Valenti on Fair Use

MPAA’s Jack Valenti (of “the VCR is the Boston Strangler” fame) was interviewed by a MIT student regarding fair use law. The result was a fascinating look at two opposing viewpoints.

The most amazing moment was when the kid showed Valenti a simple Perl script that would decrypt and play a DVD. Here’s the exchange:
[Winstein shows Valenti his “qrpff” DVD descrambler.]

Winstein: If you type that in, it’ll let you watch movies.

Jack Valenti: You designed this?

Winstein: Yes.

Jack Valenti: Un-fucking-believable.
The code (which Winstein didn’t actually design– he adapted it from existing code) was a simple perl script.
$=’while(read+STDIN,$,2048){$a=29;$c=142;if((@a= unx”C”,$_)[20]&48){$h=5;
$_=unxb24,join””,@b=map {xB8,unxb8,chr($_^$a[–$h+84])}@ARGV;s/…$/1$&/;$ d=unxV,xb25,$_;$b=73;$e=256|(ord$b[4])>8^($f=($t=255)&($d>>12^$d>>4^$d^$d/8)) >8^($t&($g=($q=$e>>14&7^$e)^$q
8^$q< <6) )<<9,$=(map{$%16or$t^=$c^=($m=(11,10,116,100,1 1,122,20,100)[$/16%8])&110;
$t^=(72,@z=(64,72,$a ^=12*($
%16-2?0:$m&17)),$b^=$%64?12:0,@z)[$%8]}( 16..271))[$_]^(($h>>=8)+=$f+(~$g&$t))for@a[128.. $#a]}print+x”C*”,@a}’;s/x/pack+/g;eval

I’m sure I’m going to get some sort of cease and desist letter for posting this… but the point I’m trying to make is that this doesn’t COPY a dvd, or assist the user in sharing it on the Internet– it allows the user to PLAY the movie. There’s nothing sinister about it.