Can Adobe CS4 Academic be used for profit?

mattjbak

Senior member
Jun 3, 2005
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Can Adobe CS4 Academic be used for profit?

I am finishing up with school and am going to focus more on freelance web development. I was wondering if I will be able to use the software that I currently own.

Thank you in advance for your answers!

Story: I called in to Adobe's customer support. The guy who I ended up talking with kept making hints that I shouldn't worry about being within Adobe's legal expectations. I asked him multiple times, in very plain terms: Can I use this software, legally, to design for profit. His answers included: "Well once you have a license, it's not like we will track you to make sure that you don't."

... amazingly enough that's as close to the point as he came, which is why I'm here. Makes me wonder if he'd respond the same way if I asked him if I could profit from pirated software :|.


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The answer is NO, it can not be used for profit. Some may allow use after school is completed.
The restrictions of Not For Profit still exists unless specifically called out in the EULA.

Discussions on using it Academic S/W for profit becomes a discussion of how to pirate, which results in vacations from AT.

Senior Anandtech Moderator
Common Courtesy
 

mb

Lifer
Jun 27, 2004
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In other words: "We won't track you down and stop you from using it, but if by chance you actually make a huge profit from using our software with an Academic license then we will sue you for every penny we can get."
 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
Super Moderator
Mar 4, 2000
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Look at the bigger picture. Most colleges and universities are into profit.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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By the time you get to the point where you are making a big profit Adobe believes you'll be buying upgrades and new software. Right now they don't really care, they just want to get you assimilated. All Adobe hopes is that you'll be a lifelong customer. I know I am. Not by choice, but for nearly any sort of publishing related work it's mandatory.

There is no escape. Welcome to the Adobe collective.
 

rudder

Lifer
Nov 9, 2000
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I think it is in the TOS. Your supposed to get the real version if you use it for business. But like the angry at his employer customer service guy said... who is going to know.

 

mattjbak

Senior member
Jun 3, 2005
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I think I'm going to just bite the bullet, and buy full commercial. I know developers work hard, and if that's the way it is, that's the way it is. I'm confused because of the fact that a vendor of educational software told me over the phone that I could use what they were selling for profit. I don't think they'd be the most accurate source, who knows. I'll wait a few more days and hope that my answer pops up.
 

bruceb

Diamond Member
Aug 20, 2004
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I looked at the Adobe license about academic versions and it seems that the price for academic is no less than retail.
It also did not state anything about how you used the program.

http://www.adobe.com/aboutadob...enoptions/student.html

Q. What are the discount levels?

A. There is no special discount level under the Student Licensing Option, regardless of the number of products purchased or the higher education institution's CLP discount level. However, the higher education institution earns points toward its CLP discount level for all software ordered through the Student Licensing Option.

Q. Can students order Upgrade Plan for their licenses?

A. No. Student licenses are treated like retail licenses, which are not eligible for Upgrade Plan. Students may purchase commercial upgrades for their licenses when new versions of products are released.
 

mattjbak

Senior member
Jun 3, 2005
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Originally posted by: bruceb
I looked at the Adobe license about academic versions and it seems that the price for academic is no less than retail.
It also did not state anything about how you used the program.

Interesting... my university sells CS4 Design Premium for $549, where it normally lists at $1799.

 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
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Mar 4, 2000
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Keep in mind that your final product says nothing at all as to what software, if any, was used to produce it. MSRP is pir in the sky.
 

mattjbak

Senior member
Jun 3, 2005
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Originally posted by: corkyg
Keep in mind that your final product says nothing at all as to what software, if any, was used to produce it. MSRP is pir in the sky.

So are you supporting piracy? The real issue here is that I don't want to spend $550 and not even be able to feel more legitimate than if i had just pirated the suite.
 

bruceb

Diamond Member
Aug 20, 2004
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I don't think he is advocating piracy. And some programs, when on a trial version, either won't allow a Print or Save or in some cases, it add a watermark to a printout. That said, if you are high profile company, it may be best to get a license intended for business use.
 

corkyg

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Originally posted by: mattjbak
So are you supporting piracy? The real issue here is that I don't want to spend $550 and not even be able to feel more legitimate than if i had just pirated the suite.
Not at all! I am merely pointing out that a legitimately acquired software and license can be used for any thing you want as there is no way to link the product to the process, and the EULA does not prohibit such use. As BruceB points out, if you are an established commercial business, and can write off such expenses, it would be prudent to buy the commercial package. But, for free lance work I would not do that.

 

mattjbak

Senior member
Jun 3, 2005
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Originally posted by: corkyg
Not at all! I am merely pointing out that a legitimately acquired software and license can be used for any thing you want as there is no way to link the product to the process, and the EULA does not prohibit such use. As BruceB points out, if you are an established commercial business, and can write off such expenses, it would be prudent to buy the commercial package. But, for free lance work I would not do that.

