Another Good Reason Not To Crack Graphics Software

Digital graphic design software–image editors, layout software, video production software, et cetera–usually comes at a considerable price-tag for the top-drawer product. A user wanting to freelance will find themselves dropping a considerable sum, usually in the neighborhood of $1000 or more for new purchasers, for software from Adobe and Quark.

It is also no secret that, as hard as companies like Adobe and Quark are working to provide their fans and users with their best product, there seem to be at least as many people trying to provide users with ways to get the services of these applications for free. One of the most prevalent forms of copy protection is that of the serial number key, a long, inscrutable string of letters and numbers that registration and activation programs will recognize as authorizing the issuer full use of the application’s license. Mostly today it’s found that entering an activation code key will unlock the features of a demo version, making it a fully-installed version, for example.

Can I Borrow Your Keys?

One development in the software cracking world is the key generator, or “keygen”. What this essentially is is a program that reverse-engineers the code in your applications used to generate the serial or registration number, returning a valid code that can then be used to crack open a demo version or make a trial version one’s own for free use.

you can pay for your trouble now–or pay for it later
Keygens can be found with not much effort on the internet, usually a Google search is all that is required to produce several sites. Recently, a keygen for Photoshop CS3 has been publicized that will generate a valid serial number code to make the demo version a fully workable one, and, for the budget-conscious, these keygens are free for the downloading.

But just as the old saw has it, you can pay for your trouble now–or pay for it later. And the costs of using a keygen to crack open a copy of Photoshop for personal use in the mid-to-long term may be more than merely worrying about a lawsuit for unlicensed software use.

I Think We’re A Clone Now

Recently reported by Softpedia, a keygen designed to crack open Photshop CS3 designed by “macROSS” has the potential to leave a gift that keeps on giving. As explained by Softpedia:

Free product keys for Photoshop CS3 are used as incentive in a social engineering scheme designed to convince unsuspecting users looking for a “free ride” to download and execute the code on their machine. Once a user deploys the Photoshop CS3 Extended keygen, his computer won’t be “his computer” any longer.

Technically speaking, Softpedia quoted SophosLabs, who said:

…analysts encountered a Trojan (Troj/Mdrop-BPE) that came bundled with a password key generator and a worm with IRC backdoor functionality. When run, the Trojan not only drops the password generator crack for Adobe Photoshop CS3 (Troj/Keygen-BI) but as an additional freebie, it potentially turns your computer into a IRC zombie machine (W32/IRCBot-WA) as well

Observing the sheer multiplicity of keygens, we might infer that little of this happens in a vacuum. We think it’s a reasonable conclusion to draw that the aforementioned keygen gift is probably not the only one.

Actually, A Simple Choice

There’s no shame in complaining about the price of software–some of it can be quite expensive. But what we seem to get from paying prices for premium applications are premium functionality–as witness the strides in functionality made by QuarkXPress and, most recently, Adobe with the Creative Suite 3.

not pirating software may be the law, but it’s also a good idea
But with the dubious nature and genesis of registration and activation circumvention schemes, and especially in light of this new revelation, we think the case is made more strongly than ever to simply avoid pirated software. if cost is an issue, we note that several FOSS up-and-comers such as Scribus and The GIMP exist that allow digital creatives to create quite well (whether or not they are creditable substitutes is a judgment that we find varies from user to user).

In the ongoing debate over whether or not software pricing is fair and whither circumventing copy protection is a valid form of protest, we’ve seen a whole gradient of opinions. But with keygens potentially zombifiying your computer, we think that no matter what one thinks, one observation must hold: not pirating software may be the law, but it’s also a good idea.

38 thoughts on “Another Good Reason Not To Crack Graphics Software”

  1. sounds like another reason to get a mac, not a reason to not use keygens for way overpriced software. but then again im still using cs1 bought with edu discount and have zero plans (or money) to upgrade. if i had 1000+ bucks to blow id put it toward a new computer.

