Product Activation Pilot

I have started to see some questions and comments from people who noticed that Contribute 2.0 will include a pilot of Product Activation. We are well aware that this is a potentially very heated issue, and thus have spent a lot of time, effort and resources making sure that it works well and is unobtrusive. We are also trying to be as forthcoming with information as possible, and thus have posted a ton of information about activation on our site.

As part of this, we are also changing our EULA to allow for users to install the software on more than one computer (for non-concurrent usage). You can find more info on that here.

Here are some links with information about how we are implementing product activation.

So, check out the links above and post any comments, questions or thoughts in the comments section below.

60 Responses to Product Activation Pilot

  1. Product Activation

    Looks like the next line of Macromedia Products will have some additional product activation steps built in (starting with Contribute 2); I’ve personally got no problems with it. Just a small extra step when installing my software for the first…

  2. Mike,The revised EULA does not seem to allow volume licencing customers to install a second copy on a laptop/home PC.Why should it be different for Volume Licences?

  3. Hi there:Activation does not apply to volume licenses. Volume products will not be required to activate. As a result, the EULA for volume remains unchanged.

  4. As far as I understand it, activation is intended for preventing legit users pirating without giving much thought on it or without being aware of it.It’s not for real pirates/crackers/warez people. I bet the activation will be cracked in a day or so. Or there will be pirated copies that don’t require activation…Letting people install the software on one other computer for *non-concurrent* use is just reasonable (and why should it be related to any activation scheme?).So I, too, think that this should apply to Volume Licenses EULA…

  5. The more I think about it, the more I like the activation idea, provided that activation is hassle free, the license allows two installations and no privacy concerns are there. It’s a win-win situation.I remember trying to conceal that I have purchased Turbo Pascal 6 years ago, because my friends would want a copy and I would not feel good about it whether I handed them a copy or not.Now, you can give your friends a trial copy and have the excuse not to reveal your serial number. 30 days trial is more than fair if you ask me…By providing vast information and an independent audit, in conclusion, I think Macromedia has a winner here.

  6. joetek says:

    Most of my experience with activation comes from Office XP – and it was painful!!!When you rebuild your machine you have to actually contact Microsoft to attempt to get reactivate your software. How will Macromedia handle this? I regularly upgrade/reinstall my OS with all software (Microsoft unofficially recommend you do this every 6 mths!) – how will Macromedia handle my request? What verification process and how fast will it be? It needs to be some online instant form! If I’m in the middle of a huge job and my machine fails I’ll have to rebuild/install on some other machine. It’s the middle of the night, how do I activate my s/w?It requires you to have an internet connection to activate. This is not such a big deal in our industry I guess ;)How many machines can I install it on? I’d like to be able to go with work/laptop/home … all of which I use at different times to work on. That’s 3, how will that work in terms of knowing how many machines I have activated the software on? How will it track “non-concurrent” use? Does this mean the machine has to be constantly online? Or will it be a trust based issue – which removes the real point of having it in the first place.Just a few of the points I can come up with, I’m sure there are more. I realise that you may have thought of ways to answer some of these already – but maybe not?My $0.02 …Joe

  7. joetek says:

    Most of my experience with activation comes from Office XP – and it was painful!!!When you rebuild your machine you have to actually contact Microsoft to attempt to get reactivate your software. How will Macromedia handle this? I regularly upgrade/reinstall my OS with all software (Microsoft unofficially recommend you do this every 6 mths!) – how will Macromedia handle my request? What verification process and how fast will it be? It needs to be some online instant form! If I’m in the middle of a huge job and my machine fails I’ll have to rebuild/install on some other machine. It’s the middle of the night, how do I activate my s/w?It requires you to have an internet connection to activate. This is not such a big deal in our industry I guess ;)How many machines can I install it on? I’d like to be able to go with work/laptop/home … all of which I use at different times to work on. That’s 3, how will that work in terms of knowing how many machines I have activated the software on? How will it track “non-concurrent” use? Does this mean the machine has to be constantly online? Or will it be a trust based issue – which removes the real point of having it in the first place.Just a few of the points I can come up with, I’m sure there are more. I realise that you may have thought of ways to answer some of these already – but maybe not?My $0.02 …Joe

