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Graphic Artists Guild

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Adobe for Renounces Work on Spec

Adobe today announced a change in policy regarding their “Creative Challenge” crowdsourced contests. Going forward, the company’s Creative Challenges will restrict their licensed rights to submissions to promotional use of the Challenge alone. Crucially, Adobe has committed to not promoting or supporting work on spec, and promises to retool their Challenges to not require the creation of original work.

When artists, including our members, were outraged at the “Make the Merch” Creative Challenge earlier this year, we reached to Adobe to express to them why these Challenges strike such a nerve with artists. They listened to us as we explained the working conditions for graphic artists: stagnant wages, the constant theft of our work through copyright infringement, the constant demands for “free” labor through contests and crowdsourcing platforms. We also explained about how work on spec is an unethical business practice. And they engaged with us as they worked through how Adobe can adjust their practices to be more ethical and fairer for creators.

We applaud Adobe for change in policy on the Creative Challenges. Having a company of Adobe’s stature and importance to the creative community make a stance against work on spec is huge. Going forward, when organizations and entities propose work on spec contest as a way of generating free artwork, we can point back to Adobe as setting a standard which recognizes the need to work with artists “in a sustainable and positive way”.

We’re looking forward to seeing how Adobe meets the concerns of creators in the terms and conditions of the future creative challenges. We’ll take them up on their offer to continue to work with artist advocates.