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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Mike K.'s picture

Sadly, ADBE doesn't currently pay regular dividends, though they may opt to dish them out at their discretion. :) But, point taken.

Antonio Carrasco's picture

Dude, Adobe is not hurting for money. That argument holds no water

Joel's picture

Never said they were hurting for money, but bad cash flow can severely hamper or destroy a business. Focusing just on "a billion dollars" like they don't have to pay a majority of it out to actually run the business is an argument that holds no water.

TonkaTuck's picture

Imagine only doing something worthy of being paid once a year. People haven't been upgrading consistently because Adobe's upgrades are usually of tenuous value. Telling people they don't get to decide when they give the company their money is nothing more than complaining that Adobe hasn't given customers good value for their money and so now they're going to force their customer's to pay for their software regardless of additional value.

Mike K.'s picture

Actually, they did ask their customers about what they wanted. I participated in a number of their surveys over the years.

Dave Williams's picture

I would bet that there were no questions like "Would you prefer to own your software or rent your software?"

Blapidoup's picture

Well, you *never* owned your softwares, before or after the CC ;)

Dave Williams's picture

You OWNED a license. You could USE that license for as long as your machine and OS would support it. With CC you cannot. ;)

TonkaTuck's picture

I can write poll questions to get any answer I want, it doesn't mean the result is accurate. Based on the reaction to their decision by a great many people, those polls didn't really produce accurate data.

garrettgibbons's picture

...there's not an After Effects competitor. Not at that price point. If there is, someone please let me know.

UFFFMan's picture

foundry nuke is worth the price....

AE is like a VW beetle.... nuke a lamborghini.

garrettgibbons's picture

You're right, but we're talking about different price points. Nuke is $4000+, last time I checked. They're not competitors. There's nothing else in the AE space for low-end visual effects and fast motion graphics. Apple Motion tries to be, but it doesn't do the same stuff.

David Peterson's picture

Check out HitFilm 2 as an alternative, cheap and straight forward to use yet with lots of power for it's market position.

Rob Taylor-Case's picture

Since I was talking about the piracy of AE as a deterrent to competition, the price point is largely irrelevant. I don't know if Nuke is piratable though. But since you ask:

Blender (free) actually works surprisingly well as an AE competitor, though the workflow is more complex (but in some ways, more powerful).

HitFilm ($400) is a quite serviceable competitor to AE. Better in some ways, lacking in others, depending on your needs.

Those are the couple off the top of my head, anyway.

garrettgibbons's picture

I hadn't heard of HitFilm before. I'll check it out. Thank you!

(I don't consider Blender an AE substitute, but some people might be inclined to use it that way)

Point taken about the piracy issue.

Michael Lei's picture

Even though the Blender Foundation's latest Open Short Film project, "Tears of Steel" demonstrated its compositing capablilities, there are still numerous features to be added into Blender's Compositor so that its qualities are comparable to the existing professional compositing software in the market today.

Having said that, the Blender Foundation has been making good consistency to improve Blender.

You will be hearing more of them in the coming months...

Rob Taylor-Case's picture

I'm a big fan of Blender, particularly its rapid development and expansion over the last two years- I found it at 2.49 and couldn't use it, it was too "open source." The function and UI are pretty impressive now though, and Tears Of Steel and Sintel are mind-bogglingly impressive statements of intent for a piece of free software.

Rob Taylor-Case's picture

The quality of the final product with Blender mostly depends on the
renderer you use. It can be very good. Though overall, it's definitely
more suited for pure 3D work than mograph and quick'n'dirty comping.

I only discovered HitFilm about a year ago, and it didn't seem like much
then. It seems to have come on leaps and bounds since, though. You're welcome. :)

Michael Lei's picture

To be honest, Hitfilm is relatively new in the FX/Compositing market. As seen in FXHome's Kickstarter campaign, there is the demand. As for comparable features, there's still room to grow for Hitfilm to be an alternative to After Effects.

Mike K.'s picture

I've used both AE and HitFilm. Both are great products at their price points. HitFilm comes with a good particle generator that's between CC and Particular. It is also a serviceable editor.

Michael Lei's picture

"...there's not an After Effects competitor. Not at that price point. If there is, someone please let me know."

There is an After Effects "competitor" (more like a complement). It's called, "Hitfilm." Here's the link:

By the way, FXHome (parent company of Hitfilm) recently finished their Kickstarter campaign of porting the Hitfilm software to the Mac. The campaign originally was set for 25,000 UK Pounds but they've more than doubled their amount. It'll be ready by the end of this year.

Dave Williams's picture

Hitfilm2 is a decent competitor and less expensive. Also, the developers actually listen to their userbase and things will be progressing quickly.

Jase's picture

When Adobe Photoshop 3.0 came out, those of us in the industry at the time were given un-protected versions of Photoshop and the "unofficial" word that we should get as many of our customers to start using the product as possible. Granted this was at the very beginning of the big suite software revolution, but it is important to keep in mind.

