Jun 04 2012
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How to Identify Pirated Versions of Adobe Photoshop

Filed under: Software » Graphic Design,

Software counterfeiting business is overwhelming

A recent experience with purchasing a counterfeit version of Adobe Photoshop CS2 off Ebay has gotten us to realize just how rampant software piracy is.  To find out - just type "Photoshop CS2" (or Photoshop Anything) into a Google search.

Among the sponsored ads you'll see ads for Photoshop and other Adobe products selling for less than half of retail.  Most of these are ads bought via Google's Adwords by online shops specializing in counterfeiting, while others are selling their pirated wares on Ebay and Amazon marketplace (note I say marketplace - if an item ships directly from Amazon.com you can be fairly certain it's legit).  We have yet to find one that is legitimate.  Bottom line - to purchase Photoshop, buy directly from Adobe using the links we provide below.  That is about the only way of ensuring you get a legitimate copy as far as we can tell.  If you can't afford the high price tag, consider some of the alternative graphics software we detail below.


How to identify if your Photoshop is counterfeit

Here's a quick checklist to see if your Photoshop copy is legit.  If your Photoshop or other Adobe software product is:

  • Shipped from China
  • Missing its warranty card
  • The serial number/CD key is printed on the CD, sleeve, or jewel case.
  • During product activation does not give you the option of phoning in to activate
  • Throws error messages upon loading, crashes, or simply won't load
  • Keyboard shortcuts aren't working
  • Examine the box your software came in.  Look for:
    • "Made in Singapore"
    • Spelling mistakes
    • Low resolution black and white images in the manual
    • CD Inserts that are only one sheet, or don't quite fit the jewel case
    • The "Runs Great on Intel" sticker/ graphic on the box is faded or "grayed out" looking

Try Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro or GIMP

The truth is, most people who run pirated copies of Photoshop don't need or use 95% of the functionality and features the software offers.  You'll probably be just as content working with a copy of Photoshop Elements 10. To buy the software directly from Adobe for $149.99 (or upgrade for $119.99) click here.

Corel Paint Shop Pro X4 (affiliate)Another, more powerful alternative (and competitor to Photoshop) is Paint Shop Pro X4.  It offers many of the power user/ professional features that Photoshop offers, albeit using a different layout, and at a much discounted price. Buy it directly from Corel for $79.99 $49.99:

Note that it's not a bad idea to try out demos of products before you buy them.  Adobe, for instance, let's you setup an account and download 30-day trial versions of nearly all their products.

Need to Organize? Visit Shoeboxed.com (Affiliate)


Photoshop CS6 is Here

Adobe Photoshop CS6Exciting news: The new CS6 box products have started shipping and they start at $199.99! The Photoshop CS6 software delivers new imaging magic, new creative options and the Adobe Mercury Graphics for blazingly fast performance. Some of the exciting new features include a new blur gallery, an all-new crop tool, a modern interface, adaptive wide angle and background save.

Open-source image editing software

And finally, there's the GIMP.  GIMP is often referred to as the "Photoshop clone" of the open-source world.  It is, in fact, a very powerful photo editor/ image editing application that will let you do nearly everything you can do in Photoshop.  If you're new to image editing, I would recommend you give it a try first.  If you're already a Photoshop user, it'll take some time to get adjusted to the interface, and finding your way around the program.  But once you do, you probably won't look back.

Photoshop layout for GIMP

Finally, there is an application that modifies GIMP to look like Photoshop.  On the background it's running GIMP, but on the front-end it looks like Photoshop.  For those that can't afford Photoshop but need the power features and can't get used to the GIMP layout, Gimpshop is a viable option.  You should note, however, that GIMP fans balk at this application because they consider GIMP's layout to be far superior to that of Photoshop in the first place.  We'll let you be the judge.

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Thanks about this

Thanks about this information, this will really help me a lot.


I spend a lot of time of photo editing, after reading this article I got to know a lot of interesting facts.


Ipad application development

This is very informative, thank you for posting the tutorial! My designer was working on our blog and almost purchased a pirated copy of Photoshop by accident.

Thanks for sharing useful info on Photoshop piracy

Thanks for sharing this useful post on how to identify pirated versions of Adobe Photoshop.


Pirating Software

I've noticed a trend in the way that people see theft since virtual products became so popular. It is kind of  disturbing view of the world actually. When I was a kid, I did not help my friends cheat on their homework because it was wrong. I did not share my homework with them because even though I was not stealing or using anyone's work, the fact that I let the use mine would have made me just as wrong as they were. Or at least that's what my parents taught me and it is what I pass on to my own children.

Today, it seems that this is not longer the normal mode of thinking. So people who buy pirated software think that they are not doing anything wrong because they did not pirate the software. They even feel justified in this because they did pay someone for the software. If you are not buying it from a reputable source, then you are part of the problem. Whether you pay for it or not, the software is stolen. If you would not buy a watch from a guy who had  collection of used watches in a bag he carried around, then do not buy pirated software either.

Thanks about this

Thanks about this information, this will really help me a lot.

Why be Tempted to Use a Pirated Version of Adobe Photo Shop?

It is a well known fact that Adobe Photo Shop is one of the most commonly stolen, duplicated or just plain pirated pieces of software. There are probably a number of reasons for this, but really two stands out. The program itself is an incredible piece of technology. The user who knows what they are doing can create amazing things with Photo Shop. Additionally, the program is very expensive. Some of these versions sell for over one thousand dollars.

Combine these two ingredients and you have the perfect mix to create a number of thieves and counterfeiters. This article points out a number of ways in which someone can easily identify if their version of Photo Shop has been pirated. Honestly, though, probably the best way to tell if it is a pirated version is the price tag. If you are attempting to buy a version that would normally sell for a thousand dollars or more, and you can find copies listed at just 100 bucks, then something is probably wrong.

Instead of all this, just try using the new CS6.

pirated merchandise

I'm not sure whether or not pirated software is as common as it was in the late 90s and early 2000s, but it is still present. That's why it's essential to buy software from legitimate sources. This means either purchasing the software from the company directly or shopping with companies you can trust. However, as mentioned, you want to avoid shopping in marketplaces.

When shopping for software, you always want to look for characteristics that tell you the software is legit. Many companies use holographic seals that make it easier to seek out the real deal. However, this is something that a serious criminal could duplicate, if they spent the money.

Unfortunately, software isn't the only thing that is pirated. I was amazed at a recent trip to a flea market in which there were multiple sellers selling pirated DVDs. These sellers didn't even try to cover up the fact that these were copies. There were no cases, poor quality artwork, and unbelievable prices that all screamed that these were illegal copies. Why these sellers haven't been caught is beyond me. They're right there in the open and have several tables devoted to their business. The world will always have copies and fakes, which means the consumer needs to be more knowledgeable about their purchases.

Buying Adobe

I'm shocked that Amazon Marketplace let's sellers sell pirated software. Of course, I'm sure they don't actually realize it's being done until it's brought to their attention, but still. This is something that makes it harder for legitimate companies to do business online. Personally, I think the best way to get a real copy, if you don't want to shop online, is to visit a store you know you can trust, such as Best Buy.