  8. As a last comment here, I must admit that I didn’t like to learn the fact that the activation messes with the hard-drive at all. I don’t see the point in taking the risk…It will be cracked, whether it messes with the hard-drive or not. period.I still see activation as a measure to help legit users avoiding piracy.What if I phone and tell Macromedia that the computer I activated is stolen/lost, and I need to activate a 3rd time? 4th time? 5th time? If I’m a legit user with evil intensions, I would by-pass activation this way. (If activation is a one time process this will work).I don’t think any normal users of Macromedia software should be alarmed. Also pirates shouldn’t care less since there will be pirated copies that doesn’t require activation.I just don’t see why the activation writes some data to not normally used part of a hard disk – like it wouldn’t be cracked in a day. (Is this for stopping activated copies to be transferred by disk imaging software?).If activation becomes a horror story, which I don’t think it will, normal users might want to search for a pirated copy that doesn’t require activation for backup purposes or for simply avoiding activation. And that won’t do any good…

  9. mike chambers says:

    >When you rebuild your machine you have to actually contact Microsoft to attempt to get reactivate your software. How will Macromedia handle this?You can release the license (through the product) and then reactivate it when you are ready.more info at:http://www.macromedia.com/software/activation/faq/#itemE-4mike chambersmesh@macromedia.com

  10. Adrian Knights says:

    Please remember your clients outside the USA particulary with regard to activation by telephone. Not all PC’s are connected to the internet.It took me 3 days and several e-mails to activate 3DS Max – I do not regard this as an acceptable level of service.

  11. Anonymous says:

    activation is a nightmare… you won’t enjoy it

  12. mike chambers says:

    >Please remember your clients outside the USA particulary with regard to activation by telephone. Not all PC’s are connected to the internet.First, I jsut want to clarify that Macromedia does not make 3ds max. Second we have phone number setup around the world, so you should be able to activate your product immediately without any hassle.In fact, that was one of our top goals.mike chambersmesh@macromedia.com

  13. mike chambers says:

    >activation is a nightmare… you won’t enjoy itI think that is a little general. I know in the past, activation has been a hassle for some users or other products. However, we have spent a considerable amount of time learning from past company’s mistakes. I think that you will be surprised to find out that activation is pretty seamless.mike chambersmesh@macromedia.com

  14. Crafty says:

    Why would I want macromedia to know every time, how often, When i working…Macromedia is Big Brother! It looks like you want to be anyther MicrosoftUsers: dump your macromedia software!Mike, I notice you left out the link to the Macromedia End User License Agreement (EULA), The least you could be is honest.http://www.macromedia.com/software/activation/tour/full_eula.html“(e) You agree that Macromedia may audit your use of the Software for compliance with these terms at any time””By accepting this EULA, you are also accepting the additional terms and conditions, if any, set forth therein.”And from your site:”Macromedia may occasionally update, amend, or change this Privacy Policy based on user feedback and as needed or appropriate.”

  15. mike chambers says:

    This has nothing to do with Activation. You can view a third party security and privacy audit here:http://www.macromedia.com/software/activation/audit/This shows exactly what data is being transfered.There is nothing in the EULA links you quote above about us transfering information.mike chambersmesh@macromedia.com

  16. You really had me going there for a second says:

    .> “third party audit on the privacy and security of activation”Mike, Is is really independent if macromedia is paying the tab for the audit?I also noticed you and it mentions “activation” and not use of the software..

  17. Crafty says:

    > There is nothing in the EULA links you quote above about us transfering information.It seems clear to me.”(e) You agree that Macromedia may audit your use of the Software for compliance with these terms at any time”http://www.macromedia.com/software/activation/tour/full_eula.html.

