4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 25, 2016 6:24 AM by paulh3169804

    License Question – May We Incorporate Images Into Web Based Browser Game?


      I understand that Adobe Stock does not offer extended licenses, so my question pertains to the limitations of the standard license.


      One of the questions on Adobe Stock’s list of common questions (https://helpx.adobe.com/stock/faq.html) asks, “Where can I use Adobe Stock photos, illustrations, and graphics?” The answer says that “Adobe Stock photos, illustrations, and vector files can be used in any creative project, including print ads, brochures, presentations, posters, book covers, commercials, websites, and annual reports.”  Since my work, a web based browser game, is both a creative and interactive project that takes the form of a website, in general it appears what I wish to do is acceptable and agreeable to the terms of the license.


      However, the Adobe Stock Additional Terms, which the answer quoted above later references, (http://wwwimages.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/legal/servicetou/Adobe_Stock_Terms_en_US-2 0150313_hpc.pdf), is more detailed and appears to discourage the use of Images on websites. In it, it states that standard licenses are “subject further to restrictions in Section 3.” Section 3 mentions that the license holder must not “sell, license or distribute the Work or any modified Work as stand-alone or as part of…any derivative product containing the Work in such a way that would allow a third party to use, download, extract, or access the Image as a stand-alone file;” (3.1 a) “share the Work with any other person or entity or post the Work online in a downloadable format…” (3.1 b) and “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Agreement, with respect to using and displaying the Work on websites, you must take all reasonable actions to prevent website visitors from downloading or reusing the Work.” (3.2).


      All three clauses of the agreement attempt to tackle the same issue, namely hindering or outright preventing a third party (such as a visitor to the website) from downloading the images licensed from Adobe Stock. However, this is an impossible task to do on websites and the viewing webpages internet in general (Adobe Stock’s own website fails at this test). Any source that is displayed to the end user or visitor to the site can be downloaded, even if access to the directory holding the files was restricted and the images password protected. It is true that not everybody would then have access to the files, but any person who freely chooses to register and access the site may, for the server will authenticate their session and display the image on their screen. From there, the third party user can download the file by right clicking and hitting save image (which can be disabled),  download the file directly from the source (which cannot be disabled), and even more simply they could screen shot the entire page and crop out the image itself should it be displayed on their screen. Indeed, for the browser to even display the page, it must first download the image as a stand-alone file (a violation of 3.1a and 3.1b), which to me signals that images from Adobe Stock are not allowed to be included on any web page on the internet (not intranet) because it fundamentally violates these two clauses. One could argue that 3.1b need not apply because it requires intent on the part of the licensee to distribute the image, but that still leaves 3.1a in full force and applicable to websites.


      But suppose Adobe is willing to overlook these two clauses (does it or will it make an explicit exception for websites accessed through web browsers?). What, then, does Adobe consider reasonable actions to prevent website visitors from downloading the work? Is an image in reduced size still considered to be the Work, or is that a reasonable action to take to meet the needs of the license? As of now, I assume protecting the directories in which the images would live within my web application as well as including script to prevent right clicking images would be sufficient to meet the requirements of section 3.2 and prevent violations of sections 3.1a and 3.1b.


      Lastly, and perhaps most relevant to my question of using images from Adobe Stock in a web based browser game, is the issue of Section 3.4b, which states “You may also not use, include, or incorporate the Work in any electronic template or application.” Since all interactive, dynamic websites that serve some function other than the delivery of information are web (and thus electronic) applications, would incorporating any image licensed from Adobe Stock into a web based browser game violate these terms, or is there an expectation or clarification of terms to be made?

      If this question is too long, complex, and unable to be answered in these community forums due to legal review, could you please point in the direction of Adobe’s legal department?


      Ultimately, my question boils down to this: if I purchase and download images from Adobe Stock, may I include them in a web based browser game?