Musings on Photography

Adobe Photoshop Express Online, Reprise

Posted in business by Paul Butzi on April 5, 2008

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Time for a followup to this post.

Adobe have now announced the new license terms for Adobe Photoshop Express Online.

I urge folks who want to use this product to read the license very carefully. Adobe seem to have done a good job outlining what rights Adobe has to the images you upload to the service, especially with respect to your ability to terminate Adobe’s rights to the content you upload by removing it from their service. (they retain the right to keep archive copies – I assume because it’s infeasible to purge their backups of all copies of your stuff when it’s on tape in some salt mine, etc.) It seems to me that Adobe have done a pretty good job of cutting this back to what they really need to run their service, and nothing more. It’s a shame that they didn’t start at this point, because each incident like this burns a lot of customer trust, and that trust is burned permanently and isn’t bought back by revising the contract after an uproar.

Independent of that kerfuffle, it seems to me that the license you grant to others to use your image might give some folks pause. Look carefully at Section 6(b) and section 7. Do you really want to grant other users the right to print your images? Do you really want to grant other users the right to use your images on the web, free?

I don’t, so I won’t be using the service. At the same time I don’t think the Adobe license is all that unrealistic. It’s darn hard to police people ripping off your content, and Adobe don’t want to get caught in the middle. That’s reasonable.

I’d urge folks to read those terms carefully, and then read the terms at other competitors (like Flickr) and other alternatives for sharing your photos (like WordPress.com), and perhaps consider putting together your own website (an option which is easier than ever and is surprisingly inexpensive) before you go ahead and decide to use the Adobe service.

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