  18. mike chambers says:

    Well, i guess we read the term audit differently. However, I don’t think there is anything inherent in the term audit that means transfer information online.i.e. there are regular pen and paper audits.If you want a more legal reading, I suggest that you contact a lawyer.Again though, this has nothing to do with activation.mike chambersmesh@macromedia.com

  19. x says:

    ..sound like a great topic for the experts over at slashdot…

  20. Anonymous says:

    .Again though, why does macromedia want to know every time, how often and when i’m working in the software?No lawyer needed, It’s clear to me.”(e) You agree that Macromedia may audit your use of the Software for compliance with these terms at any time”http://www.macromedia.com/software/activation/tour/full_eula.html

  21. Anonymous says:

    If this is about piracy and not data collection why does macromedia seek to hassle the people that actually buy your products?

  22. Anonymous says:

    It doesn’t seem like it is any more hassle than entering a serial number.-bk

  23. Anonymous says:

    BK,you have obviously never had to use a Product Activation system before.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I have a better idea, just don’t use the software, it’s not like Contribute is all that usefull anyway.And if macromedia adds it to the next version of Flash don’t upgrade. Most sites that I develop Flash advertising for only accept 4.0/5.0 and not MX/6.0 format anyway, so MX should last into 2008 using 5.0 as a guide.There is always another option.

  25. Anonymous says:

    “product activaton” is usually the first step to having a key server at the software vendor that everytime you use the software you have to connect.It may start as having to connect just for “product activation” than it will need to connect every 6 months than every month.. week… day… at launch…Look long term, they want to heard users like cows to slaughter, it always starts as lets just go into this pretty building…just my 2 cents.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Good article about product activationhttp://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,110487,00.aspProduct activation enforces software licenses by limiting installation, usually to just one computer. It generally associates the program’s unique product key, entered during installation, with a randomly generated number or a “fingerprint” of the computer’s hardware configuration that is then transmitted to the vendor’s server. If, on subsequent installations, the product key is paired with a different random number or fingerprint, the user must explain why no license violation has occurred.The technology certainly inconvenienced some TurboTax customers. In PC World reader mail and posts on Intuit forums, some buyers complained about not being informed that they wouldn’t be able to print or e-file returns on more than one computer. Others said initial versions left the product activation software installed and running–hogging as much as 1MB of RAM–even after TurboTax was removed. At least some people who called tech support got incorrect information.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Anootherhttp://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,1194849,00.aspContribute 2.0, which will be available for download July 25, uses Macrovision’s SafeCast technology, the same DRM technology in Intuit’s current TurboTax tax-filing software. Macromedia executives said theWhile the flexible licensing agreement allows licenses to be transferred between machines, the SafeCast software still writes information to track 0 of a user’s hard drive, as it does in TurboTax.Conscious of the consumer backlash that forced Intuit to disable product activation in future versions of TurboTax

  28. Anonymous says:

    Mike,you should have told us that Macrovision’s SafeCast technology would also be used or installed.Not very honest.

  29. Scott Fegette says:

    I’m curious, how was Mike being dishonest here? Reasonably extensive white papers and security details about activation were published and distributed last week, there’s really nothing undisclosed about how Contribute 2.0’s product activation works at this point. If you feel there are still grey areas in these docs, then by all means let us know so we can address them. Feedback on the activation system from beta users has been very positive so far, FWIW.Intuit’s now-reversed implementation of SafeCast (and it’s missteps in doing so) were weighed very carefully when building out implementation of product activation in Contribute 2.0, which has IMHO improved significantly on most all of the areas that caused end-user concern with TurboTax 2002. For reference, full details are in the docs posted in the Activation Center:http://www.macromedia.com/software/activation/Given your reaction to the word ‘Macrovision’, does that vendor elicit a specific reaction to product activation that you didn’t have after reading those details on how product activation was implemented here at MACR (using, to be clear, a customized version of Macrovision’s SafeCast technology)?-Scott

  30. bt says:

    –you have obviously never had to use a Product Activation system before.–Actually, I was on the Contribute beta, so i have experienced it first hand. It was very simple and took a total of about 10 seconds.-bt

  31. x says:

    bt you changed your name, yesterday it was bk. Mike is that you again, your a crafty one, if it’s you.

