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Re: Debian-installer, older hardware, boot loaders, miboot & amiboot & ..

On Tue, Mar 30, 2004 at 09:03:19AM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 29, 2004 at 01:10:36PM -0800, Jeff Bailey wrote:
> > On Mon, Mar 29, 2004 at 04:05:48PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > 
> > > Hacker #2 affirms that he has never looked at the existing boot
> > > sector, and will not do so in the future.  He or she understands MacOS
> > > well enough to know how to hand-code 1kB worth of assembly (or
> > > possibly compilable C code) to create a functionally-identical boot
> > > sector from the plain English description.
> > 
> > If I understand right from my GNU hacking, it's preferable to take a
> > slightly different approach if possible.  Doing some of it in C instead
> > of ASM (if at all possible, obviously) might result in that anyway.
> Notice that there is 200bytes or so of m68k asm, most of them A-trap
> calls to the Mac OS rom, concerned. I doubt you have much chance of
> getting anything but a 100% identical code, whatever the way you go at
> generating it.

If true, and you're confident enough in this that you think we'd have no
trouble finding an expert witness (such as a professor of computer
science) to testify to this effect, then in the United States, this
would be a serious blow to such code being copyrightable in the first

Under U.S. copyright law, a work has to be "expressive" and "original"
to enjoy copyright protection.  If there's only one way, or an extremely
narrow range of ways to accomplish something, copyright does not attach.

For example, in the U.S., you cannot copyright your filled-out income
tax return.

Of course, I speak of the U.S. only.  In other jurisdictions, it may be
possible to assert a copyright on, for instance, the sequence of prime
numbers smaller than 100, in increasing order.

Whether we need to be worried about other jurisdictions is a question I
will leave to others, as I'm only willing to play armchair lawyer with
respect to U.S. law.

> Anything you may do, these calls are needed, you could add some noop
> calls in between, or some random stuff, but i doubt that this will be
> more than smoke and mirrors.

I don't think it's necessary to try to obfuscate anything at all.

G. Branden Robinson                |       Our ignorance is God; what we
Debian GNU/Linux                   |       know is science.
branden@debian.org                 |       -- Robert Green Ingersoll
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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