Adobe Firefly burns bridges with stock photo creators

Joel Loynds
Adobe logo with fire behind it

Adobe has been hit with criticism over its new Firefly AI using uncredited and uncompensated images from its Stock service.

The new Firefly AI from Adobe is an image generator, either through the web or the new Photoshop beta software. Adobe has trained the AI using the content from its Stock image service, which creators on the service haven’t been credited or compensated for.

Adobe has stated on its website that it is still yet to figure out how it plans to compensate creators, which has been deemed not “ethical” by some users:

“We are developing a compensation model for Stock contributors, and we will share the details of this model when Firefly exits beta.”

There’s also currently no way for creators to opt out of the training, with only a vague promise of an opt-out feature yet to come:

“No, there is no option to opt-out of data set training for content submitted to Stock. However, Adobe is continuing to explore the possibility of an opt-out.”

Stock image creators fuming over Adobe Firefly AI using their content

Speaking with Venture Beat, Dean Samed, a seasoned contributor to Adobe Stock, said:

“Even though they may legally be able to do that, because we all signed the terms of service, I don’t think it is either ethical or fair.”

The main criticism stems from the fact that Adobe’s new AI is designed to “compete” in the same marketplace as these legacy creators. Rather than pay for the Stock subscription or images separately, Firefly gives users the opportunity to create exactly what is needed.

Now, there are concerns that the residuals that come from Stock will start to dry up. Eric Urquhart, another Stock contributor, says that Adobe technically doesn’t own the images it is training Firefly on. Another, Rob Dobi, says that there are no real answers from Adobe:

“But is there a point in removing my old stuff, because [the model] has already been trained? I don’t know.

“Will my stuff remain in an algorithm if I remove it? I don’t know. Adobe doesn’t answer any questions.”

Adobe has begun to integrate Firefly into its Photoshop software, providing users with ways to utilize the generative fill and implement non-existing elements to images.

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About The Author

E-Commerce Editor. You can get in touch with him over email: He's written extensively about video games and tech for over a decade for various sites. Previously seen on Scan, WePC, PCGuide, Eurogamer, Digital Foundry and A deep love for old tech, bad games and even jankier MTG decks.