Hi, I'd like to ask someone with experience of the Flash world to straighten some things out for me. I got into an argument with someone who runs a small Flash portal and I need to know if his claims are true.My question is this:
Given that a game is sponsored: Are you allowed to use (for example) a Firefox plugin to grab the game swf and then republish it on your own (commercial) site?
Can you do this without asking permission? Is there a spoken or unspoken agreement between sponsors (like armor games) and anyone who wants to republish those games?This is how it went down:
1) I see this guy asking a developer to update a game to a newer version (in a friendly tone). He then proceeds to say that he has used Firefox to grab the current version and has published it on his own flash portal. But he'd like the developer to update the game so he can grab the newer version and publish that one instead.
2) I figure he is a simple thief and try to tell him off:
Hi. I just thought I should tell you this: It’s ok to have Firefox grab games from sites, if you want to play them locally on your computer. It is, however, very illegal and immoral to grab someones game (without permission) and put it on your own site in order to make money. If you want a game on your site that you do not have permission to publish, simply put a link to the official place of the game.
3) He responds by telling me how the Flash world actually works:
It actually isn’t illegal or immoral at all to grab games and host them on your site, it’s actually encouraged and the exact reasons why kongregate, armor games, bubblebox, and other sites exist and are successful. The rule is this, if there is sponsor branding in a game, whether it be the developer themselves or a company, you’re welcome to spread the game as long as the swf isn’t altered in any way, in fact, these people DEPEND on people such as myself to help spread in the viral process. In addition, if the game is NOT allowed to be grabbed (still in beta, fixing bugs, various other reasons) the game will always be site locked, armor games is a perfect example of this with nearly every new game they sponsor being locked for roughly a week. I’ve been a part of the flash development scene for a number of years now as well, I’ve had 5 sponsored games and talk to Lars of king.com and other sponsors on a regular basis, Greg included. lastly, I know [the developer in question] personally, I’ve reviewed a few of his games on FlashGameLicence.com, another place I’m hugely active in the flash scene. Anyway, not trying to pummel you into the ground with a haha, I’m right, you’re wrong, just figured I’d inform you of how things really are since that was clearly your motive towards me.