The death of Adobe Flash in January 2021 was long overdue; Adobe's hyper-proprietary interactive runtime was a source of persistent, terrifying security vulnerabilities that had harmed web users for decades.

But the demise of Flash also meant that all the Flash-based media that had been created since its debut (as 1995's "Futuresplash") was snuffed out, orphaned, unplayable and lost to history.


Adobe may have skimped on security, but it spent lavishly on sales and marketing, so major media and public organizations locked up years and years of media and interactives in the Flash abandonware format.

All that meant that the reports of Flash's death were greatly exaggerated. Adobe quietly kept the Flash player on life-support with an "enterprise" version for companies with unpayable, Flash-based technology debts.


And they licensed Flash Player to China's Zhong Cheng Network, whose site still offers Flash Player downloads. But that Flash Player comes bundled with commercial spyware and an Adobe-controlled killswitch that can remotely deactivate it.

That offered people who needed to view Flash videos or other media with a stark choice: if you didn't work for an "enterprise," you either accepted spyware and a killswitch, or you abandoned the media you needed to see.


Which is where Clean Flash Installer comes in. This is a free/open project maintained by a developer called "darktohka": Clean Flash Installer was a way to install the Flash Player without the spyware or killswitch.

Darktohka told Torrent Freak that he created Clean Flash Installer as a passion project, to preserve the Flash media that was "a huge part of his childhood."


Darktohka built Clean Flash Installer from scratch in .Net; it contains no Adobe code and no code from Zhong Cheng Network - Clean Flash Installer is Darktohka's code and his alone, hosted on Github for all to inspect, use and improve.

Or rather, it *was* hosted on Github - until earlier this month, when Adobe sent a fraudulent DMCA Copyright Takedown notice to the company, falsely claiming that darktohka's code infringed on their copyright.


This is pure copyfraud: Adobe didn't write Clean Flash Installer. Their notice to Github - "under penalty of perjury" - that Clean Flash Installer violated their rights is an outright, unambiguous lie.

Adobe would *prefer* that its business arrangements with Zhong Cheng Network remain intact and that every non-enterprise Flash user would have to run its partner's spyware and tolerate Adobe's killswitch.


It's doubtless more lucrative for Adobe that way - what company doesn't dream of compelling its customers to arrange their affairs to benefit its shareholders, even if that is to their detriment?

Often, awful laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act *can* be used this way, twisted into a kind of "Felony Contempt of Business Model" (as Jay Freeman calls it).


But not this time. Adobe has no right to block Clean Flash Installer - but they didn't let that stop them.


Cryteria (modified)


Genusfotografen (Tomas Gunnarsson) (modified)



@pluralistic There's another Flash reimplementation written in Rust and can compile to Web Assembly:


@be @pluralistic And the internet archive is collecting all the good old stuff :) Want to play crimson room? There you go!
It's still inacceptable if Adobe puts pressure on people for reimplementing a dead product. 😡

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Ein Mastodon-Server für Freiburg und Umland betrieben durch den Verein e.V.
Zur Übersicht von geht es hier: