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Adobe Considers Withdrawing from Asian Markets

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the chinese-language-gimp-coming-soon dept.

News 507

Max Groff writes "This brief ZDNet article (printer-friendly version) describes how Adobe is considering leaving its Asian markets due to the apparently high levels of piracy across the Pacific. This change would not only cut off the marketing of Adobe products to Asian markets, but also halt the development of much of the company's Asian-language software."

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Go for it (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865347)

Take your ball home; might open some eyes. But I'm sure that somebody else would step in to produce the right software, and Asia can be a BIG market.

Re:Go for it (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865416)

"Asia can be a BIG market"

Asia *is* a big market, but piracy apparently makes it much smaller. They're leaving because the real market (the one that buys their products, from them) is too small. Any other company coming in will have exactly the same market Adobe has, and they will face the same problem.

Re:Go for it (2, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865436)

and Asia can be a BIG market.

For cigarettes, electronics, and cars, but the market for legally licensed software is actually pretty small.

This could be Microsoft's moment to take on Adobe (2)

Artifice_Eternity (306661) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865454)

I've been waiting to see when they'd do it. Adobe and Macromedia are some of the only major producers of desktop apps that M$ hasn't yet gone after.

This may be the moment Bill's been waiting for. Of course, he has his own piracy troubles in Asian markets...

Re:Go for it (2)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865543)

We lose money on every unit sold, but we make that up through volume.

Great! (0)

ecc0 (548386) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865348)

Oh, yeah. THAT'LL lower "piracy."

Re:Great! (0)

hadroner (411762) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865467)

No it will INCREASE piracy. Noone will be safe in the Southchinese Sea [rom.on.ca]

Too bad, I guess... (1)

Tessera (551890) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865352)

I mean, I guess that the pirates have screwed themselves over, insofar as they care about Adobe products. Although I would bet that they'll just start pirating the US versions...

Uh? (1)

dotderf (548723) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865356)

How will this prevent people in Asia from getting copies of Adobe products and distributing them on their own? Common sense, people!

How stupid are you? (1, Insightful)

glrotate (300695) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865417)

The point is that they will no longer be creating localized versions for the Asian market. In other words they won't bother translating into the various Asian languages.

Re:Uh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865419)

Well, consider this:
  • Creating customized (localized) versions to those markets costs money; especially if the product(s) are not by default using Unicode. And even if they are, font licensing might be costly.
  • Maintaining customized / localized versions costs.
  • Customer support costs, and part of these costs is fixed (ie. there's minimum level that doesn't depend on number of customers)

So... it's just that if there's no money flowing in from sales, there's no point in bleeding money for r'n d plus support.

Re:Uh? (-1, Flamebait)

blibbleblobble (526872) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865430)

[Because Adobe will no longer spend money translating it to Chineese (800 billion speakers)]

Am I the only one who thinks so, or is Adobe Acrobat really shite? Everyone keeps telling me that "it's open-format, it's really great", but:
(a) Their page-down/arrow-down buttons are the wrong way around
(b) It's terrible to try and read a PDF document from the screen. Reams of paper and tens of ink-cartriges, anyone?
(c) It's just generally shite.
Am I just missing something? Will it be any better when I go to linux?

Re:Uh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865499)

no [slashdot.org] .

Re:Uh? (2, Informative)

axlrosen (88070) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865441)

It'll certainly prevent them from pirating the localized Chinese (etc) versions. If it costs Adobe more to translate, test, distribute, etc. their localized products than they make by doing it, then they'll have to leave that business. Not good for people that don't speak English. (Or another Western language.)

Re:Uh? (2, Insightful)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865493)

They'll just come out with a translation "patch". With native OS support in Windows 2000 for Asian languages, all you really have to do is to load the Adobe binaries into a resource editor and replace the strings.

Adobe/Macromedia "Greatest Hits" (5, Funny)

Duke of URL (10219) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865358)

A professor at a local US University handed our help desk a CD labeled "Adobe & Macromedia's Greatest Hits, Vol. II"

She wanted us to install Photoshop and Dreamweaver off the disk. The help deskers explained how it was a pirated copy, and how her dept. could legally purchase the software for significant discount for educational purposes. She protested, saying it was legit because she'd paid 5 dollars for it on her travels in Malaysia.

Re:Adobe/Macromedia "Greatest Hits" (5, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865421)

She protested, saying it was legit because she'd paid 5 dollars for it on her travels in Malaysia.

This is a great example of the wackiness of intellectual property law as it applies to software, in the eyes of most consumers. Because, for just about anything else except software, she'd be right!

