Yesterday a number of tech blogs discovered that it's possible to download fully working Mac and Windows versions of Adobe's Creative Suite (CS2) for free - including Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2, InDesign CS2, Premiere Pro 2, Acrobat Pro 7 and even tools that make you feel a bit nostalgic including GoLive CS2 and Acrobat 3D. Now Adobe has responded saying that they're not free and if you don't own CS2, you shouldn't be downloading them.
The 'CS2 free download' link published on the blogs takes you to a download page with links to installers for the full CS2 suite, and individual CS2 applications including Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2, InDesign CS2 and Premiere Pro 2.0 - though not After Effects for some reason. It also lists serial numbers. Creative Suite 2 was released in May 2005, so it's no surprise that the Mac versions will only work on Macs with PowerPC processors, or ones with Intel chips and versions of Mac OS X with Rosetta emulation technology (so not Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion' or the current Mac OS X 10.8 'Mountain Lion). This was also the era of Windows XP, so we're unsure how CS2 will run on Windows 7 or 8.
After some of the blogs described the release as a 'giveaway', saying 'download while you can', Adobe staff were quick to point out that the downloads were meant to be for CS2 owners only.
"You have heard wrong! Adobe is absolutely not providing free copies of CS2!" said Adobe employee Don Isaacs on Adobe's forums, overdoing the exclaimation marks somewhat. "What is true is that Adobe is terminating the activation servers for CS2 and that for existing licensed users of CS2 who need to reinstall their software, copies of CS2 that don't require activation but do require valid serial numbers are available. (Special serial numbers are provided on the page for each product download.) You are only legally entitled to download and install with that serial number if you have a valid license to the product!"
Adobe confirmed this officially in a statement on its blog, clarifying that it posted the downloads and serial numbers as it decided to take the CS2 activation servers offline, and wanted to still allow customers to install the software
Adobe says "Effective December 13, Adobe disabled the activation server for CS2 products and Acrobat 7 because of a technical glitch. These products were released over 7 years ago and do not run on many modern operating systems. But to ensure that any customers activating those old versions can continue to use their software, we issued a serial number directly to those customers. While this might be interpreted as Adobe giving away software for free, we did it to help our customers."