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Thread: stolen game ?

  1. #1
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    A game I wrote recently and submitted to Flashkit has suddenly appeared on http://www.virgula.com.br without my consent.

    This is not just a linked paged to my swf but actually has their own swf with a different name.

    Incidentally the version of the game they have is different from the one I submitted to FK so there is no blame whatsoever being attached here.

    Does anyone know how these people manage to get hold of my swf ? All I can think is that they hacked into my site but I dont see how they could.

    Am I being naive ? Is it easy to rip stuff from other sites ?

    I'm thoroughly annoyed and disillusioned by the whole thing - I dont feel like writing any more games ever again.


    :-((((

    stotty.

    p.s i've asked them to remove the swf but as the site is Brazilian (Portugese ?) I find it difficult to read what their site means

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mad-Sci's Avatar
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    can you post the links for both games..it seems I cant find wich one is the stollen one..

  3. #3
    ScratchingEverything

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    Copyright it...

    check this out in the tutorials section, there is a tutorial about how to protect your swf...
    you just add an extra layer on top of everything, as action it loads a external swf, when you normally load the game nothing happens in that layer, but when people rip your game and put it on their site you upload the external SWF and it will have a message like : STOLEN STOLEN STOLEN or something and this wont happen again

    Its really ****ty what people do so better start protecting your ideas !


  4. #4
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    That suxs. But lets face it, theres no way your gonna 100% protect your swfs period. First off, you don't "Hack" to retrieve your swf. You fire open getright and type the url to the swf and can easily download it this way. And as far as altering the swf, ActionScript Viewer can easily allow you to preform this job, which you can thank the good ol boys over there at buraks.com, excellent tool by the way!

    That is too bad, but unfortunatly theres nothing that can be done to 'secure your flash files'. Perhaps in the future, but I hardly doubt it.

    However I do believe that one way you could possibly protect your file, would be to have some sort of backend scripting to actually have the file be able to run. With this method, it would then be completely useless for the culprit to have run on there server. Perhaps this is an idea.
    [Edited by 88888888 on 06-27-2001 at 05:12 PM]

  5. #5
    Senior Member ironmallet's Avatar
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    there is but one solution to thwart those who would like to steal you creations. It's a hard reality but it works and it's in use in other endeavors. Progression. The only thing you can really do is keep getting better. Don't despair, keep creating and progressing and think of the emptiness that thieves have to live with. Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery but theft is the lowest form of contempt. BTW, don't put a link to their site in your post for pete's sake. That's feeding the dog that bit you.

    regards from a flash believer....

  6. #6
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    cheers to everyone who replied.

    its restored my faith in flash.


  7. #7
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    There's several things you can do...

    - Always include very prominent logos and links to your own sites in the game. If someone unauthorized uses the game, at least you can look at it as "free advertising". If your own site is worthy of visitors, you'll eventually gain new visitors via that unauthorized use.

    - As well as the above, I have added a big "REGISTER NOW" button in my one game that is here on Flashkit. Believe it or not, people use it. So lots of sites who just link their game section to Flashkit pages are actually feeding me new additions to my mailing list. Eventually those people will receive my mailings and hopefully be drawn to my own site(s). So again I gain a quasi advantage.

    Despite these advantages, it does suck to have your game all over the net without getting paid. But remember that most of those unethical sites wouldn't pay you in the first place. So ask yourself what's best for you and the game. Should they take it down? Or are they giving you "exposure"?

    Right now, despite what I listed above, I am now cracking down on sites that link to Flashkit or got the SWF from somewhere else because the web has too many copies of it and it reduces its "value". I also have it on my own site and would rather build a following at my site than someone else's (who hasnt paid for it!). I email offenders and tell them to either link to one of MY pages with the same game, or take the game down. (This way, I'm the one getting banner impressions). Most of the time they agree and link to my page.

    It's a bit difficult sometimes, because alot of these sites are in foreign languages. But if you look carefully you usually can find a contact email SOMEWHERE.

    Good luck!

    PS: Getting your SWF is as easy as doing this:
    1. View the game in Internet Explorer.
    2. Go to FILE FIND (from the START menu)
    3. Search for *.swf, and under DATE select "created in last 1 days)
    4. Wait for all results to appear, then sort the results in the order of their date (or "modified" I think it is).
    5. Just drag and drop each SWF file into Internet Explorer until you see that you found the one you wanted.

    That's it.
    Always remember to make your SWF "protect from import"!

    [Edited by Ray Beez on 06-28-2001 at 02:37 PM]

  8. #8
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    Hey Ray,

    Could you post a sample of the letter you use to have sites register or remove your game. I'm sure this would be a useful tool on this board.

    Thank-you

    rsnail

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    More in another thread

    More discussion about this same subject is going on in this thread: http://board.flashkit.com/board/show...hreadid=166927

    As for the "letter", for now I'm very informal. I've only started to crack down recently, so I start by just being casual and nice, but to the point. In just 2 - 3 sentences I state that they are using my game (name the game), I include their URL (to show them exactly where and what on their site is at issue--helpful if english isn't their first language.) And then I state quite simply, "please remove the game from your site, or link to this specially constructed page: ....." (I set up pages on my own site for people to link to from other sites. If they want free games, fine. But I want the banner impressions!)


