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Friday, March 28, 2008

Photoshop Xpress

Another element has been added to the Adobe periodic table: Px.

Adobe announced the beta release of Photoshop Express, a photo-editing tool that runs directly through script on the internet. The clincher? It's FREE. High School and College students can rejoice that now they can perform necessary photo adjustments without the pesky costs of buying Photoshop or the inconvenience of tracking down cracked copies of it.

To use the product, you've got to become a member of the service, which entitles you to 2GB of online storage space for your photos to be posted and publicly viewed, should you so choose. Based on reading the Terms of Use, it seems that one downside of this sharing service is that other people can link to, absorb, and print your work through the service, which is definitely a downside for artists.

While I'm excited by the ability to do photo editing online (this can be great for laziness and being abroad), I'm hesitant to join. The discussion of rights allocations is absent from the Terms of Use, and I am always hesitant about putting WORK on the internet through someone else's service. We've seen companies try to assume the rights to their users' work simply by slying it up in their Terms or EULAs. Also, this business of other people being able to save and print full-quality versions of my images is scary. Then again, it should be the same concern with sites like Flickr. I guess the difference with Flickr is that on Flickr I get to specify what kind of licensing agreement I hold to the work, and I'm not sure if you can do that on Px.

At any rate, one should perhaps ignore my fervent paranoia and check out the service, as I intend to do. I simply won't be publishing any sensitive material that I consider to be "my work."

As a final word of clarification, it would be prudent of me to note that Px is nowhere CLOSE to Photoshop CS in its ability. No masking, no layers, none of the things that make Photoshop the magnificent and omnipotent creature that it is. It's just a tool for simple fixing of the majority of photos in terms of color correction and the like.

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