  32. out in the open says:

    Are you saying as a mater of FACT that all the following spyware concerns are FIXED in Contribute?”Each publisher who uses SafeCast can decide which features to use and which not to use.” WHAT FEATURES IS MACROMEDIA USING?IS MACROMEDIA GOING TO FIX MAY HARD DRIVE IF IT WACKS IT, YOUR EULA SAYS ITS AT MY OWN RISK?DOY YOU INCLUDE AN UNINSTALLER FOR THE MACROVISION SOFTWARE, DOES IT ACTUALLY REMOVE THE SOFTWARE?A California attorney has filed a class-action lawsuit againt Intuit for deceptive trade practices related to the secret bundling of SafeCast digital rights software. Macrovision’s SafeCast software protects the license for Intuit’s TurbotTax 2002 tax software. This software was not disclosed to customers and is not removed when TurboTax is uninstalled. As a result of the negative publicity, Intuit has started distributing an uninstaller. Unsurprisingly, the uninstaller doesn’t work.Intuit and Macrovision both have been trying to deceive the public about this software. For example, documents that were once available at Macrovision’s web site which detailed the abilities of SafeCast and contradicted statements made by Intuit started disappearing after I started linking to and quoting from them. An investigation by extremetech found that Intuit’s claims that you could use the software on more than one computer in limited mode without activation was a blatant lie. Without activating the software on additional machines using the internet (or by calling Intuit on the phone), the software refuses to function at all.Extremetech’s investigation dispelled some rumors about SafeCast, and also confirmed others. For instance, it was originally believed that the SafeCast technology installed by TurboTax was spyware. Judging by the documents formerly available at Macrovision’s web site (which have now all vanished), SafeCast’s abilities would technically make it spyware by giving publishers the ability to “gather valuable data about [their] customer base”. Each publisher who uses SafeCast can decide which features to use and which not to use. The investigation shows that Intuit probably did not enable the features which would have allowed it to gather information about their users. This means that TurboTax is probably not installing spyware.http://www.spywareinfo.com/newsletter/archives/march-2003/10.php.

  33. mike chambers says:

    –bt you changed your name, yesterday it was bk. Mike is that you again, your a crafty one, if it’s you.–No, its not me. (although, I would be lying if I said I haven’t fantasized about making posts with an alias).I just checked the IP of the posts, and they are different, but that could just be due to DHCP.mike chambersmesh@macromedia.com

  34. Scott Fegette says:

    Hi there, ‘out in the open’- most all of your questions are addressed in the docs we’ve published, but I’ll touch on them here too:a) Yes, uninstalling Contribute will remove the entire Activation framework with it, much unlike TT2002 which left all kinds of processes behind. This was definitely one of the improvements we specified when implementing activation here, along with allowing for transfer of license at the users’ convenience, 24-7 automated phone activation (in the event of no network connection), and preserving functionality on secondary installs (TT2002 didn’t allow key application functionality such as printing/etc. on the second install- no such restrictions with Contribute).b) Further, when the Contribute application is quit, the activation processes also quit. Another improvement on SafeCast for our specific implementation, based on concerns over TurboTax 2002.c) We won’t replace your hard drive if it fails randomly, but are also *highly* skeptical you’d ever need to based on the Contribute 2 release (including it’s product activation framework). FWIW, most software EULAs disclaim responsibility for general hardware failure- this is common practice. We’d have that disclaimer in place even if activation was not part of the product.d) We fully disclose how we’ve addressed the ‘spyware’ concerns you’ve quoted here in both our activation whitepaper and @Stake security audit- in a nutshell, no personally-identifiable information is used at any stage of the activation process. By all means- review the actual messages sent/received from our server and info used to generate a license request in the whitepaper/security audit docs at our Activation Center yourself however, and make your own informed decision.Product Activation Center:http://www.macromedia.com/software/activation/Hope this is helpful!-ScottMacromedia, Inc.

