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Re: [dvd-discuss] Fwd: Australian Court rules: Films aren't software

Tom writes:

: On Thu, Feb 07, 2002 at 04:01:48PM -0800, Michael A Rolenz wrote:
: > Good points. Digital data can be viewed as a set of configuration 
: > instructions for the computer (pixel 1 = black, pixel 1 = black...etc.) or 
: > as configuration information for a state machine. I think the court didn't 
: > want to deal with the other baggage associated with their definition of 
: > software.
: you've been exposed to too many von-neuman machines. :)
: data and code may be interchangeable to some extend, but it still makes
: sense to differ. if you have a program whose one and only purpose is to
: display a fixed set of data, is there a reason to call it code? none,
: besides sophistry.

There are lot's of reason to call that program a computer program,
most importantly that it satisfies the definition of a computer
program that is contained in the Copyright Act.  And arfe
you claiming that it is sophistry to call a ``Hello World" program
code?  Or to call it a program?

In any case, anything in digital form is going to be in code.  Think
ASCII, binary coded decimal, binary, the Code of the Geeks, etc.
: now if the DVD would contain a general piece of code that would create
: a movie in runtime, or display different ones, depending on which input
: I give it, then the issue might be open for discussion.
: by preceding every line I write with "print", I do not turn my writing
: magically into code. yes, technically it is code. its intend, purpose
: and sole content, however, has not changed.
: yes, every kind of digital content can be expressed as a computer
: program, by adding "print" to every line or by some more complicated
: means such as an mpeg encoder.
: still the CONTENT of the program is the same old movie. the movie mafia
: doesn't receive a seperate copyright for the DVD version, does it? it's
: just a change of medium.

It would be more precise to say that it is a change of encoding, or
that it is a different program.  The ``content'' is not on the DVD,
there is just a program that causes the content to be displayed
on a terminal.

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