As someone who needs graphic software for my business, I have considered buying Adobe Photoshop for quite some time. However, recently I discovered a website called FotoFlexer that allows me to do what I need for free. It's become my favorite website not only because it's free, but it's easy to use. I can now design my book covers in just a few minutes and get the results I want, rather than struggling with Paint.

If I ever do purchase a copy of Adobe Photoshop, I will definitely not be buying it on eBay or from some third-party seller. When you're spending several hundred dollars on a piece of software, it pays to purchase the software in person from a legitimate source or, as you mentioned, from the company itself.

Pirated Photoshop is Just Not Worth It

I have downloaded pirated versions of Adobe Photoshop in the past through some peer to peer resources that I will leave nameless and I can tell you from firsthand experience that it really is not worth the risk or the hassle that you can avoid if you just purchase the software out right.

The first time I tried downloading the software from my peer to peer network, I actually thought I had got pretty lucky.  However, after a short period of time I came to find out that I had just got a demo version of the software and I was unable to use it going forward.  Therefore, I wasted a good hour of my download time trying to bring the software onto my hard drive and then I couldn’t even use it for longer than a week.

The second time I tried to download it was when the trouble really started.  In bringing the software into my system, I brought in a host for countless viruses and versions of malware that I could not have imagined.  I ended up spending so much money to get this fixed that I could have saved just buying it.

do not buy pirated software

There are plenty of reasons why I do not buy pirated software. First off, it is just wrong. I would not want someone to steal my work, so I do not do it to anyone else. I know there are many who think that is a naive way to be when software companies make so much money, but there is a reason that they make good money. If the product was not worth buying, you would be developing it at home yourself. It's just like any other service you have to pay for. I don't know how to work on my truck, so I pay my mechanic to. I don't know how to write software programs, so I buy them.

Regardless of whether or not you think it is right or wrong, buying pirated software is also illegal. You might think you will never get caught, but when you buy pirated software, you are taking a chance that the person you bought it from might get caught. Don't you think they are going to go over records to see who purchased this software? It seems to me that is far more trouble than I even want to think about dealing with.

Pirated Versions of Adobe Photo Shop are Very Common

Anytime you have a software program that is both very popular and very expensive, there are bound to be those who will resort to dishonest methods in order to obtain a copy. This is simply human nature. Counterfeiting software is actually quite a big business. I am also quite sure that Adobe is aware of the problem and there must be some good reasons why they really have not attempted to crack down on the problem more.

The funny thing about this particular piece of software is that it is sooo powerful that probably most users will never really even use anywhere near all of the functions that it is capable of. This means that for most people, finding a scaled down version would be better than trying to find a pirated version at half off the retail price.

There are some really good alternatives to Photo Shop as well. Adobe even produces a scaled down version themselves! Perhaps this is in response to the situation, knowing that their high end product is pirated so often? There are other programs which a user might want to consider as well, including GIMP.

GIMP is a Really Cool Option IMHO

GIMP is short for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The whole idea is that you can take all of your images and play around with them to create some interesting designs and cool effects. It is an excellent option for photo retouching, painting, composting, image creation and even much more. Another really great feature is that since the software IS open source, there are tons of tutorials and user guides all over the internet that are actually helpful.

It is true that GIMP may not be the most user friendly image editing software around. But it is free, and there are a number of really good tutorials out there. So anyone who really had the desire to learn how to use this tool effectively will not have a problem doing so.

There is just so much that you can do in GIMP. You could take a cartoon image and make it into a fun picture. Actually this is pretty easy to do once you get used to working in GIMP. Better yet, are you familiar with the Orton effect?  This is a technique that produces a dreamy, soft focus effect that may make a boring photo much more striking.

pirated software

I know that in any economy it is tempting to buy pirated software, but in this economy it can be more than tempting. It can be hard to refuse. But there are several problems with this that go beyond meeting immediate needs. Adobe Photoshop is just one of the many software programs that are being pirated.

You might save some money buying pirated programs like Adobe Photoshop. You might even be able to run the programs without harm to your computer. You might even get away with it, even though you are breaking the law by using these kinds of programs. But you are still doing something wrong.

If you are buying pirated programs like Adobe Photoshop because you cannot afford the expense of the original program, maybe even due to the state of the economy, just know that you are part of the problem. You are not part of the solution.

Every time someone steals anything, they cause the prices to go up. Companies have to spend money to trace the theft and in some cases, prosecute it. Just because you are not putting something in your pocket, it does not mean you aren't costing that company money and that they aren't going to seek a return through higher prices.

I Think GIMP is a Great PhotoShop Alternative

For those of you who don't know much about it, GIMP standards for GNU Image Manipulation Program, and was originally created by Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis. The program came out of a project that was designed to give people the ability to do editing work on their photos and images without a steep learning curve or ñ and this is the important part ñ without a lot of expense.

GIMP is technically a raster editor. This may mean nothing to you, but a raster editor affects pixels immediately and directly, so you can change the digital information of the photograph at the base level, so to speak. It is very different from a vector editor, which only lets you change pictures with more abstract tools. If a raster editors seems like a pretty good idea and a simple concept, that's because they've been around for a while. You may know some of the most famous raster editors, such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Paint. However, there is a key problem with both of these options, a problem that Kimball and Mattis wanted to solve: you had to pay money in order to use them, so GIMP is free.  Awesome!

pirating Adobe Photoshop software

I can't believe how many comments on here are saying that it is not that bad to use pirated software. It seems like people just are not using any kind of common sense these days. It really is a big deal. I work in a creative line of work and I have had my work stolen before. I don't care if I am only losing royalties on it. I made it. If you think that developing software is so easy that it should not be rewarded, why don't you go develop your own software? Because you can't. If you could, you would not be stealing someone else's hard work.

That really ticks me off that any consumer would even think that way. The software is expensive because of the skill, time, research, and effort that was put into developing it. Does this really have to be explained to anyone?

There are quite a few people who do what I do for a living. Some of those people would tell you it is an easy job. Some of those people would tell you it is hard work. Not one of those people would tell you that it is fine for you to steal their work. If you think that people should not get paid for everything they do, why don't you go offer your service for free somewhere?

It's No Surpise There are Pirated Photoshop Programs on eBay




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You know, this article makes a lot of sense. There have been so many times that I have window shopped on eBay and saw high dollar software packages that are priced so much lower than retail that I thought to myself, this has to be a trick, there has to be some sort of catch, because I’ve seen software packages, like Windows XP or Windows 7 priced at $50 - $100 less than retail; and it just seems unrealistic.  

I like how this article pointed out that most people don’t really need all of the functionality that Photoshop offers. It’s a great program. It truly is, but for the most part you only need Photoshop if you are going to do design on a professional level on a regular basis. In addition, most regular people don’t even know how to use Photoshop.

