Cheap, Illegal Software

By Deane Barker on June 10, 2004

OEM software scams on the rise: In a moment of serious self-delusion I almost fell for one of these outfits. Yes, I’ll admit it, I wanted Dreamweaver MX for $60. I’m sure you’ve all got the same spams — they’re saying that this is the new trend after penis enlargement spam.

[sigh] Too good be to true, and all that. I’m an idiot.

It is not difficult to recognise the pirates from reputable resellers: their prices are typically much lower than those offered by official resellers. They often use anonymous domain hosting services and their sites lack sufficient contact information.

More importantly, the software they offer is unlikely to be OEM. Adobe never offered Acrobat or Photoshop (with the exception of Photoshop Elements) as OEM software, but it is widely available from OEM vendors.

I asked Chris for his opinion, and he noted that the ordering page of the site at which I was looking wasn’t even secured with SSL. Yikes.