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Re: Mass bug filing: Cryptographic protection against modification

@ 06/05/2004 11:43 : wrote John Hasler :

Florian Weimer wrote:
The problem here is that we have no workable definition of

Perhaps we don't but the law does.  It's not an algorithmic definition
but it is quite workable.
For illustration: Brazilian Law has a definition which is almost algorithmic. Let's see.

In the "author's rights" law, under the section "protected works" (Lei 9610, art. 7, /caput/, and I-XIII, for the Brazilian folks here):

Art. 7. Those are protected intellectual works: the creations of the spirit, expressed by any means or fixated in any support, tangible or not, known or to be invented in the future, as, for instance: I - texts of literary or scientific works/ II - conferences, lectures, sermons and other works of the same nature/ III - theatrical and theatrical-musical works/ IV - coreographical and pantomimical works, for which the execution is fixed in writing or any other form/ V - musical compositions, with or without lyrics/ VI - audiovisual works, including cinematographic ones/ VII - photographical works and those produced by any process similar of the photography/ VIII - drawings, pictures, engravings, sculptures, litography and kinetical art/ IX - illustrations, geographical charts, or other works of the same nature/ X - projects, drafts and other plastical works referring geography, engineering, topography, architecture, gardening, scenography, science/ XI - the adaptations, translations, and other transformations of original works, presented as new intellectual creations/ XII - computer programs/ XIII - compilations, antologies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, databases or other works that, by its selection, organization, or disposition of content, are an intellectual creation.

In the "computer programs law", (Lei 9609), the definition of "XII - computer programs" above (art. 1) is: "the expression of an organized set of instructions in natural or encoded language, in any physical support of any nature, that must be employed in automated machines for information processing/treatment[*], devices, instruments, or peripheral equipments, based on digital or analog techniques, to make them work in determined ways and to determined ends" [*] = my doubt of English translation.

I don't see how a crypto key could be any of the ones above. Let's see. It's not an intellectual creation (so, it's not more copyrightable than a Mandelbrot or Julia fractal image -- is just generated automatically). It's not similar to any of the examples supplied by the law. And it's not a set of instructions.

You know, this says something about the whole "software" x "programs", too:
* A TrueType font file is considered by Brazilian Law a program.
* A LaTeX/PDF/PS document, too.
* The text embedded in a PDF document, altough not a program, is protected by author's rights. * The image expressed in a PNG image file is protected, the PNG file itself is not... unless you consider that a PNG image is a program, that in natural language, would say: put a black pixel, now 10 white pixels, now a circle of center x,y and radius r, of the colors going from cc to yy from the center to the outside (no knowledge of how a PNG is encoded, but this is a valid reading even for a raw pixmap of the form black, white, green, green, green, blue,...)

Is any of this useful information? You tell me. I don't know, but I hope it is.


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