I do web design on a part-time basis and I have designed some of my own images from scratch, but I’m self-taught. I remember looking at a trial copy of Photoshop and being completely baffled, so I prefer to use Gimp or one of the other programs that are easier to understand.

Is your PhotoShop Counterfeit Ways to Identify Pirated Software

One of the most commonly stolen and counterfeited pieces of software is Adobe Photo Shop. Since this is both very popular and very expensive, I suppose this is only natural. I also am quite sure that the manufacturer and creator are also well aware of this problem.

Since many people are unwittingly using a pirated version of this software, this article does provide a number of ways to determine the legitimacy of your own copy. If you notice any of the following things, it may be a pirated version. Missing the warranty card, the serial number is printed on the cd, sleeve or jewel case (the real version should have a holographic image on the box itself), there are spelling mistakes on the box or other strange errors.

Also, look at how the product works. If you do not receive the option of telephone activation or there are error messages upon loading (or it crashes or simply will not load) then chances are very good it is a pirated version. Legitimate versions of Photo Shop will certainly at least load and work once installed!

GIMP and Photoshop

Thanks for the great article! I especially like the suggestion to try GIMP before purchasing the Photoshop software. Most of the people I work with find Photoshop very easy to use and they really love all the features of it. So, I am not finding fault in Photoshop itself. The fault is with my photo editing knowledge, or lack of.

I used to have Photoshop software, but never really took the time to use it the way it was supposed to be used. Meaning, I did not use half of the features it offered just because I did not have the time to explore all of them and become comfortable enough to use them. So for me, it was kind of a waste of time to buy the program until I had the time to learn all that it can do.

At this point, I really need to learn more about photo editing. I may take your suggestions and try GIMP first before I go all out and buy the Photoshop software. I think if I do this, I might not be so nervous to try all of the Photoshop features. At least I will find it more worthwhile to buy the program again. But, I would never buy it from anywhere but Adobe, just because I want the real version and I want the people who made it to get the benefits of their creation.

Alternatives to Using Pirated Versions of PhotoShop

It is no secret that one of the most pirated pieces of software is PhotoShop. The thing is that this is very powerful and gives the users a tremendous amount of functionality and abilities in terms of editing photos, images and illustrations. Not to mention that the cost can be prohibitive for many people. The good news is that there are a number of cheaper alternatives to this program. Since most users do not ever need any more than about 5 to 10 percent of the features available, why not consider using an alternative?

Paint Shop Pro is a nice option at a fraction of the price. This software does also include many of the most popular features and functions while only costing around 80 dollars. Another really great alternative is called GIMP. While I am not quite sure what it stands for, it will allow users to do most of what they can accomplish with PS. The best thing is that GIMP is free, open source software. For me, it did take a while to master, but it was time well spent!

Downloading Pirated Adobe Photoshop Just Is Not Worth It

I have been a user of Adobe Photoshop now for over ten years.  I am not a professional photographer by any means, but I certainly do enjoy the activity and with a robust piece of software with some legitimate editing tools I can truly achieve some good images that are impressive to both the untrained eye as well as the seasoned veteran.  Knowing this and learning this over the years, the temptation to get newer versions of Photoshop is as strong as the newest tools and functions of the program are cool and fun to use. 

That being said, I have made the mistake of downloading pirated versions of the software myself and to very mixed results, mostly bad. 

The first time I downloaded a pirated version of Adobe Photoshop, it actually worked pretty well and I think the source was somewhat legitimate.  However, this was many years ago and since then, every time I have tried to get a free download of this or any software, it has come rife with problems in the program and for my computer.  Now I put up the money like everyone else.

pirated photoshop is a scam

First of all, I do not think I would bu any software that was not for children to play with off of eBay. If I am serious about software and not just buying a game for my son to play, that means I am working on something that I need the software for. I do not just go out shopping for software for the fun of it. That means I want a quality product that is going to do the job I require. The only way to do that is to buy from a reputable source. I am not saying eBay itself is not reputable, but you can't really vouch for everyone on eBay. And you can almost guarantee that if you are buying software on places like that, if the price is really low, it is pirated.

If you want a cheap photo editing program, there are plenty of free ones out there for you to use legally. But if you want a quality program, buy Photoshop or some other program that has a solid reputation. If you go any other route and it does not work out for you, it is your own fault.

And do not rely on digital copies. Buy the actual program. If you have to buy a digital copy, make sure you do it through the company that makes it so you can go back later and get it again if something happens to your computer.

How is it possible to recognize a pirated version of Photo Shop?

The only other way you can really be sure about finding a legitimate copy of Adobe PhotoShop is to use a link back to the Adobe site and purchase it directly through them. You will pay retail, but at least you can be sure that it will be a legal and legitimate copy.

Beyond this, is it really possible to identify a pirated copy before you buy it? Perhaps. Try taking a look at the packaging first. If you see anything that indicates it was:

•    Shipped from China
•    Made in Singapore
•    Missing the warranty card
•    Low resolution or cheap looking graphics or images
•    Faded or grayed out sticker

Then, it is likely to be a fake. If you have actually installed the software, there are additional clues which may indicate fake or pirated software. During the product installation and activation a tell-tale sign is that you are not given the opportunity to register or activate via phone. Alternatively, the product gives a bunch of error messages once loaded, or the programs crashes, or just will not load at all.


Who buys boxed copies these days?

photoshop prices

The idea of pirating anything really ticks me off. It is not different than walking in a store and taking something from it. People don't realize that all this does is drive up the cost for everyone else. I pay for what I get and I don't like having to pay more in order to compensate for what people have taken.

I work online and I have had my work stolen. It is an absolute pain to have anything done about it and people don't really take it seriously. They seem to think that if they can't hold it in their hand, it is not really theft. Wrong answer.

When it comes to Photoshop even if I was a buyer of pirated software, I would not buy a pirated version of this software. Before I used Photoshop, my photos were not even close to what I wanted them to be. Photoshop made it much easier for someone like me to create professional looking photos without having to go take a bunch of classes to learn how to do it. Since these photos are part of my work, I would not feel right about any benefit I got from them if I did so using stolen software. Aside from that, it's a business write off at tax time.

Photoshop piracy keeps Adobe on it toes

I don't agree I think software can't be viewed as a physical object, there simply is no labor cost only imaginary figures applied to it in order to up sell. It loses its status as a commodity that can be traded or bartered, furthermore most licensing options these days don't even allow that. You have no right as an end user to something you bought, what you are really paying for is a license right to use a virtual trade nothing more. It's more or less how banks work in favor of issuing us a credit line, just because we receive one doesn't mean we are unanimously entitled to it. Thus the companies can drop your license at any moment without notice, what would you do then? You would be breaking the law for having paid for something you no longer are entitled to the rights for.

I am not leveraging this argument in favor of piracy, piracy is bad yes but it is also a good thing it breeds a healthy dose of competition and emergence of new enterprises. That is what Adobe and companies like it fear, not the loss of virtual trades but rather the emergence of something better than what they sell. It's all economics and politics.

