Adobe Busts Forever 21 For Pirating Photoshop

Fashion retail chain Forever 21 has found itself the target of a lawsuit for allegedly making illegal copies of Photoshop and other software applications. Adobe, Autodesk Inc., and Corel Corp. are all three claiming copyright violations in the suit, accusing Forever 21 of making unauthorized copies of various software for use on multiple company computers.

"Widespread use of illegal copies of Plaintiffs’ software products (commonly known as software piracy) has caused, and continues to cause, significant harm to Plaintiffs and undermines Plaintiffs’ investments in their products," the lawsuit reads (PDF). "Plaintiffs’ bring this action as a result of Defendants’ willful, repeated and ongoing unauthorized reproduction and use of certain of Plaintiffs’ software products. Defendants’ actions and omissions complained of herein were, and continue to be, undertaken willfully, intentionally, and maliciously and have caused, and continue to cause, substantial damage to Plaintiffs."

The suit alleges that Forever 21 pirated 63 different instances of Adobe software, which in addition to Photoshop also includes programs such as Acrobat and Illustrator. Autodesk and Corel are part of the lawsuit due to copyright claims on Autodesk, WinZip, PaintShopPro, and more.

Forever 21

In the complaint, the three software vendors say Forever 21 "continued their infringing activities even after being contacted by Adobe regarding the infringement."

Piracy is something Adobe has been battling for a long time, especially in regards to Photoshop. More recently, the company switched to a cloud-based subscription model, making it easier to be a legitimate customer versus spending several hundreds of dollars upfront. Nevertheless, it's an ongoing problem -- Adobe even encourages employees to turn in their employers for using pirated software.

"If your employer is not responsive or you choose not to inform your employer of the violation, you should report the violation to the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) or the Business Software Alliance (BSA)," Adobe states on its website.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecific amount in damages, along with an immediate injunction preventing Forever 21 from using copied software.