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This scenario is typical of business licensing. A license server must be running and provide license validation for the software to run. This has been done by companies like Adobe for years. The only difference is that the license server is running on the local PC instead of a corporate level server. It's not a typical scheme for home user software but, IMHO, accusing Adobe of planting spyware is a bit extreme.

I am not a fan of Adobe software. I don't like their products and especially dislike the adware that is required to download and install Adobe Reader (which has been replaced by Foxit Reader on my system.) There are lots of software packages that have unnecessary programs that run all the time so Adobe is not alone in that regard. Some of them include 'updaters' for software like Java, 'quick launch' for programs like Office and Adobe Reader and 'agents' for programs or program features that are rarely used. Some programs, like Winamp, keep services running to prevent changes to file associations or other settings. When it comes to bloated, memory hungry services, security and antivirus software is by far the worst.
 
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