Adobe Responds To Uproar Over Terms of Service Language

Adobe has been one of the leading legacy enterprise software companies to embrace generative AI and make it accessible to users through the likes of its proprietary (and enterprise-safe) Firefly AI image generational model, Generative Fill and other gen AI features in Photoshop, and, just today, an AI Assistant for its customer experience — plus much more, VentureBeat reported.

But the company has also taken backlash among some of its users and Adobe Stock contributors for this pro-gen AI stance. And lately, as gen AI tech overall faces an increasing number of critics and doubters, Adobe has found itself in hot water over new “Terms of Service” (ToS) language that is requiring users to agree to before continuing to use its apps.

According to VentureBeat, the ToS doesn’t actually mention AI, apart from a reference to “machine learning,” which can be used to train gen AI models, but also many other programs, and a clause stating that AI models cannot be trained on Adobe software.

It’s section 2.2 in the updated Adobe ToS that has really inflamed a handful of users on social media, namely X. This section states:

2.2 Our Access to Your Content. We may access, view, or listen to your Content (defined in section 4.1) (Content) below) through both automated and manual methods, but only in limited ways, and only as permitted by law. For example, in order to provide the Services and Software, we may need to access, view, or listen to your content to:

(A) respond to Feedback or support requests;
(B) detect, prevent or otherwise address fraud, security, legal, or technical requests;
(C) enforce the Terms, as further set forth in Section 4.1 below.

Our automated systems may analyze your Content and Creative Cloud Customer Fonts (defined in section 3.10 (Creative Cloud Customer Fonts) below) using techniques such as machine learning in order to improve our Services and Software and the user experience.

PetaPixel reported a pop-up notice being served to some Adobe users — none at PetaPixel as of yet — says that Adobe has updated the Adobe General Terms of Use regarding the use of its Software and Services, including clarifications concerning content access (sections 2.2 and 4.1), the right to delete content for inactive accounts (section 5.3), and reduced the period to informally resolve disputes from 60 to 30 days (Section 14.1).

If users want to continue using the Adobe app in question, they must accept the revised terms of use, which is standard practice. They cannot continue using Adobe apps and services if they close the window without accepting.

Mashable reported: On a separate page that breaks down how Adobe uses machine learning, Adobe says it doesn’t use content stored locally on your device, so only content that’s stored in the Creative Cloud.

Otherwise, content that users make public, such as contributions to Adobe Stock, submissions to be featured on Adobe Express to be used as tutorials in Lightroom, are used to “train [Adobe’s] algorithms and those improve [it’s] products and services.”

In my opinion, Adobe’s decisions to feed the art of its users into an AI – without compensating the artists – is going to cause Adobe’s stock to drop like a brick.

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