  35. OUT IN THE OPEN says:

    Scott,1. Who PAID FOR the @Stake security audit?-2. Why did you not also seek acceptance from a TRULY INDEPENDENT group such as Electronic Privacy Information Center.-3. It would seem that if a user “registers” the software with all the usual personal information, name, home, serial number of the software.Than in a different process the user starts the “activation process” of the software where the serial number and “no personally-identifiable information” is passed backed to macromedia.It would be very easy at macromedia’s location to match the activation id with with the users registration “personally-identifiable information” and not have the “personally-identifiable information” transmitted during activation but have the same spyware effect.WILL MACROMEDIA EVER LINK THE 2 DATA SETS? PLEASE EXPLAIN.-4. From the Macromedia End User License Agreement:”(e) You agree that Macromedia may audit your use of the Software for compliance with these terms at any time”DOES THIS INCLUED AN ELECTRONIC AUDIT? PLEASE EXPLAIN.-5. Do you use a Public relations firm, as recently leaked about RFID or have you worked on the messaging in house?- > “Assess consumer reaction if press develop scare stories and develop best messages to pacify”.- > “most consumers would be apathetic and resign themselves to the inevitability of it rather than taking action”.Out in the OPEN.

  36. Scott Fegette says:

    Hi again-Most all your questions are easily answered via the FAQ and/or whitepaper, for what it’s worth.To be clear- spyware is a term generally used to describe software that runs in the background, collects private information, and/or reports back to third-party servers with said information. You’re welcome to review every step of the process (we’ve posted all the details), and again- our version of activation is a *one-time process* that does not connect to our servers again after the initial activation. License transfers and deactivations are a voluntary, user-initiated process. Hence- Contribute 2’s activation isn’t spyware, or (to use the tone of an earlier quote you’d posted), ‘we did not enable features which would have allowed Contribute to gather information about their users. This means that Contribute is probably not installing spyware.’ But again, read our papers for yourself- it’s all there in black and white.1 & 2) We paid for the @stake audit. This is common practice, especially when involving unannounced, pre-release software that can’t simply be ‘released’ to external firms. You’re more than welcome to check their credentials- but this is their job and they do it well. ;)3) Product registration is a *separate and optional* process. Activation is, again- anoymous but required. The two datasets are stored separately in both a physical and logistical sense and there are no plans to connect the two.4) Electronic audits simply keep an eye out for serial numbers (as opposed to users) that have been repeatedly violated with unauthorized license attempts. This is, again, not connected to any registration information (see answer *3).5) Macromedia does it’s own PR/messaging. We did, however- hire @stake independently to beat upon our activation framework and report back as to whether our implementation matched our description and published material.FWIW, many companies hire or outsource PR, and I’m sure Macromedia has from time to time when schedules get busy. Not sure who the two quotes you’ve pasted in are attributed to, but it’s certainly not us.Ultimately, yes- you can make an informed decision as to whether you’ll purchase and that’s purely up to you. We just want to make sure you have the actual facts to base your opinion on and aren’t just going on ‘rumor and hype’. If, as you’ve quoted, ‘rumor and hype’ arises we prefer to address it directly with fact, not spin. Regardless, I hope this info is helpful.

