Adobe’s move away from copy protection for Windows versions of Acrobat 8, could indicate that the company is having second thoughts on its stance towards license tracking.

Adobe has announced that it will disable its Adobe License Manager (ALM) technology for volume license copies of the Windows version of Acrobat 8.

Adobe introduced the Adobe License Manager (ALM) solution with copies of Acrobat 8 in November 2006. Its aim was to automate the “complex labour-intensive, and confusing process of managing volume software licenses”, the company said at the time.

The solution was never offered to Mac customers.

Adobe announced the decision on its website, saying that in the months since it introduced ALM with Acrobat 8 it has “learned that ALM requires a greater level of administrator resources than many of our customers have available to them. In some instances, there have also been difficulties in managing certain customer workflows and requirements.”

Unlike traditional software asset management solutions that track files on computer hard drives, ALM was designed to manage the licensing entitlement through an e-license. The customer had a choice of where to host pools of e-licenses (either at Adobe or in-house), and customers have had the option to disable ALM altogether.

Adobe is not backing away from all forms of copy protection, however, consumer versions of Acrobat and many other Adobe products still have product activation.

Adobe’s turn around over incorporating license-tracking technology in its product, could indicate less emphasis on copy protection in the future, suggests Infoworld.