Adobe Photoshop Sellers

Pardon my ignorance but really, why aren't these sites being held responsible for what is being sold on them. Why does Adobe even sell products on these sites at all if the sites are also allowing pirated versions to be sold. Isn't that kind of like just giving a wink and a nod? I mean, if I had a product and I went to a store that was selling pirated versions of my product, I wouldn't just pull my product from them. I would sue them for selling what amounts to be stolen property. Are sites like Amazon and eBay not held responsible at all?

The sad thing is that no one cares anymore. People used to care where they got their goods and whether the right place got credit for them. I mean, you wouldn't buy a Ford knockoff because you wanted a Ford truck, so why would you buy pirated software? Does the fact that it takes up less room make it easier to do?

Adobe makes some great software. They have enough of it free online to make up for prices they might charge on other items. So, shouldn't people just be honest and give them credit where credit is due?

PhotoShop is the most amazing photo editing tool

I really can understand why people would take some chances on pirated software; real PhotoShop software is so expensive!  It is also some of the most amazing photo editing tools the world has ever known.  The technology is worth it and even if you end up finding a version of it that is stripped down and less expensive, spending a legitimate sum for a good product is completely worth it.  Above all else, make sure that the software programmer is reputable and somewhat transparent in how they put it all together. 

I had downloaded one of the versions in the article and it worked fantastically well.  I can do all of the things I need to as an amateur photo editor and also keep my photos fairly well organized with the system it came with.  I would never waste my time trying to find a free download of the real Adobe Photo Shop Editor because I know they would never let that kind of thing happen.  The software is simply too valuable for them not to scour the internet to make sure it didn’t.

it's unbelievable how many threats exist on the internet today

It is almost unbelievable how many threats there are out on the internet now.  I remember a time when you could download files from nearly anywhere in the form of file-sharing programs and not really have to worry too much about contracting some kind of virus or malware.  People for the most part really were not interested in taking advantage of one another.  They were just excited about the technology of being able to share large amounts of content so quickly and easily. 

Now we have to deal with a completely different atmosphere.  You cannot even trust the ads you see in reputable sources.  I do not fully understand how people can legally get away with selling products that intentionally hurt and manipulate people out of their money but somehow it seems to be perfectly ok for the proprietors of the internet that do not do things the right way.  I guess, just like everything in life, if there is an opportunity to take advantage of something that people really like, they will and ruin it for everyone. 


Don't buy pirated software or you will get what you deserve

I think anyone who would buy pirated software these days more or less will get what they deserve.  I mean, if you are really interested in buying some kind of capable software for your computer, you should be smart enough to know what the product or service will generally cost.  So if you are getting what appears to be an incredible deal and the graphics of the marketing material look a little weird, and maybe there are a few typos on the website, and maybe there are no real reviews about it, you are probably taking a pretty significant risk with your money and your computer. 

Maybe I just take that kind of knowledge for granted though.  I mean, I think about my dad and how he uses his computer and he could easily be taken advantage of by buying software on the internet or even in a brick and mortar store because he has now frame of reference about what is legitimate and what is not.  We just agreed some time ago that he is not to do anything unless he asks and that seems to work.

So many problems with pirated software

One of the many problems with pirated software is that you never really know what you're going to get along with the software you wanted in the first place. You might not even get the right software to begin with. You think you're saving money but it doesn't really work out like that in the long run. And, if you get caught, you can believe you'll be thinking how cheap the real software was in comparison to the fines and time you're going to have to put into it on the premise that you were saving a buck or two.

When it comes to software like this, why would you even order it on ebay? I hate the way you sometimes have to download software instead of actually holding a disc in your hand. I want to be able to see and touch the things that I purchase. I certainly wouldn't download something from a site like that. If I have to download it, I'd rather get it straight  from the source.

If you want to buy pirated software, just keep in mind that you'll eventually be spending money to have someone fix your computer, in which case you may have to reinstall the software anyhow. And, since the pirated software is probably what caused the problem, you're going to have enough brains to go to the original source. Why not just start there?

You have to be careful when buying new software and services

When it comes to purchasing software and services for your computer, you really cannot be too careful these days.  You should only buy software via reputable sources that you know where your money is going and that the product is certified to do what it says it will.  Really, it is no different than buying medicine or food for your body.  What you put in to your computer will have a direct affect on its heath and its effectiveness for you.  You would not buy drugs from just any one you may meet; you would go to a drug store with a prescription from a doctor.  You would not buy food for your family at any store; you would go to a grocer that you know is reputable. 

Your computer is just like a living thing; you must take care of it and preserve its health.  If you want software that does what you want it to do, then you have to understand that if you think the price is too good to be true for something you want, it usually is.

Pirated versions of Adobe PhotoShop

I understand that people are trying to save money by making purchases through eBay, but let's be for real here. The people who sell through eBay aren't exactly trusted sources. And, as much as I hate to admit it, you most often get what you pay for. When it comes to eBay, I'm always leery about things like that. I don't think I would ever buy software there at all. Isn't that kind of like buying it from a yardsale, only you don't actually get to see the product before you buy it?

I do trust Amazon.com, but when it comes to this kind of thing you do have to make sure you buy it directly from Amazon and not from one of the people that sell products through Amazon. If you can't afford to buy this software, there is plenty of software out there that doe a siilar job. And, some of that software is free to download. Of course, if you're using it for professional reasons you should just bite the bullet and pay the price for the software you need. It's tax deductible after all.

Why buy legit or buy into

Why buy legit or buy into some seedy OEM scam when you can just download a cracked version for free?

P.S. Don't talk to me about viruses or trojans. If you're not smart enough to avoid those, you deserve them.

This is a funny debate...

This is a funny debate... Everyone is all like "It will mess up my computer!!"  WRONG!!  The best and safest way to snag something is to download a trial version from the source itself, put a blocking script in the "hosts" file, and find an old serial number.  Or Bit-Torrent downloading works great too if you know what that means.  YouTube is an incredible place to start getting new stuff.  You can clearly see how much luck others had with it by the comments posted.  Bit-Torrents are the same way.  If there isn't a bunch of feedback, move on and find another.  Do spend the money on a top of the line Anti-Virus, like AVG Internet Security...it SMOKES the free version, and has kept me 100% safe for at least 50 installs.  Poor Adobe and their $100,000 average salary...those guys must be driving used Kia's at that rate.  On welfare too.  If your an amatuer user, not making that kinda scratch, then grab it free, and please don't lose any sleep over it.  It's just software people.  When you steal from a store, you are taking something that they PAID for....everything from Adobe is LONG LONG since paid for and is pure profit...at $1000+ per click, they are doing alright...trust me.

Where to find legitimate Photoshop CS2?

I have been using a pirated version of Adobe Photoshop CS2. However, I am trying to buy the legal one. Does anyone know where I can get myself a copy of CS2 (not the newer versions of CS which I can't afford, plus I'm comfortable using CS2).