  37. OUT IN THE OPEN says:

    SCOTT: “we paid for the @stake audit.” “software that can’t simply be ‘released’ to external firms.”Than the audit is not truly independent as you have stated. and you seem to say that in your response “can’t be released to external firms”, than you consider @stake an internal firm.–SCOTT: “the two datasets are stored” “no plans to connect the two.”If it’s not “no” than it is the same as “yes we will”–SCOTT: “this is, again, not connected to any registration information”But it could be at any time you choose. see 3–SCOTT: “our version of activation is a *one-time process* that does not connect to our servers again after the initial activation.”NOT TRUE”If users plan to upgrade their boot hard drive or CPU or replacetheir computer, they must use this Transfer Your SoftwareLicense feature prior to the upgrade or replacement, and thenactivate again afterwards.”product_activation.pdf

  38. Scott Fegette says:

    Well, that’s some creative license on your own part, but clearly your own opinion and you’re certainly welcome to it.And please don’t confuse the issue re ‘NOT TRUE’- yes, activation is a one-time process, as previously stated- unless you *electively* choose to transfer or deactivate. Our activation framework doesn’t contact our servers *unless you ask it to* once you’ve activated, which is- after all, the “spyware” concern.Clearly if you’re not going to accept our statement on data use and privacy then that’s certainly your prerogative of course. Bottom line is we are not connecting the two datasets, use that information as you choose to make your own decisions.

  39. On my test machine I have both Win98 and WinXP. After installing Contribute trial on Win98 and realizing that FlashPaper won’t work on it, I installed the trial on WinXP but it immediately expired. Well, this is a guaranteed non-concurrent use case but it seems Activation doesn’t let this. Is this normal behavior with the trial or is it something odd with my OS installations? What would happen if I activated on Win98 and wanted to run the app on WinXP on the same computer?

  40. OPEN says:

    I switch between Mac OSX and 9.2 and this would also be a hassle for me. But than again as SCOTT says “activation is a one-time process”. I wonder who pays for all the time lost?It seems that this is a win-win for macromedia, they are shifting the TIME and COST it takes fight piracy to the users of the software. But it’s at the expense of YOUR COMPANYS PROFITS.

  41. John Dowdell says:

    Burak, it sounds to me like you were testing trial-installation on two operating systems (on the same box?), but hadn’t reached the purchase or activation stages… am I reading that right? If so, then it sounds more like an installation issue than activation…?(In a scenario where someone had one box with two OS, had purchased and activated and later wanted to run on the other OS, then I believe this would fall under the “can run on two machines” ability… I don’t think a dual-boot would interfere with this, but would defer to testing. In the worst case we could set you up with a new key through a contact with customer service; shouldn’t be a problem regardless.)tx, jd/mm

  42. Scott Fegette says:

    Hi, OPEN- since Contribute isn’t supported under OS 9.x, product activation isn’t really an issue for your given scenario- but platform support may be. For what it’s worth, I’ve been using the release version of CT2 for some time now under 10.2.6 *and* booting into OS9.x from time to time – no issues there to report, either.On another note, re: your points above- the process for a user to transfer their license is very painless and takes only seconds to complete. Any time impact ‘shifted to users’ as a result is very very minimal, and cost impact is negligable.

  43. OPEN says:

    Scott thanks for your response,”Any time impact ‘shifted to users’ as a very painless and takes only seconds to complete. Any time impact ‘shifted to users’ as a result is very very minimal, and cost impact is negligable.”Do you have any data to support this? It would seem that in an enterprise environment that it would be the opposite? Not to mention that I have 10-30 vendors software on my computer and if this was the trend it would add up in time and cost.

  44. Scott Fegette says:

    Hey, OPEN-Unfortunately outside of personal experience I don’t have specific data that isn’t already posted online in our Product Activation center- but can help explain the user scenario a little more. This isn’t something you can really ‘touch and feel’ with the demo version of CT2 unless you buy a serial # and activate, of course.Check out this particular section of the product activation feature tour:http://www.macromedia.com/software/activation/tour/#item-B1If you’re upgrading hardware, reinstalling, etc, you simply choose the ‘Transfer my Software License’ choice from the Help menu of Contribute 2. Once you’ve transferred your license back (which in my personal experience has taken no longer 10 seconds or so on a DSL line), you can then reinstall the software/etc., and reactivate as part of the normal installation process- all you enter is the serial # as you would with a standard reinstall, with a slight step/pause afterwards as the license is reactivated by the activation service (same timing for me as the check-in noted above).Basically (IMHO, of course), the license management isn’t much more involved than a standard installation/reinstallation would be. Hope this helps to partially qualify my ‘minimal impact’ comment – if you have further questions/concerns please post here or shoot me email directly (sfegetteATmacromediaDOTcom), glad to assist where I can.

