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Adobe clarifies license: It's OK to use new Voice app for business

It seemed the new iPad app for making slick narrated videos couldn't be used for "business purposes." Adobe says go ahead.

Adobe Voice offers a range of templates to construct videos.
Adobe Voice offers a range of templates for constructing videos. Adobe Systems

Some folks were eager to use Adobe Systems' new Voice app for creating video presentations but were concerned about licensing terms that seemed to indicate they weren't allowed to use the iPad app commercially.

Not to worry, Adobe said in response: commercial use is fine.

"We absolutely allow (and want) people to use Adobe Voice for business purposes," said spokesman Alex Dewey. "We're working with our lawyers now to revise these [licensing agreement] subsections to make them more clear."

The Voice app is designed to make it easy to compile a spoken soundtrack with images and music into a narrated video. It's a free app designed to reach a broader market than Adobe's software focused on creative professionals, but Voice is the first of a family that will also include premium products, Adobe said.

The commercial-use concern stemmed from Adobe Voice's license agreement, which says users agree not to use the Adobe services to "market any goods or services for any business purposes (including advertising and making offers to buy or sell goods or services), unless specifically allowed to do so by Adobe."

Those terms of use, though, cover Adobe services like the Kuler color-picking technology, "where we don't want people using these services as advertising space to put up promotional material," Dewey said.

Another point of confusion came with a license term that says a user isn't allowed to "reproduce, sell, trade, resell or exploit for any commercial purpose, any portion of the services or any materials, use of any service or materials, or access to any service or materials." Some saw that as suggesting a designer wouldn't be allowed to create an Adobe Voice presentation for a client.

Again, not so, Dewey said.

"We're just saying that you shouldn't further sell our services. For example, you shouldn't rent out your log-in to Creative Cloud," Adobe's subscription service under which it offers all its new software. "A designer is absolutely allowed to create a video for a client using Adobe Voice," he said.