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Counterfeit Adobe XI Professional Serials?

New Here ,
Jun 01, 2016 Jun 01, 2016

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Just discovered that several boxed versions of XI Pro we purchased a few months ago have serial numbers that are either counterfeit or were somehow removed from the Adobe database for being "not legitimate"  A massive hardware project that took a few extra months to complete is the reason why we're only finding this out.  I spoke with our national IT services providers and they say counterfeit XI Pro licenses are a huge problem right now, and some e-tailers with legitimate licensing rights to Adobe have been victim.  The e-tailers are Tier-1 resellers with national rights to Adobe products...whatever that means.

However...every single unit we've purchased on eBay works fine.  Go figure.

We are prohibited from using DC for a variety of reasons.  I now face the possibility of asking our organization to abandon PDF as a long-term approved archival format because we cannot work with the PDFs the way we need to.  This would impact about 275 million documents in archive which will probably have to remain in TIFF format and about 15 million per year moving forward.  The only effective way to edit and then archive them is through Adobe, and without rights to DC, we appear to be screwed.

What I'd like to know is if there is a way to determine what the serial numbers were intended to do.  The sequences are common enough, but they're not consistent with full-version serial numbers we have on existing machines.  I'm thinking these might be upgrade serial numbers, or maybe they're being peddled as usable on North American installs but actually come from somewhere else, or maybe they're just plain counterfeit.  The PN is 65195200.  Chat could not assist - apparently their playbook is limited to "that number is not in our database" and "please contact the retailer."

I am happy to share two of these serial numbers, since they don't work, but in the hopes they may be salvageable I'd like not to post them for the entire world to see...

-XLR

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Acrobat SDK and JavaScript

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Jun 03, 2016 Jun 03, 2016

Hi Marc,

You can report non-genuine software here: Reporting - Add tip

Also refer the lnks:

Adobe Genuine software

FAQ | Adobe anti-piracy

Regards,
Rave

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Community Expert ,
Jun 01, 2016 Jun 01, 2016

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Sadly, only Adobe will be able to help you, not other users in an open discussion forum

I don't have any "insider" links or numbers to call, so going to chat and asking for a supervisor is all I can recommend

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New Here ,
Jun 01, 2016 Jun 01, 2016

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Adobe will not help.  The chat session representative refused to get a supervisor involved.  And I was nice, too.  The forum was worth a try, but I expected to hear exactly what you just said.  We're just going to have to absorb the losses and move on.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 03, 2016 Jun 03, 2016

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Hi Marc,

You can report non-genuine software here: Reporting - Add tip

Also refer the lnks:

Adobe Genuine software

FAQ | Adobe anti-piracy

Regards,
Rave

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New Here ,
Feb 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017

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I have had the same problem albeit on a much much smaller scale.  I bought from a company which appears (to this day) to be a legitimate reseller.  After 18 months of use, the licence was revoked without any warning from Adobe.  I contacted them and waited for two hours on chat to try and get some help from this massive multi-national corporation.  I gave all the details and all I got was (a) being told to report it through the channels they insist upon, not through customer support which is incapable of passing the details on internally, and (b) an email which I can wave at the reseller telling me the serial number is invalid: like that is going to help - they have my money already.

But what are Adobe going to do about this company using their intellectual property to defraud the public?  NOTHING.  Not their concern apparently.  The attitude was 'your mistake, you should have known'.  So it's down to me (a private citizen) to do something about this re-seller rather than them (a multi-million dollar enterprise).  That makes sense, no?

Disgraceful.  Thanks Adobe.  An object lesson in corporate responsibility and customer care for all of us I think.

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New Here ,
Feb 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017

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Here's the response from the re-seller i.e. not our problem either ...

Dear Customer,

Please be advised that Adobe has implemented their revoked notifications for all Volume License products early last year (2016).

This means that if you attempt to reinstall your product whether to the same or a different computer the product will generate the message that the license key has been revoked or if you receive the pop-up that your copy of the software is not genuine you will not be able to reactivate the software with the serial key.

In light of this we are offering the option of providing you a replacement retail serial key at a discounted price if you need to reinstall or reactivate your Adobe product.

