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I know Adobe has essentially released CS2 for free, i.e., giving away the license keys. Is it legal, if I owned CS4 at one point (but lost it), to download and use it?

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If you owned CS4, why would you not get replacement media from Adobe? If you purchased it from Adobe as a download, the download for CS4 is still available to you. –  Scott Sep 3 '13 at 22:50
    
Not from Adobe. From a former user. Is there any solution for me? –  tjons Sep 3 '13 at 22:50
    
If the "former user" did the legal thing and transferred ownership to you, like they were supposed to, then you can contact Adobe Customer Service. If ownership was never transferred to you, you purchased illegal software for which there is no recourse other than to go after the original seller. –  Scott Sep 3 '13 at 22:52
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A legitimate case for "losing" your copy would be if you had a student license. I had one for CS3 installed on a PC that went belly up. I couldn't deactivate the license, so I called up Adobe to ask how to recover it. They essentially told me 'tough cookies, it's a student license so you're SOL' –  JohnB Sep 4 '13 at 3:45
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Adobe has always reset my license keys when I asked them to, they're pretty good and quick about it too. –  Johannes Sep 4 '13 at 14:12

1 Answer 1

This was a misunderstanding (and it hasn't been corrected in the first google search result, which confuses people even more).

The links were only for those who had purchased CS2 and needed to re-install CS2 now that the registration servers are offline.

Adobe is terminating the activation servers for CS2 and that for existing licensed users of CS2 who need to reinstall their software, copies of CS2 that don't require activation but do require valid serial numbers are available. You are only legally entitled to download and install with that serial number if you have a valid license to the product.

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