What folks often forget is a program (any file actually) is a string of bits (binary digits)—so every program is a number. Some of these are prime. Phil Carmody found this [particular prime number] in March 2001. When written in base 16 (hexidecimal), this prime forms a gzip file of the original C-source code (sans tables) that decrypts the DVD Movie encryption scheme (DeCSS). […] It is apparantly illegal to distribute this source code in the United States, so does that make this number (found by Phil Carmody) also illegal?
The software project, called Monolith, takes two digital files and XOR’s them (what the author refers to as “munging”), creating a third file. The author calls the two input files “element” and “basis.” I think many people might call them “plaintext” and “key.” The output file (aka the “monolith” file) would be called the “cryptotext.”
The conceit of the concept is that neither the cryptotext nor the key is copyrighted. Thus, it should be legal to distribute both. Otherwise, the author of Monolith claims, everything is copyrighted and nothing can be distributed because there is always a number such that, if XOR’d with another number, will produce a copyrighted work.