Monday, January 12, 2004
Adobe's stupid decision: Users of the latest version of Adobe Photoshop, aka Photoshop CS, have discovered a "feature" of the software that prevents them from opening files that have images of currency.
Adobe and other makers of image-manipulation programs have, at the behest of a little-known group of national banks, inserted secret technology into their programs to foil counterfeiting, the companies acknowledged this week.
Photoshop and other programs will no longer be able to open files containing images of several nations' currencies, said Kevin Connor, director of product management for Adobe. The code to detect such images came from the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group, a low-profile association representing the national banks from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
At the request of the group, Adobe and other software companies have inserted the functionality into their programs. [emphasis added]
I love how software companies distort the language. Preventing you from opening certain files is adding "functionality."
There's no doubt that image manipulation software like Photoshop can benefit counterfeiters. But the digital copy of it is perhaps the easiest part of the process -- it is much more difficult to print a fake bill with all of the new security features.
This new "feature" can also cause problems for many Photoshop users. Whenever a new bill is rolled out, newspapers around the country print images of the bills as part of infographics or just as an art element. What program does every newspaper in the nation use for its digital imaging? Photoshop. What are newspapers supposed to do when they can't open these images to do color correction or resizing, etc.?
Photoshop 7 may be the last upgrade for many Adobe users, unless Adobe reconsiders its latest "functionality."