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Prevent a user from stealing project? (Safe way to share project with freelancers)


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#1 Dervock

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 09:09 PM


Hi there,

We are a small team working on a mobile game and we need to share our project with some freelancers. We are looking for a solution because we need to give them full access to the depot so they can work on the project freely without any restrictions. Our problem is that we would also like to make sure there's no way for them to steal the content.


Is there a way to someone encrypt the files when downloading them from the depot onto their machine? Or just a way so they can't really access their local files in any way other than opening P4V and working from there? We want to have them work on t he project, save and submit it without having any way to navigate to their local folder and copy the files basically.


Thank your for your time!


#2 Sambwise

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 03:15 PM

View PostDervock, on 21 August 2019 - 09:09 PM, said:

we need to give them full access to the depot so they can work on the project freely without any restrictions. Our problem is that we would also like to make sure there's no way for them to steal the content.

Is there a way to someone encrypt the files when downloading them from the depot onto their machine? Or just a way so they can't really access their local files in any way other than opening P4V and working from there?

How would they be able to work on the source files if they're encrypted?

If they're decrypted as soon as they open P4V what would stop them from copying the files after that point?

It's very easy to encrypt the files on their route from the server to the client machine (this is basically the point of a VPN, which you're probably already going to be using), but there's no way to let somebody do any kind of meaningful work on a file without giving them access to the contents of that file that would permit them to copy it.  Even if you air-gap the server and client machines (which is a thing I've heard of people doing with Perforce, via floppy disks and sneakernet) , you'd need to have someone physically supervising the client machine to make sure that nothing unauthorized is happening on the other end.  Even if the client machine is secured in such a way as to not permit copying anything off of it, unless it's in a sealed room that is itself secured from unauthorized technology, one imagines an intrepid corporate spy snapping photos with their iPhone and using OCR to reconstruct the original source files.

I'd say if you can't trust your freelancers not to steal your content (even under the threat of NDA etc) you should find different freelancers.

#3 Miles O'Neal

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 07:34 PM

The only options are:
1) Use highly trusted contractors under a good NDA, and have a good lawyer available. (What Sam said.) Then monitor the universe for a rogue copy.
2) Bring contractors onsite to use your machines that are not connected in any way to the internet so they can't ship things off.
3) Don't use contractors (freelancers).
4) Develop an app that does what P4V does, plus manage encrypted storage and some other magic, and talks to a hand-rolled proxy on your end via encrypted, secret handshake stuff. Which is probably a lot more work than your app, and would require more contractors.

No,l I'm not being sarcastic. That's really the choices, unless someone else steps up with the app in #4- but can you trust it?




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