[free-sklyarov] Ones and Zeros

Matthew Russotto russotto at pond.com
Fri Nov 2 10:46:07 PST 2001

The court concluded that source code was expressive, and object code was not.  This is bad news (indirectly, as the Dmitry and Elcomsoft cases are Federal) for Elcomsoft and Dmitry, because AEBPR was distributed as object code.  However, the courts conclusion cannot be justified either technically or logically.  Technically, object code can be more or less mechanically translated to source code form, if merely by disassembly.  How can mere translation create something which expresses an idea from something which does not?  Logically,  Johansen is accused (and the court assumed arguendo that the accusation had basis) of taking the trade secrets from Xing's code -- object code -- to obtain the ideas expressed in DeCSS.  If those ideas were not expressed in the code they were taken from, where did they come from?  Technically again, what of interpreters, which execute source code?

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