Adobe Responds To “Terms of Use” Controversy

Adobe released a new blog post explaining in its Terms of Use, when Adobe applications may access a user’s content, and whether a user’s content will be used to train Adobe’s artificial intelligence (AI) models and services, PetaPixel reported.

The need for clarification came after numerous users, including some established creative professionals, received pop-up notifications in Adobe that said, among other things, that Adobe could access users content through automated and manual methods. The resulting anger among the creative community is easy to understand.

The pop-up, which required consent for a person to continue using Adobe software, failed to explain precisely what had been updated in the Terms of Use and how Adobe may access someone’s content. Adobe’s opaqueness left the door open for speculation, confusion, and fear.

9TO5Mac reported: When we requested a comment from Adobe, the company’s initial statement didn’t really help, thanks to a dismissive ‘nothing to see here, move along’ tone. 

“This policy has been in place for many years. As part of our commitment to being transparent with our customers, we added clarifying examples earlier this year to our Terms of Use regarding when Adobe may access user content. Adobe accesses user content for a number of reasons, including the ability to deliver some of our most innovative cloud-based features, such as Photoshop Neural Filters and Remove Background in Adobe Express, as well as to take action against prohibited content. Adobe does not access, view or listen to content that is stored locally on any user’s device.”

Adobe posted “A Clarification on Adobe Terms of Use”:

We recently made an update to our Terms of Use with the goal of providing more clarity on a few specific areas and pushed a routine re-acceptance of those terms to Adobe Creative Cloud and Document Cloud customers. We have received a number of questions resulting from this update and want to provide some clarity.

We remain committed to transparency, protecting the rights of creators and enabling our customers to do their best work.

What is different in the Terms of Use

The focus of this update was to be clearer about the improvements to our moderation processes that we have in place. Given the explosion of Generative AI and our commitment to responsible innovation, we have added more human moderation to our content submissions review processes.

To be clear, Adobe requires a limited license to access content solely for the purpose of operating or improving the services and software to enforce our terms and comply with law, such as to protect against abusive content.

When Adobe applications and services may access content

Access is needed for Adobe applications and services to preform the functions they are designed and used for (such as opening and editing files for the user or creating thumbnails or a preview for sharing).

Access is needed to deliver some of our most innovative cloud-based feature such as Photoshop Neural Filters, Liquid Mode, or Remove Background. You can read more information, including how users can control how their content will be used.

In my opinion, it looks like Adobe has gotten the message that artists do not want Adobe to be tracking them or using their artwork to feed to a generative AI. That said, I think a lot artists with their work on Adobe will start searching for better alternatives.

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