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it's pretty lame not to have backward compatibility.
However, I do think maybe you can import a swf file at runtime and it can be made in Flash 8. not sure. Someone in the AS 3.0 group should know.
To add to this topic :), since AVM for flash 8 and flash 9 are different, swf files in as3 and as2 live in different worlds. This means you can load flash 8 movies at runtime but you wont be able to control them at all, just as if they where a JPG file. So in order to have some interaction, the best option is to recompile the SWF in flash 9. You might need to do a lot of reprogramming though.
As a work around the AS3 team suggest to use LocalConnection between them, but to my opinion this might require the same rewriting effort as to transform the movie to flash 9 on the first place.
You could also utilize the ExternalInterface within each, and communicate through JS in the browser. This is an alternative to LocalConnection, which I believe requires that the swfs are loaded separately in the browser, not loaded one within the other.