back to article Adobe users just now getting upset over content scanning allowance in Terms of Use

A practically ancient terms-of-use update has landed Adobe in freshly boiled water over how the Photoshop giant gives itself the right to review user content stored in its cloud.  The issue kicked off online yesterday when video game concept artist Sam Santala pointed out the February update in a post on X. Santala asked if he …

  1. heyrick Silver badge

    When wil people learn?

    The moment you upload something to somebody else's system is the moment you no longer have control over it. All you have is an illusion of privacy and control. Until it is pillaged for training AIs, or leaked due to hackers, or...

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: When wil people learn?

      The moment you upload something to somebody else's system is the moment you no longer have control over it.

      Anyone remember the Picasa debacle? I worked at a school and none of the teachers bothered to read the T&Cs\EULA... and started an ad-hoc IT project with it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When wil people learn?

      People who use Adobe? Learn? Never. Ever. Ever.

      Alongside people who use Unity and Oracle.

      1. el_oscuro

        Re: When wil people learn?

        I use Oracle because that is my job. While all of the criticism is justified and they practically wrote the instruction manual on enshitification, they don't hoover up your data. Yet. Then again, I run my databases on my equipment, not on their cloud.

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: When wil people learn?

          >Then again, I run my databases on my equipment, not on their cloud.

          Are they pushing you to move to the cloud, à la SAP with their RISE initiative?

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: When wil people learn?

          "Then again, I run my databases on my equipment, not on their cloud."

          If your business model doesn't have enough money in it to host your own data, that's a sign it's not viable.

          1. hplasm
            Meh

            Re: When wil people learn?

            "If your business model doesn't have enough money in it to host your own data, that's a sign it's not viable."

            "If your business model doesn't have enough money in it to host your own data, that's a sign that you can't afford to host it in the cloud - not for long, anyway.

    3. ITMA Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: When wil people learn?

      I've been saying this for years!

      If you do not physically control the hardware your data is stored on, you do NOT have control over it.

      He/she who owns/runs the hardware, has your data and complete control over it. They can change or take your access away at any time.

      1. Lunatic Looking For Asylum

        Re: When wil people learn?

        +++++ when you encrypt your data because the security people don't understand how this all works.

  2. NLCSGRV

    "Content stored on a local PC with Adobe software installed won't be scanned, the company said."

    The relevant sections of the TOS (2.2 and 4.1) do not make any distinction between data stored locally and that stored on the Cloud. Until this is clarified in Adobe's TOS, I'd take what the company says with a very large grain of salt and maybe a tequila to wash it down.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Try not to be too sour !!!

      "Until this is clarified in Adobe's TOS, I'd take what the company says with a very large grain of salt and maybe a tequila to wash it down."

      No need for Lemon, as that is *you* for not realising *your* data is open for any use by the S/W owners ... as per usual !!!

      :)

      1. NLCSGRV

        Re: Try not to be too sour !!!

        Lemon? Nice one! Anyway, I'm no lemon. I am fully aware the abusive and ethically dubious nature of some software publishers.

    2. Anna Nymous
      Coat

      > "Content stored on a local PC with Adobe software installed won't be scanned, the company said."

      Is there any functionality that automatically uploads content from your local box into the cloud, for your convenience of course...?

      Icon is Adobe lifting your wallet from the pocket of your jacket behind your back.

      1. NLCSGRV

        > Is there any functionality that automatically uploads content from your local box into the cloud, for your convenience of course...?

        None that is explicitly declared. That doesn't mean that such a "feature" doesn't exist.

    3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      The relevant sections of the TOS (2.2 and 4.1) do not make any distinction between data stored locally and that stored on the Cloud. Until this is clarified in Adobe's TOS, I'd take what the company says with a very large grain of salt and maybe a tequila to wash it down.

      This is one of the reasons I stopped using Adobe and generally hate cloudybollocks. I asked if they had an opt-out to cover NDA work or would indemnify me for any NDA breach outside my control.. and crickets. So obvious solution is not to use any cloud service that grants itself any kind of access rights. Which give the incessant push for SaaS is increasingly difficult.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Content stored on a local PC with Adobe software installed"

      What about Content loaded into Adobe software?

      1. FrankAlphaXII

        If it touches their servers it sounds like it's fair game for them to steal your work.

      2. NLCSGRV

        > What about Content loaded into Adobe software?

        Exactly. The TOS is as clear as mud on that question.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You do understand the Windows OS that Adobe runs on hoovers up every keystroke to the mothership for the last ten years, but that's all right???

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Windows OS hoovering

        Maybe Edge. Coming soon to Windows.

