Sunday, November 1, 2009

Corporate Bullying: Why Adobe is Welcome to Bite Me.

I have recently decided to return to my roots as a dyed-in-the-wool anti-corporate guy. Here's one incident that helped push me in the right direction.

I downloaded the latest version of Adobe Reader. It installed a rogue application (rather like a virus, it's a program that you didn't invite that hides in the background and violates your rights) called "Adobe Updater." My firewall software didn't block it, since it thought it was a regular program.

I only noticed it a few days later when I tried to use some of my software. Recently, Adobe bought its only real competitior, Macromedia, in what was certainly one of the worst cases of anti-trust violation in the software world. Since they now owned the rights to this software, Adobe Updater decided to block my ability to use my legally-purchased Macromedia software until I re-registered with them.

Let's be clear: I own this software. I didn't steal it. This little rogue application that I did not agree to have on my computer changed my certification files so I couldn't use my software. It took a couple of days essentiall hacking my own operating system to delete these configuration files and replace them with the original ones. I also found out how to turn off this malicious program. There's not an option: you have to edit registration files and so forth.

So now I don't use any Adobe products. I found a little program called SumatraPDF, which so far has opened every .pdf file I have tried. And it's free.

I am replacing all my Adobe and Macromedia products with open source software wherever possible. If there isn't an open source version, I am buying software that doesn't have DRM.

I'm an honest person. Adobe's piracy problems are just that; their problems. It doesn't give them the right to violate the integrity of my privacy. They are creating their own piracy problems by bullying their customers.

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