A freelance videographer is suing Adobe for deleting nearly a decade worth of video files due to a bug in Premiere Pro 2017 (vs. 11.1.0). But bug centers around the “clean cache” feature, which enables workflows to store rendered video clips separate from the data files, and can be deleted to make space. But while the Adobe acknowledged the bug and fixed the issue, Dave Cooper says it was too late to help him.
Here’s the basics of Dave Cooper’s plight. The idea behind Premiere’s Clean Cache feature is that Premiere Pro will copy or render clips into a media cache folder, so it can access them quickly when needed. When you no longer need the files, you can delete them. Seems pretty straight forward.
But the bug caused all of Cooper’s data files to be deleted because he placed the clean cache folder in the same master folder as his data. So when he deleted all the files in clean cache, it deleted EVERYTHING in the master folder as well. 100,000 video clips totaling around 500 hours of work.
Since Cooper didn’t have a backup (seriously?!) of his data, he tried to use file recovery software to restore them. After days of attempts, he gave up and is now suing Adobe, whom he says is at fault. Cooper estimates that it cost him $250,000 to create all that video, and he wants additional compensation for lost revenue.
I get it, bugs can unexpectedly wreak havoc on your data files. Recently, a bug in Windows 10 caused the same issue after users upgraded, forcing Microsoft to pull the update altogether. So this can happen. But when you look at Cooper’s workflow, and how he wasn’t in the habit of backing up his crucial data, data that he makes a living with, he was really operating on borrowed time.
Additionally, Premiere lets you put the cache folder anywhere, and Cooper foolishly placed his Cache Folder in the same master folder as his source video data. Adobe recommends that the Media Cache folder be separate from the data folder as a precaution, and Cooper didn’t heed the warning. Others who reported the bug, lost data as well, but they had backups, so they were able to recover it and move on. Cooper doesn’t have that option.
There’s fault, and there’s responsibility. You can argue that Adobe is at fault, for the bug, which they have acknowledged and quickly fixed. Adobe had a similar problem in Creative Cloud back in 2016, which deleted data from users who logged in with their Macs. The sad fact is, that software is complicated, and sometimes, bugs occur.
But Cooper has to be the one responsible for his own data. Since he chose not to have a backup strategy, if it wasn’t the Adobe bug, he certainly would have lost it to a crashed hard drive, or some other malady. The key is to adopt a 3-2-1 backup strategy, as outlined at DPBestFlow.org. Three back-ups, on two different forms of media, one off site.
That may sound harsh. But if your data is your life, if it’s truly the tools to make your living, then you should do everything to guard it. A proper workflow that includes a proper backup.
Larry Jordan will be talking about backup and media management on this week’s edition of the Digital Production Buzz Podcast. Listen in on Thursday, 6pm PT here on tips to properly handle your media.