[linux-elitists] Judge Kaplan on code as speech
Wed Jul 26 11:18:11 PDT 2000
> 15 I'm really in doubt as to whether saying that
> 16 computer code is constitutionally protected speech goes very
> 17 far toward answering the questions in this case.
> 18 In the past, the Supreme Court has dealt with
> 19 questions involving the regulation of expression essentially
> 20 by fitting the particular kind of expression into various
> 21 pigeon holes, fighting words, obscenity, conduct as contrasted
> 22 with speech, commercial speech, and they've developed over the
Okay. let's see how many of these the kernel can hit :)
* pigeon holes
yep, we've got those modules everywhere...
* fighting words
shared memory anyone? how about whether or not pcmcia should
go in the main tree?
oh yeah. # this device is fucked by design, so...
* conduct as contrasted with speech
er, you mean if I'm speaking a password at my voiceprint biometric
thingy it's not speech? hmm.
Is this the same basis under which it's okay to publish a Very
Detailed book -about- crypto, but not ship the sample code that's
pubbed inside it on a companion disc? Lame.
Since this one confuses me I can't tell if v4l code goes anywhere
* commercial speech
well, yeah, some code is commercial. And a bunch of that won't have
fighting words and obscenity.
. expression as art (which has not been mentioned)
Can we really say that some of these people have not done a bunch
of this for the elegance, or the challenge? Nope. The challenge
-includes- the results being usable. Certain kinds of elegance
demand reusability far beyond the scope of the obvious use, if there
even was one.
Obfuscated perl contest results, anyone?
> 23 years various kinds of definitions that to one degree or
> 24 another separate those different categories.
> 25 I'm really not sure that paradigm fits this case. Or
> 1 if it does, where exactly -- which is the right pigeon hole
> 2 for this case. I reread the draft card burning case over the
> 3 lunch hour, and the Supreme Court there said that although the
> 4 burning of the draft card was obviously intended as
> 5 expression, the government had the right to prohibit it, to
> 6 criminalize it because of the governmental interest in running
> 7 the draft. I remember what I thought about that in 1968. Not
> 8 that I'm telling anybody.
He could leave things confusing enough by simply declaring computer code
as speech. Most speech is protected, some is slander or provocation-to-riot
or a number of other bugs. Or as press. Hmm. Open Source code having
freedom of the press. Mailing lists as freedom of the press too. There's a
* Heather * Might as well be frank, monsieur. It would take a miracle to get
you out of Casablanca and the Germans have outlawed miracles.
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