What are the details of copyright liability for an uploaded, encoded file?
For example, let's say there's a copyright video, then someone encodes the entire file by shifting each of the bytes (either by a static value or repeating string of bytes, like a password for a zip file), then let's say they divide all of the bytes into groups of 4 and map all of them to pixels in RGBA format, then write those pixels to an encoded picture file, and post it online as "abstract art."
Then makes, or gets someone else to make and publish, a program that is downloaded onto the end user's computer, which takes as in input the downloaded image that was encoded like above, and decodes it back into the copyright [video, or anything else] file.
The question is:
Who is liable?
The obvious answer may be the one uploading the image, since it contains the copyright material within it, but can that person make a legitimate argument in court that he just randomly generated the "abstract art" and the fact that it was compiled into a format that can later be decompiled and the bytes re-shifted with a separate program, offline, which contains copyright content, is not his liability?
And if so, is the person who wrote the program [which might even be him himself if the program was published in a different context] make the argument that the program isn't meant to specifically decode copyright material, just to decode anything in a specific format, whatever it is, and the fact that in this case the end user happened to use it to decode a file that happened to be encoded in such a way that it could be decoded into a copyright file, is not his liability?
Then if so, at least the end user should be liable, since at the end of the day he has decoded copyright content on his device, and once he realized it he should have deleted it.
But if so, would it then make a difference if the offline program decodes the file into system RAM only, and not to a file on disk?