Adobe update: "Unambiguous statement" promised in new year

December 22, 2009 by Dave Haynes


Remember me?

Sorry for lack of posts. Happy to report I am very busy on both the pressDOOH and Preset fronts, and seeing a lot of airports (but dodging storms).

Anyway, there is encouraging news on the Adobe Flash licensing beat – with a senior Adobe guy promising: Adobe will make an unambiguous statement in the new year. 

This was from the Director of Adobe’s Open Screen Project, which is Adobe’s big cross-platform initiative. He found me through another Adobe guy who conceded the company’s position was confusing, and promised to look into it. He found me through Stephen Randall of Locamoda. So if we do get clarity, finally, Stephen gets a gold star.

Nate Kidwell of DS newcomer Ludicast, which uses Flash extensively, has also been a big help, and pointed me (among other things) to a post on a Flash developer’s blog, called ickydime.

The comments are the interesting part of the post, as it drew in some Adobe people.

One noted: 

Anyone can install Adobe Flash Player from But to *redistribute* Player in your own device requires agreements with Adobe — otherwise anything might get called “Player”. The Open Screen Project doesn’t require cash licensing, but does require certain capabilities such as the ability to update. 

The developer/blogger then responded:

From your recap, it sounds as though you can install the Runtime if the device goes to for the installation AND if the device has the ability to update the player.

Another Adobe person chimed in, noting first that the end user licensing agreement is getting old:

If you check the date, the EULA is from Feb of 2008.

Also, keep in mind that Adobe may not be the ones distributing the player binaries. Through Open Screen Project, partners can license source for porting in which case the EULA does not come from Adobe.

Also note that OSP royalty free terms are for open systems with the goal of providing a consistent runtime for web browsing and applications. Closed systems do not qualify for royalty free licensing.  

So … the issue is at least now on the Adobe radar, though it would be great to read something, from someone, that is not burdened by licensing-speak. What I get from these exchanges is a sense – repeat sense – that everything is peachy if the digital signage playback software you develop and distribute does not include Flash right in the build. The PC being used as the playback engine needs to go out to the Internet cloud to fetch the latest version and install it on the box, and then sit, deployed, in the field, able to go back to Adobe to get updates and patches to the Flash player.

If the Flash player is part of the build and offer to customers, you need to get licensing. I think.

Stay tuned. 

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