I didn't mean that to sound like such an accusation, I apologize. So for freelance, you would advise the educational version as my best option? Thank you for your insight!
 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
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Bottom line - there's no law that bars students from making money. :)
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
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You could use it for profit, but if it ever gets out that you did you may have a hard time finding work.
The graphics industry is based a lot on who you know and your reputation. You want to be known as the guy that does great work, not as that guy that used illegal software.
Try going to any forums where people discuss professional graphics and how you use academic software for work, you'll be quickly shunned/banned.

One of the reasons it is frowned upon a lot in CG is because there are lots of small companies that don't make the money that companies like Adobe do. They go under all the time because of pirating.

One such software is a program called 3D-coat.
The author is one guy. He sells the education version for $99 and the full for $140.
It isn't a big market to begin with and every sell counts. If everyone cuts him out of the extra $40 that is a big chunk of change for him.

I know this is different from big companies like adobe, but all these companies started somewhere and I would hate to see a product that is starting out go under because people chose to keep using it in a way that hurt the developer.

Adobe is not the only software on the block, there are others that cost far less.
 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
Super Moderator
Mar 4, 2000
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We're missing the point. There is no piracy involved. OP legitimately has the academeic version of the software. He did not steal it. The question is, after, say, graduating, could he continue to use the academic software?
 

bruceb

Diamond Member
Aug 20, 2004
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Personally, I think he can. He only needs to be academic in order to qualify for the discount price. I do not think any software license says you must uninstall or stop using the program after you get out of school.
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
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I do not think any software license says you must uninstall or stop using the program after you get out of school.

Yes, some educational licenses are only valid as long as you work for or are going to an educational institution.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
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Originally posted by: corkyg
We're missing the point. There is no piracy involved. OP legitimately has the academeic version of the software. He did not steal it. The question is, after, say, graduating, could he continue to use the academic software?


No you cannot.
It is only to be used for learning not profit.
 

mattjbak

Senior member
Jun 3, 2005
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Originally posted by: Modelworks
No you cannot.
It is only to be used for learning not profit.

I believe you, I felt like this was the case, but can you provide proof? I can't seem to find anything definitive.

Edit: Didn't see the Mod reply. To answer it: Thank you for your response and please realize that I had no intent on doing or discussing anything illegal.
 

corkyg

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Mar 4, 2000
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In no way do I advocate or condone any form of piracy. However, the statement that academic software can only be used for "learning" is flat wrong. It is also legitimately available to faculty, associate faculty, and staff of academic institutions. The EULA will decide.

EULA

Princeton has a good set of rules. Pay attention to the Adobe considerations for use after graduation.

Adobe

This is what it says: "If you purchased Adobe products under the Princeton University Student Licensing Program, you may continue to use the software after graduation, and can upgrade to a future retail version rather than buy a full version. "




 

tcsenter

Lifer
Sep 7, 2001
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Originally posted by: bruceb
Q. What are the discount levels?

A. There is no special discount level under the Student Licensing Option, regardless of the number of products purchased or the higher education institution's CLP discount level. However, the higher education institution earns points toward its CLP discount level for all software ordered through the Student Licensing Option.
This means, there are no other 'fixed' discount levels beyond the normal discounted academic pricing, which is substantially less than retail. The actual discount level is determined by how many points the institution earns, which are determined by how much software the institution buys. The more software the institution buys, the more points they earn. The more points they earn, the better the discount level.

Q. Can students order Upgrade Plan for their licenses?

A. No. Student licenses are treated like retail licenses, which are not eligible for Upgrade Plan. Students may purchase commercial upgrades for their licenses when new versions of products are released.
Here, they are actually talking about the product license, not the program version. This means, there is no academic upgrade license available under the program. e.g.

If you have an academic license for product version 4.0, you can upgrade (i.e. convert) to a retail license only by purchasing the retail 5.0 upgrade. There is no upgrade path to convert academic version 4.0 to retail version 4.0.

If you have an academic license for product version 4.0, and want an academic license for product version 5.0, you need to buy the complete academic 5.0 version. There is no upgrade path between academic releases.
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
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Oct 30, 2000
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Originally posted by: corkyg
In no way do I advocate or condone any form of piracy. However, the statement that academic software can only be used for "learning" is flat wrong. It is also legitimately available to faculty, associate faculty, and staff of academic institutions. The EULA will decide.

EULA

Princeton has a good set of rules. Pay attention to the Adobe considerations for use after graduation.

Adobe

This is what it says: "If you purchased Adobe products under the Princeton University Student Licensing Program, you may continue to use the software after graduation, and can upgrade to a future retail version rather than buy a full version. "

The intent is that the student can use the S/W for personal use after graduation. They do not have to stop using the S/W upon graducation.
They also provide you an upgrade path to the retail without having to purchase retail price.

 

Samson963

Junior Member
Jan 29, 2009
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Old topic, but for those interested:

I called Adobe and asked them the same question: Can CS4 with an academic license be used for personal profit, such as freelance design work?

The answer? Yes, as long as the purchaser is a legitimate (works for a university, student, etc.). I called twice and spoke with two separate people, both had the same answer. I'll take that as correct over a forum response. The version that you cannot use for anything other than education is the student license.

Hope this helps those interested in saving several hundred dollars...