A Videographer Is Suing Adobe After 'Clean Cache' Feature Wiped All His Files

A Videographer Is Suing Adobe After 'Clean Cache' Feature Wiped All His Files

A videographer is taking legal action against Adobe, as he claims their Premiere Pro software deleted files — including both original and edited photos and videos — from his hard drive.

The class action lawsuit has been launched by freelance videographer Dave Cooper. According to him, the Premiere Pro CC 2017 version 11.1.0 he had installed on his computer wiped files that the software “should never have had access to in the first place.”

Standing accused is the feature known as "Clean Cache," which allows users to generate disk space by removing redundancies created in the video editing process. The problem, insists Cooper, stemmed from him losing way more than was intended after he used the feature. The lawsuit reads:

The 'Clean Cache' command permanently deleted substantial and numerous files and data that were not within the 'Media Cache' folder or any of its subdirectories, including but not limited to files and data that had never been associated with [Premiere Pro].

Speaking to Motherboard, Cooper’s attorney David Deal revealed that it was not just the edited clips that were lost, but the original files too. They estimate that Cooper lost around 100,000 video clips, which collectively cost around $250,000 to create. He’s also missing out on licensing opportunities, due to being without his content library.

Tellingly, Adobe has in the past acknowledged such a bug. Writing in a blog post once the bug was fixed, the tech giant said: “Files that sit next to [Media Cache folder’s subdirectories] will no longer be affected. However, we still strongly recommend keeping the Media Cache folder separate from your original media.”

Cooper and his legal team attempted to settle for an undisclosed amount before launching legal proceedings, but were declined by Adobe.

The incident serves as yet another reminder to always back up work you’d be lost without.

Lead image credit: Matan Segev from Pexels.

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19 Comments

John Dawson's picture

If only Premiere had dual card slots.

David Penner's picture

It does. It could have quad card slots if you want. This is actually a perfect example of why you need backups. At minimum they should have had an external drive to backup everything onto.

John Dawson's picture

Yeah, that was my point. I have zero sympathy.

He's surprised a computer and computer program screwed up? He didn't have his stuff backed up on a separate hard drive or two? This guy is dumber than a mormon.

Ryan Burleson's picture

Wow, but if it was really important files you would think he would have had a backup or 10. I lost lots of old work due to a drive failure once and now I’m backup mad man.

Yeah, I had to learn that the hard way too. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

Iain Lea's picture

Dual NAS systems using an incremental backup strategy. Best if one of them is offsite connected by an encrypted link.

The problem for him is proving it. Does he have proof? Adobe can show their code, and how it only works off of a certain folder. The code check-ins are dated. If the code is simple enough, Adobe could easily prove it. I'm a software developer, this sounds really fishy.

Losses where limited to one rendered & worked 120 meg tiff file with the recent Windows 10 update/debacle. I had it backed up (x3)-but their apology does not speak to the stress of getting clips and files off the laptop to verify & mitigate losses from a substantial recent 2 day shoot.

I found out about the problem from an article here on fstoppers and had to completely rearrange my schedule to expedite archiving clips and files to backup drives.

Jack's 100% right, software companies need to do better in protecting their customers from data losses associated with flawed software and corrupted updates.

Bill Peppas's picture

While it's Adobe fault if it actually happened as described, he should've been keeping backups on a second HDD at the very least.
Even a newbie has heard about the word BACKUP.

Bill Wells's picture

I own a computer company and we were call as expert witnesses in a similar case. This case was when a company was blasting a new road in the area. A blasting company is 100% responsible for any damage they cause. The plaintiff was saying it caused complete and total destruction of her HDD and lost all of her company data valued in excess of 1/2 million dollars.

We showed that the data could have been recovered even if there was physical damage for 5,000 or less. The company she took her computer for repair, removed the HDD damaged it further and disposed of the drive.

The court found that the blasting company was responsible for the physical HDD and only partially at fault for the data loss because the plaintiff did not do backups. Backups are considered a normal and critical part of doing business.

Onn Henner's picture

Funny fact, the photo in the article (the screen with the task bar) is actually an ad.
It says in Hebrew "Segevision Graphic Designer & Branding" I guess he use it as a royalty free photo, but it is a great advertisement for his business HAHA

David Pavlich's picture

In the end, all he has to do is have an attorney that can convince a jury unless a judge that is computer wise realizes that this guy is a dolt and throws out the case for lack of intelligence.

Ok, we all know to backup. But, backup is not the point here. Backup is a fail-safe measure like renters insurance. What Adobe did was release an upgrade that contained a bug that caused the destruction of data that it should never have. That's like a homeowner who rents a house that he knows is on a sinkhole. Adobe admitted online that this bug erased files not even remotely associated with the cache folder. So, regardless if the user backed up his work, Adobe is at fault. That said, he still has to prove it in court. And, I'm sure he'll be backing up his work from now on.

Oof ouch..
Which reminds me, better check on my backups

Christian Gloor's picture

There are many ways to lose your files. Hardware failure, user error (more often than not) and of course, software bugs. All of these could be prevented with proper backup which should be just another part of your job as a professional photographer or videographer.
Suing the software company for the time you lost to recover your files and projets, fair enough.
Suing them because you were not smart enough to take elementary precautions in the first place is just ridiculous.

Well that is bad. But if that guy didn't have a backup of everyhing, he wasn't very smart either.

Felipe Abarca's picture

Man, this is on him for loosing that much data, 100,000 video clips and in one location; this is just gross incompetence and lack of professionalism, I don't do any professional filming but I got 2 online backups, plus data replicated on 2 NAS locally for all the pictures an videos that I do for my family

On another note, I'm not really surprise, I'm IT and see this everyday on multiple businesses, they see backups as an expense instead of business continuity.