For those of you that are unaware of it, Adobe made an announcement on January 7 that it will be releasing its seven years old products for free.


According to the announcement, the following products(both for Mac/Windows) were to be given to customers for free:

  • Adobe Creative Suite CS2 (Standard)
  • Acrobat 3D 1.0 (Windows)
  • Acrobat Standard 7.0
  • Acrobat Pro 8.0
  • Audition 3.0
  • GoLive CS2
  • Illustrator CS2
  • InCopy CS2
  • InDesign CS2
  • Photoshop CS2
  • Photoshop Elements 4.0/5.0
  • Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0

As soon as the announcement was made, sites such as Gizmodo, Forbes (since edited), CNet posted about it, saying, now that the products have been released by Adobe for free, they can be downloaded by everyone. But unfortunately, it was not so.

Yes, you can download those products for free from Adobe’s website, but unfortunately, it isn’t meant for all the users. As said on the first picture above, adobe closed down the activation server for CS2 products. As a result, customers who wish to re-install their CS2 softwares, cannot do so with the old installation files. They now have to download the new CS2 installers from Adobe’s website and use a separate special serial key for it. The new installer would not require activation as the old one did, but it would still require a separate serial key, which is provided on the download page itself.

Download Page

Hence, you still need to own a license of old CS2 products, in order to download them. You can download the products for free offcourse – you just aren’t allowed to. See the explanation made by an staff on the Adobe forums below :Adobe Staff

There seems to have been some sort of misunderstanding because the download page does not mention that you need to own a license for the product. And since lots of top sites and tech blogs had already posted that Adobe were giving away the products for free, most of the users who had never owned a CS2 product before and thus did not have the licence to use it, had already downloaded the products from Adobe’s website.

Users are now hoping that Adobe might as well give it for free, because quite a few sites have reported it as being free and lots of people will have already downloaded it. It remains to be seen how Adobe will play this situation. You can follow this forum topic (forum topic has been removed) to learn how Adobe reacts to it.

Bottomline : The CS2 products are available for free download, but they are only meant for those who already own a licence to those products. So, actually, if you were to follow the legalĀ  system, it’s not free at all.