Adobe is giving away old Photoshop 'for free'

Adobe is removing the activation server for its Creative Suite 2 package, making that software essentially free. Formally, a license is required, and there are still some requirements for Macs.

Officially, Adobe does not give away the older software for free. The company is phasing out the activation servers that control licenses and serial numbers for Creative Suite 2 (CS2). This also applies to individual installations of the applications, such as Photoshop and InDesign, which are included in that Adobe package. Users who reinstall CS2 no longer have to activate those software installations online, reports British IT news site The Register.

Use vs Legal Use

Adobe scientist Dov Isaacs explains in a forum post that this doesn't mean the company is giving away free copies of its software. He emphasizes that valid serial numbers are still required. Those numbers are freely displayed by Adobe on the download page for the older software. However, its use is only legal if a user also has a valid license, explains Isaacs.

Adobe Community Manager Terri Stone puts that licensing requirement into perspective by commenting in the forum that enforcement is unlikely. "I don't think you should worry about Adobe coming after you for this [use of the serial numbers offered without a valid product license - ed.]." She notes that management has yet to approve an official statement about this.

Practical limitations

Adobe's promised lenient attitude only applies to the older CS2 package, which dates from April 2005. The system requirements for the software are therefore relatively light. However, for Mac OS X users, there are some limitations due to this. The 2005 Adobe software was made for the PowerPC G4 and G5 processors Apple used then and is not compatible with current Macs.

Apple has switched to Intel chips for its Macs. That switch was announced in June 2005 and completed more than a year later. Mac OS X version 10.4 (Tiger) from 2005 was the first to also be released for Intel processors, in addition to a version for PowerPC chips. Successor Leopard was the last to be released for both processor architectures.

Deleted Mac emulation layer

Up to and including Snow Leopard (10.6), the Mac maker has built a PowerPC emulator into its Mac operating system so that older software (such as Adobe CS2) can continue to run. That "translation layer" for the processor instructions is called Rosetta and has been discontinued in Mac OS X since Lion (10.7). In practice, Apple only supports the current and previous versions of its operating system, which since July last year has been Mountain Lion (10.8) respectively. and Lion is.

The full list of Adobe software that can no longer be activated includes Creative Suite 2 and the applications contained therein. These are PDF packages Acrobat 3D 1.0 for Windows, Acrobat Standard 7.0 and Acrobat Pro 8.0. In addition, audio software Audition 3.0, HTML editor GoLive CS2, vector graphics editor Illustrator CS2, text editing package InCopy CS2, layout software InDesign CS2, photo editors Photoshop CS2 and Photoshop Elements 4.0/5.0 and video editor Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0.


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