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Is my Photoshop CS2 Pirated?
November 24, 2009 9:38 AM   Subscribe

I just received a copy of Photoshop CS2 that I purchased via eBay. How can I tell if it's fake?

I just received a copy of Photoshop CS2 that I purchased via eBay. How can I tell if it's fake? The seller was listed as being in South Carolina so I was surprised and concerned when my package showed up shipped from China.

The copy was advertised as unopened in original shrinkwrap and it looks like that is the case. But with the unexpected Chinese origin I'm concerned that it may be a pirated copy. Can anyone tell me any specific things to look for to validate its authenticity. Hologram printing or the like on the disc? Something else?
posted by Babblesort to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
 
Have you already taken a look at this thread?
posted by availablelight at 9:39 AM on November 24, 2009


Inspect the disc.

Does it look copied? Is the label printed on the disc or is it printed on paper that's stuck on the disc?
posted by royalsong at 9:41 AM on November 24, 2009


1. You bought Photoshop software from eBay
2. The seller mis-represented where they were from
3. The software was shipped from China.

I'm no math wizard, but 1 + 2 + 3 = 666 to me.
posted by unixrat at 9:41 AM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not necessarily, Unixrat.

Legit software in China is a lot cheaper than in America. I'm actually considering opening a business with a friend when I move back to the States that involves getting Windows 7 Ultimate CD keys from China (The Ultimate version allows you to switch the language after you've bought it) and reselling them in America for a profit; the Ultimate version in China runs about $40 American for a legit copy.

This guy may very well be doing something similar. He may very well be based in South Carolina, and his buddy in China may be the one shipping it to you.

It is a bit sketchy, though.
posted by Televangelist at 9:47 AM on November 24, 2009


If you call Adobe support and give them the serial number, I believe they will not charge you to tell you if it is legit. (Although with it being two revisions old, they might...)
posted by dave*p at 10:02 AM on November 24, 2009


Even if the CD Key is legit, the risk is that it's infected with a virus if it's a copied disk.

You could try finding a trial copy of CS2 and using the CD key to unlock it, if you can find it anywhere. Unfortunately I doubt any 'legit' sources would keep the old version around.

Do you know anyone with a CD?
posted by delmoi at 10:03 AM on November 24, 2009


I have a copy of CS3 at work that someone bought that looks absolutely perfect - shrink-wrapped, came with all the glossy paperwork you'd expect, disc is commercially pressed, etc. I e-mailed Adobe and they said it was fake. Drop an e-mail to piracy@adobe.com with the serial and they'll let you know for sure.
posted by pocams at 10:03 AM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, and you should be able to call adobe and ask for replacement media
posted by delmoi at 10:04 AM on November 24, 2009


Yeah, the old 'does it look fake' thing doesn't work anymore. I've recently heard or read a story (from a trusted, probably NPR-ish source which I can't quite place at the moment) that there are whole towns in China with economies built on various sorts of counterfeiting. They even mimic the holographic seals on the boxes. Visible differences are essentially nonexistent when it's done well.
posted by jon1270 at 10:17 AM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the input. I'm comfortable dealing with any virus, trojan, etc. issues. Seller, and the rest of eBay, will be hearing from me about the misrepresentation.

I was hoping to avoid dealing with Adobe because from what I've read recently the minute you mention CS2 they say, "We don't support that anymore." I suppose I knew that was a pretty hopeless hope.
posted by Babblesort at 10:33 AM on November 24, 2009


I'd be worried about trojans as well.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 10:33 AM on November 24, 2009


I'd get a set of replacement media (or use the included media in a virtual machine) and plug in the serial number, see if it passes online validation. If it validates and works, fine; if it doesn't, you have grounds for a refund from eBay/PayPal.

I'm not sure why you'd look harder than that — it seems like you're just burning up your plausible deniability if the BSA ever comes knocking.

If you're concerned about the morality of greymarket software, you shouldn't be buying it on the 'bay. It's the virtual equivalent of buying stuff off the back of a truck in a sketchy part of town.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:26 AM on November 24, 2009


jon1270: "Yeah, the old 'does it look fake' thing doesn't work anymore. I've recently heard or read a story (from a trusted, probably NPR-ish source which I can't quite place at the moment) that there are whole towns in China with economies built on various sorts of counterfeiting. They even mimic the holographic seals on the boxes. Visible differences are essentially nonexistent when it's done well."

I've seen quite a range of recent counterfeit software from various places in mainland China, Hong Kong and SE Asia and, while the quality certainly does vary and there are undoubtedly very good forgeries on the market, it's always possible to tell the difference.

FWIW, I don't think I've ever found a worm or trojan on pirated install media either...
posted by turkeyphant at 1:47 PM on November 24, 2009


FWIW, it's virtually certain that turkeyphant knows more about this than I do. I'm basically parroting a story from a source I remember having trusted. Got a cracker?
posted by jon1270 at 3:29 PM on November 24, 2009


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