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Judging from the prices I paid for v,7 and CS they must have been pirate copies but I was intrigues when I got CS that I sent the Adobe Key to Russia while sitting with trhe CS open and back came the 'answer key' and from then on Adobe treated me as a genuine customer. I no longer have either in my machine as I frankly don't like PS having started with PSP of which I have four vesions from 7AE, three is the machine becuase of a restriction placed on the latest version when making Panoramas ... would not worry somebody working with a 5Mp camera but with 16Mp I have to reduce the size to compile.
I never used Photoshop... I use DXO and PaintShop Pro (both registered): enough for what I do, and not sure Photoshop would bring me a lot more useful functions...
I don't think Adobe sees hobbyists as their customers for (full) Photoshop or the Creative Suite. The protection up to version 7 was non-existent. After wards it was more of a joke. Even CC was broke in a day. Somebody once said the biggest users of Photoshop never paid for it. On the business side, the pirated copies drove the training market (where would Kelby Training be?) and when people did go pro, what did they buy? If hobbyist only had GIMP (good program), Adobe's wouldn't have 100% of the business market share.
I have never used Photoshop, pirated or otherwise. GIMP and other open source alternatives are more than enough for me.
The GIMP is a great free alternative. As Linux user I've been using GIMP for many years. Suits me fine. No need for other applications. :-)