For example, yes, it is illegal to make pirated CDs of Britney Spears albums. But it's not illegal to buy one in Malaysia, or to own one in the United States! It's not even illegal to play one in a CD player!

The software manufacturers have pulled an amazing fast one on all of us, by somehow creating a whole new set of rules to apply to their products. You can bet every other intellectual property-owning corporate entity in the world will stop at nothing until they can follow suit.

Re:Adobe/Macromedia "Greatest Hits" (2)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865438)

Yeah, but you're mixing two different streams of thought; paying for the media and packaging ($5) and paying for the man hours to produce the product and to provide support and updates for the product ($600).

So paying $5 for Adobe's products means you pay for the physical cost, even the distribution cost, but not for the labor cost.

Re:Adobe/Macromedia "Greatest Hits" (2, Informative)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865478)

Actually, it is illegal to own an unlicensed copy of that CD in the U.S. And, I believe that Malaysia and other Asian contries technically have laws against piracy, they're just not enforced. If so, then it is illegal to buy such a copy in Malaysia too.

Really? (3, Funny)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865515)

She protested, saying it was legit because she'd paid 5 dollars for it on her travels in Malaysia.
This is a great example of the wackiness of intellectual property law as it applies to software, in the eyes of most consumers. Because, for just about anything else except software, she'd be right!

Cool, if I'm ever pulled over by a cop and have a happen to have some marijuana or hashish on me, I'll just tell him I bought it in Amsterdam since it's legal there and I paid for it fair and square.

That should keep me out of jail.

Re:Adobe/Macromedia "Greatest Hits" (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865433)

I've heard about these - my friend who is the USAF says just about everyone who was ever stationed in Saudi Arabia has one of those.

Re:Adobe/Macromedia "Greatest Hits" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865510)

She got ripped off... when I was in Malaysia, the going price was 8 ringitt (just over US $2) per CD.

When will it stop? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865361)

cant we all just get a bong?

So I have to pirate it?? (2, Insightful)

danielrose (460523) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865364)

Yes, ok. So now I can't legally buy it, and I used to.
If I want it, I *HAVE* to pirate it!?
Sounds like a great idea adobe.....

Re:So I have to pirate it?? (5, Insightful)

MathJMendl (144298) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865411)

Try as hard as you can to rationalize it, but if they are losing money there it makes good sense for them to drop out of the business there. I mean, cmon, piracy rates are over 90%! A vast majority of the software there doesn't make them any money and if they can't sell enough copies to recoup their losses, who can blame them?

So, now the pirates have two choices: stop pirating (or at least to the same extent), or lose language support for their copies.

I mean, they can pirate English versions still, but I'm sure they would prefer copies in their own languages. It is their own fault for this happening.

I don't believe that they have actually lost $4 billion, because not everyone buys copies, but even if 1% of those people would have bought copies they would have lost $40 million.

Re:So I have to pirate it?? (1)

blibbleblobble (526872) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865476)

Hint: When you want to estimate the losses due to piracy, take the following steps:

(a) See how many people use it in a small group
(b) Extrapolate to the entire population of several countrues
(c) Multiply by the retail cost of your software

(d) (optional) Don't show this as a "loss" on your balance sheet. It's still "theft" and "piracy" but your shareholders don't need to know about the "money" it's costing you.

Yes, I know it doesn't make sense. Who are you going to complain to?

Re:So I have to pirate it?? (2, Insightful)

eXtro (258933) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865537)

Adobe did a pretty legitimate job (which of course nobody here bothers to notice) in estimating software losses. They took the development costs for porting to Asian languages and subtracted how much revenue it generated. It came out negative, hence, they are actually losing money. They didn't do the usual procedure: number of illegal copies * retail price.

Re:So I have to pirate it?? (1)

dongkiru (157748) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865497)

And, they won't lose the cost of advertisement in Asia as well as the production cost for localization. I think this is a decent move for Adobe.

Re:So I have to pirate it?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865466)

If I want it, I *HAVE* to pirate it!?

You don't seem to understand. There will be no software for you to want. No more photoshop with menus and options written in funny characters. If you're one of the affected asians, you'll have to stick with the version you have, or learn English (or another language for which Adobe is still developing).

Re:So I have to pirate it?? (1)

cbv (221379) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865526)

If you're one of the affected asians, you'll have to stick with the version you have, or learn English

Uhm, his/her posting looked English to me ...

some child porn for you (-1, Offtopic)

child porn guy (551894) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865367)

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Re:some child porn for you (1)

Tessera (551890) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865401)

Isn't there something that you can do about posts like this??

