Interview with Tonypa – Part 2

Categories: Interviews


In Part 1 of our interview with Tonypa, we discussed about how Tonypa usually works on his Flash games. Today, we talk about stealing content and copyright! Read on.

In case you missed it, here is Part 1 of Tonypa interview.

FreeGamesNews: You’ve taken your games offline last year, for stealing content reasons. With thousands of games portals on the web today, suspect methods here and there and your reaction last year, there is may be something to say?

Tonypa: I want to say first that I truly believe most people are actually honest and they respect efforts spent to create any kind of material. The stealing/cracking bunch doesn’t concern the majority. It is clear that anything published in the web is available for thieves running free Flash game portals. I think every new Flash game designer is at start just plain happy if his game is being played and does not worry about the strangers earning money from it. Many people develop Flash games for fun and not for money so they don’t find it a problem at all. But there are also people trying to make a living by creating Flash games and for them of course thousands of shovelware free flash games sites are bad news.

As Flash swf is an open format, it’s very easy to open the compiled swf and then change whatever is included there. Companies like Sothink have been selling decompilers for years under “we only provide tools to recover your own work” excuse and whole this time Macromedia has happily ignored the need to include some kind of protection into swf files. Of course hackers will always be able to crack programs, but making their life at least a little bit harder would be nice. Unfortunately I feel Macromedia has never taken Flash games seriously; they spend much time pushing Flash platform to corporate users and simply don’t care about games.

FreeGamesNews: So, how do you protect your Flash games?

Tonypa: I hope Flash9 will provide some better methods for it, like loading whole compiled binary data from the server. I have placed my newer games on my own sites only and they are pretty much tied up with server scripts which makes stealing swf file pointless. Surely it is difficult enough for many people to understand actionscript so they don’t know how to make php scripts too. Currently it is the only way to protect your online Flash game – make sure it communicates with your server and then placing swf into other site misses all server scripts.

FreeGamesNews: What is your feeling about your Copyright rights?

Tonypa: What upsets me most about current copyright system is that it only protects rich multinational companies with armies of lawyers and ordinary people have no protection at all. 200 years old ideas about copyrighting materials are too old for these days and plain simply impossible to follow for electronic media. All the discussions about rights of author only give people false sense of protection while in reality providing no means to get it once it has been broken. As the web is global, there is no way for a single person to have his intellectual rights followed, the person stealing his work may live in Brazil, the site may be registered in Russia and content held on a server in China. Sure, big guys like Disney or Microsoft or Sony can hire lawyers and get content removed after spending millions.

I tried it too, I mailed to company providing webspace for the site hosting my cracked games. The company (from US) even answered politely saying basically “who the hell are you, we only consider complaints from lawyers based in US”. And yes, why would they help some guy from Eastern Europe, after all, only Russian mafia lives in Eastern Europe!

I also mailed to major local web company in Estonia (part of big international communication company) saying “hey, someone is selling my games from page located in your server, please remove them” and I got answer too. The answer explained that copyright law in Estonia is being conducted by several private companies (founded by international music and software producers) and only those companies can force webhosts to remove illegal material. If I want my rights to be protected, I would have to join one of those companies which would then be more than happy to help protecting my rights… for reasonable costs!
Or of course I could sue. If I would have really wanted to spend my next years in courts to protect my rights, I’d have had to study a lot to become a lawyer and obviously I wouldn’t have made any of the games. But I never met a single lawyer in my life, I’ve never been in court and I don’t even know if there is a police station in my town!

So, if you are company in US or at least Western Europe with a decent sized legal department and enough cash, then your intellectual rights are covered pretty well in US and Western Europe. If you are a simple guy from an unknown corner of the world then you have no rights. I don’t need such a law, it is stupid and pointless. Nobody needs such a law except multinational companies and lawyers. I hope it will be removed and everything anyone creates will be freely available for everyone else, but I seriously doubt it will, as the money involved is too big and companies with their lawyers always get the laws they need.

FreeGamesNews: Your games are only available today on your website. Do you have any licensing program for your games?

Tonypa: Not really. I licensed them to many sites like, but I don’t offer them myself, only when asked for it.

FreeGamesNews: What about your future game related projects? Do you plan to release a new game soon?

Tonypa: Hum… Sure I have lots of ideas, but I can’t promise if they will be finished. I am writing several games, they just all in stages where lots of work needs to be done and maybe it turns out they won’t be fun at all.

FreeGamesNews: Is there anything you would like to add in closing?

Tonypa: It is very good to know someone has good time playing my games :)
If I have made even one person happier then I have done something good.

Eric (FreeGamesNews Editor): Thanks Tonypa for your frankness! Hope to see more games on your website soon…

Note: have a look to the latest creation of Tonypa, Keyway, released end of last week…


One Comment to Interview with Tonypa – Part 2

  1. Arseniy says:

    Oh that great interview! Thanks.