        Some people are changing to The GIMP (stupid name) due to not wanting to rent forever. See also InDesign, which is not even very good anymore.

        1. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

          Re: Windows OS hoovering

          Hmm.

          To me, "The GIMP" is plural and has nothing to do with images. "The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search", The GIMPS, Prime95 software from https:///www.mersenne.org .

          I've never even seen the other one and I've certainly never used it.

          Oh, and the name may be "stupid" but it is an acronym for "GNU Image Manipulation Program" which is quite a sensible name as it's what the software does. Maybe, though they could have called it "GNU Licence Image Manipulation Program" or GLIMP?

  3. JWLong

    You got to see this one!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXxMCm941WA

    Louis Rossmann, ya got to love him!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: You got to see this one!

      Huge big T&C screen with two options which are accept and close window. So your data is held hostage until you agree, and it's probably been used as training data anyway before you hit accept.

      Adobe needs to wind their neck in.

  4. artywah

    Welcome to 2016 - seriously

    The use of ML was added to the general Adobe T&Cs in the update on June 16 2016

    Prior to that the Our Use section read:

    Adobe General Terms of Use

    Last updated April 7, 2015. Replaces the June 18, 2014 version in its entirety.

    3. Your Content.

    3.3 Our Access. We will not access, view, or listen to any of your content, except as reasonably necessary to perform the Services. Actions reasonably necessary to perform the Services may include (but are not limited to) (a) responding to support requests; (b) detecting, preventing, or otherwise addressing fraud, security, unlawful, or technical issues; and (c) enforcing these terms.

    When updated, the section read:

    Adobe General Terms of Use

    Last updated June 16, 2016. Replaces the prior version in its entirety.

    3.3 Our Access. We will only access, view, or listen to your content in limited ways. For example, in order to perform the Services, we may need to access, view, or listen to your content to (a) respond to support requests; (b) detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, unlawful, or technical issues; and (c) enforce these terms. Our automated systems may analyze your content using techniques such as machine learning. This analysis might occur as the content is sent, received, or when it is stored. From this analysis, we are able to improve the Services. To learn more about the machine learning we do, go to http://www.adobe.com/go/machine_learning.

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Welcome to 2016 - seriously

      How did people think that "Content aware fill" worked? It's just generative AI, and they need training data to make it.

    2. trindflo Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Welcome to 2016 - seriously

      Those two read very differently to me. You seem to be saying the wording hasn't 'effectively' changed. Let me paraphrase what I'm hearing:

      2016: we will look at your content if we absolutely must in order to do the tasks you set before us

      2024: we will only scan and analyze your content if we think it is a good idea.

      And an obvious difference: this is 2024 and if we say we might analyze your content, it actually means we WILL run it past our AI. We promise we're just "thinking of the children" and treating you as an assumed reprobate until we prove to our satisfaction you are innocent. We certainly aren't intending to steal your IP in a roundabout way by training an AI on your ideas then asking the AI to burp them back out. A decent lawyer could drive a fully loaded logging truck through that clause as it now reads. The previous version at least gave some mechanism for redress if it turned out the company was using customer data in unnecessary ways.

  5. ecofeco Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Suckers!

    SUCKERS!

    When Adobe went subscription, that should have ended them right then and there.

    1. deadlockvictim

      Re: Suckers!

      Yes that's all very well but what is the alternative? GIMP?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Suckers!

        If they adjusted to (rip off?) PS UX/ GUI, why not?

        That seems to be the main thing stopping that migration. Not what it can do, but how user makes it do it...

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enshittification

      2. ScottishYorkshireMan

        Re: Suckers!

        Plenty of options, just seems that some want to be seen using 'Adobe' products. Can't think why, other than its the 'Tesla' syndrome of 'look what I can afford to buy'.

        Luminar Neo, Affinity Photo, ACDSee et al all good options.

        After the licensing shambles I experienced I got shut of them, never looked back.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Suckers!

          "Luminar Neo, Affinity Photo, ACDSee et al all good options."

          If you work alone, they can be great options. If clients require files in PSD/PSB format, not so much. If you use outside retouching services, you may still need PS to be compatible. There's also loads of tutorials for doing things in Adobe products so if you get stuck, chances are good you can find a method to get unstuck. If you are a landscape photographer that does all of your own editing and are sufficiently experienced in editing, the alternatives might work really well.

          1. DerekCurrie
            FAIL

            Re: Suckers!

            Monopoly world. Fight back and expand the abilities of the industry. Playing along is suffering monopoly ramifications. Nothing changes.