Re:some child porn for you (2, Insightful)

shpoffo (114124) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865415)

yea, scroll down and read something more interesting

-shpoffo

Re:some child porn for you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865534)

hi from sweden!!!!

i see only text no? something wr0ng?! how to see picture pls tell me!! pz, i am on dalnet as GaeLegolas.

HI!!

first post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865370)

www.amphibious.net!!

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865372)

Isn't that an emerging market-and-a-half?

FP...

Prices of products. (-1, Flamebait)

X-Dopple (213116) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865374)

Considering that Adobe Photoshop costs $600 [amazon.com] , I'm not really surprised at this decision. Adobe could have lowered prices for their Asian market, but instead they just took their ball and went home.

Can anybody possibly justify paying $600 for a flimsy cardboard box and a plastic CD?

Re:Prices of products. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865400)

You're absolutely right. Clearly, packaging and distribution was dominating Adobe's costs for the product. They should have switched to cheaper cardboard and offbrand CDs so Photoshop would only have cost $20.

Idiot.

Re:Prices of products. (3, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865422)

Yes, it's justifiable to pay $600 for a flimsy cardboard box and a plastic CD.

If you make $600 with said flimsy cardboard box and plastic CD, I think the product has paid for itself.

Justification's from Adobe's view? If the $600 price funds the development of the next version of Photoshop and keeps employees and the company afloat, that's justification.

Can anybody possibly justify taking property that doesn't belong to you?

Re:Prices of products. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865472)

I'm not interested in justifying it.

Re:Prices of products. (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865437)

If you're a professional graphic designer who uses Photoshop every day, then $600 is chump change.

If you're not a professional, or at least a "power consumer", then Photoshop is overkill. Get Photoshop Elements or some other consumer-level application instead.

Re:Prices of products. (1)

rebug (520669) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865439)

Yes, my purchasing department can.

So can the bsa [bsa.org] .

As far as lowering the prices, how can they hope to compete with people selling their entire library for $5(US)?

If you don't like the prices, don't use the software.

Re:Prices of products. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865449)

Imagine a piece of pretty greenish paper being worth $100 ... or a canvas with some paint thrown on it being worth millions ...

Re:Prices of products. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865501)

Why is it I need to lower my threshold to zero before I can read any serious discussion?

Re:Prices of products. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865483)

Product prices for 'professional' software are astronomical, sure, but somehow people in western countries still buy them more often than not.

The problem unfortunately IS with the local culture (in regards to buying software) in many oriental countries. Even if the prices were lowered the problem wouldn't go away. The same happens in Eastern Europe as well, by the way; it seems to be related to the end of communist system.

rambling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865375)

oh boo hoo! They copy my precious software. I think I'll take my ball and leave.

Fuck you, Adobe. This one's for Dmitri.

so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865376)

Who gives a damn about those markets anyhow? If all they do is pirate software, screw 'em.

Oh wait, the slashdot crowd condones piracy as a "funadmental freedom" that all are entitled to, right?

I can't wait for you GNU robots to jump in and say "linux is free, why not everything else", right?

long live newsforge.com, to hell with slashdot, you people suck.

The best part.... (2)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865377)

... of course that they will still have Adobe's products.

Photoshop 4.0 works just as good as 6.0.

Not sure this will lower piracy (1)

Squareball (523165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865385)

It is my understanding that a lot of Asian country citizens are bi-lingual(sp?) They often take english as a second language so I'm not sure how this will stop piracy. If they speak english and you stop selling your software there, then they will just download and burn the english version. Right?

Re:Not sure this will lower piracy (1)

axlrosen (88070) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865488)

I don't think it's nearly as common as you think. I know several Asian software engineers that don't speak much English, and you'd think that would be an industry with a relatively high rate. I'm sure the average is pretty low, even in a professional job.

Re:Not sure this will lower piracy (2)

pcidevel (207951) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865490)

It is my understanding that a lot of Asian country citizens are bi-lingual(sp?) They often take english as a second language so I'm not sure how this will stop piracy. If they speak english and you stop selling your software there, then they will just download and burn the english version. Right?

Uhm.. sounds like Adobe has abandoned the goal of stoping or even slowing down piracy in Asia.. all they are saying is "We will no longer fund the development of Asian language applications, because you guys just pirate them anyways".. they could care less if their stuff is pirated after they leave.. it's not their market anymore.. they aren't taking financial hits to make software that doesn't get purchased..

