[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

On Fri, Feb 08, 2002 at 08:35:56PM -0600, John Schulien wrote:
> > 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.
> I have a C program that performs a single function -- it calculates and
> prints out the digits of the number pi consecutively.  Is this program
> code or data?

good border case example. I would say it is code, because its output
was not put in it. "fixed" as I used it above was not meant in the
sense of "not changing". maybe "fixated" would've been the better term,
or "hardcoded into".

> > 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.
> Isn't that exactly what a DVD program menu does?

creating a movie in runtime? I don't think so. it DISPLAYS it in
runtime, it decodes it, but it doesn't CREATE the movie. I'd be very
surprised to find out my matrix DVD actually creates the film every
time I look at it. :)

> When forced to classify a particular instance of code/data as code or
> data, the court did a perfectly reasonable thing -- they examined the
> social and practical use of DVDs and concluded that they more closely
> resemble films than software -- but it was an arbitrary choice that
> provides no insight into the "true nature" of DVDs.

my point is that yes, a technical argument does exist that the content
of a DVD is a computer program. however, that argument is only
interesting in a computer science theoretical way, since the purpose of
a DVD is to contain a movie, and the computer program aspect of the
data is not even secondary.

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