65 per cent of British creatives have had their work stolen, says Adobe report

The research, published as part of the brand’s Content Authenticity Initiative, also finds 75 per cent of creatives are concerned that fake images will cause people to believe misleading information.

9 December 2020
Reading Time
2 minute read


Image ownership and misuse are persistent issues facing all creative industries, so this latest Adobe report – which launches as part of its own Content Authenticity Initiative – will make for interesting though perhaps unsurprising reading. The company surveyed 900 people in September 2020 and found that 65 per cent of creative professionals said they have had their work stolen, plagiarised, or not properly credited on the internet, with 19 per cent saying they’ve experienced this multiple times. A huge 81 per cent worry about having their work stolen or plagiarised in future.

The report also investigated manipulated content and misinformation online, reporting that 62 per cent of consumers and 75 per cent of creative professionals frequently come across fake images. In focus groups, many shared concerns that they lack the knowledge and training about their ability to identify images that have been altered to deceive. Three quarters of those surveyed worried that altered images caused people to believe misleading information; while around 70 percent worried that altered images drive distrust in the news. A quarter of creative professionals believe they are the group most responsible for limiting the consequences of altered images online, while 35 per cent believe it’s up to companies instead.

With this in mind, the research found that the majority of consumers and creative professionals were keen on providing increased access to information about images’ original sources and how an image is made, via a digital tag. Suitably, the report is part of Adobe’s recently launched Content Authenticity Initiative, which aims to provide a way to label photos and videos with information about who created the original, and ultimately promote transparency, understanding and trust in online content.

One of the initial parts of this initiative is a new content attribution tool within Photoshop and Behance, which will allow any creator to securely attach authorship, edit history and location data to a photo or video before it’s shared. Anyone who comes across the image or video will then be able to find out who created it and how it has been edited.

Earlier this year, Canon and agency Uncle Grey Copenhagen launched a similar initiative called Truthmark, with similar intentions to stop image misuse in fake news.

Read more about Adobe’s research here and the Content Authenticity Initiative here.

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, now overseeing the website’s daily editorial output. Contact her with stories, pitches and tips relating to the creative industries on jb@itsnicethat.com.

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