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June 8, 2023updated 09 Jun 2023 3:48pm

Adobe offers IP indemnity from generative AI copyright claims

The vendor says images used in its Firefly generative AI tool are all stock images, or from the public domain with appropriate licences.

By Ryan Morrison

Adobe is rolling out its Firefly generative AI tool to enterprise customers for the first time. In a bid to show that it is “safe for commercial use”, amid growing copyright concerns, the company is offering financial indemnity from copyright claims. One analyst told Tech Monitor Adobe has effectively solved the trust problem and “provided a very attractive safety net” for the use of images.

Adobe says generative AI will be available throughout its product range and is trained on licenced images only. (Photo by Koshiro K/Shutterstock)

Announced during Adobe Summit EMEA in London today, the new generative AI offering will work across the range of Adobe products including the lightweight Adobe Express. It is “designed to address the surging demand of digital content at scale,” the company says.

Since the launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI in November 2022 companies such as Microsoft, Google and Salesforce have pivoted to make generative AI a central offering in their most high-profile products. Adobe is no different, adding image generation to tools like Photoshop and Express.

Firefly is the name of its image generation tool, and it will be available to enterprise clients so that it can be used across an organisation. Adobe says there is a need for creative content in all areas of an organisation from sales and marketing to product management and HR. 

This includes use in internal and external communications, customer engagement, collaboration with stakeholders and personalisation efforts. As well as Firefly and generative AI, Adobe also announced shared templates between the lightweight Express and the heavy-duty applications used by creative professionals like Photoshop and Illustrator.

The generative AI functionality has been designed to be “commercially safe” and accessible in PDFs, flyers, logos, presentations and social media posts. This includes through the Firefly app, Adobe Express, Creative Cloud and through an API to automate the creation process within self-hosted tools and applications.

Adobe’s licenced images for generative AI

To encourage commercial use and help organisations get over concerns around copyright of generated output, Adobe is putting its money where its mouth is.“Firefly is designed to be safe for commercial use and enterprises also have the opportunity to obtain an IP indemnity from Adobe for content generated by certain Firefly-powered workflows allowing them to deploy it across their organisation with confidence,” a spokesperson explained.

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Adobe says enterprise expects demand for content to increase fivefold over the next two years which will require increasing automation to drive efficiencies. David Wadhwani, president of digital media business at Adobe said: “This new enterprise offering empowers users of any skill level to instantly turn ideas into content with Firefly, while tapping into the power of Express and Creative Cloud to quickly modify assets and deliver standout designs.”

IBM, Dentsu, Mattel and others have already signed up to explore ways generative AI can improve content supply chains and help reduce acquisition costs for content.

Adobe says it is commercially viable as its generative model was trained on Adobe stock images, openly licenced images and public domain content. This is why they are offering a financial indemnity from copyright claims, suggesting “Firefly won’t generate content based on other people’s or brands’ IP”.

Adobe provides a safety net for image use

The company says the millions of images used to train the model were “professional grade” and licenced for use in the training data. Generated images will also have a “content credentials” metadata tag that highlights it was AI generated and has “transparency built-in”.

“Adobe Stock’s hundreds of millions of professional-grade, licensed images are among the highest quality in the market, and help ensure Firefly won’t generate content based on other peoples’ or brands’ IP,” a spokesperson said. “Since its launch in March, Firefly beta users have generated more than 200 million images. Photoshop users have generated over 150 million images in just two weeks using the new Generative Fill feature powered by Firefly.”

Technology analyst Shelly Kramer from V3B says the platform is “incredibly impressive” and opens a collaboration-first approach to creative content that isn’t just limited to the creative teams within an organisation. She says from a creator perspective image sourcing is a serious problem that, if done incorrectly, could lead to fines. “We’re pretty knowledgeable about image sourcing, creation and use and have ourselves run into situations where we’ve unexpectedly gotten hit with a fine for improper use.”

When you combine the complexity of image sourcing with fears around the use of generative AI and copyright, “Adobe has offered up the veritable easy button,” Kramer says. “In these early stages of all things generative AI, trust is a major issue. Adobe has solved that by assuring customers that it can trust the platform, but has also provided a very attractive safety net. I feel as though it makes the updated Adobe Express offering that includes Firefly a no-brainer.”

Adobe says Firefly for enterprise will be available in the second half of this year. A beta version of Adobe Express with generative content is already live.

Read more: UK to host global AI summit

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