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

Here's a twist on this thread. Consider the Data Encryption Standard(DES). 
18yrs ago, my first job, I was given to the task of understanding the 
algorithms to assist an engineer in coding it up on an 8080. What I 
discovered was that the pieces of the DES were ridiculously simple to 
program in BAL 370 (didn't know 8080 only BAL370) but a total mess in 8080 
with its 8bit registers. All you needed was a couple of 32 bit registers 
and some memory. Lots of shift left/right logicals of register X number of 
bits in register Y read from memory. But the point is that in BAL 370, the 
DES became simple, easy to understand and instructive. It became clear 
that who ever had done the search for the S and P boxes used a computer to 
search for them and I didn't discover for several years that DES was 
invented by IBM-Duhhhhhh. While not "1"s and "0"s, the assembler is 
identical to that and in this instance conveyed more information about DES 
than source code would have because it gave insight into how the 
underlying state machine worked directly. I didn't need an abstract 
representation of the register - I had the REAL representation of it.

So here' an example where ASM is better than source for communicating 
ideas. Also, consider whether or not my BAL 370 code of DES is worthy of 
copyright protection. I'd bet money that had I finished it, my BAL370 
would look nearly identical to the one IBM wrote while developing DES.

"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