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Re: [dvd-discuss] Bunner wins DeCSS trade secret appeal

On 1. The law says it is a program despite the fact that the CS community 
holds that it is not.

On 2. Other than the BIOS and boot program, the answer is NO for general 
purpose computers. For embedded systems, some of the simpler ones have no 
RTOS and so the final machine code is burned into a prom, eeprom, flash, 
whatever. The systems starts at address space zero runs through the code 
one instruction at a time until powered off, it gets hung up, or finishes 
executing (which for most embedded systems is never). 

I think we have a situation analogous to what the USSC was dealing with in 
the late 60s and early 70s on obscenity - "I don't know what obscenity is 
but I'll know it when I see it". Here the CS community says "I don't know 
what a program is but I'll recognize one when I see one".(BTW - I've often 
wondered if the relaxing of obscenity laws by the USSC was just so they 
could stop reviewing all the cases and watching all those films to find a 
"socially redeeming feature")

"Peter D. Junger" <junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu>
Sent by: owner-dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
11/05/01 09:43 AM
Please respond to dvd-discuss

        To:     dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
        Subject:        Re: [dvd-discuss] Bunner wins DeCSS trade secret appeal

Noah silva writes:

: Also, MPEG is data, I'm sorry, but it isn't a computer "program" in any
: form of the word I know.  It's data interpreted by a program. 

1. Read the definition of ``computer program'' in the Copyright Act, which 
clearly includes data ("statements") as well as instructions.

2. Can you give an example of any computer program that is not, when it is 
data that is interpreted by (another) computer program?

Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH
 EMAIL: junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu    URL:  http://samsara.law.cwru.edu 
        NOTE: junger@pdj2-ra.f-remote.cwru.edu no longer exists