Adobe forced to backpedal on terms of image use

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Adobe has released a statement announcing it plans to hold direct communications with customers and release an updated Terms of Use, following uproar at the company's announcement last week it is making changes around how it uses data to train generative AI models.

After a blog post late last week, Adobe has now published another post, this time announcing plans to better communicate the changes.

“We recently rolled out a re-acceptance of our Terms of Use which has led to concerns about what these terms are and what they mean to our customers. This has caused us to reflect on the language we use in our Terms, and the opportunity we have to be clearer and address the concerns raised by the community,” Adobe says in a new blog post written by Scott Belsky and Dana Rao. Belsky is Adobe’s Chief Strategy Officer, and Rao is Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Trust Officer.

Much of the concern was around the suggestion that Adobe planned to use user data to train AI datasets. However Belsky and Rao are unequivocal that user data will never be used to train any generative AI tool.

“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,” say Belsky and Rao.

"We will make it clear in the license grant section that any license granted to Adobe to operate its services will not supersede your ownership rights."

Adobe's Firefly AI tool is, according to the company, only trained on a dataset of licensed content with permission, such as Adobe Stock, and public domain content where copyright has expired.

“At Adobe, there is no ambiguity in our stance, our commitment to our customers, and innovating responsibly in this space,” write Belsky and Rao.

However, according to Adobe, customers should expect 'significant clarification' regarding content ownership, training generative AI models, usage licenses, and content moderation in the upcoming update in an update to its Terms of Use it describes as “the right thing to do.”

Revisions to the Terms of Use will focus on numerous areas, including how Adobe trains generative AI models, treats user content, and moderates content.

Adobe says that while user data is used to help improve some machine learning features, users can always opt-out.

"In a world where customers are anxious about how their data is used, and how generative AI models are trained, it is the responsibility of companies that host customer data and content to declare their policies not just publicly, but in their legally binding Terms of Use," write Belsky and Rao.

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