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

--- Noah silva <nsilva@atari-source.com> wrote:
> 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.)

That's all well and good, but what is at issue in a copyright case is what
Congress, not you (or computer scientists) call a "computer program". The
definition that they've provided in 17 US 101 would, in my opinion, include all
three classes. 

Congress was not so much trying to provide a language to distinguish computer
science properties, but rather to distinguish copyright properties. They needed
to determine what would qualify for the section 117 machine use copying
rules(installation, adaption for use, and archiving). They provided a
definition that captures all things that these concepts are relevent to.

I beleive there have been copyright cases over html code, for example, which
was considered it to be a programming language. Most computer scientists will
find this a bit odd, but a purest could argue that there isn't much difference
between the gcc application parsing text written in C and mozilla parsing html.
Both perform a well defined and repeatable transition of machine state.

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