Cheap Adobe Photoshop Software

Hi guys, I found this website that provides the original Adobe Photoshop for the cheap price of only $90. You can download the Adobe Photoshop CS5 extended license directly from their website and they provide you with their serial number. Anyone ever try this website? Please leave a comment about the software. I hope this will help.

[link removed by spam filter]

Support software developers

Can I just ask people for a second to support the hard working software developers that are out there? They're trying to make a buck just like you and me. Piracy is straight out theft. The only reason it's so rampant is that it's easy to do without getting caught. Be a man and don't purchase the software if you can't afford it. You wouldn't go into a retail store and start jacking boxes off the shelf would you? Didn't think so.

As a result of piracy developers don't get paid. How would you like it if someone rolled into your office and grabbed a portion of your paycheck and left, and you were unable to do anything about it? Even worse, the developers getting laid off because the companies go under due to a lack of sales.

Adobe is going under?

Adobe's operating income for 2010 was nearly a billion dollars. They're not losing their jobs. Most of the copies of Photoshop used in the world are probably pirated. Why do you claim it's masculine to not make non-profit graphics instead of making non-profit graphics, but not paying thousands of dollars to be able to do it? What do you say to users of pirate Photoshop, who do not have an office and receive no paycheck?

Come again?

I didn't fully understand your non-profit graphics statement, but I'm tired of hearing the "this company makes so much money" argument placed out of context with ballpark financial figures.

In 2010, Adobe made $3.6 billion in operating profits. Net income was $750 million. The average employee at Adobe makes just over $100,000, which is some $36,000 below the industry average ($136,000). In order for the company to continue to be successful, they need to make money, not only to pay their employees, but invest in R&D, equipment costs, operations, marketing, etc. etc. and of course to create new job positions.

Is Adobe kicking butt compared to everyone else? No, Adobe, like everyone else in this recession is being forced to cut jobs. They cut 600 jobs (8% of workforce) in 2008, and an additional 680 jobs (9% of its workforce) in 2009. So yes, jobs are being lost that may have been retained were it not for rampant piracy. Thanks to a corrupt industry, Adobe workers can now join your pirate friends with no paycheck and no office.

Finally, no one is forcing you to buy Adobe software. If you think it's too expensive, then don't buy it! There's plenty of less expensive alternatives out there (GIMP in the graphics world, MS Expression Studio in the web development world, for example).

Can't get it...

Yes..., I just can not get it... You write very great article about pirated adobe..., but I think You know that many people love the pirated one as they do not need to pay price... Why?


Take the help of Google

You can get everything from google search. But try to download from trustful sources. SEO made everything easy to find.

Pirated software

The only time I would ever condone using cracked software would be if you are attempting to install Adobe CS3. I had a purchased copy from work and spent the better part of 3 weeks trying to install it with no luck. If you've ever used CS3 you know what I'm talking about. I finally was at my wits end and installed a crack version and was up and running in a little under an hour. The take away from that experience is to stay away from CS3 if you can help it.

GIMP like Photoshop

The best way to go about this if you don't have the cash to shell out for an original Photoshop version is to use GIMP and style it to look like Photoshop. Let's face it, GIMP is almost as powerful as Photoshop, and has a strong following/ community that keeps it updated regularly. The only thing holding them back is the "open source" stigma, and the fact that people are used to the Photoshop layout. My vote goes to GIMP! Smiling

Pirated softwares

Pirated software usually has inadequate documentation, which prevents consumers from enjoying the full benefits of the software package. In addition, consumers are unable to take advantage of technical support and product upgrades, which are typically available to legitimate registered users of the software. Pirated software can cost consumers lost time and more money.


I have to admit I have some software that's not really original. But I never experienced problems of any kinds. And I must say original software is way too expensive. I could never spend hundreds of dollars on software that I would use just a few times a week.

I recently bought Master CS5

Adobe Master Collection CS5 for a reasonable price, about $2000 USD - original and factory sealed.




I would much prefer the real thing. I prefer to keep my integrity, over using a counterfeit.

Adobe Bridge discontinued?

I am confused. Was this article written years ago? I opened Adobe Bridge (I have CS3) and it clearly states that Adobe Bridge has been discontinued. So what gives?

Pirated Software not Necessarily Unsafe

Honestly pirated software isn't all that unsafe if you have half an idea of what your doing. And the whole thing with pirates is that if someone like Adobe charges $700 for a single piece of software, when you can get a near identical copy for nothing (without loosing anything), then why the hell wouldn't you?

Furthermore, pirated versions of software truly bloom out of control only when the software is so overpriced for what you get out of it. A lot of stupid people know what it is and what it does and really really want it, and when it's so stupid easy to get a pirated version.

I mean literally, go to Google and search for 'bit torrent tracker site' and then click one and search for 'photoshop CSx', click one, click download, wait, mount the ISO, and find the keygen and/or crack and run the install! Hell, most 'legit' (using that term loosely here) pirated copies have freaking readme's that walk you through it step by step to the point that a 6-year old could do it (if they could read)!

Pirated software is unsafe

Most pirated software is unsafe, and it also takes a long time to download each individual file, one at a time.

Pirated software

Chances are, in the case of pirated software the person you got it from may have given you something else as well (Trojan/virus) and then there's the possible legal consequences. I think it's around $200,000 and 5 years in prison.


There are foolproof ways to avoid trojans (some pretty good tools such as this help: www.windowsitpro.com/article/security/seven-sandbox-tools-for-malware-testing.aspx) but I'm way too lazy to use them every time. Sticking out tongue Hence I find roughly 1 in 4 cracks that come with the torrent have malware. For uncracked software the odds seem around 1 in 20 (my sample size Sticking out tongue).

Too many pirate tools

There's way too many pirate tools out there that let you copy software, and so many ways to get your hands on a copy of pirated software. Will there ever be a way to contain this industry?


No because I enjoy my pirated copies more than shelling out thousands to corporate crooks!

A ebay seller home made pirated Adobe Software

Dear all,

I bought a pirated copy from a Ebay seller recently. When I received the item, my heart was fall down instantly. The dvds and dvd case are printed by inject printer and there are some crack file folder in the dvds...

May I know what is the next step should I go through? Or should I keep quiet? I already paid 700 USD for that copy... OMG!

Another eBay pirated software complaint

I just bought one off ebay and I am furious!

Fake software license etc just took it to pc world and they said it was hot.

eBayer complaint to get refund


Why don't you contact eBay customer service to complain about the pirated cd's. Ebay will hold your payment for any purchase you make for 1 month or they will release the payment after you leave feedback within 1 month of your payment purchased. You still have a chance to get a refund for it. I've been scammed on Ebay but luckily I sent a complaint to Ebay ASAP and got my refund back. Hope this will help.

An Ebayer selling home made pirated Adobe software

Hi dear, at least go back to Ebay and leave a negative comment against him. Ebay might close his account and also it serves as a warning for others no to buy from him.

Pirated software

If the software is cheaper maybe there's no pirated version on the market.