  2. Yes a some of this is true but not anywhere near all keygens carry trojans. This is our situation: We bought photoshop 7.0 then photoshop got so messed up we had to reinstall. After reinstalling cs3 adobe would not give us a key. So what did I do? I went online and got a keygen generated a key and today our business is functioning normally thanks to the help of keygens!
    All keygens created by me have no viruses du to my name!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  3. Current project is installing mac on a pc. Rick probably has a pirated copy of mac the way it sounds

  4. there are alternatives lets see
    the obvious Open ones like Scibus, inkscape, gimp.
    also krita (for linux)
    and serif do good dtp software Pageplus(outputs to pdf) and photoplus too
    theres also Corel Draw, Painter, Painshop Pro
    theres XaraXtreme too
    Lets go with alternative the revenue may make them better down the road too

  5. I have a mac and a diseased virus infested cheap PC which i run the keygens on and it’s not connected to the network. so i have no problem. You can just use a cheap rubbish computer to sacrifice to run the keygens on. I even did that when i used windows. I’d run the keygen on a computer that can be sacrficed. A lot of local computer shops a selling old computers that are only just fast enough to run XP and not much else for around $400 give or take.

  6. You’ve missed the point there by a country mile. Either that, or you’re simply ignoring it.

    Regardless of what one’s opinion is of the state of software and its price or whatever issues one as a consumer has with Adobe/Quark/et.al, the fact remains that cracking software is illegal. It will get you fined. It might get you thrown in jail. It’s a stupid thing to do.

    Two comments back, someone pointed out that there’s open source alternatives like Scribus, Inkscape, and the GIMP. I’ve tried Scribus and like it quite a lot. It’s open-source, continually developed, and free of cost-all you have to do is download. You can do some pretty killer layout. The GIMP may not be a total replacement for Photoshop but it’s a great alternative for the cash-strapped and does fine work indeed.

    To suggest workarounds to enable you to run keygens is foolish, an irresponsible suggeestion to make, and won’t keep you out of trouble with the law. We here at Designorati say, in the strongest possible terms, to completely avoid the temptation to use such a workaround.

  7. Yes we are all lead to believe the s.h.i.t.e that is being put out on websites as a so called frighting tactic I have been using keygens, cracks and patches for as long as I can remember and never had any problems at all. The most important part is to use a up to date virus checker program. remember guys if software was made affordable in the United Kingdom people would buy it. When you think that in the USA they pay half the price we pay in the UK. I not only speak for myself but also other people in the UK the cost of software here is a rip off (rip off Britain we call it). I don’t and will never buy software. please remember the law CANNOT touch a person for using a keygen and if they do they have to do every body this aint going to happen not now or ever.

  8. @ Samuel John Klein you seem to know a lot about nothing. Yes cracking software is illegal, but using a keygen ain’t. Fella there is more chance of finding elvis selling hotdogs than getting as you put it “thrown in jail” yes the goverment are going to pay for me to spend time in jail for running a keygen to run a piece of software. Do you know that people in the UK get away with far far more than that. What a half arsed thing to say. Get your facts right before bleeting out on here.

  9. I use keygens and cracks, and crack programs. I only do it because I have no way of making money and can’t buy it.

  10. @Malc: Your ad hominem sniding will get no response from me, except to answer the point that using a keygen isn’t illegal. So what if it isn’t? Using a sledgehammer isn’t illegal either, but if you maliciously vandalize property with it, you’ve committed a crime. Your point is specious in the extreme.

    The point I’ve made here … and the point which some dear people who’ve allowed their oxen to have been gored upon … is that using keygens opens your computer – and presumably you don’t have a stiack of them to do your bidding, I certainly don’t – to harm from viruses. And maybe some in this world get their kicks from disinfecting their boxen. I certainly do not.

    Using cracked software is unlawful. There’s no debate here. It’s against the law. Perhaps I misspoke over being “thrown in jail”, but where I come from, this is a criminal wrong as well as a civil one. Regardless of this, you’d be in trouble up to your eyebrows with legal bills the likes of which you’ll never be able to pay. Even if you don’t spend time behind bars, Why risk enormous legal fees and trouble with the law? And here in America, there are business organizations that take anonymous tips and check them out.