Re:Not sure this will lower piracy (1)

yggdrazil (261592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865495)

bi-lingual != knowledge of a second language

I wonder what effect... (1)

cmckay (25124) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865386)

...this will have on the piracy of Adobe products?

I am under the impression that English-language versions will just be pirated instead of the localized Chinese/Korean/whatever versions.

Granted, there will be a fair amount of users who will have difficulty using the pirated English versions of the products, but I'm sure that a good percentage of technically trained people have sufficient English skills to use the latest version of Photoshop.

What do the rest of you think?

Re:I wonder what effect... (1)

sheetsda (230887) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865448)

Aren't there button icons as well for a lot of the tools? I wouldn't think those would change across languages, making it that much easier to use a foreign language version even for those who don't speak the language.

Re:I wonder what effect... (2)

Doomdark (136619) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865520)

good percentage of technically trained people have sufficient English skills to use the latest version of Photoshop.

For Photoshop maybe, but for some other products (InDesign etc) the support for localized versions has to go beyond just translating the menu texts and help files.

In many cases support for multi-byte character sets needs additional work (since apps were developed before standards like Unicode); the text flow may go from right to left (and/or from down to up), and the input methods may be platform dependant.

That is, english version might not have all the required feature for even inputting stuff, and will be useless. For some software this is not an issue, for many it is.

C'mon... (1)

Silver222 (452093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865390)

There are plenty of people in the United States who won't pay what Adobe is asking for software and pirate it as well. So, here is my suggested solution: Stop producing ALL your software, you won't have to worry about piracy at all.


Christ, I don't have my MBA yet...otherwise I'm sure I'd be management material!

Re:C'mon... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865484)

The difference is in the scale. Software companies can deal with piracy up to a certain point, but when 95% of your users are using illegal copies, it's just not worth it to go into that market. I can understand them being frustrated that their stuff is being sold openly on the streets for three dollars, and they're not seeing a dime of revenue from that.

Re:C'mon... (2)

JesseL (107722) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865533)

They aren't worried about piracy, they're worried about their profit margins. If they only make $X in the asian market and it cost only slightly less than $X to produce the asian version of thier product, it doesn't matter to them why $X isn't more, wether it's beacuase of piracy or the phase of the moon. If a market isn't yeilding good returns, it's in their best interest to give it up and focus on better markets.

Quark did that a while ago... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865392)

Yes, piracy piracy piracy. QuarkXPress version 4 didn't originally have a chinese version due to piracy. Like the owner of the company (privately) said "Everyone's using it there, but no one's buying" (apparently referring to 3.3.2 sales figures). Of course, due to political correctnesee issues that's a big no-no to say officially, even though it's not racism but more about cultural thing in many far-eastern countries.

Korean version was produced (or planned) provided that a korean company would help in creating version plus guarantee certain number of sold copies; apparently (south-)Korea has similar problems but situation is perhaps not quite as bad.

Huh? (1)

cascino (454769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865394)

Yeah, that's a great idea. Take away the only legal way to use Photoshop / Premiere / Pagemaker, etc., and that'll really curb piracy.
What does Adobe expect - people will just stop editing images? People will stop publishing .pdf's? Now they're going to have to steal copies of the software, even if they wanted to pay for it!
*I realize that there are other programs to edit all kinds of documents, but, as Windows has shown, people have a tendency to want to stick with the software they've originally learned.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

Toddarooski (12363) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865529)

I don't think Adobe expects to curb piracy at all. But that's not really their goal -- their goal is to spend their R&D money in a way that they can get the most bang for their buck.

If they have to spend $750,000 to develop a Chinese language version of Photoshop, which only sells a thousand legitimate copies (at $600/each), they've just lost money. They'd be better off putting their $750,000 in a savings account (except maybe a BofA savings account, which would charge them a $300K "We gotta count your money" fee) and selling only a hundred copies of their English language version in China.

What's tougher to determine is if, by not creating a Chinese version, they're hurting themselves in the long-term. Let's say they don't develop a Chinese version of Photoshop. Somebody like JASC could develop a Chinese version of Paint Shop Pro and gain a large following in China. Then, if we assume that at some point in the future, the Chinese market is profitable, Adobe might be in trouble. Everybody in China will be used to using Paint Shop Pro, and might not bother swapping over to Photoshop.

It's a question of determining when it'll be profitable to spend money developing Chinese language versions of software, and deciding just how much the Chinese care about getting a native language version of their software.

