"Mathematician 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?"