Adobe Systems has added DRM technology to boxed copies of its Photoshop application in Australia, a trial that the company may extend to other products later this year.
Like Macromedias Contribute 2.0 software and downloadable copies of Symantecs Norton Antivirus, Adobes Photoshop 7 photo editing tool for Windows contains digital-rights management software, which Adobe has sourced from Macrovision. Some Australian versions of Adobe Collections also use the technology.
Photoshop, considered a staple in most media and creative design houses, is among the most pirated applications in the world, according to Drew McManus, Adobes director of anti-piracy operations. Adobe is a member of the Business Software Alliance, which estimates that one in four software applications used in the U.S. has been pirated.
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved $10 million for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State to fund anti-piracy operations.
Like other software companies, Adobe characterized its DRM efforts as a trial, but acknowledged that the technology will likely be rolled out eventually to its other products. However, the process will be a tentative one, McManus said.
"Photoshop 7 in Australia has had activation for several months at this point," McManus said. "We want to gauge customer reaction and business rules, and just make sure weve thought of all the things we can think of. Obviously, what we want to do is prevent the most pervasive types of piracy. But everything needs to be considered in light of the honest customer first."
Adobes DRM experiment deliberately leans toward the lenient side, McManus said. Only the boxed copies of Photoshop and Collections contain DRM, and both the box and registration application alert the user that they will be required to activate the software, either over the Internet or over the phone. The activation application does not contain a link to any explanatory details, but Adobe has published a FAQ on its Asia-Pacific web site to address questions.
Adobes license agreement permits a copy of the software to be installed on two different machines. Unlike Macrovisions trial, the software does not have to be manually uninstalled and deactivated before moving it to a new machine.