English version (2, Insightful)

SETY (46845) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865395)

The English versions will just be pirated over IRC, etc. There are little windows tools to turn the English in programs into Chinese (or any other language). So withdrawing from the market will not really kill priacy. It is only worth withdrawing if your not making money (obviously).

I suspect I18N would continue... (2)

BaronM (122102) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865397)

If nothing else, even domestic users who need to work with Asian-language materials should assure that. Adobe's main products are high-end, and in the case of programs like InDesign, are sold into markets where international audiences are common. I can only imagine that removing Asian language support would hand back any marketshare they have managed to take from Quark, despite the convenience of a basically all-Adobe publishing workflow.

Re:I suspect I18N would continue... (1)

Eloquence (144160) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865447)

Even if official I18N doesn't continue, which, as BaronM correctly points out, is highly unlikely, amateurs may still provide localization hacks, much like the Germans who translated Civ3 before its German release (and were sued for doing so) -- although this may be a lot harder with all those pesky Asian letters.

Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

hahn (101816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865399)

I get the feeling that Adobe is not just doing this for financial reasons, but also to punish the area by not providing Asian versions of it software. It's too bad that they're going to stop development of Asian language versions, but if punishment is their goal, somehow I think that it will have little effect, and may even backfire.

The thing is that while their programs set the standard here in the US and many companies now depend on their products, the same is not true in Asia, where Linux is actually being adopted quite rapidly, especially now with Windows XP having copy protection in place (although that hasn't stopped many hacked versions from being produced). This may in fact be a big boon to the Linux industry as more and more users may come to find more full fledged Linux graphics solutions (GIMP is getting there).

Oh please. (-1)

Lord Hugh Toppingham (319381) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865402)

Who really gives a fuck about what some proprietory software company may or may not do. They still just don't get it. Information wants to be free. That goes for Software, just as much as it does for music. No amount of legal tantrums from the USA will make the Chinese change their minds about this.

I think it is a good thing that the majority of people have no respect for intellectual property laws. They were created largely without our consent, and so we have no moral obligation to obey them.

Pirates wouldn't buy the software, any way (3, Insightful)

skoda (211470) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865407)

I do not advoate software piracy. I've been weaning myself off of illigitimately copied programs for several years now, and encourage friends to also not use pirated materials.

That said, I believe that the equivalent dollar cost in pirated products is highly mis-leading. People who pirate software wouldn't buy the programs if they lost access to it. They would just do without.

Chizen said in the article that it can cost up to $750,000 to produce a Chinese-language version of a product, and extensive piracy makes it difficult for Adobe to recoup those costs.
That said, I can appreciate theirt reasons for leaving. If they spend $750k to produce the Asian version, and don't sell sufficient copies to recoup costs and profit, then they should leave. My understanding is that most companies require a 15% return-on-investment from a product, or they shut it down.

That's not 100% true (3, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865492)

It's not that pirates wouldn't buy the software, it's that some pirates wouldn't buy the software, some pirates couldn't buy the software, and some pirates would have to buy the software.

The question is how to separate all of them enough to target the payers, and get them to pay.

People who do without aren't interesting to this equation or argument. It's the people who make money with the product, and people who need the product, that should be targetted.

In a very fair market way, if there isn't enough pirates who can pay, if they had to, to support the product, the product should go away. If there is enough pirates who can pay, then they can afford to sell, as long as they can convince the pirates to pay.

The question is how lack of an Asian version of the product will affect the market. Will Chinese users, for example, start to use English or Japanese versions? Older versions? Does this mean that Chinese OS X users will be, literally, up the creek?

Re:Pirates wouldn't buy the software, any way (2, Insightful)

Fillup (121335) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865504)

I completely agree! The BSA (bullsh*t association??) always makes these exorbitant figures about their purported losses, but yeah -- if you can no longer pirate photoshop 18.3, doesn't that mean you'll just keep using your real copy of 4.0? Or that you'll use the GIMP, or a more low-end product (even one from adobe?). I don't get their figures at all.

and on your other point...Yeah I've finally gotten off of all Microsoft software, except that provided for free or gotten with a purchased machine. I downloaded their MS Office for my OS X machine, and it's just such a bloated feature-itis mess now, that I can't be bothered to even pirate it. Or buy it. I'm making do with a slightly more feature-light program that comes free with every mac (AppleWorks).

Could be an opening for Microsoft... (2)

Artifice_Eternity (306661) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865424)

I've been waiting to see when M$ would launch an all-out assault on Adobe and Macromedia, with their own graphics and video editing software apps.

Maybe this will be the opportunity they've been waiting for...

Of course, M$ suffers from massive piracy in Asia too.