I would be scared

I would be scared to download a pirated version of any program because I wouldn't want it to do any damage to my computer.

it's so easy! please check

it's so easy! please check my photo retouching gallery here. thanks

I really enjoyed reading your

I really enjoyed reading your post. Great job - can't wait to visit again.

Good tips

Thank you for this.


Counterfeit software can damage your PC

Counterfeit software can damage your PC (in the forms of spyware, viruses, etc.). When you purchase PC products, make sure they are licensed.

Is my Photoshop CS3 genuine?

I was sold Photoshop CS3 from a guy who owns a PC shop. He sold me a copy while I was buying a second hand PC tower. It was real cheap - under £200.

He said it was package damaged hence only in DVD case with 2 discs - software and an Adobe video workshop disc.

The serial is on a white label stuck on the back. Discs have "made in Ireland" stamped on them. I did explain that I only wanted the genuine article for commercial work. He said that it was the real mCoy, unregistered.

But I am concerned because:
a) After installing, activating and registering online, why is registration section under help menu not greyed out?
b) Why does my name not appear under 'about photoshop...' in the help menu.

I have updated successfully. If this is a counterfeit, then why do i get a nice welcome email from Adobe with a few introductory offers, etc.?

Okay, maybe it's a genuine package, in which case I am lucky.
But if it isn't, then my belief that Adobe have a high tech database and only register what they produce and sell, is false.

Can anybody reply to this. Fingers crossed!!

Is your photoshop cs3 genuine

It's got to be genuine. If you got an email from Adobe with marketing materials; it should be real. I would not worry.

It's a fake when Adobe says so

Bought CS3 to upgrade to CS5 - cheapest route... oh dear.

CS3 looked genuine, acted genuine, installed genuine up until I installed CS5 and it wouldn't register the installed version of CS3. Now stuck with a genuine upgrade version of CS5 which I cannot use because I can't get my hands on a genuine CS3 and guess what - Adobe doesn't sell that product.

I've lost a great deal of money trying to be legal and clean with my copies. Don't know why I bothered.

Pirated Ireland copies

It sounds like there's a high chance it's counterfeit. The problem with Adobe is that there's almost zero quality control when it comes to counterfeit copies. You can't even call in and verify a serial number. It's also amazing to us how comparable products such as Corel's suite of graphics, paint, and video applications are increasingly powerful and still priced at a fraction of the cost of Adobe's flagship products.

the real reason

let's see...200 dollars vs. 700 dollars? I think I will go counterfeit. if it works who cares. Adobe shouldn't price so high. I don't feel sorry for them.

Look beyond

Come on guys, the majority of you are lambasting these pirates and I feel sorry for those that are out of their money but enough is enough. Real Pirates are these manufacturers that create and sustain this environment purposely in name of big profits.

Consider this.

Adobe proposition is simple enough, they have here a mechanism that enables them to evade free market price competition and effectively impose retail price maintenance.

If done deliberately as policy, this would be illegal price fixing in most jurisdictions. But since anyone who buys any Adobe software retail at a discount is very likely buying counterfeit product, and the only truly safe source is Adobe themselves, they have complete legitimate control of their own pricing. And of course they can take the high moral ground, pointing to the flood of pirated copies as evidence of why activation and DRM is a necessary imposition.

It seems a grotesque way to treat customers but is clearly profitably expedient. Adobe's core market is really now corporates. Retail is a relatively small and messy PITA with dealer margins and support overheads.

Of course Adobe wants to remain the standard, so turning a blind eye to piracy ensures it remains so - that always new generations of users are growing up with the software. MS are much the same. MS have always condemned piracy but always they have allowed a back channel access to much cheaper routes, tolerating the trade in OEM and educational versions that are often used way outside the EULA. Even activation isn't that strict, it can be used across multiple machines with inconvenience and loss of support.

Ultimately some of the users of unauthorized sofware will become the corporate buyers and licensed users of tomorrow, whilst those who don't would never have been able to afford RRP anyhow. That's pretty much the whole of China and the Asian bloc. Getting ripped off on eBay is just the collateral damage of Adobe's corporate strategy.

Pirated Photoshop

Thanks for the interesting post. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

Thanks for the very

Thanks for the very informative post. As to odd out the pirated version of Adobe Photoshop is gonna be very beneficial. I will readily use this guide.

Earvin James

Thanks for the interesting

Thanks for the interesting post. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

Audio too

I've been using pirated Adobe Audition 1.5 for 2 years now (actually, I started with pirated Cool Edit Pro about 5 years ago, and then Adobe bought Cool Edit and renamed it, and I downloaded cracked Audition).

What can I say: honestly speaking, I haven't noticed any inconveniences using this version. I started facing problems about 6 months ago. The point is that I really need those updates offered by Adobe to their legit customers, and, of course, my cracked version just won't let me get 'em.

As this program is of vital importance for me, I've decided to buy Adobe Auditions 3.0 (it was released recently) straight from Adobe. And you know what? It turned out that all this time I've been missing not only updates: the legit version works better and far more stable than the one I was using before.

I believe I'd face the same situation if I was using Photoshop.
As for alternative editors you've mentioned... To be honest, I've never heard of a single professional designer say they work on Linux with GIMP Smiling

GIMP - excellent recommendation

Excellent recommendation about The Gimp. It's a pretty good and free alternative to Photoshop, and easier to use I guess. And thanks for the heads up on all the Photoshop piracy scams out there.


I love anything to do with this pirate stuff. It's amazing, it's super cute, and way interesting. I think that they're sooo sneeeky but really smart. I love all the pirates and pretty much any thing to do with pirates!!!

Thanks for this article

Thanks for such a great article I truly enjoyed it a lot.

Really helps

Thanks for the info, very helpful for me. Smiling

Rampant piracy

Wow - never realized piracy had grown to be so rampant. Sad for us hard working software developers...

Yes. Indeed. Overwhelming

Yes. Indeed. Overwhelming and lot of competitors too.



This was very informative, I will readily use this guide, thank your for posting!


PS 9

I like to use Photoshop 9 (CS2). I think it's the best, at least compared to other looking and edition tools. But I don't prefer the newer versions because they are kind of heavy on my PC (resource intensive). I use Photoshop 9 even in my web site work in photo retouching services.

Very informative

This is full of very informative information. Thanks for posting this info.


I guess I've been using a pirated version of Photoshop this whole time Sad I really didn't know about that. What now? After all I've read here I think it's better not to buy Photoshop online. Thanks for the info.

I've lost count

I've lost count of the amount of copies I have been offered to build my websites using pirated software, including Dreamweaver.

Just make it cheaper

The problem is companies like Adobe try to make a lot of money selling to a "few" customers. They should sell it for less and sell it to a lot more people. I haven't pirated it and wouldn't, but as a photographer I need this product and can't afford it. The pricing is ridiculous.

Why don't authorities take action?

We all know that the bidding sites are selling pirated software. Then how is it that the government & legal authorities don't take any actions to control this? Does this show that corruption is prevailing?

Are coders less efficient?

