SWF - Licensing

Licensing

Adobe makes available a partial specification of SWF. The document is claimed to be missing "huge amounts" of information needed to completely implement SWF, omitting specifications for RTMP and Sorenson Spark. However, the RTMP specification was released publicly in June 2009, and the Sorenson Spark codec is not Adobe's property. Until May 1, 2008, implementing software that plays SWF was disallowed by the specification's license. On that date, as part of its Open Screen Project, Adobe dropped all such restrictions on the SWF and FLV formats. However, the SWF specification was released under a very restrictive license:

This manual may not be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated, or converted to any electronic or machine-readable form in whole or in part without written approval from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Implementing software which creates SWF files has always been permitted, on the condition that the resulting files render "error free in the latest publicly available version of Adobe Flash Player."

GNU has started developing a free software SWF player called Gnash under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Another player is the GNU LGPL Swfdec. However, GNU does not provide financial support for either project.

Scaleform GFx is a commercial alternative SWF player that features full hardware acceleration using the GPU and has high conformance up to Flash 8 and AS2. Scaleform GFx is licensed as a game middleware solution and used by many PC and console 3D games for user interfaces, HUDs, mini games, and video playback.

Read more about this topic:  SWF

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