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Anti-piracy initiative

What is software piracy?

What is software piracy?

Unlike other things you purchase, the software applications and fonts you buy don't belong to you. Instead, you become a licensed user — you purchase the right to use the software on a single computer, but you can't put copies on other machines or pass that software along to colleagues. Software piracy is the illegal distribution and/or reproduction of Adobe software applications or fonts for business or personal use. Whether software piracy is deliberate or not, it is still illegal and punishable by law.

Piracy comes in many forms. Here are some common piracy methods:

Licensed user duplication for unlicensed users

When someone copies software without buying the appropriate number of licenses, it is copyright infringement. For example each of the following activities is a form of software piracy:

  • An individual copying software for a friend
  • A business purchasing individual software packages and then copying the software onto more computers than permitted, in the accompanying licenses.
  • Including copies of Adobe fonts when sending files

For more information on the legal use of Adobe fonts, click here.

Illegal Internet distribution

Be cautious when ordering software over the Internet. Many resellers with Internet storefronts or those who sell from auction sites knowingly distribute copies of software illegally. Estimates reveal that as much as 90% of software sold over Internet auction sites is either bootlegged or gray market. So, if the pricing seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Some Web sites promise prospects free software downloads. These sites are distributing software illegally. There is also no guarantee that the software is secure or will work properly when installed. The only time it's legal to download Adobe software free of charge is when special tryout promotions are offered. Typically, you'll find these only on Adobe.co.uk. These offers enable the use of the software only for a limited time.

To buy knowing that you'll receive the protection and full functionality of legal software, we recommend that you purchase from either the Adobe Store or from an Adobe Authorized Reseller. Further information on Internet software piracy is available from the BSA.

Illegal use of Adobe Acrobat over a network

Adobe Acrobat is a powerful tool to help employees communicate efficiently and securely enterprise-wide. Given the need to share Acrobat files with a wide network of employees and partners, there are some specific licensing requirements to be aware of. Please check out the Acrobat licensing FAQ for more information.

Distributing specialized education versions to unauthorized markets

Adobe creates special versions of its software to meet the needs of the education market. These versions are clearly labeled to avoid confusion with other market segments. Duplication of these specialized versions for distribution to other markets is prohibited. To find out who qualifies for educational pricing, visit Adobe in Education.

Distribution of inauthentic Adobe software or fonts

Be cautious when ordering software over the Internet. Many resellers with Internet storefronts or those who sell from auction sites knowingly distribute copies of software illegally. According to the Software & Information Industry Association, estimates reveal that as much as 90% of software sold over Internet auction sites is bootlegged or gray market. So, if the pricing seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Some resellers attempt to alter Adobe software or fonts and unlawfully sell it under a different product name, resulting in quality and file transfer problems. Buy only true Adobe products.