An Adobe Encounter
...and stream of thought
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As the Indian Documentary of "Electronic Arts" we've obviously been reaching out to the Adobe folks in this country, on a side-burner, from almost the very beginning of the idea of The IDEA. In a regime where almost everyone's understanding of "electronic arts" is limited to just still and moving images, that should certainly come as no surprise.

Equally unsurprisingly ~ as soon as we made direct contact with someone senior enough to make some decisions in the India headquarters, part of our outreach manifested as a solicitation for Adobe's "goodwill, association and support" ,.. which met with a response essentially couched around the following:

"... But frankly, we are far from facilitating a vertical interest where we are heavily pirated and heavily used. So there are always issues of spending money in there. Anything which doesn't cost money is doable."

This of course addresses the issue that about 99% of Adobe software used in this country today is probably installed from widely available and relatively cheap "pirated software" CDs.

Now, our own position on this is very-very ambiguous, mainly on account of the outrageous prices that "legal" software is sought to be sold at in this country. And one really doesn't give a damn about international exchange rates and all that tommyrot in the matter.

Instead, it's easy to propose that India's much vaunted "ancient culture" remains so far in the past almost entirely on account of the Brahminical ban upon any and all non-Brahmins seeking to attempt to learn to read and write, which stood almost two millennia.

And against such a background canvas, ~to our mind,~ any unreasonably high pricing for use of what are becoming basic and easily-replicable tools of human empowerment steers dangerously close to bringing up visions of some such sort of "neo-Brahminism". And in any case, most users eventually buy the "legal" version when it's use becomes profitable enough for them to afford it.

The "unreasonableness" of pricing by our measure here is derived quite simply from the imbalance between "unaffordability" at the user-end and "Mind-Boggling Wealth" at the producer-end (with IPR protections), which make up the two ends of the spectrum of software pricing in most cases around the world today.

In any case, the Adobe outfit in India is basically just a back-office operation, leveraging wage-rage arbitrage on assignments like migrating the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader across to Palm devices, with hardly any spend-purse.

So, we put three suggestions on support to the man on the inside whom we'd connected with: [i] help us draw participation and content from e-artists Adobe connects with around the world, and/or [ii] provide us software support, and/or [iii] let's have a dip in the petty-cash till, in exchange for some advertising on this CD-gazette (to the value of one retail package of Adobe's best-selling "Photoshop" software)

In the end, what we did get was just a big pile of CDs packed with materials for associates and franchisees to make up Adobe-related advertising (mainly pack-shots, like the images here), alongwith some save-disabled trial software!!

O well! We'd told the man in Adobe that the company would get the idea of The IDEA eventually,.. someday!! And it's certainly a part of our own job to also look at the imaging for packaging of some of the greatest imaging softwares of the day,.. which made us want to carry these images, and obliged us to write up this feature on the incredible Adobe encounter of 2001.

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for more info.:

Adobe Systems
D-107, Sector-2
NOIDA - 201 301 (India)
tel: (from Delhi) 914-532 026