23 Replies Latest reply on Aug 27, 2008 3:13 PM by the_wine_snob

    Deactivation scheme

      We have Premiere Pro CS3 installed and activated on 2 desktop editing pc's, and installed and de-activated on a laptop. When I travel, I will de-activate on one of the desktops, and activate on the laptop. This morning I tried to de-activate on one of the desktops, and received a screen stating "Deactivation Unsuccessful" which provided a link to support numbers to call. I called, and was told by the rep that it was not possible to activate on another machine because I already had 2 activation showing on their system. I restated that I was trying to de-activate on one to free up one of the activations to allow activation on the laptop. She again stated that this was impossible because I already had 2 activations showing. At first I thought that she did not understand. So I hung up and dialed again, getting a different rep. This one told me that it was Adobe policy that you had to uninstall the software from the machine that I was getting the "Deactivation Unsuccessful" error from, then call support again to have it manually activated on the laptop. I asked, "how will you know that I have actually un-installed from the desktop, when de-activation isn't working on that machine? Why can't we just pretend that I uninstalled it, and go with the manual activation on my laptop? She said, this is Adobe policy. I asked for her name, and she replied "Joan". I asked for her employee ID, and she replied..."We are not allowed to provide that to customers".

      So, Adobe seems to be creating a hassle factor in the activation/deactivation routine that so many of us use to move our activation around. I can only imagine that this is to push users towards purchasing another serial number.

      I have called Adobe HQ in San Jose to lodge a complaint and to question the practice, and was transferred to Tech Support again. I called back to ask as to why I was transferred to support. I was told, "we can't handle Tech Support issues here, that's why we have a Tech Support division". I stated that I wasn't calling about a tech support issue, I was calling to 'complain' about tech support. I was then told that that in itself was an issue that needs to be handled by tech support, and she offered to transfer me again. I declined.

      Am I alone in this? Has anyone else experienced the activation runaround?

      Steve Brame
        • 1. Re: Deactivation scheme
          Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
          Do your desktop editing PCs ever use Premiere at the same time? If so, then you are in violation of your license agreement.

          The correct way to have done this was to install and activate on one desktop and on your laptop. Then use the laptop while you travel, as long as no one uses the desktop while you are gone.

          Additionally, there may be a limit to the total number of deactivations you can perform with one license. That is another question you need to ask Adobe. I haven't encountered it myself, but if you bump up against this limit, you may have a very difficult time getting this issue resolved without purchasing another license.
          • 2. Re: Deactivation scheme
            Level 1
            You are allowed 2 activations of a s/n at any given time. If I have 3 computers with PPro CS3(same s/n), and it is activated on only 2 of them, I am well within the terms of the license. If I deactivate one of the 2 and activate the third, I still only have 2 activations and am well within the terms of the license.
            • 3. Re: Deactivation scheme
              Level 1
              "Additionally, there may be a limit to the total number of deactivations you can perform with one license. That is another question you need to ask Adobe."

              This would have to be specified in the EULA, and there is nothing in it about this. In fact, the terms 'activation' or 'deactivation' are nowhere to be found in the EULA. The EULA is the ONLY document that the end user is bound to after purchase.
              • 4. Re: Deactivation scheme
                Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                Allow me to quote from section 2.4 of the EULA:

                2.4 Portable or Home Computer Use. Subject to the important restrictions set forth in Section 2.5 below, the primary user of the Computer on which the Software is installed (Primary User) may install a second copy of the Software for his or her exclusive use on either a portable Computer or a Computer located at his or her home, provided that the Software on the portable or home Computer is not used at the same time as the Software on the primary Computer. You may be required to contact Adobe in order to make a second copy.

                Perhaps you overlooked this section when you examined the EULA previously?
                • 5. Re: Deactivation scheme
                  Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                  >This would have to be specified in the EULA

                  Not necessarily. Adobe is not bound to disclose all of the security features of their anti-piracy scheme. The EULA lays out what *you* are allowed to do with your license; it does not have to specify what measures Adobe takes to protect its intellectual property.

