try to get the "maybe"s on board- maybe they would pay for it one day if they saved up; but now at $20-70 a month with support and cloud features, it's much easier to budget for.

Piracy is a response to a gap in the market, and Creative Cloud is Adobe's effort at closing that gap. Copyright and patent laws were written for a different age, and we should start adapting our thought processes to a world of infinite digital copiability (I say that as an artist and writer, and a CC subscriber). Rather than bring out the lawyers and lobbyists to maintain their sales of buggy whips (ie. the Hollywood model), Adobe is trying a market forces approach, which they should be applauded for.

Adam Cross's picture

you can always use instead of Photoshop, it's free and works pretty well though not really a competitor to Photoshop

Arnold Newman's picture

I have to take issue with your proposition that Adobe is taking a "market forces approach." Adobe didn't let the market choose between a perpetual license vs software as a service. They took a force-the-market approach. Yes, this approach benefits some users but certainly not all.
I feel bad for saying it but this news brought a smile to my face. Adobe flushed every ounce of the considerable good will I felt for them prior to going rental-only (along with the not-inconsiderable check they would get from me every 18 months.)

Rob Taylor-Case's picture

They didn't want your check every 18 months. That's why they were having cash flow problems and the ensuing share under-valuation.

Sometimes the market does just have to be forced. If we stayed with what we're comfortable with, we'd still be living in the 1700s.

Antonio Carrasco's picture

Adobe is not having cash flow problems! They were already making money hand over fist

Joel's picture

Making money and cash flow are quite different things. Imagine getting paid at your job only once a year.

Antonio Carrasco's picture

If my paycheck was billions of dollars, I think I could make do.

Joel's picture

How can you compare 1 person/family getting a billion dollar paycheck to a company with over 9000 employees? They have to pay for computers / phone systems / sick leave / vacation / buildings / ect / ect. Do the math.

And don't forget about paying dividends to their investors.

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