  45. OPEN says:

    It seem what this is really about is control. Who controls the software they purchase, Macromedia or you the user. I would like to control the software I purchase and I will choose not to purchase any more macromedia software.

  46. fdu says:

    I liked the look contribute for use by staff within the organisation for maintiaining intranet content but after finding out it has product activation I will no longer consider this software(most users have limited access to the internet and I am not about to call to activate for every copy we may have purchased) and will actively seek out alternatives for the legitmate copies of dreamweaver and fireworks that we currently use. Which is a pity because they are good products but the hassles just arent worth it.

  47. mike chambers says:

    >It seem what this is really about is control.Yes. That is why we changed the EULA to give you more control. You can now install the software on two computers for non-concurent use.In the past, you were only allowed to install it on one computer.more info at:http://www.macromedia.com/software/activation/faq/#itemL-3mike chambersmesh@macromedia.com

  48. mike chambers says:

    > I am not about to call to activate for every copy we may have purchasedIt sounds like you should be consider a volume licenses. You would probably save money, and it does not contain product activation.more info at:http://www.macromedia.com/buy/volume_license/mike chambersmesh@macromedia.com

  49. fdu says:

    >It sounds like you should be consider a volume licenses. You would probably save money, and it does not contain product activationWe have looked at this but for 6 copies the savings are hardly there. We also prefer to have actual boxed copies at the more remote locations (300kms+ away from here)With Dreamweaver and fireworks we one have 3 copies of each so again volume licensing has no advantages.We will continue to use DreamweaverMX and FireworksMX for the next few years and in the meantime evaluate alternatives to Macromedia products. Which means we have already ruled Contribute out and are looking at alternatives now. If it means we have to move to less “mainstream” products then so be it. We have enough on our plate without having to deal with BS like activation. Product Activation on windows has done nothing to stem piracy in fact in Australia piracy of XP is now at higher levels than any previous version of windows.

  50. soz says:

    How come I feel like I am being treated like a criminal by Macromedia ? Hmmm maybe because I am. No amount of marketing spin will convince me that activation serves any meaningful purpose. All it does is become a pain in the ass for honest people and the pirates will simply laugh in Macromedias face.Now I will leave to remove all macromedia products from my computer but I dont think Macromedia gives a flying f**k afterall I am only one honest user.

  51. Bob Franz says:

    “Which means we have already ruled Contribute out and are looking at alternatives now.”Just don’t upgrade, and look for opensource products that use Svg.

  52. Bob Franz says:

    The Fact still remains that that “product activation” is not about Piracy. As history has proved (with XP) activation has no effect on piracy.So you ask, what could this be for:1. DATA COLLECTION.Statements from MM like “we have no plans to” is the same thing as yes we will. In fact the EULA is clear, it states: “(e) You agree that Macromedia may audit your use of the Software for compliance with these terms at any time” audit is the same as Monitor. (MM has also paid for the security review) and if Anderson/Enron has told us anything…2. CONTROL.MM would like to control the software on your computer. Period. MM decides how many systems you can install in on, how long it works. MM can also decide that after 2 years that users have to upgrade to a new version. Subscription software is the Trend. FYI, I had asked MM how far into the future can I activate the software. MM DID NOT REPLY.IT”S ABOUT CONTROL EVERYONE, THINK THE APPLE COMMERICAL 1984, or OLIVER TWIST, MAY I PLEASE HAVE SOME MORE, MR MACROMEDIA.ANOTHER thing MM has failed to answer, why should users adopt “product activation”? It has no benifit and can harm our hard drive.It’s like if I purchase something from a vendor, and now I give them the right to go into my computer and decide whether I’m worthy of activation, like some stinking velevt rope shit.MM is a just like Microsoft, tell users what they should do. Put users in a position of NO CONTROL.Macromedia, GET YOUR STINKING FINGERS OUT OF MY COMPUTER!AND it is true the only thing to do is not purchase or upgrade software with product activation.

