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

Well my personal guieline for what constitutes a program is simple, I
divide it into three areas:

a.) Data (Gif files, text files, wavs files, etc.)
b.) Scripts (VBA, Javascript, shell scripts, DOS Batch files, etc.)
c.) executable code (ELF executables, .EXE files, etc.)

This helps the situation somewhat... although it isn't perfect.
Newer processors use microcode, etc. to transform EXEs somewhat
(expecially transmeta ones!).  Operating systems also perform run-time
linking, location fix-ups, etc.

But still, if a file contains instructions that can be executed on the
hardware (a general purpose processor) (wether or not they use an
operating system), it is a "program" in a real sense.  If the
"Program" requires a run-time system other than the operating system
(meaning excel, paradox, lotus notes, etc.), it may not be a program.

In my definition, the C code isn't a program until it's compiled.

This definition has kept my IT department off my back for a while.  (I
have to explain why I need "real" programming languages instead us using
excel, etc. for everything).

 -- noah silva 

On Mon, 5 Nov 2001, Michael A Rolenz wrote:

> I don't know about  not calling Excel macro writers programmers. Microsoft 
> has given them the nicest tools for creating viruii. Who needs to write 
> them in ASM anylonger? Personally, I don't consider anyone who hasn't 
> written in ASM at some point a programmer. The joys of core dumps is 
> something everybody should experience as part of their professional 
> carreer....wait a minute...the next time Win95 or Win98 bombs a 
> program...I get a core dump.....Hmmmmmm....this may be a deep 
> philosophical question    ;-)
> Noah silva <nsilva@atari-source.com>
> Sent by: owner-dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
> 11/05/01 10:04 AM
> Please respond to dvd-discuss
>         To:     "'dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu'" <dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu>
>         cc: 
>         Subject:        RE: [dvd-discuss] Bunner wins DeCSS trade secret appeal
> > > readable" code?
> > > 
> > > that's all there is to it.
> > 
> > Who says the copyright office got it right?  Perhaps they will
> > be required to change their guidelines ...
> this is true, I was just stating the way it is now, for those who might
> not know.  (actually this is how it was like 5 years ago when I read two
> books on copyrighting software).
> > > Something doesn't need to be "speach" in the normal sense to be
> > > copyrightable.  I would say that is C code is speach, so is 
> > > ...
> > > human and machine readability.  All of them can be followed 
> > > by human or
> > > computer.
> > 
> > I'm with you there.
> good ;)
> > 
> > > 
> > > 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. 
> > 
> > Ah!  The good ol' program/data dichotomy.
> > 
> > Consider the case of self-modifying code.  In that case, the
> > program _is_ the data being operated upon.  Program=data.
> This is a very unusual occurance though, especially in recent times, since
> self-modifying code causes.. problems with modern processors which cache
> instructions.
> > Or consider the case of good old fashioned basic ... or an
> > MS-DOS batch file (or any interpreted language).  As these
> > are never compiled, you could consider them to be purely data,
> > interpreted by the program (e.g. the DOS command processor).
> > But I doubt that you would argue that a batch file is not a 
> > program.  Data=program.
> Well in my technical view.. scripts aren't programs. I don't call people
> that write "programs" with SQL and Excel macros "programmers".  C, yeah,
> ASM, yeah, Pascal, sure.  Java.. what the heck..  If it's interpreted or
> doesn't make an .exe of some sort.. no.
> > MPEG data is merely a program for a different type of
> > command interpreter (the MPEG decoder) which together
> > (data & program ... or program & interpreter) produce 
> > the display of an image.  Conceptually no different
> > than interpreted basic or a batch file.
> > 
> > >To me,
> > > there isn't much difference between a movie DVD and a Video tape or a
> > > still photo. 
> > 
> > Technically there is tons of difference.  Even a video
> > tape is an analog representation of it's image.  Produced
> > purely in the physical world by fluctuations of magnetic
> > fields produced by hardwired inputs.  (i.e. it's a recording)
> > 
> > A DVD is digital ... and as the MPAA frequently says,
> > "digital is different".  Just not in the way they are
> > hoping ...
> lol well that's their own problem.
> my point here is...
> if I am a photographer, I take photos for a living. take two scenareos:
> a.)
> I take photos with my nice nikon 35MM SLR camera.
> I take them to the photo shop to get them processed and printed.
> I sell the prints to people.  (I can get lots of prints from one
> negative).
> b.)
> I take my photos with my Fuji Digital Camera.
> I take them to my PC and make prints on my high quality dye sublimation
> photo printer.
> I sell the prints to people.
> Some people like to use the images on their computer for desktop
> backgrounds, etc. so...
> c.)
> I take my photos with my Fuji Digital Camera.
> I take them to my PC and make prints on my high quality dye sublimation
> photo printer.
> I burn CDs with the images on them, and sell them to people.
> Now...
> should the situations have different legal statuses?  Why and why not?
> In my view.. in all three cases, the photographer is creating original
> work and selling it.  First sale can and does occure in every case.  The
> photos are protected by copyright in every case.  this is how it should
> be.  If the laws aren't in line now, they should be, to protect the spirit
> of copyright.. does anyone disagree? 
> > But again, function and purpos _are_ different with DVD.
> > Consider the DVDs produced w/ alternate viewing angles
> > for certain scenes ... or all of the "extras" which are
> > selectable from the opening menus ... or the opening
> > menus themselves.  DVDs carry _programs_, some of which
> > represent the same movie you might find on VHS ... but
> > there is much more there.
> This reminds me of those "choose a path" books, where you would read until
> a certain page and it would say "if you want to leave john behind and save
> yourself, turn to page 124 and continue, if you want to stay and try to
> save him, turn to page 193"
>  -- noah silva