Apr 1, 2005

PhotoshopNews and our NDA Policy

A good question was asked on the Adobe Photoshop Windows User to User Forums today. I thought it would be useful to mention the question and clarify the position of

The question, from Danny Raphael who I know and respect as the author of Photoshop Actions – The Mother of All Tutorials from Action Central asked:

“Question regarding: The inadvertant Adobe CS2 press release
Since folks like you and Ben Willmore would never consider violating you NDAs, how do you not get into trouble with Adobe for publishing the text of the release?”

Excellent question and one that all the members of PhotoshopNews/PixelGenius wrestled with. I responded:

“Publicly released information, whether intentional or accidental, removes that information-AND THAT INFO ONLY- from the NDA. Thus, that release-even if accidental-is no longer covered by NDA.

You’ll note that nothing BEYOND that release-or other public info or comments have been disclosed.

I’ve been beta since Photoshop 3 and alpha since Photoshop 4. At one time I was under NDA with Adobe for Photoshop, Macromedia for X-Res and Live Picture for LP-all at the same time. Each knew that I was beta for the others. . .but each knew that I would not disclose any NDA material because I didn’t disclose any to any of them. One mention to even one of them would have cast doubt.

NDA’s are critical in the industry because companies NEED to get “outside” input and feedback. But they can not risk exposing proprietary info that could get into a competitor’s hands-and you might say that Photoshop has no competitor, but Adobe sure does. . .many competitors.”

On another forum, Rob Galbraith’s Professional Digital Photography Forums a message was posted that said: “Perhaps the most interesting thing is that Andrew and the Pixel Genius folk have finally nailed their colors to the Adobe mast.” The poster went on to say about Seth Resnick: “It’s hard to reconcile that with his new position at the front of the Adobe marketing juggernaut, softening up photographers for the dole queue.”

See the entire thread. . .

I won’t bother to quote the responses from Bruce Fraser or Seth Resnick to the thread, you can see them for yourself if you wish. But I would like to clarify several points:

While all the members of PixelGenius and many of the members of the PhotoshopNews team have relationships of various descriptions with Adobe, none of us would ever consider altering our positions, our beliefs or our opinions merely because we have a relationship with Adobe or members of the Photoshop marketing or engineering teams. To be frank, it is BECAUSE we make our positions, beliefs and opinions known that Adobe finds our input and feedback valuable. They also sometimes find it mildly irritating because we don’t pull any punches.

All of the members of PG & PSNews are long time verterans of doing a delicate dance between “Experts” and “Advocates”. We are rather good at being both passionate about Photoshop while being critical about Photoshop. To some, who have not experienced this difficult dance, our motives and thus our integrity may not be comprehensible.

To those people, we can only say that there’s nothing we could possibly say that would be truly convincing. So, we will let our actions speak for themselves.

We call it as we see it and we don’t pull any punches, except when required by NDA–and those punches are only deferred.

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