Re:Could be an opening for Microsoft... (1)

kvandivo (207171) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865477)

Maybe this is all a big conspiracy BY Microsoft. Maybe they figure they can sacrifice their own product sales in that part of the world so that they can eliminate other companies. at the same time. Go MS Go!

Re:Could be an opening for Microsoft... (2, Funny)

rebug (520669) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865514)

You betcha! I gave up Premiere and Photoshop for Windows Movie Maker and Paint long ago.

I can't wait until Micrsoft provides all my software!

"apparently"? (2)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865425)

"Apparently" high piracy? You're talking about a market in which people do not generally realize that software exists in shrinkwrapped form. I have talked to people that literally were not aware of shrinkwrapped software before coming to America. Most software is purchased in the form of $5 CDs containing EVERY SINGLE PROGRAM EVER MADE by a particular company.

I should know; I have a copy of just such a CD full of Adobe software ;-).

Let this be a lesson... (1)

PoiBoy (525770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865428)

To all you warez pirates out there...let this be a lesson!

Seriously, piracy is a big problem in Asia, and something must be done to stop it. Adobe spends tens of millions of dollars a year in product development costs to provide consumers with useful products. If someone is not willing to pay for the software, he should not be allowed to use the fruits of Adobe's labor. Of course, open-source and other freely available software is different; and those authors should be commended for their dedication and service. However, a company which spends so much money developing its products has a right to recoup its investment.

Nah... (2)

Moonshadow (84117) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865432)

Nah...what's REALLY happening is that their Asian languages translator(s) quit, and they can't find a new one in time for their next release :)

It's so much easier to just forget about a substantial portion of the world, you know?

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865443)

Hopefully Adobe will withdraw from ALL markets, putting Apple out of its misery once and for all.

Maybe not quite so clear cut.. (1)

Qube (17569) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865444)

According to other reports on this, it's being done purely on cost grounds. They spend $750k doing localization, they can only expect about $500k back because so many users just pirate it, and that's not going to change any time soon.

Believe it 'cause it's true (2)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865450)

Indeed, i am absolutly sure that Adobe will give up on half the world's population (Asia) containing the only big market that's still growing at 7.8% (5 times the european rate) a year (China).

Yes, i can just see how incredibly briliant that market strategy is!!!

It's not about lowering piracy. (5, Interesting)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865452)

I see a lot of posts here saying that this will not stop piracy of the Adobe's products, because it will eliminate the only legal way to obtain the software, so people will be forced to pirate it. Adobe knows that, but that's not the point. The point is that Adobe is actually spending money to support the Asian money, and that money is wasted.

They're not trying to stop piracy (4, Insightful)

hacksoncode (239847) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865453)

Come on, folks, the article strongly implied, if not stating it expressly, that the reason they are considering stopping producing Asian language versions is that they don't make any money on them due to piracy.

It doesn't hurt them at all to have English language versions pirated in Asia, in fact they probably prefer that to having their competitor's products pirated.

But if it costs $650,000 to produce an Asian languages version of their products (a number I can easily believe, having done localizations of much smaller products), and they don't recoup that cost, there's no point in doing it.

This is news?

Who does this really hurt? (2)

guttentag (313541) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865468)

If the piracy is so rampant that Adobe is actually losing money, then it makes sense to cut the product line.

However, I don't think this will hurt the pirates. Anyone willing to go to the lengths necessary to acquire the software and circumvent anti-piracy measures (serial numbers, dongles, etc.) is probably willing to put up with English menus. Photoshop and Illustrator aren't exactly language intensive applications -- they're intuitive graphics apps.

The people who will really suffer are the people who do pay for asian versions of Adobe's software (businesses, schools, etc.) and the employees who work on those versions at Adobe. If you're an internationalization guru who got laid off because international piracy is just too rampant, you're in trouble.

This is the fault of the greedy software industry (3, Insightful)

Wonderkid (541329) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865470)

Look, for 15 years US software houses have been charging nearly ten times as much money as they should for their applications. Our original AMX Pagemaker desktop publishing software launched in 1985 for the BBC Microcomputer sold for £40 (about $65), which was just within the budget of most people who needed it. Today your typical application or application suite is $300-$500. And then, you have to constanly pay to upgrade. And I'm a Mac user, so I now have to 'upgrade' all my apps from OS 9 to OS X which will cost thousands. What makes all this far more serious is the complete niavity of American business culture to the reality that the rest of the world (and I include the UK in this) have MUCH less money. To a Brit, spending £50 ($80 approximately) is equiv to a middle class American spending about £250 ($350). For those who do not believe me, if you're a Brit, go live in the US for a few years. If you're an American, come live here. So, in Asia, where the standard of living outside of wealthy communities is even lower than the rest of the Western world, the situation is even worse! Price it right, and people will PAY for it. People want their original user guide, colour CD insert etc. We did it! We created http://www.onumber.net at just £14.95 (about $23) a pop for 5 years, feature upgrades included. It's on the net, so why should we screw people for more? A little more global understanding and increase use of ASP business model, and mass software piracy will be a thing of the past.

