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[dvd-discuss] Re: Lexmark Decision-A modest proposal

microlenz(at)earthlink.net writes:
> Now here is an interesting question...what is the legal standing of
> those bits?

	Well, I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me they have roughly
the same legal status as any other sequence of copyrighted bits, e.g.
a poem (detail - the decision does mention that creative works tend
to get more copyright expression than more functional works, but I
don't think that's critical here).

> Can one communicate the program to others for discussion and reverse
> engineering?


> Can one summarize the program?

	Sure, the decision does so - it seems to do something regarding
estimating toner level from a "torque reading system", processing
readings from a motor (?), in an equation using certain constants.

> Can one describe the program in another computer language?

	I guess, though it doesn't look to be all that exciting
(not like DeCSS). Something like:

torque_value = get_torque_from_motor();
inline approximation_function (x) { return constant1 * x + constant2; }
toner_level = approximation_function(torque_value);

	Not that precise equation, but with a few dozen program bytes
total, it can't be too complicated.

> One is not circumventing the access control since one is merely
> recording the electrical impulses and reporting them as FACTS.

	Careful. You can't escape copyright by designating something
a sequence of facts:

The first word of _Moby Dick_ is: Call
The second word of _Moby Dick_ is: me
The third word of _Moby Dick_ is: Ishmael

	Too many facts turns into copyright infringement.

Seth Finkelstein  Consulting Programmer  sethf@sethf.com  http://sethf.com
Anticensorware Investigations - http://sethf.com/anticensorware/
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog - http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/