            Breaking monopoly worlds is obviously hard. But it's also required. No competition? No retaliation? You're a masochist. Allowing others to suffer because you didn't retaliate? You're contributing to sadism in your industry. Such is our species. *sigh*

            1. trindflo Silver badge

              Re: Suckers!

              @DerekCurrie The most lovable thing about humans is our weakness. The vast majority of us shrivel up and die if we aren't touched often enough. I believe everything decent about humanity comes from our desire to help others, and that derives from our intuitive understanding that we desperately need other humans to survive. It's a pity we're so easily convinced that we are helping by making others miserable, but zero-sum games are the most easily understood.

      3. BebopWeBop

        Re: Suckers!

        Try Affinity. Very good and it will read/write compatible files.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Suckers!

      "When Adobe went subscription, that should have ended them right then and there."

      It was initially a really good deal to get Photoshop and Lightroom for $120/year. It's now double that but still cheaper than the peak boxed price. The problem is you get stuck the wall with a loogie gun since anything you save in their formats and the LR databases are limited if you let the subscription expire.

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Coat

    Hello, my name is Mr Windsor

    And let me introduce my partner, Mr Newton.

    Now, I don't want to cause you any upset, but we've noticed that you've been using our paint to create your wonderful, expensive, and very well-selling masterpieces. The terms and conditions, which we're sure you read properly, give us full rights over all your works. Please find enclosed our invoice, and a letter from our lawyers requiring you to cease this illegal sale of your work.

    The one with paint on it, obviously --->

  7. Fred Dibnah

    “Photoshop slinger has always been able to scan your stuff”

    Not ‘always’. IIRC, in the pre-enshittification era before CS, you could run Photoshop perfectly well on a computer with no Internet connection.

    1. rafff

      Re: “Photoshop slinger has always been able to scan your stuff”

      And on Linux, at least, you can create an apparmor profile to block it from accessing anything you don't want it to. Apparmor might no bet perfect, but it does stop a lot of nonsense.

  8. breakfast Silver badge
    Headmaster

    I saw a different section of the license going around

    The part that seemed to have Adobuse victims on my social media timelines vexed was their "licenses to your content" which includes "you grant us a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free sublicensable, license, to use, reproduce, publicly display, distribute, modify, create derivatvie works based on, publicly perform and translate the Content."

    Now I don't use Adobe stuff so I can't verify that the screenshot that is circulating is for real, I'm guessing it's either a fabrication that feels believable because it's the kind of thing they would do, or the license is fairly normal in context, but I can understand why people might think this stinks to high heaven.

    1. Sudosu Bronze badge

      Re: I saw a different section of the license going around

      The "create derivative works" sounds like they will use your images etc to train AI so it can compete against you.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since they turned into a scummy subscription service, I have blissfully found open source alternatives to all their bloatware.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      re: open source alternatives to all their bloatware.

      Ok, what is your alternative to Lightroom?

      So far I have not found anything that can do the photo management side of things as well as Lightroom.

      I'm sure that there are many who would love to know your alternatives. btw, the answer is not GIMP, at least in its current form.

      1. Vincent van Gopher
        Gimp

        Re: re: open source alternatives to all their bloatware.

        RawTherapee perhaps? https://www.rawtherapee.com/

        DarkTable was something I looked at for a friend a while back. I'm not so into photography that I need something more than the GIMP :)

        With the resources Adobe has it's unlikely that anyone can write something as good/complete as Lightroom, but you pays your money and take your choice.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: re: open source alternatives to all their bloatware.

        "Ok, what is your alternative to Lightroom?

        So far I have not found anything that can do the photo management side of things as well as Lightroom."

        I'm in the same boat. I have been using Lightroom for years to manage my photos so I'm very well versed in using it and have built my workflow around it. To change would be a week of translating catalogs if there were another program I could use (Capture One?). LR also integrates very well with PS.

  10. Oh Homer
    Terminator

    Self-inflicted wounds

    Just stop using the "cloud". And "subscription" software.

    No really, just stop.

    The argument that this anti-consumer garbage is supposedly "needed" by professionals, that there is no suitable alternative, and that they couldn't possibly do their job without it, is complete and utter horseshit. Most of the best art ever made, for example, was created long before computers even existed. "Need" my ass.

    I can only conclude that your average sheeple is an incurable masochist who just really enjoys rewarding bad behaviour.

    I've seen street artists produce the most astonishing work, from nothing but a piece of chalk, or upturned plastic buckets and bits of leftover plumbing.

    People who are genuinely creative don't need props, they don't need any tool in particular, they can use literally anything to express their art.

    The sort of people who claim to be completely debilitated unless they have access to some fashionable toy gadget, are utterly delusional. They're not artists, they're just mindless consumers.