    Example email I send:
    -------------------------------------
    I have recently discovered that your website features our game "Spore Cubes" at this URL: http//www.site.com/page.htm

    We did not grant you permission to use our game on your site. We must ask you to please remove the game or instead you may link to one of our specially designed "link-to" pages. The URLs can be found here: http://www.lilgames.com/link-to.shtml

    Please reply, and thank you for your cooperation.

    Sincerely,
    Rene Boutin
    SPORE Productions
    -------------------------------------



    Phase 2 coming soon: Sites who ignore me will receive something that "sounds legal and serious". ;-)

    -RB

  10. #10
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    Just to add a little to Ray Beez suggestions.
    If the thief doesn't reply to your emails or won't take the game down, you could try this:
    Do a Whois lookup at http://www.networksolutions.com and type in the domain of the thieves site something like http://www.bigcompany.com. You should be able to find an email address there. Send that guy an email stating that one of his users has stolen your work and I'm pretty sure he's going to react.

  11. #11
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    Smile never get caught without protection...

    A quick way to protect ur swfs is using the _level0._url variable. By checking if this string is the same is the url path where ur movie is located, you can enable or disable it on the first frame.

    It's not 100% fool proof, but you'd have to be fairly smart to get around it.

    For a demo try ripping my footer and see what happens.

    Mike

    Or click here:
    http://hammer.prohosting.com/~beeline/footer.swf?t=1
    [Edited by beelineuk on 06-30-2001 at 09:24 PM]

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    Is that Flash 5 only? What's the Flash 4 equivalent?


  13. #13

    Re: never get caught without protection...

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by beelineuk
    [B]A quick way to protect ur swfs is using the _level0._url variable. QUOTE]

    What is the code your are refering to? I tried to figure it out & could not. Please post it for the rest of us to be able use. Thanks!

    BTW - i tried to download your swf & play it on my machine & did not, so good job.

  14. #14
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    hi there,

    yep that's flash 5 only, for flash 4 u would have to try something more complex.

    e.g load variables from a cgi script (referenced by a relative path), which would feed back a password to enable your game on that server. You could even write ur cgi script to check the referrer id in the header for extra protection.

    It kind of defeats the purpose of my original post which was a quick and easy way to do it, however flash 5 only.

    As I said it's not 100% fool proof, and any flash guru could prob hack it in 2 minutes, but then again it will stop any tom/dick/jane coping ur swfs and using them elsewhere.

    The code is just:

    if (_level0._url eq "http://www.yourHostServer.com") {
    code to init game
    } else {
    code to disable game
    }

    Simple really.

    If you can't get it to work, post your swf to the server where it will be hosted, and trace _level0._url to a big text box on screen. Use this in the code above in place of
    "http://www.yourHostServer.com" and it should work

    If you still have probs let me know.

    Mike


  15. #15
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    Originally posted by beelineuk
    for flash 4 u would have to try something more complex.

    e.g load variables from a cgi script (referenced by a relative path), which would feed back a password to enable your game on that server. You could even write ur cgi script to check the referrer id in the header for extra protection.
    I've encountered problems with LOADVARIABLES when using Netscape as the browser. I don't think I'd want to go for this protection method, if it risks alienating 20% of my audience...

    RB

  16. #16
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    hi Ray,

    ur right there, Netscape doesn't like loading external files for some reason. u can write convoluted code to get around this by basically repeatedly requesting the data until it's successful, but it's a pain in the arse and very messy.

    That's why the flash 5 method is such a neat solution.

    Personally I gave up trying to write code compatible with Netscape a long time ago. The problems you get for even a simple web site buggers belief. For instance the way it reloads the flash movie every time the user resizes a html frameset with flash embedded... NO!

    Mike

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    Regarding Flash movies re-loading when the frame is re-sized: Are you sure your pages don't contain that "Netscape resize fix" javascript? If you're using Dreamweaver, it adds that javascript in by default. I have had to manually remove it (there's a COMMAND for it).

    RB

  18. #18
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    Ray,

    Flash 4 supports "_url"
    just do something like: set variable showURL = _url
    Then trace "showURL"

    Later

  19. #19
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    Hi there,

    The pages I was having problems with I wrote in notepad without the aid of Dreamweaver, so it's definitely not that. I remember we stripped the whole thing down to it's most basic form, and it was clearly a Netscape novelty.

    It's a while since I was working on this, but I'm pretty sure it was just a case of if you have a frameset containing a flash embed, and you resize the browser, it would reload the movie every time (although a single page with no frameset was ok.) Something like that, and very annoying for what we were doing with it.

    I didn't realise Flash 4 supports _url as well. Sounds ideal for a quick solution for protecting swfs in flash 4 as well as 5. Well there u go!

    Cheers,

    Mike

  20. #20
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Thanks all. I just implemented these techniques into SPORE CUBES over here: http://www.lilgames.com

    -RB

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