Photoshop is and has been an epic program. One for which I have profound respect for it's developers and hope that they are all compensated well for their hard work. But it is so important to realize that the success of Photoshop is due largely to the fact that it secured the market early by manipulating people with free copies of the software and then by making it one of the easiest software applications to hack. The reason they told us to pirate Photoshop back in the day is because they knew damn well that if they could reach saturation in the market, they would win. And they have.

Once all the designers were using hacked versions of Photoshop, they would go to service bureaus and say, "you need Photoshop". Service bureaus, for whom I was working, were required to purchase legitimate licenses and then given the "unofficial public" version to give to our customers. It's this hacked version that got most of the designers you have ever seen started. At one point, only the richest of the rich people would be able to afford a personal copy of Photoshop...they would steal it from work or a friend or once file sharing came along, they could download pirated copies. This is the foundation of Adobe. The individual users using hacked copies of Adobe products drove businesses to purchase the overpriced software and everyone was happy. It allowed Adobe to grow from a tiny little company to the huge industry standard that it is today. Adobe would not have been able to continue to develop a single app if it weren't for the pirate-base that built the need for business to buy Adobe products.

The surprising effect of this was that all the little folk that were making Photoshop the success it was based on pirated versions of their software, drove the market. We made it so that businesses, who rely on legitimate licensing, would be forced to purchase the $1000 software package to keep up. Without that pressure from the pirates that Adobe originally encouraged, there might not even be an Adobe today.

But now things have changed. Now that Adobe has grown to it s amazing size, it's ready to crush the people on which it was built. Surrender to the Creative Cloud or fall behind. You created the wave of influence, and now you risk being swept under by it if you don't surrender. Just like a drug dealer that gets someone strung out on a product by giving em free doses until they are nice and dependent. Then charge them. Adobe's move to the Creative Cloud is just the moment when Adobe realized: "aha! We either got them all hooked or bought all their alternatives...they have to pay now!"

So, to ask me to applaud their current marketing methods is akin to applauding the proverbial drug dealers that get kids strung out and then charge them. Not very good in my opinion. Smart, cunning, cut-throat, but just not the kind of company that I feel encouraged to buy from.

Before long, you won't really even be buying anything from them, once they get you strung out, then they will just sell you temporary access to the software...oh, wait, that's what Creative Cloud is, now isn't it? You don't own anything, and you are being forced to pay for "access" to thing you are strung out on. So is it "smart"? Yes. Is it "shameful"? Without a doubt!

Just my humble 2 cents worth. I have bought hundred of copies of Creative Suite as well as hundreds of copies of most of it's components and so long as it was considered a business asset, I was all for supporting the development and the outrageous pricing models. But now that you get nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, I can't justify telling my clients to spend the money.

Rogan Thomson's picture

Obviously piracy is bad but when they make a software thats so far ahead of its competitors it becomes the only realistic option on the market, and then price it out of reach of the majority of their users, they're asking for trouble. If a monthly payment was an option years ago I reckon less people would have felt the need to seek an illegal copy.

(I do however wonder why the Creative Cloud licence is about $50 in the US, but for us brits £47. Thats quite far away from the exchange rate for a product requiring no shipping.)

UFFFMan's picture

adobes cloud stupidity will INCREASE the illegal copys in COMPANYS... small studios etc.
who cares if a student or a guy who makes no money with PS uses a warez version.
they would not pay for PS anyway... maybe adobe loses the money for PS Elemens.. because they would buy that. but that´s it.
but companys ...... people who make money with PS.. thatßs a different thing.
and those people don´t like adobe anymore.

JesseDavis's picture

Explain to me how access to an updated version of the Adobe Creative Studio Collection for $600 a year via CC is worse than paying for it the old way at $2600 per license...

Dave Williams's picture

Easy. You don't OWN it but are forced to RENT it forever to be able to access/edit your files. We go through another recession and you'll wish you had paid that one time fee and have the software safely on your computer without the worry that you have to pay that $50 each month - though we ALL know that price will rise.

David Peterson's picture

People had choices between going cheap and missing out on an upgrade or two, or keeping up with the Jones' and upgrading every time.

Now there is no choice, it is upgrade all the time or not at all.

Adam Cross's picture

not surprised at all

Antonio Carrasco's picture

Zero sympathies for Adobe right now

UFFFMan's picture

it took less then 4 hours.
the crack is nearly the same as from CS6

Nick Chill's picture

Sweet... now let's go back to traditional software purchasing, since CC is ineffective and expensive!

Julia Kuzmenko McKim's picture

lol, that's what I keep thinking - ok, Adobe, you tried, you failed, let's go back to normal now :)

Ariel Martini's picture

actually it was cracked in a few hours. the circumvention method is about the same used to crack CS6, not much work to do.

Philip A Swiderski Jr.'s picture

Really dont care, you wont catch me using any Adobe products. There are far better ones in the Open Source world. As is DigiKam and Gimp, if you know how to use any tool and where to get the plugins and addons, your toolbox is endless and your wallet is happy.

