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Re: Social Contract GR's Affect on sarge

Thiemo Seufer wrote:

> Thomas Hood wrote:
>> On Mon, 2004-04-26 at 22:31, Thiemo Seufer wrote:
>> > Program: Software which is intended for execution on an actually
>> > existing interpreter.
>> > 
>> > Data: Software which is not ~.
>> You probably do have to bring in human intentions for the definition
>> to have a chance of being adequate.
> I have to, otherwise any bitstream would be a program because
> it segfaults correctly.
>> Your next task is to define
>> the term 'execute'.  :)
> I use for it as well the establishend meaning in CS.
>> I don't think that this debate will terminate because I don't think
>> that it is possible to come up with a definition that will decide
>> every case.  There is a clear difference between programs and data in
>> many familiar computing situations; in other situations there is no
>> clear difference.
> Name one such situation.
Where there is no clear difference?  Easy.

Downloadable "firmware" is data to the host machine's CPU and a program to
the target chipset.

A C program is a "program", right?  It's also the "data" used as input by
your C compiler.  It's also documentation if it's used as an example.  Same
copyrighted work.

If you claim that whether it's a 'program' or 'data' depends not on the
thing itself, but on the use you make of it, then indeed the distinction is
somewhat clearer.  (But not useful for the purpose of determining what is
licensed appropriately.)

On another topic, have you thought about multilingual programs which do
different things when executed with different interpreters?

>> The people that think about the former will say
>> that programs and data are different while the people that think
>> about the latter will insist that they are not really different.
> AFAICS it was already decided that the distinction doesn't matter.
> Now have a compressed video stream from a webcam and demand to get
> the "preferred form of modification" for it. :->
Sounds good.  What form would the copyright holder prefer to modify it
in?  :-)

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

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