9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 10, 2008 6:48 PM by Ned Murphy

    Can they really crack my file?

      Hi All;
      I'm curious. I read about programs that can decompile my .swf & re-open my full flash file and all its scripting, graphics etc. Is this fact or fiction? Any information regarding this would be most appreciated.
        • 1. Re: Can they really crack my file?
          Ned Murphy Adobe Community Professional & MVP
          It's a fact. Just search Flash decompiler on Google and you'll find a number of them available.
          • 2. Re: Can they really crack my file?
            GmanGB Level 1
            Yes - I see that now. I've tried it. It works pretty good. Except there is certainly some reformatting and scripting to reapply but all the graphics and everythings available. I wonder why Adobe isn't going to do something about this fact? Especially since people spend hours scripting and making content, and some dude/ette can just come along and rip it off.
            Oh the blunt reality is frightful.
            cheap encryption solution needed!!

            What do others think about this? This is a discussion thread.

            • 3. Re: Can they really crack my file?
              Ned Murphy Adobe Community Professional & MVP
              I know there are plenty of folks who don't like it... my primary client being one of them. He wants to protect the multitude of Flash-based copyrighted works I made for him, but can't get them marketed until he solves the theft issue... getting around it ain't cheap.
              • 4. Re: Can they really crack my file?
                Walter Elias Level 2
                There are ActionScript obfuscators you can use. These convert your AS into incomprehensible-looking character strings, which will discourage casual script thieves. But they can also mess up your scripting. In reality one has to accept the fact that just about any code can be cracked.

                You can also break up your files into numerous dynamically-loaded SWFs. Again, this places obstacles in front of casual thieves. But a real determined, professional thief will get in, no matter how many locks you put on your doors.

                I recall back in the days of Netscape 0.9, when they introduced the right-click function to steal images out of web pages, I wrote them an angry-as-hell letter, as I started seeing my own artwork appearing on others' pages. They actually wrote back in detail to say: "Tough beans." They pointed out that anyone with basic HTML knowledge can steal the images anyway, with or without the right-click function.

                It's going to be the same with ActionScript always, I'm afraid.
                • 5. Re: Can they really crack my file?
                  GmanGB Level 1
                  Obfusicators for all!
                  Geez if someone wanted to make some money. But only if it works. Like, I don't know why Adobe wouldn't look after it. Certainly there must be a way. Obama? Can you help?
                  • 6. Re: Can they really crack my file?
                    martincou Level 3

                    I do use Sothink SWF Decompiler. Not to steal work from other, but to learn from other. It's a great way to look, try to understand and learn from the one who built great flash website. I know some out there steal code and/or media (images, sounds, etc...) but it's not my case ... According to me, it's one of the best way to learn AS. I use Flash since version 5 and now, Flash websites are more and more complicated. So to keep me up to date on best coding techniques, I do use that kind of software.

                    Thanks !
                    • 7. Re: Can they really crack my file?
                      GmanGB Level 1
                      The whole world is free and yours for the taking. Pilfer and "learn" - copy and paste - whatever you like ! Get there the easy way. I doubt you'll make anything you can truly call your own.
                      May you at least give back somewhere in you're life.

                      • 8. Can they really crack my file?
                        Walter Elias Level 2
                        I see nothing wrong with Martyn's approach to learning. Picasso once said "Mediocre artists borrow, great artists steal."

                        I learned everything I know about illustration by copying drawings and thus getting the feel for it. After copying enough other artists' styles, my work started looking like a hybrid...in other words, nobody's style but mine. Finally I could expand from there into a truly unique style. Can't seem to draw a woman's manicured hand holding a gun? Look for someone else's drawing of the same and then copy it into my work. Next time I'll be able to doit on my own.

                        I learned a lot about animation by tracing, frame by frame, over others' work, and then getting the feel for it. I learned everything I know about cooking by copying my college roommate, who was a brilliant chef, and adapting his style to my own tastes. And I learned everything I know about ActionScript by copying the examples in books and adapting them. Not much different than looking at others' code from decompiled files and figuring out "How'd they do that?"

                        I give back by publishing my work. If a new generation of artists and animators steal ideas from me, then as long as it's just part of their learning process, I feel I am part of the evolution of art and design.

                        Once you copy enough other people's work, your own style develops from it. Nobody can be expected to learn art, design, programming, or even cooking without any reference to the work of others. As long as Flash files can be decompiled, they remain a wealth of information for legitimate students of ActionScript.
                        • 9. Can they really crack my file?
                          Ned Murphy Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                          Here's some web content I just copied for my own use here....

                          Be nice. .... Personal attacks and insults are never appropriate. (Adobe forums posting guidelines)

                          If you want a discussion, you should not show disrespect towards contributors.