    Shucks … maybe the chance of your getting caught is infintesimally small. Alright then. Good luck with that.

    @ Crezert: I certainly concede that professional graphics tools are spendy. I know what the prices are. You get what you pay for for them, though, as any regular PS user will tell you.

    I have had some experience using the open source alternatives, and I highly recommend them for the designer with a tiny budget. At least look into them. Those would be Scribus (for page layout) and the well-known GIMP (for photoshopping). No, The GIMP isn’t exactly a PS replacement, but I’ve used it and you can do some rather accomplished photoshoppery with it. Scribus works like the best parts of QuarkXPress with a bit of InDesign thrown in. And they are available free, as in you don’t pay a thing. They’ve come up to quite a high standard and are examples of the best Open Source has to offer these days.

    Once again, the point of the whole article is that, whether or not you are in any legal jeopardy because of using cracked software via keygens, you are at palpable risk of introducing malicious programs to you computer that will corrupt your data and ruin whatever projects you might be working on.

    Why someone would want to actually argue with this point, I don’t know, but that’s people for you.

  11. Don’t you think adobe’s rate of selling their CS3 packages would go up if the made it cheaper?

    I’m a webdesigner and I can’t afford the latest versions of my favorite softwares. I’ve come REALLY close to downloading pirated versions of Web Premium CS3.3, but I always stop myself.

    Wanna buy it for me?

  12. Let’s just put it out there that the “trojan scare” and “botnet fear” is really not that applicable when you’re running a keygen on your Mac. Furthermore, if you use a serial from KCNScrew (search for it at PirateBay.org) it just serves a serial in which to use. As for the Adobe CS3 Suite. You can use the KCN serial database, or you can run the SSG Keygen in a virtual Windows machine using VMWare Fusion or Parallels (also easily cracked) and you can disable network access for your virtual machine and that will keep the “shady” program from calling home if it does (but it really doesn’t even try to!). On Mac there’s also Little Snitch to help you monitor your network for programs that want to “phone home”.

    I’ve cracked, keyed, and serialized software since the days of Windows 95 and OS 7. It is considerably easier and “safer” on a Mac but totally doable on a PC if you have proper virus protection and file scanning on at all times. On my PC, I use NOD32 as it has less “false positives” concerning keygens and because it’s the best Windows anti-virus software if you’re constantly downloading questionable software.

    I have a friend whose dad has worked for Adobe for over 12 years. I asked him about pirated Adobe Photoshop. Here’s his reply–

    “Well, it’s the pirates that make this program the standard. Poor college kids or aspiring graphic designers can’t afford to buy it. But when they go looking for jobs, it’s there as a requirement. So, they go out and crack our software and learn it. We make our money from people and companies that can afford to buy it. The people who can afford to buy it, aren’t going to waste time and effort trying to crack our software. It’s a time vs money thing. We make it just hard enough to crack that a reasonable individual would rather just pay for it. Why do you think that a software suite that’s thousands of dollars is crackable at all?”

    So, in summation. Adobe has a special place in their heart for pirates. See, the average Joe Blow is unable to afford this software but because of piracy it helps keep it as the standard for graphics software. If it was impossible to crack Photoshop, then there wouldn’t be so many people able to use it.

    I’ll have to say, that in my 13+ years of cracking software I’ve only had one incident where the use of a keygen or patching tool caused me major grief. And that was in May of 2000 when I ran a patching tool for some DVD player program and it infected my computer with a worm. It was a really bad infection and I had to reformat. That was due to MY stupidity. It was a new computer and I hadn’t installed my antivirus software on it yet but I was anxious to watch something on my new DVD drive form BenQ.

    I can also not stress enough that backing up your work to a secure non-volatile source frequently is a smart strategy.