Caesar Rex's picture

GiMP far better than Photoshop? You crack me up.

Pedro Cano's picture

I think the success of Photoshop, besides the great things that it's able to do, it's the fact that it can be pirated. If most the the people that do great things with it had to pay for it, I'm sure the development of this software wouldn't have been so great.
Also, I believe that they (Adobe) wants people to use the software with pirate versions, this way, they learn and they can become pros, if we cannot use the software prior payment of the huge price it is sold for, less people would actually become professional and therefore pay for it.

toddh39's picture

most pirated software in the world, .....Well if the software didn't cost a arm and leg...for someone that works pay check to pay check can't afford the price. this is just Greed...

John's picture

To me, this just makes it seem like Adobe doesn't understand how their software is pirated. I'm no software expert by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems to me that if it ever actually exists on someone's computer, then it can be pirated, and whatever updates it requires can be easily circumvented, just as they always have been. If this is the case, then I would guess that the only way to prevent pirating would be to have the application either running in a browser, or delete itself if the serial number isn't updated in the allotted time. Both of these options are absurd, of course, but thats the point, I don't know if it's possible to prevent pirating, so why create this system that only affects the loyal paying customers? Then again, I could be way off, that's just how it appears to me.

Alex.G.'s picture

Adobe doesn't understand that salaries of those using it, against "supply & demand" makes it unaffordable for a LOT of people! That;s what Adobe doesn't get! Give it a normal price and nobody is going to pirate it.

Deleted Account's picture

If you were a licensed user of any CS-6 suite you can get on the cloud for 20 bucks a month. - that is 240 bucks a year... a lot less than I was paying for upgrades to the suite. And now not only do I have the current suite updated, but I have access to lots more that I always wanted to have, but couldn't afford due to the $2500 price tag. (Not to mention outrageous upgrade cycles and prices) - The only place where it may seem more expensive is if you only use PS and only have owned that single app. But in today's day and age I would guess that the heavy PS users also use LR... so even then and even at 30 bucks or 50 bucks is still great considering all the stuff you get. I don't know, but for me it encourages me to use more apps and get more creative yet. Just IMHO.

ChristinaStark's picture

Agree. For me, it means easier access to Adobe's many programs, if I should want them. I could never afford to drop over $500 on one program... especially if I could just pay $240/year. I definitely could never afford to drop $2,000 on software!! If I had $2,000 to spend... I would probably buy a good quality lens. I'm also excited about the upcoming updates and features and the fact that I don't have to buy another $500+ version of Photoshop to get them.

Pat Branch's picture

Exactly! I'm now able to use other programs beyond the 4 I was using. It's way cheaper for someone like that uses more than 1 or 2.

Bob D's picture

Andreas, the $20/month price tag is only for the FIRST year then it goes up to $30. My real objection to Adobe's game is that we are RENTING the software!!

Deleted Account's picture

I would guess that this has been the case ever since software was invented. I believe Microsoft started the whole concept of "You never really own the software anyway, so don't try to blame us if it causes crashes and/or causes you to go out of business". Read the typical EULA of any software company. You never "own" software. Even as said at 30 or 50 bucks, considering what you get, it is pretty dang good. I am well aware of the FIRST year thing. I at least now know what my budget needs to be going forward. That is an upside. Plus it is now a true expense (subscription fee) as opposed to dealing with having to depreciate an asset that never really was one. Again, my humble opinion.

Dave Williams's picture

So you're saying that BEFORE CC people did not know what they would have to budget to upgrade to the next CS? Strange... I always did and did not have a problem. And when times got tough - ie the Great Recession - I knew I had the software on my machine and did not have to worry about paying the months of rent required to access my files. ;)

Robertt1's picture

You don't own the software, you own a copy of it, which you can sell if you want. Not the same with the CC.

Deleted Account's picture

And why would someone buy a used piece of software that most likely had been registered by the original owner? That I don't get. The second owner would have one heck of a time re-registering it as well as getting upgrades for it. Unless you know that already, in which case a sale of this sort would be somewhat unfair to the buyer. I believe even that concept is covered in the EULA. I don't think transferring licenses in this manner is allowed with possible exceptions being maybe when a company purchases another company and transfers assets. Even then, it is still too much trouble to deal with transfers of this sort (Been there, done that.) Look. I understand that there might be astigmatism in regards to the the change over. Even I was a bit skeptical when it was first announced at NAB (Vegas) in April. But after getting the real story of what all was included etc... and how it truly works, I have to say that it didn't take me long to get adjusted to the concept. I suppose people will always have some reason, whether initially or ongoing to not like a concept. I suppose people in general don't like change.

Robertt1's picture

Because they can get it cheaper.
You can transfer the license. Not hard at all.

This aspect of software ownership it's important financially and it's not put in balance when debating CC over old normal licensing.

Deleted Account's picture

So in this case you would not want to use the product at all anymore. Okay. So what's the point?

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