We currently do not have available the Acrobat product(s) you originally purchased. However, we can offer you the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC at the discounted price of £110.00. The Adobe Acrobat DC is the non-subscription based version that will allow you to run the software on two computers (not simultaneous) and also allow you to register the product.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused, this is an Adobe issue, however we still want to provide assistance to our clients.

Regards

Sales Manager

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Feb 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017

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I think that the key to the problem here is provided by the wording from the “sales manager” of the vendor you believed to be a legitimate seller —  Please be advised that Adobe has implemented their revoked notifications for all Volume License products early last year (2016).

Adobe software products sold by Authorized Adobe Resellers to individuals are not “volume licenses” in any way. They are individual licenses. What I strongly suspect was happening was that this vendor was buying or otherwise obtaining volume licenses for Adobe products and “selling” them to individuals such as yourself which is totally contrary to the license agreement for volume licenses, a practice known as “unbundling.” Volume licenses are sold to organizations for use only within that organization such as a company buying an Acrobat volume license for all of its employees for use on company computers. These licenses cannot legally be resold!

There are a few possibilities as to what subsequently happened:

(1)     This vendor “sold” more licenses than the volume license allowed for and Adobe noticed same and invalidated the licenses for illegal usage.

(2)     Adobe otherwise found about the scheme by the vendor and invalidated the licenses.

(3)     Many of Adobe volume licenses are for a particular term, i.e. an agreed period of time. After that time period has elapsed, unless the licensee renews the term, the license effectively expired and you would experience a failure in installation of in subsequent use. A scamster is clearly not going to renew such a license after having illegally pawned off the software on you.

Further evidence of fraud is the fact that this “sales manager” is now blaming Adobe and offering you a non-subscription (i.e., “perpetual license”) copy of Acrobat Pro DC at a “discounted price of £110.00,” a too-good-to-be-true price well below cost.

We really recommend that you better investigate your sources of software to determine whether they are in fact authorized resellers or you will face similar disappointments in the future. Unfortunately, it doesn't take much for a criminal element to setup a website and appear to be a legitimate software vendor.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Feb 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017

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BTW, look at the response given earlier in the thread. It does provide pointer to resources for reporting these problems (including the offending vendors) to Adobe. We do take this very seriously and we do follow-up on any leads provided!

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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New Here ,
Feb 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017

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Yep, that's the attitude I was describing: 'we really recommend that you better investigate your sources' = 'we don't care you idiot'

I did investigate.  Tell me (Dov) what is fake / suspicious about: www.royaletchsavers.com??

A better response might have been: 'this is really bad and we are going to take action to shut this retailer down'.  Instead you blame me for being an idiot.

I have reported it through two of your channels.  What do I get for my trouble?  A public slap in the face from you.

Thanks.

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Feb 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017

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Neither I nor anyone else here called you an “idiot” nor do even think that. We're very sorry if you took our post in that context. We simply are trying to explain what may have actually happened.

We cannot promise to shutdown any business since (1) we depend upon the legal process and regulatory bodies to do that based on our complaints and (2) many of these shady operations operate in locales that simply thumb their noses at intellectual property issues. We do follow up on any reports of problematic vendors. For obvious reasons, we don't go broadcasting the progress and results of our attempts to investigate and have them shut down! We do thank you for your reports.

FWIW, in terms of “fake / suspicious,” trying to access the website that you pointed us to yields browser messages about a problematic website security certificate and a warning about possible data interception by that website.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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New Here ,
Feb 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017

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Patronising really doesn't cover it.

(1) I am a lawyer.  I understand you can't just turn up and close them.  I suggested that your response might have been 'we are going to take action to ...' i.e. an intended course of action.  So far you have not indicated that Adobe intends to do anything other than continue to reinforce the message that its my fault for being stupid.  I find your attitude deeply deeply offensive.

(2) The website didn't give that warning in 2015 when I bought the product.

No need to reply.  I've got the message loud and clear: we are a multi-million dollar business to whom the cost of a single licence means nothing; you on the other hand are a fool.

In fact I'd prefer if you don't reply - everything you have said so far has just made me feel belittled.  Instead I'd prefer it if you would reflect upon (a) why you consider that your replies would help, and (b) how they might inform anyone else that reads them about your attitude.

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