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People Aren't Happy With Adobe's Spyware-Like Terms of Service Update

Users of Photoshop, Substance 3D, and other Adobe products are now required to provide the company with unlimited access to their creations.

UPD: Jérémie Noguer, Substance 3D ecosystem's Product Director, commented on the situation, saying that Adobe is "not accessing or reading Substance users’s projects in any way, shape or form nor are we planning to or have any means to do it in the first place."

Original article: Earlier this week, Photoshop and Substance 3D developer Adobe found itself engulfed in a massive controversy after the community noticed changes to the company's General Terms of Use, which now force the users of Adobe products to provide the company with unlimited access to their projects, yes, all of the projects, including those that might be under the NDA, for "content review" and other purposes.

According to Adobe's new spyware-esque TOS, the company can access and view your creations through both automated and manual methods and even analyze your work using techniques such as machine learning. This has led many to believe that the company intends to use all user-generated content to train its AI models – a suspicion that aligns with Adobe's recent focus on generative artificial intelligence.

Furthermore, the controversy drew the community's attention to section 4.2 of Adobe's Terms of Use, which explicitly states that users grant the company a royalty-free, sublicensable license to "use, reproduce, publicly display, distribute, modify, create derivative works based on, publicly perform, and translate" their creations, a section some found outright insulting.

To add insult to injury, it was also discovered that removing Photoshop from a computer via Adobe Uninstaller is impossible without first agreeing to those Terms of Use:

And if you thought that you could just opt out of the content analysis, well, while you most certainly can, Adobe noted that they will still access your content in "certain limited circumstances," disregarding your preference entirely:

Despite the massive backlash, the company itself hasn't commented on the situation and, at the time of writing this, hasn't revised the Terms of Use. Considering that the changes to the TOS were apparently made as early as February 2024 and have remained unchanged since then, it wouldn't be unfair to assume that Adobe might adopt a wait-it-out approach and refrain from taking any action to address the public outcry.

Earlier, Microsoft also came under fire for a similar reason following the introduction of Recall, the company's upcoming AI-powered feature for Windows 11 that makes screenshots of everything you do, making any app, website, document, or email you have opened on the computer accessible through the created timeline.

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Comments 6

  • Anonymous user

    I have deleted every title from Adobe.


    Anonymous user

    ·12 days ago·
  • Anonymous user

    It's no different than well intentioned fans who rop off scenes, or even entire films, and even go so far as to insert their own footage into the film. True story.


    Anonymous user

    ·14 days ago·
  • Anonymous user

    I really didn't want this debacle to be my first appearance on 80lv. Sigh.


    Anonymous user

    ·16 days ago·
  • Santala Sam

    Look mum, I'm on 80LVL :D


    Santala Sam

    ·18 days ago·
  • Anonymous user

    It seems that you cannot even log in to your account without agreeing to the terms of service. I messaged the virtual chat until it connected me to an agent and asked to have my subscription cancelled. I was asked to wait 48 hours while the terms of service were being reviewed by Adobe, so I’m hoping there has been enough pushback on this already to enact some change.


    Anonymous user

    ·18 days ago·
  • Anonymous user

    Sounds like a class action lawsuit waiting to happen.  


    Anonymous user

    ·19 days ago·

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