                  Again, if you contact Adobe, they will be the ones to properly answer your questions. The other users here on the forum cannot help you beyond conveying information that may or may not apply to your situation.

                  You will not find ways to circumvent Adobe's software security here.
                  • 6. Re: Deactivation scheme
                    Level 1
                    "Perhaps you overlooked this section when you examined the EULA previously?"

                    Not at all...it is just impertinent to the situation I am presenting. Please explain how this squares with the fact that Adobe permits 2 simultaneous activations of a serial number?

                    "Again, if you contact Adobe, they will be the ones to properly answer your questions"

                    I'm glad you feel this way. Since I wrote the original post this morning, I have called "Tech Support" 3 other times, and each one treated to situation in a totally different manner. One stated that I was only allowed to have the software installed and activated on one machine at a time. I said, "How many activations do you show for this serial number currently"? She stated, "Two". I asked if it was possible to activate another machine, and she said "No". I asked "Why not?" She stated that "Adobe only allows for 2 concurrent activations". I said, "But you just stated that Adobe only allows for 1 activation at a time". She stated, "No, I said that Adobe only allowd for the software to be "installed" and activated on one computer at a time". I then asked, "Please tell me how you can have the software installed on only one machine, but have 2 activations showing". She then asked if I would like to speak to a supervisor. I said that I'd love to. At that point I sat on hold for 25 minutes until I got tired of waiting and disconnected and called back with my Customer ID. The 3rd rep apologized for my trouble and helping me with manual activation. I told him that this would create a 3rd 'live' activation for me. He replied that he had killed one of the activations to allow for the manual on we did. I asked how many copies of PPro I was allowed to have and run at any one time. He said "As many activations as you have". I relayed what the other reps had told me, as well as those on this forum, and he said, "That is contrary to what we are told". So, if I am to accept what is stated by Adobe as the "proper answer your questions", I think I'll go with the 3rd one's proper answer.
                    • 7. Re: Deactivation scheme
                      Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                      On Adobe's web site, it explicitly says that you may not use the software at the same time on both the primary and secondary computer.

                      The reason I bring this up is because you stated that "Adobe permits 2 simultaneous activations of a serial number". I cannot find anywhere (in the EULA or on their web site) where it says that.

                      If you are correct, then I am obviously unable to find the supporting information from Adobe. I would be grateful if you would point me in the right direction. I'd like something that's written somewhere, because I am skeptical that the tech support people you spoke with understood your question completely.

                      This could be a good thing for me, because so far, I've only used one copy of Premiere Pro at a time, and it would be really nice to legally launch both copies so that I could render on one box while continuing to edit on another.

                      Thanks,
                      -Jeff
                      • 8. Re: Deactivation scheme
                        Level 1
                        "On Adobe's web site, it explicitly says that you may not use the software at the same time on both the primary and secondary computer."

                        And I have never ONCE stated that I intended to do such. But, if Adobe allows for 2 concurrent activations, and has no specified policy on how many times a machine can be activated and/or deactivated, I intend to use the allotted number. And, when I ask the "the ones to properly answer your questions", I should be able to derive a comprehensive and comprehensible answer...not a hodgepodge of pap obviously to persuade me to purchase a second license. Every single tech that I have spoken with has said that the easiest way to handle this problem would be to purchase another serial number.

                        "The reason I bring this up is because you stated that "Adobe permits 2 simultaneous activations of a serial number".

                        I'm sorry...I didn't mean to infer that I stated this as from me...it was from an Adobe Tech Support rep...you know, "the ones to properly answer your questions".
                        • 9. Re: Deactivation scheme
                          Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                          >I'm sorry...I didn't mean to infer that I stated this as from me...it was from an Adobe Tech Support rep...you know, "the ones to properly answer your questions"

                          :)

                          (Now you know why I said I was skeptical) ;)
                          • 10. Re: Deactivation scheme
                            the_wine_snob Level 9
                            Steve,

                            Based on some situations, similar to yours in the Photoshop forums, it *seems* that there is a limit to the number of times that one can deactivate and reactivate. IIRC, that number is nine times, but maybe a search of the PS forum will give you a different number.

