Adobe enrages then tries to soothe users with new terms update

Adobe Creative Cloud users set the internet alight over the weekend, thinking that the company’s new terms mean that it’s now claiming rights over their work. However, Adobe has since provided a detailed explanation.

Many professional users of Adobe apps such as Photoshop were outraged when they saw the firm’s new terms and conditions. They seem to give the company the right to access creators’ content and use it freely.

“Solely for the purposes of operating or improving the Services and Software, you grant us a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free sublicensable, license, to use, reproduce, publicly display, distribute, modify, create derivative works based on, publicly perform, and translate the Content,” say the terms.

“For example, we may sublicense our right to the Content to our service providers or to other users to allow the Services and Software to operate with others, such as enabling you to share photos.”

The company requires users to agree to the new rules to continue using its apps and locks them out until they do precisely that. Adobe has also “clarified that we may access your content through both automated and manual methods.”

The language is quite vague, so many pros decided to ignite a storm on social media. For instance, a designer called Wetterschneider, with DC Comics and Nike among its clients, publicly objected to the new terms (they seem to have been live since February, but Adobe only notified users now).

“Here it is. If you are a professional, if you are under NDA with your clients, if you are a creative, a lawyer, a doctor, or anyone who works with proprietary files – it is time to cancel Adobe and delete all the apps and programs. Adobe can not be trusted,” said the designer on X.

Concept artist Sam Santala even said he couldn’t contact Adobe’s support to discuss the terms without agreeing to them first. What’s more, he said he couldn’t even uninstall Photoshop.

However, the angry claims were also a bit fantastical, and soon Adobe provided a detailed explanation of the update in a blog post. The firm said it had updated the terms once again “to be clearer about the improvements” to its moderation processes.

It turns out the company simply wanted to be able to create thumbnails from files stored in its cloud storage space and execute scanning for child sexual abuse materials. Most cloud services do this.

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

Finally, Adobe provided two key assurances: that it did not train Firefly Gen AI models on customer content and that it would never assume ownership of a customer’s work.

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