12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 5, 2009 3:28 PM by kglad

    Flash CS4

    bratmode

      Hello,

       

      I'm new to Flash CS4 and have no training at all.  I had a web designer develop my flash files for my site and now they will not give me the .fla files, so that I can update/change them.  I have dowloaded both my .swf files off of my server to try and change them, but I'm not having any luck.  HELP!!!

       

      I'm looking for any tips/help that anyone is willing to share/give. 

       

      Thanks,

      bratmode

        • 1. Re: Flash CS4
          kglad Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          you'll need to use a decompiler to create editable flas from your swf files.

          • 2. Re: Flash CS4
            bratmode Level 1

            Where do I get one?  Can I download one for free on the internet?

            • 3. Re: Flash CS4
              Ned Murphy Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Not to be a stick in the mud, but you may want to check out copyright law before you jump into trying to change the files.  They may not be yours to change.  Your best bet is to see what your contract with the designer says for starters.

              • 4. Re: Flash CS4
                bratmode Level 1

                Thanks for the concern Ned, but I can asure you; I own the files.

                • 5. Re: Flash CS4
                  Ned Murphy Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I don't doubt you own the files, but that is not the same as owning the copyright to them.  It's much like owning a music CD or a video... your rights to use them are limited.  I won't dwell on it, but it's something that's better understood than ignored.

                  • 6. Re: Flash CS4
                    kglad Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    (do you ever do work for clients and not give them the source files?  i would think this would need to be made explicit at the start and, even if agreed upon by the client, would have a tendency to cause a dissatisfied client.)

                    • 7. Re: Flash CS4
                      Ned Murphy Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      ( I never withhold source files--I'm easy... though I don't normally hand them over until the request is made... most clients state that up front though.  So the only reason I can see someone withholding the files is for copyright purposes, meaning they expect you have to go thru them for changes... or they are in some feud with the client and being nasty... )

                      • 8. Re: Flash CS4
                        bratmode Level 1

                        No, I do not keep the source files; every client gets them on a cd.  This way, they have them.  My personal opinion is that, this company is holding the files as ransom, so I will have to pay them ridiculously to get them changed.

                        • 9. Re: Flash CS4
                          kglad Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          exactly.

                           

                          i don't give out the source files until i'm paid but otherwise withholding them and charging a client for minor changes the client could make themselves is just going to make an unhappy client and no repeat business.  and even if you hold their source files hostage and they pay you for changes, they're not likely to be happy about it and they're not likely to ask you to help with future projects.

                           

                          i think refusing to give the source files is bad for business and short-sighted.

                          • 10. Re: Flash CS4
                            Ned Murphy Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            I charge for my time, so I consider any byproducts of my effort to be paid for and owned by the client.  It's common sense to do what you can within reason to help out clients. 

                             

                            Based on what I see in a freelancing service I subsribe to, there's apparently a sufficient number of folks out there who don't have common sense, and do retain source materials to try to force return work.  It wouldn't surprise me if some probably going as far as threatening to pursue copyright violation. This is made evident by people posting projects that dedicate a good amount of wording to explicitly state that they will receive all relevant materials and have all copyright assigned to them in writing... it's easy to see they've been burned before.

                            • 11. Re: Flash CS4
                              Rothrock Level 5

                              I have to disagree. I came from a print background. I feel that the source files from layered PSDs to FLAs are mine. The client hired me to make a brochure or website for them and that is what they got.

                               

                              Just like professional photographers keep the negatives.

                               

                              I've had lots of clients where someone's "nephew" took one night course in design and now they are going to take my hard work and give it to them. In addition to having put in all the work to design, create, and build something new you never know how a cut-rate replacement designer/developer will mess it up. And if it was something you were proud of and have linked in your portfolio it could be close enough to the original that somebody doesn't realize it wasn't actually your work.

                               

                              Of course if an employer takes me on salary with benefits and retirment and so on, well then they own it all. But companies hire freelancers because it is cheaper for them to do so.

                               

                              I make it clear to my clients up front that the source files belong to me and that if they want them they will need to pay for them. If I leave a client I do give them the files, but if a client leaves me....

                               

                              Of course this is mostly theoretical because I haven't been freelancing for a few years now and back when I did I had great relationships with all my clients. They all had experiences with professional photographers and they understood the similarities.

                               

                              I don't know the deal the OP made with their designer, but unless it is clearly spelled out you might not own the FLA files. The swfs are clearly yours since they were delivered to you. Depending upon the value of the items and the amount of work to recreate them it may be simpler just to chalk this up to a learning experience and move on.

                              • 12. Re: Flash CS4
                                kglad Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                that's an interesting perspective, rr.  i'll think about that.