Adobe to update vague AI terms after users threaten to cancel subscriptions

Adobe to update vague AI terms after users threaten to cancel subscriptions

Adobe has promised to update its terms of service to make it “abundantly clear” that the company will “never” train generative AI on creators’ content after days of customer backlash, with some saying they would cancel Adobe subscriptions over its vague terms.

Users got upset last week when an Adobe pop-up informed them of updates to terms of use that seemed to give Adobe broad permissions to access user content, take ownership of that content, or train AI on that content. The pop-up forced users to agree to these terms to access Adobe apps, disrupting access to creatives’ projects unless they immediately accepted them.

For any users unwilling to accept, canceling annual plans could trigger fees amounting to 50 percent of their remaining subscription cost. Adobe justifies collecting these fees because a “yearly subscription comes with a significant discount.”

On X (formerly Twitter), YouTuber Sasha Yanshin wrote that he canceled his Adobe license “after many years as a customer,” arguing that “no creator in their right mind can accept” Adobe’s terms that seemed to seize a “worldwide royalty-free license to reproduce, display, distribute” or “do whatever they want with any content” produced using their software.

“This is beyond insane,” Yanshin wrote on X. You pay a huge monthly subscription, and they want to own your content and your entire business as well. Going to have to learn some new tools.”

Adobe’s design leader Scott Belsky replied, telling Yanshin that Adobe had clarified the update in a blog post and noting that Adobe’s terms for licensing content are typical for every cloud content company. But he acknowledged that those terms were written about 11 years ago and that the language could be plainer, writing that “modern terms of service in the current climate of customer concerns should evolve to address modern day concerns directly.”

Yanshin has so far not been encouraged by any of Adobe’s attempts to clarify its terms, writing that he gives “precisely zero f*cks about Adobe’s clarifications or blog posts.”

“You forced people to sign new Terms,” Yanshin told Belsky on X. “Legally, they are the only thing that matters.”

Another user in the thread using an anonymous X account also pushed back, writing, “Point to where it says in the terms that you won’t use our content for LLM or AI training? And state unequivocally that you do not have the right to use our work beyond storing it. That would go a long way.”

“Stay tuned,” Belsky wrote on X. “Unfortunately, it takes a process to update a TOS,” but “we are working on incorporating these clarifications.”

Belsky co-authored the blog this week announcing that Adobe’s terms would be updated by June 18 after a week of fielding feedback from users.

“We’ve never trained generative AI on customer content, taken ownership of a customer’s work, or allowed access to customer content beyond legal requirements,” Adobe’s blog said. “Nor were we considering any of those practices as part of the recent Terms of Use update. That said, we agree that evolving our Terms of Use to reflect our commitments to our community is the right thing to do.”

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