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DVD-CCA vs. Bunner arguments presented

Written by Jari Ketola @ 01 Jun 2003 16:51

The representatives of DVD-CCA and Andrew Bunner presented their oral arguments at California's Supreme Court on Thursday. DVD-CCA repeated their point of view on DeCSS -- they see it as a tool designed for a specific task, and hence cannot be treated as pure speech, which would give it full protection under the First Amendment.
David Greene, representing Bunner on behalf of the non-profit First Amendment Project argued that computer programs, even though written in a language unfamiliar to most people, is still speech.

How is a computer program diffenret from, say, a detailed engineering manual. Let's say I have a manual which describes how to assemble a bookshelf. I write a program for a robot that will put the bookshelf together automatically, using just the manual I have as a reference. What's the difference between the manual and the program?

But DVD-CCA argues also that DeCSS used protected trade secrets, which means that I would have had to steal the manual from Ikea to begin with. However in Norway one is allowed to look for the manual more intensely than in the US.

We'll keep an eye on the case.

The Register

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