Adobe terms clarified: will never own your work, or use it for AI training

Adobe Creative Cloud users opened their apps yesterday to find that they were forced to agree to new terms, which included some frightening-sounding language. It seemed to suggest Adobe was claiming rights over their work.

Worse, there was no way to continue using the apps, to request support to clarify the terms, or even uninstall the apps, without agreeing to the terms.

↫ Ben Lovejoy at 9To5Mac

Of course users were going to revolt. Even without the scary-sounding language, locking people out of their applications unless they agree to new terms is a terrible dark pattern, and something a lot of enterprise customers certainly aren’t going to be particularly happy about. I’ve never worked an office job, so how does stuff like this normally go? I’m assuming employees aren’t allowed to just accept new licensing terms from Adobe or whatever on their office computers?

In response to the backlash, Adobe came out and said in a statement that it does not intend to claim ownership over anyone’s work, and that it’s not going to train its ML models on customers’ work either. The company states that to train its Firefly ML model, it only uses content it has properly licensed for it, as well as public domain content. Assuming Adobe is telling the truth, it seems the company at least understands the concept of consent, which is good news, and a breath of fresh air compared to crooks like OpenAI or GitHub. Content used for training ML models should be properly licensed for it, and consent should be properly obtained from rightsholders, and taking Adobe at their word, it seems that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Regardless, the backlash illustrates once again just how – rightfully – weary people are of machine learning, and how their works might be illegally appropriated to train such models.

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