  53. Jim says:

    As soon as Dreamweaver and Flash require product activation our shop will switch to Adobe or other products.It is that simple.We pay for our software and we WILL NOT allow this intrusion on our systems.To those like Macromedia who assume we will all just go along with this I would say you are WRONG!Once upon a time Lotus 123 forced us to deal with goofy formatted copy-protected disks and we ultimately rejected them as we will your product activation.

  54. Chris D says:

    ****As soon as Dreamweaver and Flash require product activation our shop will switch to Adobe or other products.Do a search on Google and you will find that they are also adding product activation.Chris D

  55. . says:

    MACROMEDIA ACTIVATION IS TERRIBLE!!I have been trying to acticate my mx products for 2 days and it will not work,i do not have direct access to the internet and the software dies everytime I attempt to use the telephone activation. I have gone over all the common proceedures reccommended by activation staff at macromedia several times over, and nothing has worked. Macromedia has been unable to supply me with a further solution.I have lost 2 days of productivity and i am still left without being able to use the software I payed for !!!!!Thanks macromedia for your beautiful activation,,

  56. Bill L says:

    Activation of products sucks.I am behind a crappy Microsoft Proxy wall at my customer’s site, and can not use the Internet Activaton. I called the 24 hour activation center only to find out it was “not available” (should it be available 22.5 hours??). I guess I will NOT recommend my customer purchase from Macromedia 50 licenses for Contribute because of your activation scheme.The Dreamweaver license check work great. It keeps everyone legal on a local network. Only one license at a time -great.I moved from Microsoft to a Mac because Windows XP was using activation. Everytime I wanted to move to a new PC or sell off my old machine, I had to go through the process over, and over. Now Macromedia uses it?I have a license. I am following the license rules. Why don’t you trust me to follow the rules?Bill L

  57. JoeUser says:

    Wow. All the fuss about activation.I just installed and activated the Studio 2004. Not too shabby this activation thing. Worked fairly well. Slight problem with the software though -everytime I open one of the programs in the suite, it tries to access the net…..Hmmmmmm – Every time? What could possibly need information from the net EVERY single time it runs?Annoying. Very annoying. I could give two shits whether or not it has the latest “updates” – I just want it to stop pissing off my firewall when I’m in the middle of a project. It happens three or four times a day. Guess they are attempting to audit my usage? These products are good, not that good – they seem a lot like buying a dog that randomly decides to bite you and kill one of your kids – time to shoot the dog

  58. susmit says:

    hallo,i am unable to install my 3dsmax ver 5.0 2nd time because it has expired already .it’s telling me to register .can i get rid of that ?: i’m in the middle of a project now.

  59. Anonymous Coward says:

    Yes, activation sucks. I replaced my iBook with a PowerBook, did a ditto -rsrc to move files over to the new drive, and now both Dreamweaver and Flash refuse to start.Stupid, stupid, stupid to consider users guilty until proven innocent.

  60. Scott says:

    Activation in Dreamweaver is clearly a stupid way to go. Didn’t these companies learn anything from the last big push to “stop pirates” (Ashton-Tate who?)? It’s evern worse when, as in my case, the Internet activation completely fails to work. I guess I’m left with spending 20 minutes on the phone doing the completely screw-our-users approach to activation every time I change my computer. Also, when they decide they don’t like older versions they will just stop re-activating the software (like they screwed the Dreamweaver 3 users when they forced us to pay full-boat to upgrade, that’s loyalty!). I’m very dissapointed.