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Corel shouldn't ad spam paying PaintShop Pro customers

Sneaking ads into paid products is wrong.

I have been a PaintShop Pro user since way, way back. I don't remember how many times I have upgraded the product over the years. I know Photoshop is more powerful, but PaintShop Pro, the "poor man's Photoshop," has been my main graphics program for years. When Corel took it over a few years back, I was hoping that it would guarantee PSP continued to get the resources it needed to keep up with the market. For the most part, it has. I don't do extensive editing and PSP has been fine.

The latest paid upgrade, however, has introduced a new practice by Corel. On both the loading of the program and when exiting the program I am getting popup ads, usually for Corel products, but now third-party products too. The first dozen or so times instead of hitting close or exit on the popup ad I was checking the box that said "don't show this ad again." When you click that box the ad goes away. I assumed by clicking that box it would mean don't show me ads every time I open and close the program anymore. But no, it is still showing me ads, just different ones. I think it means just don't show me that particular ad again. That is just utter nonsense. I can't see paying good dollars for a software program and then having to click through ads everytime I open and close it!

I remember a time when shareware and ad-supported programs were the norm. In fact, PaintShop Pro had a free version that had ads if I remember correctly. Then, for the longest time they had a fully functional 30-day trial program (they still do I think). Many people, I would even say the majority of people, would put up with the ads instead of forking over some money. I would too, for some programs. But for programs I used a lot I used to always buy the commerical license. I felt that supporting the programs developers would enable them to keep the product improving as well as thanking them for all of the hard work that goes into developing a great program.

The quid pro quo for me on this always was that if I actually bought the product, the nagware and shareware ads would go away. This is the way it works. It worked this way for years. It sill works that way on many mobile applications where you can use the ad-supported version or the ad-free premium version. I paid my money and should not have to use an ad-supported product. Corel has broken agreement here.

I know that Corel's model is based on having some great, if not best-in-class, products that they sell. They have gone through some tough times over the years. Maximizing revenue is and should be at the top of their list. But frankly I would rather pay a few more dollars for my copy of PaintShop Pro than deal with the ads. I should have been notified that even though I was buying a commercial license, I was still going to be subject to incessant ads every time I opened and closes the program.

I know Corel is not alone in this practice. I use PrintShop by Broderbund on the family desktop for school projects. When I upgraded to the newest version for Windows 8 I was appalled that there was an ad for the premium layouts built right into the user interface. Not to mention that they destroyed what was a good program for creating simple graphic projects to try and turn it into some sort of web animation creater. But that is another story.

The bottom line for me is that if I pay for a commercial license, I should not be subject to ads everytime I open and close the program. Corel and other software publishers have violated my trust. I am not going to shell out money anymore for ad-supported products. You should join me in this practice. Oracle sneaking in about.com toolbars, Corel popping ads, Broderbund advertising in the GUI - these are all unacceptable forms of publishers doubling their revenue stream at our expense. Don't take my money and sell me as a consumer to third-party advertisers!

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