Copy Protection From All Copy Including Screen Recording
Copy Protect Flash SWF Video

How To Copy Protect Flash SWF?

A commonly asked question is "how can I protect my Flash videos? " and there are a few approaches to Flash protection, some of which are secure while others are merely a scam to rope in ignorant people. The main difference between the solutions that are really secure and the ones that aren't is that anything relying on Flash for protection can never be properly secured.

protect-flash-how   Copy Protecting Flash Or Using Flash To Copy Protect?

The first image protection solutions used image encryption inside a security applet, and because it prevented right click image saves many made the assumption that wrapping an image in an applet provided suitable protection for a image. Well it did for mouse saves, but that's where it ended because unless the image was encrypted it could be downloaded directly from the file link, the parameter in the applet code to record the exact image location on the web site.

So when Flash was released and it was found that by wrapping an image in Flash that it was protected from mouse saves, so it too was promoted as a form of copy protection for images to the unsuspecting. Now it's not known if those who create and promote useless copy protection solutions are actually deceiving anyone intentionally or whether they are deceiving themselves through ignorance, but not too long ago LockLizard was inundating the web with propaganda about how they are a real big deal in the copy protection industry, yet they released a solution for copy protecting Flash that didn't even work. In fact the feature that they were relying on was pulled from the Flash API because it was found to be deceiving to many people who were ignorant of the fact not everyone in the world uses the same web browser.

flash-protect-limitations   The Limitations Of Using Flash To Protect Anything

Flash used to provide an option for preventing Printscreen, but it was doomed to failure because it used code that only worked in the Internet Explorer web browser, and Flash being based on ActionScript which has the same restricted security permissions as JavaScript, can do absolutely nothing at all at system level which is where one needs to be before thinking about manipulation of the clipboard.

But Flash is supported across all computer platforms, and it can be used to create a variety of apps that will run on most devices including iToys and mobile phones. Unfortunately it can never be used to properly secure a file or provide copy protection that can't be easily undone. In fact not too long ago a new startup in the copy protection industry known as WatchDox promoted a secure document service using Flash to wrap the "attached" files. Users could send a message with file attachments and to view the message the recipient needed to log into a web portal and read it online. Surprisingly this company had some success mainly because those evaluating it could only use Internet Explorer in-house, and if ever those people sent a message outside of their company, then it would have been most embarrassing because there was no "copy protection" at all. Startups like this are more interested in manipulating public share investors with propaganda rather than real applications. They come and often go just as quickly.

On it's own Flash cannot prevent anyone from using Printscreen or screen capture and it's here that there needs to be a reality check because only on Windows is such copy control possible. So anyone wanting to protect media from copy has to decide whether for the sake of such a small minority of users with Mac and Linux operating systems, should they forego copy protection and risk their livelihood, or forget about that infinitesimal minority of 5% and get on with it.

A recent survey showed that many modern comic book publishers are using Flash to present their comics. They are only available for reading online for about $5 or as hard copy for $45. The comic books cannot be downloaded, and they cannot be read locally. Some free comics can be downloaded and they are using a variety of e-readers and PDF but without protection.

When using Flash to protect and display anything online, if they using a raw URL for the file resource then it's not secure and any site spidering software can grab all such files. If the Flash player is using an encrypted URL protected by user session or using an encrypted/wrapped file then they will need to be domain locked and obfuscated. Domain locking of media was first developed by ArtistScope and is most useful for ensuring that content can only be used on the domain for which it was intended. However it is possible to exploit domain lock, especially with Flash, by setting up a web site and DNS for the domain in an intranet. Anyone with Windows Server or a free distribution of Linux can do this quite easily.

real-flash-protection   Real Copy Protection For Flash

Flash can be decompiled and it's powerless to protect even itself. Even it's own encryption requires that the decryption key be stored inside itself thus making it most insecure. But Flash is a fantastic medium for embodying other media and enhancing its display with features like flip-book and magnification, panorama effects and so on, so let it do what it's best for, and leave the copy protection to a more robust and impenetrable solution. Also, encrypting files and obfuscating them with domain lock is not an exciting chore especially when you have to do it all over again just to update its contents. So the ideal solution is to use an additional and separate application for the copy protection part.

online-flash-protection   Copy Protecting Flash For Online View

For the copy protection of Flash while viewed online, from a web site using a web browser, there are two (2) most secure solutions available. Each solution provides copy protection from all methods of copy and save including Printscreen and screen capture software.

flash-protection-plugin   Copy Protecting Flash Online Using A Web Browser Plugin

This method utilizes a web browser plugin to apply a layer of control preventing copy and capture of a web page's content while in view. The solution is simple to deploy as all it requires is some html code added to the web page, and it can be used on absolutely any type of web page hosted on any type of web server. Protection is most effective because if a user doesn't have the plugin already installed they are redirected to download and install it. Only when the plugin is installed and active can a user view the copy protected page. CopySafe Web will prevent copy of a web page and anything displayed on that page whether it be images, Flash, PDF or video. For evaluation please see the CopySafe Web demos online.

flash-protection-browser   Copy Protecting Flash Online Using A Secure Web Browser

While using a plugin to copy protect will do the job, due to the inherent nature of web browsers the situation cannot be absolutely secure like it can be when using a secure web browser specially designed to protect web content instead of exploiting it. The ASPS Web Reader is the only solution of this caliber and absolutely all content and media that can be displayed in the browser's window is most securely protected from all manner of copy without any threat of data leakage or cache retrieval. For evaluation you can download the ASPS Web Reader and explore the demo links from its start page. This solution is most ideal for online tutorials that use PDF and Flash.

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