Re:This is the fault of the greedy software indust (3, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865513)

Your comparing two very different things. People don't need Photoshop to edit images, hell most people couldn't make use of most of the features even if the package was free. Photoshop and applications in its price range (and higher) are priced based on the work that went into them and the value of what comes out. If someone can use Photoshop to make an image for an advertising champain that they get payed thousands of dollars for then the 600$ price tag of Photoshop is well worth it. Having people bitch that they cant afford Photoshop to edit pictures of their grand kids is just dumb. There are lower end packages that cost less then 50$ which will serve their purposes just fine.
Bottom line, if you think the software costs too much then you don't really need it. Go use something else, be it Gimp or Adobe Image Effects. Dont bitch and moan about the cost of Photoshop and don't condone the piracy of the software.

Costs of Piracy (4, Funny)

mESSDan (302670) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865471)

Chizen said in the article that it can cost up to $750,000 to produce a Chinese-language version of a product, and extensive piracy makes it difficult for Adobe to recoup those costs.

That's like selling what, 10 copies of photoshop? ;)

That is freakin' hysterical! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865480)

"Hey, you can't stop marketing your software here! I wanted to get a copy of it, but I haven't had time to find a someone to let me pirate it yet!"

Serves 'em right.

The company has every right to do as they wish with their product.

They are cutting costs, not piracy (1)

lukegalea1234 (250067) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865486)

A lot of people seem to be saying that this move won't cut down on piracy.. they will just pirate american copies..

I think that is a given! I think their whole problem is that the costs of maintaining an asian version for each product, a sales force and tech support team, etc is costing them more than they are getting from the asian market. If they want to pirate the software.. at least they can pirate the US version.

This is their only solution? (1)

xonker (29382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865489)

This is the best that a huge software company like Adobe can come up with?

I would think that Adobe could come up with some kind of solution that would prevent unauthorized copies of their software. (I refuse to use the word "piracy" to refer to unauthorized copying of software. It's ridiculous.) Hardware dongles or some other sort of anti-copying protection. IIRC QuarkXPress used to come with a required dongle when you'd purchase it for some environments. (The college I attended had hardware dongles for XPress.)

This is obviously a threat to the Asian governments "pass something like the DMCA and be willing to arrest teenagers for us, or we'll quit playing in your market."

Let's see who blinks first.

Maybe if they stop charging $200... (2)

Brendan Byrd (105387) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865494)

...for Photoshop, or $100 for Acrobat, or other outrageous prices for desktop software, maybe people wouldn't pirate it as much. Most buyers of pirated software over in Asia are normal Joes, who just want to do some photo work on a picture of his cat.

Why spend $200 on something like that? It's ridiculous, especially when something like The GIMP is free. If a powerful program like the GIMP is free, shouldn't Photoshop be closer to it?

Remember: only poor people pirate software.

Re:Maybe if they stop charging $200... (1)

PoiBoy (525770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865524)

Yes, the GIMP is free. But the GIMP is not Photoshop. Consider the $600 not as the price of Photoshop per se but rather the price people are willing to pay for the differences between the two products. Apparently, a lot of people think Photoshop is $600 better.

Couldn't happen to a nicer company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865496)

I'm glad they're pulling out--they're cutting their own throat in the process by discounting all the people who actually do purchase their software.

I hope Adobe goes down the tubes. Fuck you, Adobe!

Sounds like a business decision to me... (3, Insightful)

StevenMaurer (115071) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865498)

Despite the whining from the (lets not mince words here) pro-piracy segment of the slashdot readership, this sounds like a perfectly sound business decision.

Face facts people, corporations are not charities. If they can't get a Return On Investment, they need to invest money elsewhere. Nor will any other business simply step in, because they're not going to get any ROI either. This has already elminated entire markets. The Hong Kong movie business is basically dead because piracy is so culturally acceptable in China.

Supply and demand (2, Flamebait)

2Bits (167227) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865500)

These companies are crying babies. Come on, ain't they the proponent of free market? Don't they understand the market supply and demand?