Is it that the coders could not produce counterfeit-proof software? If the coders can write efficient codes in such a way that the software cannot be hacked by counterfeiters then how come there are millions of counterfeit software available online? I think Adobe is following Microsoft's principle that even if people could use counterfeit software, authors are happy that the brand / make is theirs, am I correct?

Photo retouching with Photoshop

I have been working a photo retoucher now for four years and have used many versions of Photoshop. But what I think is that the best version of all is Photoshop CS2 (9).

I think it's the best one because all the later versions are stuffed with graphics and themes that make it difficult to work, and slow down the overall performance of Photoshop.

Newer versions need a super strong PC to work, like an Apple. But with Photoshop CS2 it's good enough to work on a normal PC, and it has all the options that I need.

Support open source and help it grow!

If more people supported open source applications we wouldn't have to deal with this pirated mess to begin with. Set aside some time to learn GIMP and you'll see that it can accomplish just about anything (plus more) that Photoshop can.

Also - the support community around GIMP is larger, and you'll get feedback far more quickly than by trying to contact Adobe or using their support forums.

Pirated copy of Dreamweaver CS3

I recently just purchased a copy of Dreamweaver CS3 from a seller on Ebay.com. Once I got it I immediately opened it looked at the serial number and got in contact with Adobe. They then notified me that the serial number I gave them was invalid. I have now filed a claim with Paypal, thank God I had the intelligence to use them... And have also notified SIIA. It is best to not purchase any Adobe products from Ebay or Amazon, as neither of these entities are allowed or endorsed by Adobe to sell their software.

Purchase Adobe from Adobe

Thanks for the heads up. You're right - the only reliable way to purchase authentic Adobe software is directly from Adobe. However, we were disappointed with their efforts to curtail piracy. When we called to check a serial number, we got connected to India and the rep said they can't confirm serial numbers. I'm glad you were able to do so - maybe for DreamWeaver they do have the capability (we were checking Photoshop).

It is so amazing that people

It is so amazing that people can get away with selling these pirated copies of these programs. Thanks for the warning on them. Pirating is such a big issue in the world today and this is just another example of pirating gone bad. I will be on the lookout for the pirated software next time I am in the market for an Adobe program.

Fighting Counterfeit Software

This is exactly why I hate buying software on bidding sites. Thanks, very rarely do I find these good posts that are actually helping people fight counterfeit software.

Never ending problem

The problem of pirated software doing the rounds has become very common in many countries. We have to come up with some means to control this.

Software piracy is high

Developing countries are great potential markets for illegal piracy of software. This is on the rise and it has also entered previously trusted marketing sites like Amazon and Ebay. This is something that needs to be checked.

One man's gain is two people's loss

Like the author of this article said, I guess the best thing to do is to go directly to the Adobe shop or for that matter the particular company for any software. With the recession riding high on everyone's mind it has become even easier for such counterfeiting to take place. This is bringing huge losses for the fooled buyer as well as the company selling the original software.

Scam software

You have to be really careful where you buy your software from, as the pirates go to such lengths to make the copies look exactly the same as the originals. Tough lesson to learn I'm afraid.

Google helps piracy

As you can see, the problem is that Google helps advertise pirated software websites. Do not buy from those websites. If you are an Ebay seller, you will loose your account and feedback. Do not trust Chinese sellers.

Photoshop Scammer

I can't believe that Ebay isn't shutting down these scammers!! Well, maybe I can. Just do a Google or Froogle search for just about any popular software package and you'll find nothing but pirated wares from China. They're even in the paid search listings next to the Google results. Ahhhh, is there no way to control this?

Google especially should get on the ball - they're getting compensated with pirated money and helping the pirates survive by advertising for them - ridiculous!


Yup it's ridiculous they are allowing it.

Photoshop is way overpriced

I see why people are upset that Ebay users are selling pirated copies of Adobe's Photoshop. But why on earth does Adobe put such a high price tag on their image editing software?

I also called Adobe to verify a serial number to see if it was legit, and the person couldn't give me an answer! All they could say was that the only way to ensure the purchase of a genuine Photoshop copy would be to purchase it directly from Adobe.

The problem with that is that the copies of Photoshop they sell is the new CS3, which in my opinion is far inferior, particularly in terms of stability and backwards compatibility, to CS2. Anyone know where I can get a copy of Photoshop CS2?

Thanks for the information

Thanks for the information. I am surprised that Ebay sellers of pirated Adobe software manage to survive and get away without getting any negative feedback for selling pirated software.

Perhaps potential buyers should really be wary and take note if the selling price of the software is way too low to be genuine. Cheers....

GIMP all the way

Good information - I was just about to suck it up and give one of the Photoshop Ebay auctions a go, but luckily I came across this article and know to stay away.

Unfortunately I can't afford to pay for the full version of Photoshop, so I'm giving GIMP a go. So far so good. The learning curve is not steep, but I'm guessing lots of people are so used to the familiar Photoshop environment that they get turned off too quickly.

I also like the support community around GIMP, and open source projects in general. Go GIMP!!

Recognized Pirated Copy of PhotoShop

Thanks. This was very helpful. My designer was working on our blog and almost purchased a pirated copy of Photoshop by accident.

Games industry is most affected from piracy

From piracy point of view, I can say that video games industry is most affected. There are many sites that provides cracked downloads to their users. According to the study, if there would have been no piracy in the world of digital items, then the business could have flourished five times more than as of now.

Warning Bell

If you can get software that's offered well below the market price, that should give you a warning bell that something suspicious is taking place. These days, even Google Adwords is a victim of manipulation.

If you have a pirated

If you have a pirated version of CS2 (the kind with a keygen) - can you purchase the upgrade version of CS4 (unpirated)? Ie. can the upgrade tell that your CS2 is not legit?


I never thought I could use something else than Photoshop but GIMP is actually "usable". It can't take Photoshop's place among my tools but it's a great alternative.

Purely open source

I'm a web designer / developer and I only use open source software:

  • Ubuntu (Operating system)
  • Gedit (Text editor)
  • gFTP (FTP/SSH client)
  • GIMP (Image manipulation)
  • Drupal (Web framework which we have running on LAMP)
  • and many more applications / tools

Were it not for the (zero) cost of entry I would not have been able to become a self employed developer. Well I suppose I could if I broke the law.

Even by just using open source, you are supporting the Free Software Revolution.

If you would like to know more I would be happy to discuss it with anyone interested.

GIMP has a better interface

Good stuff, I must say that with all the talk of people wanting to get GIMP to look and act like Photoshop I actually prefer the native GIMP interface. Boo ha!

Open Source

I'd rather use open source software like GIMP than use pirated software like Photoshop.

GIMP and the open source movement

I couldn't agree more. The open source movement is as strong as ever, and lots of the community produced software products (such as GIMP) are standing up to their proprietary counterparts.

If people only took the time to install and learn open source software, they would see that in most cases the functionality they're used to in the proprietary versions is present, and often times even better.