    I guess my point is… IF you’re VERY careful, you can successfully crack software and not have to deal with any sort of infection on your computer. It also depends on *where* you get your keygen and cracking software. I prefer to use torrents these days as you can read comments left about it and usually if something is malicious, lots of angry people will be posting about it. That’s another thing; let others be the guinea pigs, not you. I always let something hit “the scene” to make sure it’s not damaging. There’s lots of idiots that run keygens and cracks willy-nilly and then whine when their computer is jacked.

    One more thing. I highly approve of alternative software, whenever possible. Which is why when I have friends ask me about graphics software, I usually point them to Paint.NET. (download it at: http://www.getpaint.com) as it is a great little graphics program and has a very strong and active community. It’s got great forums too. I just wish there was a Mac version! For Macs, well, our alternatives are bit a limited. However, there’s is a program called ChocoFlop (download it at: http://www.chocoflop.com) that I really like a lot. I suggest you give those a shot if you’re looking for alternative pieces of graphics software that are lightweight and simple to use.

    BTW, Samuel. If I had to venture a guess; I’d say you’re not stranger to running a keygen or a cracking/patching tool. I just think that perhaps you got burned by it and this blog post was something that you decided to write as a warning to others. Am I right?

  13. You speak to a great many things that I have to concede, if only because you have a base of knowledge I do not have access to.

    The responses I get occasionally to this article are interesting to say the least. I will concede that, taken at face value, your arguments do make sense. They have a logic that I cannot deny. One would have to take your word for it, of course; I doubt that you’d be willing to release the name of the person who gave you that statement (for obvious reasons) and Adobe, if similarly queried, would doubtlessly deny that they had any such attitude toward pirated software.

    So, the information you’ve provided, while interesting, doesn’t really decide the issue. Note that this has no bearing upon your character and integrity.

    Moreover, the whole point of the article wasn’t so much that pirating or cracking software is wrong, but that it could possibly ruin a person’s production system and render the files (and all work) useless at a critical time. I see your record of running such software has it that you’ve dodged the bullet near enough 100% of the time as makes little or no difference for you. Congratulations. Will everyone find that sort of risk acceptable? Not everyone. And even if you dodge the bulled 99 times out of 100, if that 100th time craters your filesystem and all of your files, then that 100th time is 100% a disaster.

    And even if the chance of getting a virus isn’t a factor, and even if the simple thought of pirating and cracking software doesn’t bother one on a legal or ethical basis, you still have to worry about The Other Guy. Got a disgruntled employee or colleague who wants to make your life hell? There are business software advocacy groups that take anonymous tips on people running unlicensed software. I’ve read about business being fined tens of thousands of dollars for it.

    So, the chances may be acceptable for any given person … it’s thier decision to make. It’s dice I care not to roll myself.

    As far as alternative software, I have tried a few (and have written about a few … the reviews are here on D: for the finding). I’ve tried Scribus and while I’d not use it if I had InDesign or Quark available to me I’d certainly turn to it if I couldn’t get the former … and I’ve even written a favorable review of Scribus (it’s good and getting better all the time) and it’s free (as in beer) too. I’ve also tried the GIMP and Inkscape, and found them very nice indeed.

    While I wouldn’t call myself a FOSS advocate or evangelist, I certainly would encouraged the fund-strapped to check them out. They’re free, they run, and they allow you to produce work. What’s not to like?

    As to your last comment:

    f I had to venture a guess; I’d say you’re not stranger to running a keygen or a cracking/patching tool. I just think that perhaps you got burned by it and this blog post was something that you decided to write as a warning to others. Am I right?

    You guessed 100% wrong here. I’ve never used a keygen or a cracking/patching tool; I’ve been fortunate enough not to have to and even if I weren’t in that fortunate position I’d be hard put to do so. You may see my attitude rightly or wrongly, but I see it as stealing, and that’s simply wrong.

  14. Mr. Samuel, before drawing conclusions about keygens destroying computers with malwares and viruses, you must have at least tried it and see it for yourself. Judging things without actual basis is perhaps due care in practice but when referring to this one, it is somewhat stupid. I may have high-end hardware yet I don’t have any legal software on my pc. From windows to photoshop to 3dsmax to games, I’ve got everything almost free. Although your logic is right however far from the truth. If so, you can jail billion of crackers out there.

