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

On Fri, Feb 08, 2002 at 02:48:28PM -0500, Peter D. Junger wrote:
> 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.

this is the sophistry I am speaking about. it hasn't made us friends in
the courts so far.

yes, I absolutely agree that anything digital can be treated as code.
at the same time, anything digital can be treated as data. that is the
principle of the von-neuman machine, one subclass of which we call
"computer" today.

my point was not about whether or not a string of binary digits can be
called program or not. the point is that if this program is doing one
thing, and one thing only, and was built to do that thing, bought
because it does it, and for all but the most technical people is
virtually identical to that thing, why do you think does it make any
sense to differenciate between the thing and the program?

the code on a DVD is just a medium in order to transport a meaning. the
DVD is the paper and the mpeg process the ink. however, the content of
a book is granted copyright protection, not the ink.

likewise, I am fairly sure that movies on DVD are given copyright
because they are a movie, not because they are a computer program.
therefore, we are just shooting ourselves in the foot if we try to
artificially add a complication that nobody besides us gives a damn

> 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.

if the content is not on the DVD - where is it magically appearing from
when I put the DVD into my player?

the movie IS on the DVD. in some encoded form, but does that matter?
the alphabet is a method for encoding words and symbols. yet I wouldn't
exactly say this e-mail doesn't carry any content. :)

pub  1024D/D88D35A6 2001-11-14 Tom Vogt <tom@lemuria.org>
     Key fingerprint = 276B B7BB E4D8 FCCE DB8F  F965 310B 811A D88D 35A6