Using Adobe SDK’s with Open Source

Developers have been asking me about developing plug-ins using a combination of the Adobe SDK’s and open source. The question is most simply stated “Can I write a plug-in using a combination of open source and Adobe SDK’s, and then distribute the source code?”

First, let’s be very clear. Adobe SDK’s are NOT open source. They are available for download (except for Acrobat and Photoshop, which require special permission) BUT that does NOT make them Open Source. You do not have permission to re-distribute Adobe SDK’s.Now that we understand each other, the answer is – we don’t control code you write. If you want to write a plug-in, then distribute your source via open source license, that’s fine with us – as long as you don’t include the Adobe SDK’s. You can include details on where to get the necessary libraries and documentation, which is in keeping with the open source agreements.If you are curious, you can take a look at some of the trademark agreements at the way – Adobe does use some open source. Take a look at . Also, you might want to take a look at

2 Responses to Using Adobe SDK’s with Open Source

  1. Gunar says:

    Mark -You don’t want to forget Adobe XMP (Extensible Metadata Platform). It is available via open source license from: is also a prerelease posting of the new XMP libraries on labs: Product Manager

  2. Bruce Bullis says:

    The fine folks at neo-sapien wrote an open source flame generation plug-in for After Effects. They installed their sample project into the same directory as our SDK, so they were in the right position for relative #includes without having to ship any of our copyrighted headers. Worked fine.-bbb