PSD format licensing

Community Beginner ,
May 03, 2019 May 03, 2019

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Hello,

The problem is that Adobe hasn't documented licensing for using .psd file format.

Today I discussed with the stuff of Adobe developers and other departments and they proofed that they don't have licensing document.

They suggest me to post about licensing document here and maybe they will take a look for that, so this is what I am doing.

Dear licensing team of Adobe please create the document of licensing .psd file format for commercial and other types of usages.

Regards,

Narek Aydinyan

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2019 May 03, 2019

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Adobe Photoshop File Formats Specification

They may not have a licensing document, but Adobe published the description to the PSD file format and there are 3rd party implementations reading and writing PSD files, including the open source Gimp.

I do not think that you need more than this to implement a PSD reader/writer program.

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Community Beginner ,
May 06, 2019 May 06, 2019

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I agree but also don't agree. I saw that document but like Gimp there are FFMpeg and ImageIO which give 3rd party API. But licensing for those may restrict commercial use. I would like to know the licensing, especially for commercial use. The document you cite doesn't mention if I can use those APIs for commercial use.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 06, 2019 May 06, 2019

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The link above does not point to an API but only to the description of the Photoshop file format.

The information in this document is furnished for informational use only, is subject to change without notice, and should not be construed as a commitment by Adobe Systems Incorporated. Adobe Systems Incorporated assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies that may appear in this document. The software described in this document is furnished under license and may only be used or copied in accordance with the terms of such license.

Welcome to the Adobe Photoshop® File Format Specification!

This document is the detailed specification of the Adobe Photoshop file format and other pertinent file formats that Adobe Photoshop reads and writes.

Audience

This document is provided for 3rd parties to read and write the Photoshop native file format. This document does not explain how to interpret the data. This document describes the format of the data only.

It looks like you are free to create a software that reads and writes Photoshop files.

FYI: Here are the standard licensing therms for Adobe developers:

https://wwwimages2.adobe.com/content/dam/acom/en/legal/servicetou/Adobe-Developer-Additional-Terms_e...

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Community Beginner ,
May 06, 2019 May 06, 2019

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Yes, I agree with you that it looks like free for commercial use too, but the problem is that there are no certain terms for handling such licensing issues. I spoke to Adobe developers and they advised me to write about this in forums. They told, it's likely they will add some document for handling such issues in the future.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 06, 2019 May 06, 2019

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Well, Adobe developer misguided you to this forum, as it is not a legal platform to find the information you look for. This is (basically) a user to user forum with some Adobe participation to solve technical problems. My final advice is to write to Adobe by snail mail.

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Community Beginner ,
May 06, 2019 May 06, 2019

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Yes I already did it, but anyway thanks for your responses

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New Here ,
Feb 15, 2022 Feb 15, 2022

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 @nareka13710949  : Did you ever find out the licensing terms? I was a bit unsure about open source tools strictly being meticulous about the psd format licensing terms - but given that Corel Draw also allows PSD import: https://www.coreldraw.com/en/pages/psd-file/  it seems a new tool is permitted to allow PSD read / write. 

 

However, legally - someone else is doing it is not a valid justification to escape from charges of doing something illegal. I also came across an article / website of a book releaed a decade or two ago that contained the PSD file format specification and the book itself had the CC something license.

 

 

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