Math professor Phil Carmody, who in March of this year managed to encode the DeCSS source in a prime number, has upped the ante by producing a prime number which represents an executable version of the banned CSS descrambler.
Legally this is all a bit squishy, as the DMCA forbids us to make available an access-control circumvention device. All well and good, not that we've tended to care what the DMCA allows or forbids; but this item is also the fruit of mathematical research which the public certainly has a right to see.
It's a fine legal paradox for the recording industry to chew on. Is research illegal because it could in some tiny degree weaken their monopoly over the production and distribution of digital media? Or does the public's right to be informed of academic developments make a circumvention device legal when it also exhibits academic value?
"I'm a firm believer in authors' and artists' rights, the rights that are protected under copyright," Carmody writes on a Web page detailing his latest potentially illegal prime number. "Ripping off DVDs with no intention to buy the originals is illegal in almost all countries in the world, and correctly so."
Read the rest: The Register