Paint Shop Pro Saturday, 11 October 2008
Are you a Paint Shop Pro user? Do you use either the X1 or X2 version of the program? If so, then please read on, because this matters.

It tends to be standard practice now for software vendors to include some form of "Product Activation" into a program. Microsoft began this trend with Windows XP, and now companies such as Symantec insist that we "activate" our programs by dutifully reporting back to them. This, I do not have a problem with. Some vendors, however, are starting to take things a little too far.

When Corel introduced their X1 version of Paint Shop Pro, they included with it a third party program by Protexis. This program - PSIService.exe - sits in the background, apparently "collecting licensing information". The reality is that it sits there, eating memory and processor power, and reporting whatever it may damn well choose, back to base. This is called spyware, peoples. As if you even needed telling.

If you read the Corel EULA, then you will see NO MENTION WHATSOEVER of the installation or intention of this non-Corel program. Very poor behaviour.

Secondly, if you choose to delete PSIService.exe, or disable it via the Windows Services panel, Paint Shop Pro will now refuse to start, throwing up a warning stating: "This copy of Paint Shop Pro has been damaged or illegally modified. Please reinstall from your original source." They have written the program in order that it shall not function without the intrusive presence of this third party program.

Thirdly, should you choose to uinstall Paint Shop Pro from your computer, PSIService.exe REMAINS ON YOUR COMPUTER. This is unacceptable behaviour, and demands instant rectification.

The solution:

If you use either the X1 or X2 version of the program, then it is possible to disable and remove this intrusion from your computer, and get on with using the intended program that you actually paid for. What's more - as there is NO MENTION ANYWHERE within the Corel EULA that this intrusive counterpart will be installed, it is PERFECTLY REASONABLE that we disable and remove it. They have purposely chosen to not tell us about it, therefore it does not need to even be here. End of argument.
Protecting software by using Product Activation is acceptable. Installing spyware components, without telling us beforehand, IS NOT. Corel - learn your lesson.
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