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Do you know that your flash work can be theft?
Posted 06 Apr 2005 10:00:36
SWF is an open-format, that’s why some tools exist that can re-engineer your .swf file back to a .fla with every shape, resource and even actionscript. Do you consider protecting your flash work?
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www.flzone.net/showDetail.asp?TypeId=11&NewsId=9555
Replies
Replied 06 Apr 2005 19:50:07
<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>SWF is an open-format, that’s why some tools exist that can re-engineer your .swf file back to a .fla with every shape, resource and even actionscript. Do you consider protecting your flash work?<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>
Ya, I hate this part of it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Chris Charlton <i>- DMXzone Manager</i>
<font size=1>[ Studio MX/MX2004 | PHP/ASP | SQL | XHTML/CSS | XML | Actionscript | Web Accessibility | MX Extensibility ]</font id=size1>
Replied 07 Apr 2005 07:41:31
is someone wants to steal it, then they're going to steal it, simple as that.

i'll admit i've deconstructed a .swf from a website before, but only to find out how a certain piece of actionscript worked. never used their actual work.

my friend won a legal copyright battle last year with against a major newspaper here in the uk, for them stealing a photo from his website. but face it, unless he didn't see that as a full page spread, your never gonna find your work on the web, its just too big.

i'm much more concerned with securing my work against script kiddie hackers.

regards

Dave Thomas
<b>DMX Zone Manager</b>
Replied 07 Apr 2005 08:51:38
<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
is someone wants to steal it, then they're going to steal it, simple as that.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

Would you say that since SWF is an open-format, it can't be protected?

Replied 07 Apr 2005 09:00:26
no, all i was implying was if someone really wants that particular piece of flash, there are a number of ways he can get it.

1. his/her cache
2. any number of swf extraction programmes, eg SoThink SWF Extractor, does exactly what the title says, and gives 100% info from the swf.

but i wouldn't let this put you off building in flash. there has web site extraction software around for years, and it didn't stop the web did it <img src=../images/dmxzone/forum/icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle>

regards

Dave Thomas
<b>DMX Zone Manager</b>
Replied 07 Apr 2005 23:01:59
I think now at days, extension/component makers may feel the burn along with web-designers. If people dissect a new text-effect that's on some new movie site, it'll be done first with thought, then maybe kracked code... and hopefully then it gets expanded on since it's "leaked". We can't prevent ingenuity and enhancement.

On the web, except gaming, nothing's entriely new; everything is presentation of data. Remember, (X)HTML/XML was "flat" so here came Flash (first Shockwave but that's a whole other generation of stories). Do we oh so forget that websites are (just) interactive pamphlets of who we are, what we do, and what we're selling - perfect for portfolios, and online ordering.


How about a few scenarios of different weights:
<ul>

<li><b>Beginner</b> Designer/Developer - Small sites are usually early client work or learning experience. Not really expecting a "new" factor except in design/style/execution. Medium sites are usually cool to work on since they're larger projects. Proper execution, like loading images (JPG/SWF) and text (XML/TXT) help seperate the 300K site form the 30K sites (with 300K of content). Resources at hand: Tutorials, Forums, FlashKit, and Extensions (free/buy). Highest alarm is design theft and possible concept theft. Anyone who uses stolen designs falls to their doom when asked to make drastic changes to areas they have no clue how was made.</li>

<li><b>Savvy</b> Designer/Developer or <b>Small Firm</b> - Takes usually at least a few weeks, design goes through revisions, so definitly costed time. Actionscript is used to automate certain areas, like content loading (XML,TXT, database), and some interactivity. Possible "wow"/"new" factor, a few diamond-in-the-ruffs. Alarms here are design theft, concept theft, and possibly code kracking. Experimental sites may loose in the "we only have" showoff arena, since someone kracks their SWF.</li>

<li><b>Advanced</b> Designer/Developer or <b>Firm</b> - High-Profile sites (Entertainment/Marketing/Commercial), Promo & MicroSites, Experimental sites, XML/Database Integration, and Interactivity. Takes weeks-months. Actionscript used to automate, dynamic content and interactivity, usually high design, maybe a "wow"/"new" factor. Alarms here are design/concept theft, possible code kracking, and wanna-be sites or buzz die down.</li>
</ul>

So, where are you in the list?

<b>If you're in a firm and are a bean counter, then you don't have much to worry.</b> Why not worry? Well, if your clients keep coming and some work end up semi-high profile then you have the means to get Press Releases done, and get the word out in links, blogs, and word-of-marketing-mouth. People will <i>know</i> what you can do and what you've done. Copycats will be spotted a mile away. Keep pulling in your contracts and people will only copy/krack work that's released to the public and live, so you're probably already on other horizons by the time people start dissecting your hip new thing. You have a higher chance of paying dues and becoming Macromedia Partners so your creations will get you web buzz even further. Big ups to $$$!