  15. Note: on practical reasons, nobody(except companies and corporate organizations ) in my country is stupid enough to buy legal Adobe programs since they can almost buy a mid-range PC with that. Cracking software is as legal as buying cigarettes here.

  16. Cracked Guy: so you have all sorts of professional software on your system you didn’t pay for?

    Bully for you. Seriously. What you have on your computer is a bit beside the point actually. The point is that a keygen is, in this environment in the US, dangerous (you can’t tell what programmers are putting in there, and I don’t think suspicion about using such a program is stupid, since you wish to cast an aspersion) and illegal.

    In your country it’s legal to crack software? Good for you (I have a hard time believing that, but I’ll concede the point for the sake of argument)! I believe that, no matter how big the company is, paying for the software is the ethical thing to do, however. Buying their software is a large part of how companies, even those as big as Adobe, make their money, which pays salaries of developers who create more and better software.

    If you can’t afford Adobe software, you aren’t out of the loop necessarily. FOSS programs like the GIMP and Scribus exist that allow those on tiny (or no) budgets to create and strike a blow against The Man.

    What I am against (though various commenters in this zombie thread have misread a dozen different ways) is installing software with sketchy history on your computer to transgress a ethical boundary. Of course, if you want to … if you really want to … you’re probably going to do it anyway. If you feel compelled to do so, that doesn’t necessarily invalidate that observation.

    And if you want to call things stupid, suggesting that even after I’ve read about the issue I’m still not qualified to comment that it’s a bad idea unless I actually try to use the software (which is illegal in my country) is about the stupidest thing I’ve heard in a long time. It’s a lot like saying that unless I’ve actually broken into someone’s house, I’m not qualified to notify the police if someone else breaks into mine.

    I’m not changing my opinion on this subject. Sorry. If you want to mock it, that’s fine.

  17. You realize that not all people who crack programs have no morales/ethics, right?
    I have to admit, I HAVE cracked a few program (Google me). And it’s not personal vendetta, but for helping stupid people. Those who don’t know about alternatives like 7-zip or Recuva. Those who don’t care. All in all, I’m promoting it, not only because I help others. But because it’s fun. I enjoy the feeling of having control over something/someone. Everyone does. And denying it is bullshit.

  18. Ok, it is illegal but not enforced. However, we do things differently on companies and schools.. we use 30 day trial then we’ll reformat the C again.. since it’s much better than buying $1000 softwares like Adobe and 3DS max on every pc..

  19. “Got a disgruntled employee or colleague who wants to make your life hell? There are business software advocacy groups that take anonymous tips on people running unlicensed software. I’ve read about business being fined tens of thousands of dollars for it.”

    it’s sad being a couch potato.. hey wake up!! too much movies..

  20. perhaps this article has a hidden agenda… maybe it’s condemning keygens to promote some of the software that it recommends using as opposed to using keygens.

  21. @Samuel John Klein:

    “Moreover, the whole point of the article wasn’t so much that pirating or cracking software is wrong, but that it could possibly ruin a person’s production system and render the files (and all work) useless at a critical time.” –

    well, well, well… In my impression, the whole point of the article was to scare the people away from cracking by arguments that are more pragmatic than ethical or legal arguments. If the author is really serious… then viruses and worms don’t do much harm to an average user using some decent protection software (possibly cracked itself). For the general discussion, let me provide two perspectives.

    Firstly, in countries such as Russia, which is where I am originally from, until very recently everyone used cracked software. This happened mostly because of (a) technical difficulty to buy legal software (easier to buy illegal software that’s already been cracked, until a few years ago), and (b) difference in income. When computers were already quite expensive for a normal person (late 1990s), when an average computer was more than a normal monthly salary (the average income/salary in St.Petersburg, Russia, is still below $1000/month), working for several months to fill your computer with software (available for free more easily than for money) seemed ridiculous.

