Adobe uses customer images without consent to train Firefly art generator

Occurred: May 2023

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Adobe came under fire from contributors to Adobe Stock for not having been informed about or asked to agree to let the software company train its generative AI platform Firefly on their stock images.

Adobe billed Firefly as 'safe for commercial use' as the model was trained on stock or appropriate public domain images, and offered financial indemnity from copyright claims.

But Adobe users and contributors said they did not receive any communication from Adobe informing them that their images were being used to train its model, and that the company's actions were unethical. Some also complained that Adobe's use of their IP may put them out of jobs.

In September 2023, Adobe announced that it would start paying an annual bonus to eligible Adobe Stock contributors, with the first bonus covering the time the company trained Firefly.

Other text-to-image generative tools, including DALL-E 2, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, have also been accused of abusing the IP of image owners.

Databank 🔢

Operator: Adobe users
Developer: Adobe
Country: USA
Sector: Business/professional services; Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Generate video, images
Technology: Machine learning; Pattern recognition; Object recognition
Issue: Copyright; Ethics/values
Transparency: Governance