[linux-elitists] Testify at NTIA hearings about DMCA!

Mr.Bad mr.bad@pigdog.org
Sun Nov 26 19:49:33 PST 2000


>>>>> "k" == kmself  <kmself@ix.netcom.com> writes:

    k> The instructions in an interpreted program are eventually
    k> translated to commands run by the processor.  There will be a
    k> correspondence, however indirect.  Data, however, resides only
    k> in memory, it isn't acted on directly.

Second off, I'm not saying data == program. Duh. Of course not. The
line between a plain text file and a machine-code executable is pretty
clear.

I'm saying that some things that are clearly a program -- say, a Java
class -- are not actually stored as machine code bytes, but as
data interpreted by another processor.

Yes, it gets a little harder for people to deal with you start talking
about other kinds of programs that are, in contrast, human-readable,
like say a Lisp or Python script. Because so many programs are
incomprehensible binary rubbish, it's hard for folks to grok that a
script is a program.

Now, stepping back even further, what about programs in languages that
aren't complete, like for example database programs (a la dBIII or
what have you)? Still fairly clear it's a program. An expect script?
Not so hard to see that it's probably a program.

One more step... multimedia programs, like CD-ROM games from the early
90s. There are parts that are passive data (like images), but a lot of
the thingy is program. I'd guess that "The 7th Guest" would count as a
program. Flash games? They sure look like programs to me.

Now, last step. Have you used a DVD player at all? Because there's a
lot of PROGRAM stored on these things. There's configuration, there's
menus, there's multimedia presentations, all kinds of stuff. Some DVD
movies come with games about the motion picture.

I'm not saying that the MPEG data on a DVD is a "program" that gives
"instructions" to a player-slash-interpreter on which pixels to flash
and what frequencies to play -- that's a stretch. I'm saying that a
DVD is a lot like a multimedia program, and could possible be called a
program itself.

~Mr. Bad

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