    Secondly, about software being overpriced. I also worked for Adobe for some time. You know… when you are paying to Adobe, Microsoft, Google, there is something you are paying for. Of course, a good fraction of money goes to stakeholders, but some of it goes to programmers. There is a lot of thought being put into good software by very smart people. Some of it is very hard or impossible to copyright. For example, if Adobe invents a new feature for Photoshop, and then this feature is implemented in open source software (but it was more difficult to come up with the idea of adding the feature, after customer surveys, etc.) Or Microsoft conducts a large research study about a more convenient user interface, and then everyone else can immediately observe how they organized the interface in their new MS Office and use the ideas in other free or commercial software.
    The amount of intellect that has been put into CS3 or CS4 is incredible, and all these several hundreds (or couple thousand) of people want their money for the work done during, perhaps, some years. Where would these tens of millions of dollars come from?..

  22. Hi there. I have read your opinions and decided to share mine. Currently I am studying in KAIST which is in South Korea and majoring in Industrial Design. I am sophomore which means I have been using design programs for 2 years at least. Honestly, my school gives us licenced programs that we need. Not only design programs though. But the problam is I am not Korean but those programs that my institute provides all of ‘em are in Korean. i ll be telling the untruth if i say I don’t know korean. I do but not enough to use programs. In order to study here and get good grades i have to buy or get cracked, keygen version of all design programs. Obviously I can’t buy every single program by my own money. So what I do is I sign in some russian torrents site where I can find any program both in Russian and English. I can use both of languages but I do prefere more English version. So anytime I want i get the latest version of any program that I have dreamt to use. Plus, still I don’t know what is trojan look like? :) What do u think about that?

  23. Well, here in my country is totally legal to buy cracked sofware
    for example my photoshop CS3 extended only cost 5 bucks and this is a full version. or illustrator 3 dollars. very cheap.
    I think crackers are the robin hood of software. they give to poor but talented people the opportunity of shine. and use top quality programs.

  24. Once upon a time people merrily downloaded music files and used peer to peer to share them, thus depriving the artist of his revenue.Now they are ending up in court faced with a nice big bill. I laugh my bollocks off at the dim wit “male” of the UK does he not read the press? The government along with ISP’s are working to stop this downloading as it is illegal just like using cracked software. One day the dog is going to turn on you and bite your ass. If you can’t afford it use open source or get off your lazy arse and get a job.

  25. As I understand word from Adobe is they do not tipically go after the individual who loads a pirated copy on their home PC to “play” with. My guess is they figure the user would never have purchaed the product in the first place, and if they do not start distributing it then just let it go.
    They will go after companies that use software as a revenue generating or productivity tool, and have installed a single licensed copy across several machines. Even in this cases am I to understand the software development company always give the company the option of purchasing a license for each in lieu of prosecution?
    The real question is what about certain Torrent sites that condone pirating of everything, but never actually stored the software on a central server. They will not shut down Torrent sites since most are musicians who allow trading of live recordings. Again with no central database, these sites are not going to suffer the same fate as Napster did. I do not know what law can be used when 99% of the time the source is unknown and not seeding Torrents.
    In the lighter side is the person who obtains the software from work and installs it on their home machine. I had Acrobat 6.0 Photoshop 6.0 and and In Design 2,0, but each was uninstalled from the client machine and replaced with a full retail version of Creative Suite (CS).
    I asked what was going to be done with the old SW and told I could take the above products provided they were boxed and all the registeration material still intact, and I did.
    Since then I have purchased upgrades up to their latest versions, and all is OK.
    So some of us will like what we see and decide to buy it.

  26. Bizzybot should be running Adobe. Why do I have a feeling his
    friend is telling the truth? I’ve known more than a few students
    who learn photoshop, or a CAD program with the help of a crack.
    When the get their first real job, the boss buys the license, or
    multiple licenses(in a good economy). In the entertainment
    industry they have a worn out, but true saying,”any publicity is
    good publicity.” People want what they can’t have. Photoshop
    is very expensive for what it does, but it’s everywhere. You
    can’t buy that exposure. GIMP is a great free program. Someone even published a text book for it. But I have never
    heard of a professional photographer, charging 5 grand a day,
    who would even think about telling his clients he uses GIMP.
    I don’t like it, but people are very shallow and usually judge
    a book by it’s cover. I get what your saying, but I’m afraid
    Adobe has a fair amount of Harvard Phd’s in Psychology
    on their payroll, and in the long run, we have all been manipulated
    by computer companies. The Music industry still needs to
    learn how to play the game–because in the end it’s all a game.

