This guy is suing Adobe for $250,000 claiming Premiere Pro deleted his work

Nov 14, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This guy is suing Adobe for $250,000 claiming Premiere Pro deleted his work

Nov 14, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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A freelance videographer by the name of Dave Cooper is suing Adobe for the deletion of around 100,000 digital video clips totalling around 500 hours. After upgrading to Premiere Pro 2017 v11.1.0 in April of last year, he claims that a bug caused the deletion of video clips that cost him around $250,000 to create.

He says that the bug exists in the “clean cache” feature which deletes temporary files and backups created during the editing process. And Adobe has actually acknowledged this bug, but I can’t help but feel there’s quite a bit of user error here.

So, a little background for those who don’t know how Premiere Pro’s media cache works.

Video editing uses up a lot of hard drive space. You’re dealing with some pretty big files, and when you’ve got a bunch of effects and transitions and clips in different locations, it can get really slow. In order to help speed up the process, Adobe will copy or render many of the clips and effects into a media cache folder for fast access. My own Premiere Pro media cache folder currently sits at around 78GB, as an example.

Normally, you’d specify a dedicated space for this media cache folder. I have mine sitting in its own folder on an SSD, completely separate from anything important (although the drive is still backed up). The “clean cache” feature allows you to periodically erase these files when things get a bit too full and you want to free up space, or just get rid of redundant files from old projects.

Mr Cooper chose to place this media cache folder within another folder that contained all of his footage. The lawsuit says that when he used the Clean Cache feature, which normally only erases the files that reside within the media folder and its subfolders, it deleted everything in the parent folder, including all of his footage. Footage that he apparently hadn’t backed up anywhere.

The bug was definitely noticed by Premiere Pro users and we reported it here on DIYP last year. Adobe acknowledged the bug, quickly issuing a fix. But this fix was too late for Mr Cooper. After several days of attempting to recover the lost files, he came to the realisation that they were gone forever. And while other users reporting the bug did have backups, Mr Cooper did not.

Despite the bug now being resolved, Adobe “still strongly recommend keeping the Media Cache folder separate from your original media”.

So now he wants $250,000 to cover the costs of creating the footage, which was made between 2010 and 2017, and loss of future licensing opportunities for the footage that no longer exists.

Now, I feel for the guy, but my first reaction on hearing this story was “What kind of an idiot doesn’t back up 7 years worth of footage?”. I mean, if you’re holding what you believe is $250,000 worth of footage, why wouldn’t you spend a few hundred bucks on a NAS or a bunch of external hard drives to make copies of everything?

Ok, so that might sound a little like victim blaming. But it’s really not. It’s Adobe’s bug that caused this to happen, and it never should have happened. But, really, no backups?!? And storing your temporary media cache with your actual footage? That kind of defeats the purpose of having a fast cache folder in the first place.

This isn’t the only time that bugs with Adobe software have caused files to accidentally become erased. Creative Cloud’s login was deleting files on the Mac back in 2016. And earlier this year, Photoshop had a saving bug on the Mac which would occasionally cause files to disappear.

While it obviously sucks to be this guy, back up your work, people. It’s not that difficult or even that expensive anymore. Hard drives are cheap, especially compared to $250K’s worth of footage.

You can read the full lawsuit here.

[via Gizmodo]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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18 responses to “This guy is suing Adobe for $250,000 claiming Premiere Pro deleted his work”

  1. Ladislav Soukup Avatar
    Ladislav Soukup

    This is sad…
    But… 1st of all, he should have a backup. Whenever I import any new media (photo or video), I do make a backup of it right after import before I start sorting / editing. I did delete wrong photos in past while sorting them… It was easy to fix (only costs me a time to sort them again after reimporting).

    2nd, even when you delete a file from hard drive, unless you use secure erase, you CAN ALWAYS restore them. Yes, you can only 100% restore them if you don’t write any new data to disk, but if you delete that big chunk of data you will probably notice it right away… And even if not, there is pretty big chance, that most of the files will be ok and can be restored.

  2. Robert Hicks Avatar
    Robert Hicks

    You’d think if his work was worth a quarter million he could afford some backups

  3. Jyi Offer Avatar
    Jyi Offer

    I’d argue that it would only cost $500-$1000 to recover the hard drive that had the files deleted.
    Sounds to me like a good excuse for not finishing his work ?

    1. Alexandre El Ayoubi Avatar
      Alexandre El Ayoubi

      Jyi Offer my dog ate my homework

      1. maro cain Avatar
        maro cain

        my adobe deleted my homework

  4. Alan Laighleis Avatar
    Alan Laighleis

    Can you imagine how many hits Microsoft might take with the win10 1809 bug that they had to recall that allegedly deletes my photos and my documents content

  5. DavidB23 Avatar
    DavidB23

    This guy is simply an idiot.

  6. Stephan Hughes Avatar
    Stephan Hughes

    So, basically this guy doesn’t know basic media management…

    1. Daniel Scott Avatar
      Daniel Scott

      My thoughts exactly.

  7. Brad Avatar
    Brad

    Why wasn’t he able to recover the files? If something is deleted it is still on the drive. It just gets flagged as space that can be overwritten and no longer shows up. It can be easily recovered using a number of file recovery programs.

    I recently recovered all my files from a formatted drive with a recovery software. It took some time but wasn’t too difficult.

    Where you run into problems is when you start putting new stuff on the drive and over write portions of your lost files.

  8. Marco Peixoto Avatar
    Marco Peixoto

    When you are too stupid to backup and then blame everybody for their stupidity

  9. iDan Avatar
    iDan

    Don’t be such keyboard warriors. Some of you may stomach your own shit if the guy’s lawsuit turns victorious

    1. Pete Flynn Avatar
      Pete Flynn

      Adobe has lots of fine print that leaves users SOL. I’d love to see Adobe lose, but it isn’t going to happen.

  10. Henrik Heigl Avatar
    Henrik Heigl

    So basically he changed the Media Cache Folder t /Video on the external drive, stores all the working Files also in the same folder and now wonders why its all gone if he hit “clean cache”?! Really?! So, Premiere does exactly what its told to and the user blames that its wrong … funny people do funny things ;-)

  11. Aankhen Avatar
    Aankhen

    Two things can be true at once.

    Not backing up your work is unprofessional, irresponsible, and foolish in the extreme. However, Adobe—and only Adobe—are responsible for deleting the data, and they deserve to be raked over the coals.

  12. Pete Flynn Avatar
    Pete Flynn

    I’ve worked with Adobe aps and only use what is installed on my equipment, NOT the web aps, and back everything up on a RAID array.
    You’re a fool if you don’t manage your own backups.

  13. Craig Good Avatar
    Craig Good

    If you don’t have a good, redundant backup plan in place then you don’t own your data. You’re just leasing them from fate.

    This guy was stupid. And by suing, he’s doubling down on stupid.

  14. Gudieve Ning Avatar
    Gudieve Ning

    I keep all my active source video files (that is, files that are for projects that will be updated for a while yet, my in house or client work) on my actual MacBook (1TB) that itself is connected to a Time Machine drive. They are on the MacBook so I can access them when travelling and not have to carry an external drive. Non destructive editing, that is a feature of all the current NLEs (Premier, Resolve, FCP) mean source files remain untouched by the app, right? Once a project is 100% or almost 100% dead/signed off etc, our source files go onto an Archive folder on our NAS where they will be kept indefinitely in case there is that rare occurrence when one may be required. With media falling in price so quickly, once the Archive drive is full, we can simply upgrade it.
    Roll on 8K! Come at you!