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Interesting Digital Sharing Dilemma

  1. Mar 26, 2006 #1

    dduardo

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    This project brings up an interesting legal dilemma with basic public key encryption and sharing digital copyrighted material:

    http://monolith.sourceforge.net/

    ----------
    Here is the basic gist:


    Let's say I have a copyrighted file that is represented by the following bit sequence:

    Bob's Copyrighted File: 10100010001

    I also have a file in the public domain with the following bit sequence:

    Public Domain File: 11011001010

    If I where to distribute this public domain file on the internet, I could without any legal repercussions.

    Now let's say I XOR the public domain file with Bob's file such that I get a third file:

    My 3rd File: 01111011011

    Would it be legal for me to distribute this 3rd file to people on the internet since this 3rd file isn't bob's copyrighted file?

    The neat thing about this algorithm is that if you get a hold of both the public domain file and the 3rd file and XOR them you get Bob's copyrighted file.

    Depending on the public domain file you could in theory generate an infinite number of 3rd files. Does the copyright holder own all these different bit sequences? Does the copyright holder own the XOR operator?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2006 #2

    Hurkyl

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    This is just an encryption scheme -- it would surprise me if this is anything new.
     
  4. Mar 26, 2006 #3

    dduardo

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    I know it is encryption and I know it's not new. I just thought it would be interesting to find out peoples' opinions on distributing the 3rd file.
     
  5. Mar 26, 2006 #4

    Hurkyl

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    I guess I just don't see how this is any different than putting the file in a windows encrypted folder and distributing that... or even just gzipping it and distributing that!

    Am I reading too much into the fact that you chose to link to this particular project?
     
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