  27. I don’t know what the ‘f’ you are all worried about. If your designated computer isn’t connected to the internet, then you have nothing to worry about. If the software comes with a virus, all you have to do is restore your system. This sounds more like a blog to scare people into not using pirated software. And I agree that if you use something, you should pay for it. However, a lot of people would not get the chance to learn, or decide if they like the software enough to use it regularly for that matter, without getting the pirated version first. I know I would have never learned adobe indesign and illustrator if I hadn’t used a pirated versions at first. Now that I use both on a daily basis, I purchase the full version so that I can receive updates and support. In my opinion, pirated software has its place in the digital world. Just take precautions when using pirated stuff and pay for the real stuff if you actually use it. Oh and Samuel, if you are against pirating, why don’t you make a blog about the people that pirate movies and music. That is where the real damage is being done.

  28. Look My friends are professional programmers and can crack any software thats not hardware locked. This is all Adobe, Quark and Hell I just got the whole Adobe master collection for a friend. You have to know the terminal code in the Mac to do it right. There is no chance of getting caught. I have not heard one person mention the correct way to unlock your Mac so it reads the software differently and won’t shut down or try to register to Adobe. Trust me my friend is a genius he doesn’t even pay for his power he runs it back (that smart). Don’t go hating on people who know how to do things you don’t know….living in the southern U.S.A..

  29. Firstly, I agree that copyright infringement should be avoided where possible in the software arena using superior free alternatives. However, copyright infringement for personal use is a civil offense in most of the EU (including the UK). This makes the offense akin to trespassing – you can be sued if you have caused damage and the plaintiff can claim compensatory damages. You don’t get “locked up” for it.

    Second of all, with the likes of XP it is easy to insulate against any malware. No need for a second computer in the majority of circumstances When running a keygen it is trivial to:

    * Make a limited user account
    * Log in on said account
    * Right-click keygen-> Run As..
    * Check the checkbox “Protect my computer and data from unauthorized program activity”
    * Click OK!

    This isn’t the only way. If you’re paranoid then you can use a tool like QEMU to emulate an entire PC and run a lightweight copy of 2000/XP/Vista inside to run keygens/patches/cracks.

    Finally, if you believe (like I do) that software is not a salable commodity then use Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS). Try an OS like GNU/Linux, use the superior-quality software that most distributions offer and kiss goodbye to rip-off merchants like Adobe.

  30. Buy a good condition 2nd hand mac and a PS3 for under a grand and you’re laughing…

    Seriously though, PC vs Mac is a debate not worth arguing I have both and they both work well, I also run all licenced software for uses that I make money from, and I do have a few cracked programs that I use to ‘play’ on, learn with, but if I started to make money from them I would go out the next day and buy them. If I didn’t have the chance to learn them then it’s almost 100% I wouldn’t get them, even things like Photoshop which is an amazing program that I never use, if I didn’t have a feel for it then I doubt I would go and buy it. I used Logic and Cubase for years as cracked software, but since I do it as a job now I have recent editions with boxes, manuals and all that, Ok I bought logic for £729 and it dropped to £389 within 6 months (gutted) but still I use it every day and it serves me well. Well designed software produced by hard working companies deserves to be paid for I reckon.

