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  1. #1
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    Post Easier to protect your custom graphics in Flash (vs. DHTML)?

    I have an idea for a new Web application and have been researching the possible steps toward development. It could be developed in Flash but probably also in DHTML. I'm trying to figure out which would be the better approach.

    One consideration has to do with graphics protection. The app will have a bunch of custom graphics that I would like to protect from being freely copied. My impression is that it's hard (or impossible?) to download graphics from a Flash application, and much easier to download them from a site developed in JavaScript / DOM. Can anyone tell me whether this is true or not? I'll have to spend some real money getting the graphics made and it won't be easy to preserve their value if they can be downloaded easily.

    Would appreciate any input you can give me.
    Last edited by Dan O'Brien; 07-11-2010 at 08:36 PM.

  • #2
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    Its just as easy to pull graphics out of flash files as it is to pull them out of any webpage. Its not hard.. and it's not even close to impossible.

    The only thing I can suggest is to put large (semi-transparent) watermarks over anything that you dont want used without your permission. Thats really the only way to protect your images.. there is really no other way to protect a digital file besides not putting it online.

  • #3
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    panther, thanks very much for your reply. I really appreciate the information you have provided and it will help me get my thoughts together on what to do next

  • #4
    Regular Coder meth's Avatar
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    Your only real protection is a watermark if that's acceptable. Embedding images in flash only adds a few more steps to extract them (swf decompilers). Where a watermark wouldn't be appropriate, there's a few layers of protection:-

    -Disable the context menu for images with JS
    -Hide the images when window/tab looses focus (to launch another app to take a screenshot) with JS
    -Display images with JS enabled only
    -Hide images behind transparent slices
    -Serve images with session based scripts (impossible to leech or display outside of the webpage)
    -Embed a swf that constantly writes garbage to the clipboard (overwriting screen grabs)
    -Use image slices and glue together on the page (forces user to edit images together)
    -Use headers to stop webpage caching (saving image from browser cache)

    Despite these current methods of protecting images, FF's Page Info->Media Tab->Save image as is hard to beat.

    Here's a link to a web page designed to use most of the image protection methods above. I'll repost it for a week or so. It was originally done in '07 to explore exactly what you're looking into. Nothing has changed in the last 3 years. This is about as good as image protection gets unfortunately.

    100% sure-fire way? Don't digitize your images or publish them to the web.
    I do Web Design, Brisbane based.
    More time spent in PHP/MySQL Web Development.
    And Search Engine Optimisation takes up the rest of it.

  • #5
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    Meth - not sure if something in the technology has broken since the page was created, but Print Screen grabbed the image and I was able to paste it into photoshop. I even waited several seconds between pressing the button and pasting.

  • #6
    Regular Coder meth's Avatar
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    Yeah, probably. If flash is enabled, the swf writes 'copy disabled' to the clipboard over and over. However flash 10 may need different actionscript to do the same. Lets just pretend it works huh. I only open flash when my life depends on it.
    I do Web Design, Brisbane based.
    More time spent in PHP/MySQL Web Development.
    And Search Engine Optimisation takes up the rest of it.


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