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Re: [dvd-discuss] Gedanken Experiment -Unix and Norton

the question of facts vs. copyright expression has to do with a concept
of "editorial discretion".  A database (full of facts) can be
copyrighted (though not the facts themselves) if some creative judgment
or human editorial decisions are reflected in the selection of the
facts.  Thus one could freely use any single fact (as it is not and
cannot be copyrighted), but could not freely republish the collection of
these facts.

As for programs, these "facts" are in their entirety the "editorial
discretion" of the programmer including, the choice of variable names,
the structure and order of the operations, the selection of algorithm,
the syntactic style ("{" on the same line as the conditional...
please!), and myriad other unique creative details.

What is odd about this is that it is the mechanically transformed
derived work (the .obj,.dll, and .exe (or .o, .lib, .so, or a.out) )
that is usually given copyright.  The actual creative work is given
copyright, but not required to be published.  The mechanistic derivative
work "inherits" the unpublished works protections (as a derived work)
but itself reflect *no* editorial discretion (except in the defines and
compiler options).  "Promote progress"... right!

<beat targ="dead horse">No derived work of a unpublished work should be
given published copyright.  The level of protection or derived works
should not exceed that given to the original work.</beat>


juergen + barbara wrote:
> isn't then a program (software or hardware) a collection of "just facts and
> information into some (computer-understandable) arrangement of bytes"?
> where is the line of (perhaps protectable) computer code and "just" data?
> interesting.
> *jm*
> -----Original Message-----
> From: majordomo-owner@eon.law.harvard.edu
> [mailto:majordomo-owner@eon.law.harvard.edu]On Behalf Of
> microlenz@earthlink.net
> Sent: Montag, 07. Juli 2003 21:04
> To: dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
> Subject: RE: [dvd-discuss] Gedanken Experiment -Unix and Norton
> On 7 Jul 2003 at 19:58, juergen + barbara wrote:
> From:                   "juergen + barbara" <jmhoraze@compuserve.com>
> To:                     <dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu>
> Subject:                RE: [dvd-discuss] Gedanken Experiment -Unix and Norton
> Date sent:              Mon, 7 Jul 2003 19:58:10 -0700
> Send reply to:          dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
> >
> > I venture they have stored the Virus-signatures in a compact form, not
> just a,
> > say, simple list in a text file.
> Doubtless but it's still just facts and information that has been organized
> into some arrangment of bytes. The arrangement cannot be copyrighted and not
> patented as well, although these days who knows.
> >
> > Also, identifying and then listing a Virus-signature and the remedy may be
> > protected too.
> Why? That's just facts as well. A partial remedy is no remedy and neither is
> too much of a remedy (Destroy the harddisk!) so there is also no originality
> in
> the remedy.
> (...)