    As mentioned many times this is not the argument….I think the point is that malicious ‘bots’ which can actually build networks, allow access to your computer, upload keystrokes with your bank details etc. are often installed on your computer. Virus programs work but they are nothing in the fight against that as they by nature have to play catch up with the viruses themselves, meaning they will always be one step ahead of the game. Not uncommon for bank accounts to be cleared out on payday, happened to a neighbour, so it must happen to a few people. If you go onto many XP computers with up to date antivirus you may still be able to do a CTRL-ALT-DEL and end one of the SVCHOST.EXE files, and find that it starts a shutdown of the computer, which was a massive virus in 2004/5 which took advantage of an open port with an RPC call. Pure genius courtesy of Microsoft. (If you try it I think you can stop it with shutdown /a in a command window)

    My point is that it is fully correct that cracked software is illegal but then that whole process as mentioned by someone keeps a lot of the big companies tools industry standard, they know this full well and I reckon that it’s a fair balance. Cracking well priced £40-50 programs that do a good job is a bit slack, everyone can afford them with a bit of effort. But also just as true is that Windows is a very weak effort of an operating system that over the years has had many many security flaws, updates, patches, viruses, crashing etc. so I think it’s fair to say that the moment you install something that does not come from an established software company you run the risk of opening up your system to abuse, and I have read that the keycatchers or whatever you call them are rife, and just waiting to upload your keystrokes when they come across things that look like financial details.

    Anyway just my 2p worth, I am just visiting as a ‘troller’ but hope that made some sense…!

    Read first line again, it makes a lot of sense ;-)

  31. I would tend to believe the keystrokers theory a good angle, but falls short in some basic logic: one of the most common factors in software piracy is financial insufficiency: Why would “keystrokers” target a more or less broke demographic, doesn’t make allot of sense to me?

    I’m a CG artist, spend allot of time on CG forums etc… and most crackers seem to see it as a temporary solution, and will gladly pay for it once they get his/her break and can afford it.

    If anything… software piracy serves and perpetuates their use more so than any kind of degeneration. I mean, its not like its some kind of secret… who has not heard of rapidshare etc? It seems to me that if devs or the law where truly concerned about it, it wouldn’t be all that hard to pin down its sources.

    I would even go as far as to say the initial keygens and cracks of new software are issued/leaked by the companies themselves as a covert promotional campaign: but on the flip side, also perpetuate enough negative propaganda around piracy to push a potential user with the means, or access to the means, over the edge of a financial commitment, he/she can afford the piece of mind. It just doesn’t make allot of business sense to fight this. In fact it makes much more sense for them to allow it, and embrace it.

    They price this stuff for professionals, not consumers, nor the “whim” markets for that matter. They’re not too many general consumers interested in graphics applications, most of them have never even heard of them. For the individual who has 1-3k lying around to blow on a whim, a 3D or Graphics application is probably the last thing he would spend it on. Its all very specific, aimed at a very specific demographic. Not to mention the fact that there is no instant gratification in using one: you have to invest both a substantial amount of time, and money (training vids etc) to get any kind of gratification out of it, comes in time… not at the push of a button. Essentially, a potential cracker is a strong candidate as a potential customer. The fact that academic license are 1/10 the cost of retail suggests this ( practically giving it way at these prices): that the best promotion is to make sure its in the hands of every potential user.

  32. ha this guy, cracking software isnt worth it, yes it is when im paying nothing to use something that cost you thousands of dollars and i crack it and dont get a virus, ha thats funny. yes it is worth it. just stay away from fakers and check your crack very well before running it.

  33. and yes i use photoshop cs5 for fun and to learn more from the cs4 version, i dont use it to make work and sell or promote things. if i did have the money i would buy the cs5 premium that has after effects and premiere pro plus photoshop and other stuff i wouldtn use

  34. I’m using pirated softwares just for evaluation and for trying to learn them. But if I’m gonna use them to make money I would surely buy them. Yes, it’s illegal to use cracked softwares but those giant software companies can easily get away from monopoly and over-pricing. They can steal people’s money legally. I can’t imagine that there are softwares that are priced much much higher than my PC. I’m a programmer and I know how to reuse codes. Those software companies tirelessly improve and update their softwares to make my version obsolete in just few years and forced me to upgrade to their new version. How many neurons were trigerred to come up with their so called innovations? How much money they paid to their programmer to justify their high prices? Anyway, their days are numbered, free softwares are getting better and catching up with them.

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