They priced their product out of reach of 99% of the population, and they now complain about people not buying it. People can get creative, if they don't have the means to buy it. One copy of their software costs more than the income of a whole family for more than 80% of the population in China. Imagine you are US consumer, and your whole family earns $60K/year, and a copy (a license for a single user!) of Photoshop costs $80K. And imagine you get a chance to buy it at $100 on the black market. Go figure.

Maybe Adobe should be more creative in pricing too, if they want to get into this kind of market? Otherwise, don't fucking complain, and stick to the US/EU markets.

the solution (1)

JDizzy (85499) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865503)

simply don't make movies for them to rip, don't make music for them to copy, dont' print books for them to xerox. In fact, just stop the flow of information completely. there ya go...

Think hard on this one. (2)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865505)

This is the sort of situation we can expect to see the big industry types cite when they clamor for content control, copy protection, etc. In fairness, they have a point; if the norm in certain Asian markets became the norm worldwide (or even just in the U.S.,) what incentive would companies have for pouring funds into the R&D, development, QA, and management required to make commercial-grade software?

Open Source, while it's a great thing, really isn't enough of an answer. There are no OS equals to programs like Photoshop, Media 100, Oracle. (Yes, Virginia, I know about GIMP and PostgreSQL.)

Copy protection isn't the answer, either. Fair use, monopolistic control, hell, you all know the arguments.

Lassiez-faire isn't the answer, either. Given the option to purchase something or steal it without risk of repercussion, far too many people will do the latter. Adobe deserves revenue for their efforts, and they're apparently suffering enough in Asia that they're considering dropping the whole thing. Say whatever you will about the quality of their work beyond version whichever-you-love-most, but is this the norm you want to see developing with -other- companies?

What do you see as the middle ground?

Bad piracy calculus on their part (1)

gregwbrooks (512319) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865509)

Reducing market availability means that only paying, corporate customers will take a hit on access to the product -- it doesn't stop any Asian university student with a P2P app from burning an ISO to CD. Nor will it then stop a shop owner (who may not have a T3, but who can probably afford a couple of CD burners) from continuing to distribute pirated product.

Net reduction in piracy: Marginal. Net hit to legitimate product sales in the fastest growing market in the world: huge.


Is it just me, or does this smack of a trial baloon dreamed up by marketing without a lot of forethought? Honestly, if I were an investor I'd unload the stock if it looked like they were actually going to do what they're talking about.

It sounds as if upper management has started drinking the BSA kool-aid and believe that every pirated copy represents a lost sale. Silly.

pricing... (0)

imsirovic5 (542929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865511)

Maybe charging less than 600$ for their software could also help?

Re:pricing... (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865544)

Why? The software is worth 600$ or more to a lot of people.

Proprietary formats should die, anyway (0, Troll)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865519)

Doing this would be, in the long run, a death sentence for Adobe. The only reason for existence that Adobe really has, right now, is that if you put documents in their format(s), everyone will be able to read them, because Adobe has gone to a lot of trouble to make acrobat reader ubiquitous; which in turn provides Adobe's other products with unthinkable amounts of free advertising. I don't want to reignite the religious argument about the merits of different formats - but suffice to say that .pdf isn't enough better, intrinsically, than the various free formats to be worth paying money for.

If they cut off support for 50% of the human race, they will cease to be the defacto standard really quick.

This is a good thing. Having a proprietary standard for scanned document transmission over the web sucks 'til donkey jiz runs down its chin. How many universities do you know who spring to put Acrobat Writer on all of their workstations? If I hand out documents as .ps files, half of my students can't even read them. The sooner adobe implodes (preferably, as in this case, from its own stupidity), the better.

Yes, I am aware that they also make Photoshop, which is not proprietary format dependent (and even worth buying) so they will not actually implode and vanish with a little "pop" should .pdf pass away; however, they will lose the biggest (only?) edge they have.

It was always a pain, anyways (2)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865530)

There'd be several extremely intelligent asians around with mastery of at least two dialects, but they couldn't communicate english as well as they needed to, in order to coordinate the translations (sometimes contextual) back into the correct app-string. This makes for unsettling (to the average asian customer) dialogs in the middle of a session. It is hard work, that localization. Not to mention all of the plane fares...

Anyways, I doubt they'll discontinue the print drivers. Just a few non-profitable apps.

Different culture . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865539)

. . . guess Adobe can't get people who crack their "rights" "management" "technology" put in prison on Asia. Let's hope this is the first step down the long road to their bankruptcy.

~~~

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