Adobe has made some changes to their SDK (software developer kit) licensing and an article in the latest edition of Mike Bedford’s Canvangelist opines that the changes could be bad for the graphics community. However, Adobe told MacCentral that the changes are relatively minor.
The Canvangelist offers Canvas users info and instruction in the form of a free, downloadable e-zine created in and exported as PDF entirely from Canvas 8. In issue nine, it says that Adobe’s new SDK arrangement could put the squeeze on third-party developers.
“It used to be developers could sign up with Adobe and receive the necessary technical information to create plug-ins as well as the applications to host them,” the publication writes. “… no longer is this possible for application developers to do without violating Adobe’s licensing agreement and risking legal complications.”
The Canvangelist article also includes an article written by Harald Heim that tells how Adobe is attempting to lock out the ability of plug-in developers to create Photoshop plug-ins. “Adobe has the legal power to stop any plug-in developed with the Photoshop 7 SDK if they think that it competes with a feature of Photoshop,” the article says.
However, Adobe’s Kevin Connor told MacCentral that the SDK changes have been blown out of proportion and that the company never anticipated the reaction they would engender. Adobe has always required those using the SDK to sign a license agreement, but users tended not to read it.
“We haven’t changed who can use the SDK, but have simply put in more controls so we can track and understand how it’s being used,” Connor said.
Also, you now have to be a member of the Adobe Solutions Network to download and use the SDK, but you also get marketing benefits and support by joining, Connor said. The ASN Developer Program is for developers of Adobe-related plug-ins and other software. There are also the ASN Print Service Provider Program (for businesses delivering output solutions to customers using Adobe software) and the ASN Training Provider Program (for instructors of classes on Adobe products). All require paid memberships. For details,
download the Adobe Solutions Network brochure.
“The licensing agreement does say that you can’t write a plug-in that duplicates Photoshop functionality,” Connor said. “We may have to modify the wording over time, since we unexpectedly scared people the way it is now.”
He added that if folks wanted to write a plug-in that overlapped Photoshop functionality or an application to host them, they could write Adobe and explain their plan.
“There’s no extra charge, and we haven’t turned down anyone so far,” Connor said.
If you’re interested in reading the new Canvangelist issue, go to the
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