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Free Online Photoshop

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Photoshop Express

This morning I read that Adobe finally released their free web-based express version of Photoshop. I signed up to see how it works and what it's about, and from what I initially saw I wasn't that impressed. When you sign up they give you 2 gigabytes of space to host your pictures and give you a means of doing some basic editing however I have a bit of a problem with both of these things.

I don't really like the idea of hosting images with Adobe. There are already about 10,002 sites for hosting your images; we need another one like a hole in the head. Other than just adding another image hosting site to the mix, there is one point in the terms of use for Photoshop Express that doesn't sit well with me:

8.a Use of Your Content.

Adobe does not claim ownership of Your Content. However, with respect to Your Content that you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Services, you grant 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.

I've highlighted the rather unsavory part. Basically any image you upload or edit belongs to Adobe and they can do whatever they want with it. They can use it in an ad campaign, modify it and use it on their website or the worst of all, license it to third party companies for as much money (that you'll never see) and for as long as they want. Imagine Adobe has a print ad subsidiary and they use your face from a picture you uploaded to their service in an ad for some new herpes drug: "Now with new CrotchIce I can be outbreak free for months at a time!" How much would that suck?

My other beef with this system is simply the fact that it's all done in Flash. Don't get me wrong, Flash has its uses, but making entire websites out of it shouldn't be one of them. It's great for ads, little games, streaming video (Youtube), but nothing is more annoying than a rather complex website made entirely of Flash. You can't highlight anything on it, you can't search it, you can't right click on links to open in different tabs or windows, you can't adjust the font size or use any accessibility options built into Windows and most importantly it breaks the "back" button in the browser; you're forced to used it exactly how the developers think it should be, which doesn't always work well for everyone.

Thanks for offering this free service to host and edit my pictures Adobe, but I think I'll stick with other free programs like Gimp.

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