Lack of backups on your part does not constitute negligence on your vendor’s part

If you care about your data, back it up.  If you don’t care about your data enough to back it up, don’t tell me it’s your vendor’s fault when something goes awry.  

This is what came to me when I read the article about the Adobe Premier Pro user that lost what he described as $250,000 worth of videos due to a bug in Adobe’s software.  He said that the video cost him more than $250,000 to create, so he is suing Adobe for that amount plus additional damages. Besides the fact that I am pretty sure that Adobe – and every other software and hardware vendor – has a clause in their contract that specifies that data loss is not the responsibility, it’s just common sense. Software and hardware products make mistakes – that’s why we make backups.

Apparently, there was a bug in Adobe Premiere Pro that manifested itself when you stored your original video and Adobe’s cache directory on the same hard drive.  If you cleared your cache, it would delete the original video as well. 

The lawsuit alleges massive negligence on the part of Adobe during their software development and testing process. That’s a really high bar if you ask me.  Even if he is able to prove that they were negligent during the development process, they would easily be able to prove that he was also negligent during his system management process.

If your job is to create video, backup the video. If your job is to create anything, backup whatever it is. I don’t care how reliable your hardware or software is, things happen. That’s why we make backups. I hate to blame the victim here, but as far as I’m concerned he is a victim of himself.

Backup anything important to you

As I’ve already said, this should go without saying. There are too many ways to easily backup your data.   use a cloud-based data protection service. Use a number of open source products and a portable hard drive. I’m not personally a fan of the latter, but it’s still better than nothing. Having all your data stored on a single hard drive is simply asking for trouble.

Use a drive repair service

If you didn’t listen to the last paragraph and you find yourself with data that matters to you and no backups of that data, don’t touch the drive. Immediately look into a drive repair service. They are expensive, but they are your only choice if you didn’t backup your data. And the more you play around with the drive trying to find your data, the less likely they are to be successful. So if you are sitting there in a world of hurt with no backups, turn off your computer and start searching for a drive repair company. Some of them have flat fee services, and others are based on the number of gigabytes they recover for you. But again, if you have no backups, they are your only choice.

Go check your data

If you have computers where you store your data, and you have not yet lost any data, consider yourself lucky. My advice to you is to go check that your backup systems are in working order. If you don’t have a backup system, now is the time to get one.

But lack of backups on your part does not constitute negligence on your vendor’s part.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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Written by W. Curtis Preston (@wcpreston). For those of you unfamiliar with my work, I've specialized in backup & recovery since 1993. I've written the O'Reilly books on backup and have worked with a number of native and commercial tools. I am now Chief Technical Evangelist at Druva, the leading provider of cloud-based data protection and data management tools for endpoints, infrastructure, and cloud applications. These posts reflect my own opinion and are not necessarily the opinion of my employer.