As AI continues to be the most dominant, exciting, and scary story of the year, every tech company in the world has been scrambling to find new and innovative ways to add AI to their products and services. However, as we’re seeing now that we’re in the 2.0 part of the AI conversation, both companies and creatives are trying to become more aware of what (and whose) content these AI models are training on.

As we saw last week with a statement from Vimeo’s CEO promising to not allow AI models to train on your Vimeo videos (without your permission, at least), Adobe has just announced that they plan to respond to similar backlash to their Terms of Use which had been pointed out online as potentially being written to allow the company the ability to train AI on customer’s content.

Adobe has shared a blog post about its plans and promises to speak with customers over the next week before they roll out their fully updated changes by June 18th, 2024. Here are the highlights from Adobe’s statement.

Adobe’s Updated Terms of Use

Announced today as a rollout of a “re-acceptance” to their Terms of Use, Adobe shares that they are aware of the concerns and have reflected on the language in their past Terms. Their most recent statements seem to indicate that Adobe is taking the stance that they never have, and hopefully never will, train generative AI on customer content.

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

Adobe goes on further to clarify and outline the different areas of their Terms of Use which promises that customers will always own your content that Adobe does not scan content locally stored on your own computers—and that any scanning of content uploaded on their servers is only monitored for safety.

Adobe’s Clarification of their Terms of Use

Here are the full points from Adobe’s statement:

  • You own your content. Your content is yours and will never be used to train any generative AI tool. 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.
  • We don’t train generative AI on customer content. We are adding this statement to our Terms of Use to reassure people that is a legal obligation on Adobe. Adobe Firefly is only trained on a dataset of licensed content with permission, such as Adobe Stock, and public domain content where copyright has expired.
  • You have a choice to not participate in our product improvement program. We may use usage data and content characteristics to improve your product experience and develop features like masking and background removal among others through techniques including machine learning (NOT generative AI). You always have the option of opting out of our desktop product improvement programs.
  • The licenses we require to operate and improve our products on your behalf should be narrowly tailored to the activities needed. The licenses required to operate our products on your behalf use the standard statutory copyright rights but will now include plain English examples of what they mean and why they are required. We will also separate out and further limit the licenses required to improve our products and emphasize the opt-out option. We will reiterate that, in no case do these license grants transfer ownership of your content to Adobe.
  • Adobe does not scan content stored locally on your computer in any way. For content that you upload to our servers – like all content-hosting platforms – Adobe automatically scans content you upload to our services to ensure we are not hosting any child sexual abuse material (CSAM). If our automated system flags an issue, we will conduct a human review to investigate. The only other instances where a human will review your content is upon your request (per a support request) if it is posted to a public facing site, or to otherwise comply with the law.

Adobe has also shared that they regret not modernizing their Terms of Use sooner and that they are working with customers to address anxieties about how their data is used and how generative AI models are trained.

Adobe’s updated Terms of Use is set to release next week and we’ll be sure to update you as to how Adobe further addresses this situation—and what the future of content rights and AI might hold.