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

Bryan Taylor wrote:

> Barr-Mullin, Inc. v. Browning, 108 N.C. App. 590, 424 S.E.2d 226 (1993).
> The ourt concluded that distribution in object code form alone did
> not negate trade secret protection because of the great difficulty in obtaining
> useful source code by reverse engineering the object code version. The court
> granted a preliminary injunction, based upon testimony that it would have been
> virtually impossible to have created the competing software, based solely on
> reverse engineering Plaintiff's software.

Ohmigosh!!!  Talk about cluelessness!  Yes, I wouldn't want to attempt
to reverse engineer a large software product.  However the value for a
process optimization (or copy protection or encryption system) -- and
thus the trade secret itself -- are contained in small well contained
routines.  Finding the routines would be a pain -- reverse engineering
them once found is a matter of turning the crank and recoginizing what
the variable names should be.

I've said it before -- "one cannot simulataneously publish material and
hold it secret -- it is both semantically and technically impossible".

Another thought occured to me regarding the DVD CCA case.  How can a
mass produced product be sensibly claimed to contain copy protection. 
If it were truly copy protected, copies could not be made, and the
material could not be mass produced.  

Sometimes I think the media companies are arguing on the "big lie"
theory.  By ignoring the fundamental contradictions of there positions
and in fact claim these as fundamental truths -- the courts fail to see
the fact the none of this makes sense at all.  I imagine the court
thinks that $300/hour lawyers in really nice suits and gravitas to the
incredible.  However the whole of the concept of copy protection for
works meant to be viewed -- that somehow something that can be seen can
be made impossible to copy (ignoring the humble telecine and "line-in to
line-out" cable) is fundamentally as sound as a perpetual motion
machine, or patent medicine.  Eventually, hopefully, some court will see
this dead, rotting, stinking elephant carcass of a lie for what is and
order it drawn, quarted, and hauled from the courtroom in huge unsavory
chunks -- banishing it from every returning under threat of the court's
extreme displeasure.

One can dream, can't they?