Adobe, the well-known company behind Photoshop and the Creative Cloud software suite, faced significant backlash last week due to clauses in its terms of use suggesting that user content could be accessed to train machine learning models.

In response to widespread criticism and boycott threats, Adobe issued a statement clarifying these terms and announced that it will release a revised version of the document as early as next week. This updated document will remove the broad license previously granted to Adobe to access user data and content.

A major point of clarification from Adobe is the assurance that user-owned content will “never be used to train any generative AI tool.” Instead, Adobe will only utilize works that are already in the public domain, such as its library of licensed stock images, for training its models.

Previously, an update to Adobe’s terms of use included a clause indicating that the company had the right to access user content “through both automated and manual methods.” Another section mentioned the use of “techniques such as machine learning” to enhance services and software. These changes followed the launch of Adobe Firefly, the company’s first AI image generator, but went largely unnoticed until a pop-up summarizing the new terms appeared for Photoshop and Creative Cloud users.

In its blog post, Adobe stated that it will simplify some of the legal language in its terms of use and provide “plain English examples” to explain the meanings and necessities of various clauses. Users can already opt out of analytics and product improvement features, and Adobe emphasized that consenting to data sharing does not transfer ownership rights to the company.

It’s important to note that Adobe is not admitting fault or changing its overall approach, beyond addressing the confusing language in its terms of use. Scott Belsky, the company’s chief product officer, acknowledged that the summary wording in the pop-up was unclear and clarified that “the actual TOS are similar to any other modern software provider with cloud features.”

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