<b>If you're a in the middle (small firm, independant)</b>, my recommendation is again: Adjust Resources & Strategy. Meaning? Are you doing too many revisions/mockups to where a stolen design will hurt you? Hope not. Are you spending too much time coding similar things again and again? Look into <i>prototypes</i> & <i>prototyping</i>, classes, and effecient Actionscript usage. Don't be hurt, you may need training and it's out there. You can be hurt if you expect a heavy return on an idea. Shoot low, party when it's high! I personally use FlashKit as a semi-final resource, and it's never been a "how to do it", it's always I find something that's basic and I recode most of it anyway and like my code in the end. Prototype resources and collection sites are all over Google, so don't say there isn't any out there.

... hope that wasn't off topic, just was long to type.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Chris Charlton <i>- DMXzone Manager</i>
<font size=1>[ Studio MX/MX2004 | PHP/ASP | SQL | XHTML/CSS | XML | Actionscript | Web Accessibility | MX Extensibility ]</font id=size1>
Replied 07 Apr 2005 23:55:16
dude u talk too much <img src=../images/dmxzone/forum/icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle>

regards

Dave Thomas
<b>DMX Zone Manager</b>
Replied 08 Apr 2005 08:54:54
For light reading. www.markme.com/mesh/archives/007435.cfm

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Chris Charlton <i>- DMXzone Manager</i>
<font size=1>[ Studio MX/MX2004 | PHP/ASP | SQL | XHTML/CSS | XML | Actionscript | Web Accessibility | MX Extensibility ]</font id=size1>
Replied 13 Apr 2005 15:23:09
I designed my first website about 2 weeks ago. Everything I've done was on my own reading at the WC3 schools Online web tutorials and googled w/ javascript. I did everything in notepad except for the image mapping on one page and the flash done in swish max. All graphics are my own (which I will never say Im a graphic artist or a "webmaster/mistress", but I can say it looks like noone elses because I did it. Im a new designer (if I can call myself that yet) and I wouldnt place myself in any of those categories aforementioned.

If people can steal my swf files and read them, all the power to them, although I think its highly unlikely anyone would steal from my site. It's not professional enough to make anyone want to do that. (just truth).

For those people who are worthy and have a great site, I can understand your concern of theft.



www.signifysound.net
Replied 01 Aug 2006 21:45:57
Have you given any thought to trying to prevent your Swf/XML combos from being stolen (not decompiled as that is not necessary)? Adding possibly a domain value in the extension so that the compiled Swf will only run on that domain and can't be copied to others?

Thanks,

James.
Replied 02 Aug 2006 11:39:52
Even if you add a domain check it can be bypassed since when you have decompiled it you can change the actionscript. It only stops a few people who don't know about decompilers and only try to copy the swf.

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Patrick Woldberg
Web Developer at Dynamic Zones
Administrator at DMXzone.com, FLzone.net, FWzone.net and DNzone.com
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Replied 24 Jun 2007 16:27:55
Hey Guys,

Its true that swf file can be decompiled to FLA, but if you want to by any chance save your coding from being stolen then write your code in the AS files and include them when you publish your FLA; but when you deliver the swf you have advantage of not handing over the AS files as they are not needed at run time. This may save your code from being stolen.

Same also applies to the classes you create for your task.

As ever,

Vinayak Kadam
Replied 03 May 2009 03:52:36
Hi Dave,

If you are worried about kiddie hackers and swf files try SwfScan. It tells you where potential loopholes are and how to fix them. Flash is one of the most common ways hackers force cross site scripting. Scanning the code for security holes can make it a lot harder.

I also find that putting the code into a .js file and linking to it through a script also makes it harder as the code is not on the actual page but a seperate file. File permissions should also be checked and the file made read only, many people believe that a file is safe but find out too late it has global write permissions. I always check each file and if a file is changed and uploaded I reset the read only attribute, most people do not realise that uploading a file and replacing an existing one drops the read only permission making it open season. Don't just rely on folders being read only make sure files are too.

I hope others find this useful as well.

Paul Sims
CEE Worldwide Entertainment Agency
Replied 07 Jul 2010 09:57:37
Is that true?
Terriable.

Why they do that?
Replied 11 Jul 2010 12:54:13
Have you given any thought to trying to prevent your Swf/XML combos from being stolen (not decompiled as that is not necessary)? Adding possibly a domain value in the extension so that the compiled Swf will only run on that domain and can't be copied to others?

Thanks,

Lee
Replied 07 Jun 2011 09:10:00
Have you given any thought to trying to prevent your Swf/XML combos from being stolen (not decompiled as that is not necessary)? Adding possibly a domain value in the extension so that the compiled Swf will only run on that domain and can't be copied to others?

Thanks,
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