I'm making my way through this thread for the first time.
As someone who has passed the California Bar and who has been a stockbroker in the past, I would like to comment on the statement of Steve Forde, who was the Senior Product Manager for Visual Effects for Adobe for portions of 2011.
"Unfortunately - we get stuck in a legal pinch about commenting on ANYTHING that may or may not be in future products, off the record or otherwise."
I'm asking that you consult your internal SENIOR legal counsel again regarding this statement that you assert prohibits you from giving any details whatsoever about what the Adobe Team may or may not aspire to having in future versions of After Effects.
I'm asking this of you for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, no attorney denies that the law changes over time and recent court decisions have made shareholder derivative lawsuits much less popular as a way for the plaintiff's bar to make a quick buck by extorting money from companies who may have made aspirational statements to shareholders or others in conference calls or elsewhere.
As I understand the current trends in Delaware Law, (which, as the situs for quite a few corporations governs large swaths of their conduct) as long as appropriate disclaimers are clearly communicated at the time of the aspirational statement, such language is now permissible.
Such standard disclaimers could include language such as
"we cannot guarantee whether any feature discussed will appear within one year or within five years or whether it will ever appear at all. It is currently a goal of the design team to reintroduce this feature, but we reserve the right, in our exclusive discretion to change that decision for any reason whatsoever, without consequence.
Additionally, you are vested with no rights to rely on any assertion or representation made based on any such aspirational statement and we insist and demand you consult an attorney before embarking on any course of conduct, such as purchasing stock or altering any current or projected business plan, based in any manner upon what we say here.
However, given the above caveats, it is the current goal of the Adobe design team to reintroduce this feature within the next three releases of AE again, subject to change at our sole and exclusive direction in any manner, time or mode of our choosing, without prior notice of any kind."
If you had a standard disclaimer such as the above that you attached to any and all such statements (by having it appear within the signature block of any Adobe employee posting to this forum), it could take conversations such as this to a more rewarding level for both Adobe staff (who could share their very profound dreams and aspirations with us) and the Adobe community at large, which provides inspiration and helpful feedback to Adobe employees seeking to assist us.
Then the focus could shift to whether or not you were divulging trade secrets. But it would still permit you to be more informative in a general way.
So I ask that you run this by your SENIOR legal counsel again. Remember, just as there can be different ways to tackle the same 3D graphics animation challenge, each with rewarding results, attorneys similarly can vary from attorney to attorney and new and bright ideas on how to approach such issues do occur from time to time, especially in light of the massive favorable swings in case law supporting the rights of massive global corporations such as Adobe viz a viz the rights of the little guy.
Sincerely, Matt Dubuque
Here is Steve's quote in its entirety, from May 26, 2011:
Unfortunately - we get stuck in a legal pinch about commenting on ANYTHING that may or may not be in future products, off the record or otherwise.
That being said, as Michael explained in a previous post, Vector Paint got stuck in the conversion of AE to 64 bit. It's something we hear quite a bit from our users that Vector Paint is important. Again - wish I could give you more than that, but we are bound by very strict rules.
Therefore - it is important to us, and the more we hear via this form the more likely it is to get resources behind it in a future release. Again I realize it is impersonal, but the results of this form are sent via email to a real human every time someone hits submit; then that person brings the results of submission to a weekly meeting on the AE team where we discuss features and scheduling.
Sr. Product Manager - Visual Effects
Adobe Systems Inc.