                            Given your exact situation, I'd look into getting another license. Were it me, I'd share the installation/activation with MY desktop and laptop, and have the other license for another worker in my studio. This would mean that I would either be on my workstation, OR my laptop, but never both. Luckily for me, I have two licenses for Premiere, Photoshop, AI and a few other Adobe programs. Without those, I could not legally render on one machine, while editing on another. For me, "legally," is paramount, even before the days of Activations. It isn't cheap, but gets my jobs done.

                            Good luck,

                            Hunt
                            • 11. Re: Deactivation scheme
                              Level 1
                              " it *seems* that there is a limit to the number of times that one can deactivate and reactivate"

                              So it "seems", although there isn't any official requirement - at least not according to "the ones to properly answer your questions". As just why would they allow 2 concurrent activations of a license? Go ahead, try it...you can activate a S/N twice. Any more and you'll get the "Too Many Activations" warning telling you to de-activate on one of your machines before activating on the one you are attempting to activate on - not "You must uninstall the software one one of the machines completely"... only "you must deactivate".

                              "Adobe is not bound to disclose all of the security features of their anti-piracy scheme."

                              An 'anti-piracy' scheme prevents users from copying and distributing software without permission from the author. Allowing 2 activations of a S/N but arbitrarily and quite clandestinely restricting the number of times one can perform this act has nothing to do with 'piracy'. It is quite obviously a method to get used to being able to use the software on 2 or more computers by swapping the activations around at will, then abruptly pull the plug, give no reason in the error message such as - "you have reached the number of times we allow you to deactivate/activate", then provide you with a number to call in which during the first 2 minutes of the call the rep suggests that you purchase another license.

                              But hey...that's just business.
                              • 12. Re: Deactivation scheme
                                Jim_Simon Level 8
                                >just why would they allow 2 concurrent activations of a license?

                                Primarily so you can work on your main machine normally, and continue that work on a Laptop or a home machine when needed, without going through the hassle you're currently going through. Had you installed and activated on only one home machine and the Laptop, as Jeff suggested earlier, your experience would have been just what Adobe had in mind when they allowed two activations on one serial.

                                Putting it on two machines at home does suggest simultaneous use, which is not legal. That may be why the tech support guys are saying you should buy a second license.
                                • 13. Re: Deactivation scheme
                                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                                  >An 'anti-piracy' scheme prevents users from copying and distributing software without permission from the author.

                                  They're actually designed to prevent illegal use of the software. Copying and distributing is only a part of that. Installing on more machines than allowed is another.
                                  • 14. Re: Deactivation scheme
                                    Level 1
                                    "Putting it on two machines at home does suggest simultaneous use"

                                    And if a laptop is one of "two machines at home"? Does this still "suggest simultaneous use"? Or does it being "mobile" discount that suggestion? Actually...one of my pc's in my suite IS actually a mobile one which we use on remote webcasts. Since having it on both of those machines would "suggest simultaneous use", am I in violation?

                                    This is from Adobe's site regarding 'piracy'...

                                    "you purchase the right to use the software on a single computer, but you can't put copies on other machines or pass that software along to colleagues."

                                    Quite a conflict with what they specify in the EULA where they actually ALLOW for a user to "put copies on other machines"...

                                    "may install a second copy of the Software for his or her exclusive use on either a portable Computer or a Computer located at his or her home".

                                    Then, when you call multiple tech support reps, and get a radically different interpretation every time, it becomes even less clear. I mean, these are "the ones to properly answer your questions"! I would imagine that the EULA is actually the controlling authority, being that the statement on the website isn't binding in any sense. However, this does make it seem as if Adobe itself isn't very clear on it all.

                                    Again, it makes no logical sense whatsoever to disallow the physical installation of the software on multiple machines when you concurrently allow for the software to only actually work on 2 at a time, and by EULA only further allow for the use of the software on only one of those installations. This does nothing to prevent 'piracy'. Those wishing to commit 'piracy' by nature discount EULA restriction. The only logical explanation for this would be to promote more sales, which they attempt every time a user calls in with a problem with activation due to this 'scheme'.

