Fade to Black

The Motion Picture Association Shuts Down Crypto Research

"The writing's on the wall," says Tom McGuire, an EFF staffer. "The world's changing, and whether we win this case or not, the old revenue model's moving in a different direction."

This is little comfort to Roman Kazan, who is very much stuck in the here and now. He's come a long way since 1987, when at the age of 11 he started his first BBS on his Commodore 64, gathering a loyal following among some of the first users on the Internet. And now he's come all the way to court, his dream shattered into a nightmare.

As both sides in the trial jockey for position, Kazan finds himself enmeshed in the gears of a process he can't control. When he first walked into the hearing a few weeks ago, he was "full of optimism. I figured, 'This is crazy. They're gonna laugh and kick me out,' " he said later. No one laughed, and Kazan, still a defendant, listened with horror as six lawyers discussed his future.

illustration by George Bates

After the hearing ended, Leon Gold, the counsel for the film industry, made his way to the door. Kazan grabbed him by the lapels.

"Listen, Mr. Gold, you've got the wrong guy. I don't have anything to do with this."

Gold, twice Kazan's age and weight, replied,"I can't talk to you. I'll get in trouble just for standing next to you," and then walked away.


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