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Re: [dvd-discuss] The Touretsky and Shamos debate at CMU.

Scott A Crosby  wrote:
>On 1 Dec 2001, David Wagner wrote:
>> Scott A Crosby  wrote:
>> >What Shamos claims is that it is wrong to distribute things with
>> >functional aspects. Shamos says that instead, one should just make sure to
>> >distribute it as something that DOESN"T have functional aspects.
>> In my declaration, I argue that oftentimes, code is a useful form of
>> communication precisely because it is functional: it is useful because
>> it is precise & unambiguous, and it is precise & unambiguous because of
>> its functional nature.  (Computer tolerate no ambiguity, so writing in
>> code is an effective way to avoid ambiguity.)
>His refutation of it is that you can easily avoid 'breaking the law' by
>not distributing code. The law doesn't have to mold itself to your

It's clear that the law doesn't have to mold itself to my convenience,
but it does have to mold itself to the first amendment, and what's
not clear to me is what this implies.

The conclusion one might draw from my claim is as follows: to avoid
breaking the law, one must confine oneself to inferior modes of
communication and foresake more effective forms of discourse.  I would
ask: Does the first amendment permit the DMCA to place this level of
burden on expression?  (I have no idea; it seems this is a question for
the courts and the legal experts.)