                                    "You will not find ways to circumvent Adobe's software security here.
                                    "

                                    And I never even hinted that I was looking for such. According to at least one of Adobe's "ones to properly answer your questions", I am in perfect accordance with Adobe's 'anti-piracy' methods. He even went further to state that they consider the terms 'installed' and 'activated' to be equal.
                                    • 15. Re: Deactivation scheme
                                      the_wine_snob Level 9
                                      Steve,

                                      I think that one of the problems here is that the EULA is written by lawyers with the help of Adobe's technical writers. The "tech reps," are likely not lawyers, and have a set script to read from. Some, however, might lend personal interpretations to that script. In our world of Premiere, Adobe makes the rules and we just try to play along.

                                      Hunt
                                      • 16. Re: Deactivation scheme
                                        Jim_Simon Level 8
                                        >I mean, these are "the ones to properly answer your questions"!

                                        That's debatable, especially on legal matters. In my experience, most tech support personnel aren't programmers, or even actual users of the software who have extensive knowledge of it. They're just ordinary folks reading solutions off a list that sort of matches your problem.
                                        • 17. Re: Deactivation scheme
                                          Level 1
                                          "Some, however, might lend personal interpretations to that script."

                                          Wow. You mean that maybe I shouldn't actually depend on "the ones to properly answer your question"?

                                          "That's debatable"

                                          My point exactly...the "the ones to properly answer your question" quote weren't my words.

                                          So, if I only have the software installed on 2 machines at one time, and only use it on one of them at any one time, I am EULA legal. In other words, instead of just deactivating the license on a machine, I have to physically uninstall it as well, which logically has the exact same effect as just deactivating. The only difference being the additional hassle of the physical uninstall/reinstall routine that this creates, which quite obviously is designed to sell licenses. Here I will run into the same activation/deactivation limit, forcing a call to support/upsales rep who will advise me to purchase a second license.

                                          Guess it's time to head to eBay to look for a cheap license.
                                          • 18. Re: Deactivation scheme
                                            Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                            All sarcasm aside, Steve, you need to escalate this issue. I would do it with Customer Service, not Tech Support. You need to ensure that you are speaking to someone who has both the knowledge and authority to advise you on how to legally use your license.

                                            You need to make your setup and your actions clearer to this person than you have done here.

                                            IMHO, your case is wobbly at best. You have installed the software on 3 computers. That alone is a violation of the EULA. We, the users, have given you our best advice. It's up to you to proceed from here.
                                            • 19. Re: Deactivation scheme
                                              Level 1
                                              Although I never asked for advice, I appreciate that which has been given.
                                              • 20. Re: Deactivation scheme
                                                the_wine_snob Level 9
                                                It might not have been a direct request for advice, but
                                                i "Am I alone in this? Has anyone else experienced the activation runaround?"
                                                sounds like you were looking for something here, besides a venue to vent your frustrations. Remember, this is a
                                                b U2U
                                                forum. Adobe might drop by, but none of us works for them.

                                                To answer your questions:

                                                1.) probably
                                                2.) no

                                                Hunt
                                                • 21. Re: Deactivation scheme
                                                  Level 1
                                                  "sounds like you were looking for something here"
                                                  You are correct...I was. I was looking to see if "anyone else experienced the activation runaround". Sorry it wasn't more clearly expressed. ;)

                                                  "To answer your questions:

                                                  1.) probably
                                                  2.) no"

                                                  Finally! An answer to the questions!!! Doubtful an accurate one, save for Bill.
                                                  • 22. Re: Deactivation scheme
                                                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                    And me.
                                                    • 23. Re: Deactivation scheme
                                                      the_wine_snob Level 9
                                                      Steve,

                                                      As users, we can only comment to your post, based on our experience, however unique they are. So far no one has come forward to join your camp. Do they exist? Possibly, but their absence is obvious. However that is just my observation, so it probably doesn't count.

                                                      Hunt