One of the greatest advantages to using open source software is that there is a giant community of motivated developers contributing on a regular basis. Bugs are fixed more quickly, improvements incorporated, and newer releases are more stable and secure.

Serial number

I have Photoshop 5.5 but no serial number on it... did they always put the serial number on, or was it different a long time ago?

Photoshop 5.5 serial number

Good question, I'm not sure. But my guess is there has always been serial numbers, or registration keys, or some form of unlocking, activating, and registering the software.

Shipped from china

You mention to avoid software shipped from China. WTF? What's wrong with software shipped from China?

US-based Adobe distribution centers

There's nothing inherently wrong with Chinese software, and we probably should have clarified. If you are a U.S.-based citizen, then you should be receiving your Photoshop software from the United States. If, on the other hand, you live in China, you'll probably receive your software from Adobe's distribution center in China.

Bottom line is software vendors have distribution centers in different countries, but it makes no sense to have a China copied shipped to the U.S. since the original distribution center is in the U.S. to begin with. Therefore, if your Photoshop software is being shipped to the U.S., from China, there's a high probability of it being counterfeit.

Photoshop from Ebay


I got Photoshop CS2 June 2007 so I had it for a year and six months and just found out that it is fake. But I don't have the information of whom I got it from on Ebay, because that information only stays on your account for 60 days. How can I find out who I got it from so I can report it?


Finding Ebay Seller Info

Hi Michele,

First, I'm sorry you ran into this problem, I know how frustrating it can be. You should have some emails possibly from when the sale was made - or maybe a receipt that was inside the box? If you can't find either, you may need to get in touch with Ebay, although I've heard that is easier said than done.

Good luck! If you don't mind, please post back what you find so the rest of us can learn from your progress.

Hi Dino, Yes, there's a

Hi Dino,

Yes, there's a Windows version of GIMP available.

Bryan Poler - Emo Chat City

Does GIMP run in Windows?

Thanks for the info.

I'm very interested because I've never used GIMP. I only know that it's open source software, and that it does not run in Windows. Is that right?


Gimp for Windows

Hi Dino, Yes, there's a Windows version of GIMP available. Visit gimp.org/windows for details. There's even a version of GimpShop (see last section of article for details) for Windows that will format your GIMP installation to work and look just like Photoshop.

On the lookout for pirated software

Nice, this is useful - as I've purchased other software from Ebay sellers that didn't quite work correctly or was boxed in cheap looking packaging and had user manuals that looked like they were printed on my ink jet. I guess it's time to pony up the money - that seems to be the only way to guarantee a legitimate software purchase.

Thanks for the info

Thank you for the information on avoiding pirated Photoshop copies, it was really helpful.

Mark Mattey

Thank you!

Thank you for the information, it was really helpful.


Legitimate software for developed countries

Personally I think only people from developed countries are using legitimate software. The difference between the exchange rate with the dollar in developing countries is too high. And that's one of the big reasons behind software piracy.


who purchases photoshop?

i have never met anyone who purchased photoshop!

Older Photoshop Versions

I just wanted to say thanks for the heads up on the photoshop issue. I will be buying directly from Adobe to avoid this crap. The only thing that bugs me is that I can't get older versions of the software. It's like not being able to buy a used car. And often times the older car is better (in this case I've heard the older versions of Photoshop are less buggy and more stable).

Completely agree

Man, I can't stand the new Photoshop CS3 - and to think I shelled out hundreds of dollars for it. I realize they're trying to increase their margins by only offering newer versions of software, but if the older versions are better, I think they have an obligation to the customer to continue offering both - or face possibly losing the customer.

Microsoft - you might want to listen up on this one as well. Paying extra money (Dell) to downgrade from Vista to XP? Are you kidding me?

I'm definitely going to look into GIMP after this crap.

thanks for info, i will be

thanks for info, i will be more careful buying online

Show me the money

Yep, eBay will always be a place where you can get ripped off with this kind of stuff... Ebay could easily clean it up, but they love to get the fees from sellers, so they don't care.

Security Company Manchester

Photoshop - lesson learned

Thanks for the heads up, I will definitely be more careful at what I buy now. Be especially careful when ordering from a free auction site!

Thanks so much

Thanks! I was recently considering buying a copy of photoshop for our ppc management company. I did a bit of research on the seller and eventually found out that he was a scammer.

Your post got me started on the right path, thanks!

Where to report?

I've just fallen victim to an eBay seller with pirated copies as well. (He was a 2+ year eBay member with over 200 feedbacks...) I've reported him to Adobe and eBay, but is there anywhere else I can / should report him?


To be honest

To be honest, I have been using a pirated version of Adobe Photoshop CS. However, I am planning to buy a legal one soon.


Hi, I agree with you. Smiling

sellers point of view

so how about the poor guy that drop ships pirated software without knowing its pirated software?

there is always the fact that the software you get from the store looks just like the one from your supplier - ie. is no different?

once you found out that it is pirated you would think they would stop asap.

then there's the simple fact that SOFTWARE COST TOO MUCH. you can get a pirated version for 1/10 the price of a non-pirated version if you know where to look.

No real argument for pirating software

I'll answer your question one point at a time. First of all, it's not difficult for a shipper of software to find a legitimate supplier. A quick background check should reveal whether the supplier deals with legitimate software.

Secondly, I have yet to encounter pirated software that can't be told apart from the original. To save costs, software pirates use cheaper quality CD's, packaging material, and the inserts/ manuals often have lower print quality. A close look makes it quite obvious if software is legitimate.

As far as software costing too much - software companies need to pay their bills - they need to pay their programmers, designers, etc. - everyone involved in the process of creating the piece of software needs to get paid. By pirating software you're cutting directly in these people's paychecks, and in the long run reducing the quality of software produced.

Finally, in this day and age there's hardly a good reason to pirate software to save costs, as there's almost always a viable open source (free, community supported) alternative available. In this case, the GIMP open source image editing software can accomplish nearly everything Photoshop does.

No argument indeed

Thank you so much for lending such an intelligent covering of the pirating issue. Thank goodness for the "corporations." I would, in fact, like to be able, someday, to start my own.

Business Software Alliance

Hi there, Yes, you can report it by visiting the Business Software Alliance page. Unbelievable how Ebay sellers get away with this! How the heck do they keep their high feedback score?

Photoshop for game design

Thanks! I was recently considering buying a copy of Photoshop for our PPC management.

Joe Hayes

Original or pirated

And? Are you going for the pirated version or do you shell out the 700 bucks?

Thank you! By the time I

Thank you! By the time I received my item he'd been booted from eBay, just a few days too late to save me from the hassles. I had been very careful to choose a seller with longevity and good feedback but that was to no avail.

I ended up submitting him to BSA, SIIA, IC3 (FBI), USPS, and also to the Army CID. (Found out by doing a few simple searches on his name and user name that he is a proud member of our Army National Guard. Such a shame...)

Thanks again!

too expensive


I have to admit that I don't have all the software originals. They are way too expensive. I could never afford to spend hundreds of dollars to buy a software that I only use from time to time.

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