I was thinking a bit this morning about how one could use the MPAAs own tactics to defend against lawsuits by them. According to the DMCA (and similar directives in Europe), it is illegal to circumvent "technical protection measures" against copying and accessing copied material. Since this law applies to everyone, not only the consumers of protected material, let's do a little thought experiment:
Imagine that I go to a popular file sharing site and upload a file that contains a movie. Since I don't want anyone to sue me for doing that, I encrypt the movie using a standard software like GPG. This encryption should be so strong that not even the NSA can open my file and sue me (and if they do, we'd know a lot more about what the NSA knows about breaking GPG), so I should be safe from the movie studios, as the file I uploaded is in no way copyright protected as it stands. Now, of course I want my friends to be able to download and watch the movie, so I give them the key to the file, which could also be rather trivial. For example, the uploader's name, or the movie title, or the release date of the film or anything else.
I suppose I could even package the key and the encrypted file into an archive together. It wouldn't be much different from a BluRay disc, which contains a lot of software and some data that allows a suitably set-up device to decrypt the disc.
Well, but now I have added a "technical protection measure" and an access control to my file. Circumventing that measure, i.e. decrypting the disc when you are not the intended recipient would be illegal by the DMCA. Of course, I also added a file to the archive with a license stating that you can only use the file supplied for private use inside the state of Nigeria and only if you are the son of the overthrown dictator, but I guess most movie pirates wouldn't care about that.
As soon as I receive a suit for copyright infringement under the DMCA I can now apply that same right to me: Obviously the suing agency must have circumvented my copy protection measure and this be in breach of the DMCA. You could even argue that my encryption, which uses gold-standard GPG with a key length of 4096 bit is a lot more effective than the skimpy BluRay protection measures, so I should be entitled to a lot more damage compensation.
What do you think?