    The only way to stop these Silicone Valley gangsters is to stop giving them your money. Stop rewarding bad behaviour.

    1. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Self-inflicted wounds

      Stop. Just, stop. You aren't a creative professional and therefore have no leg to stand on in making declaratives that other people need to honor.

      I'll say this AGAIN, for at least the 10th time on this forum, because you all think you know everything:

      We, that being any creative that builds media that must be shared at some point (electronically or print, and the middle steps taken between getting electronic to print) use Adobe products because the entire media creation subsystem USES ADOBE. When you create a layout designed for print, the print shops are also using Adobe products and it may be necessary to share the .INDD's because of some form of unforeseen complications. We usually can transmit high-res PDF to a print house but, just occasionally, you need collaboration and that means sharing INDD's.

      ALSO note that only Adobe's CC has the level of integration between PS and ID, not to mention PP and AE. 'Just switch to X!', you people always spout off, but then WE lose the integrated workflows that Adobe worked on creating over decades. And a HUGE hit to our productivity.

      So, just STOP. Unless you have the experience to mouth off with any certainty of what you are talking about, no creative is going to tell a coder to switch to X IDE 'just because we don't like the company' and expect you to honor that rant, and you need to accept the same.

      1. trindflo Silver badge

        Re: Self-inflicted wounds

        I agree with your point; have a vote.

        Those of us that do have a choice should vote with our feet. Sales numbers and profit are the only things corporations are supposed to respond to.

        And, for the record, yes teckies do occasionally run into IDE choices made from on high because some executive prefers one company's marketing over another. We've even got a little phrase about it:

        We the willing

        Led by the unkowing

        Have done the impossible

        For the ungrateful

        We have done so much with so little for so long,

        we are now qualified to anything with nothing forever.

  11. ducatis'r us

    Looking in the wrong place?

    I think section 4.2 is the most insidious change. ‘The new terms give Adobe "worldwide royalty-free licence to reproduce, display, distribute" or do whatever they want with any content pro using their software.’ https://x.com/sashayanshin/status/1799118418085380431?s=46&t=u2_Ntx8qP1q7OGzV7XGRzA

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Looking in the wrong place?

      "I think section 4.2 is the most insidious change. "

      When I was in aerospace, that would hit ITAR restrictions since I was photographing things for work that are export controlled. Currently, there's no way I'd give away my photography. If I were to make an image that a client is paying me good money to create for them that will be used for a big ad campaign, I'd be sued into oblivion if Adobe used or licensed the image out to somebody else. That clause is an attorney boilerplate to CYA and should never be agreed to by any creative. Social media companies have the same thing in their T&C's so anything you post to your InstaPintaTwitFace account is fair game and it has happened. Just say no.

  12. BebopWeBop
    FAIL

    It hasn’t

    24 year old version of Photoshop. And remarkably I have the paper! licence, and the CD. No they do not.

    Anyway we abandoned Adobe 5 years ago.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You should avoid Adobe altogether

    This article only talks about the front door (their applications) which already come with a massive side helping (now new! enhanced!) of privacy violations and an Adobe installation is pretty much like a virus, it's a challenge to fully remove it because it spreads fragments everywhere.

    What it misses is that Adobe has also established a firm foothold in online tracking through web fonts.*

    I challenge you to build a site with Adobe without falling into the trap of using Adobe webfonts which are ONLY available as on the fly downloads like Google fonts. When you start looking for their equivalents that you can download and install on your site you will discover that Adobe has quietly built a monopoly and bought up all the fonts you'd want - you're forced into that ecosystem whether you want it or not.

    Go on, check it. If you're doing anything in webdesign using Adobe, I challenge you to build a site that doesn't leak intel to Adobe. If you thought Google was bad, Adobe is actually much worse because they have been able to keep this out of the limelight. And without webfonts your fancy design won't look quite as fancy, designers are apparently as allergic to standard fonts as they are to comic sans).

    * Yes, I know it's not as accurate as the sadly yet again ubiquitous web pixels, but this shouldn't be its business at all without declaring it somewhere.

  14. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    The governments need to step in and stop big tech rewriting licenses that give themselves these sorts of advantages.

    WHo needs enemies like Russia or China when you have big tech.

  15. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Said it before will say it again, third party advertising needs to be made illegal in forms.

    This will solve this and a multitude of problems that we havent even thought of. Advertising adds very little value if any to community except it empowers all the aresholes of the world.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. xyz Silver badge

    I can't wait until...

    Every software slinger claims copyright over your work and then they all start suing each other for copyright infringement. It's going to get messy.

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