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Adobe Revises Photoshop Express Terms of Service

Photographers complained that Adobe seemed to be claiming the right to do as it pleased with a user's images, irrespective of the owner's wishes.

Adobe on Friday revised the Terms of Service for its online Photoshop Express photo editing application to address objections raised by photographers.

In an e-mail, an Adobe spokesperson explained, "The original terms of service implied things Adobe would never do with the content within Photoshop Express. Thus, revisions were made to clarify our intent."

The terms originally granted Adobe "a worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, derive revenue or other remuneration from, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other Materials or works in any format or medium now known or later developed."

In short, these Terms of Service allowed Adobe to do as it pleased with a user's images, irrespective of the owner's wishes.

This did not sit well with photographers. Following the launch of the Photoshop Express beta last week, photographers started complaining online about the Terms of Service as an egregious rights grab.

In his BluePlanetPhoto.com blog, Idaho-based photographer Mike Shipman wrote, "These terms are similar to a neighborhood covenant stating if you park your car on the street or in your driveway you grant your neighbors the right to drive your car whenever they want, wherever they want, to keep it for as long as they want, even to sell it or rent it out to someone outside the neighborhood, repaint it, wreck it, return it with the tires or other accessories missing or with an empty gas tank, all without any compensation to you."

Many others made similar posts.

What Adobe has tried to make clear in revising its Terms of Service is that it is claiming a limited set of rights necessary to operate the service and that its rights to user images terminate when the user terminates his or her Photoshop Express account.

As an Adobe spokesperson explained in an e-mail, "Adobe doesn't claim ownership of your content and won't sell your images."

Adobe said the new terms will take effect on April 10.

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