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RE: <nettime> Notes for a Liberated Computer Language
Jon Ippolito on Fri, 22 Jul 2005 06:14:54 +0200 (CEST)


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RE: <nettime> Notes for a Liberated Computer Language


In today's climate, this kind of thing is likely to land you both artist
residencies in Guantanamo Bay, courtesy of the Fatherland Security
Department.

The best precedent for you is probably CMU computer scientist Dave 
Touretzky's translation of a DVD-cracking algorithm into a fictional 
computer language. As one of the contributions to his marvelous Gallery 
of CSS Descramblers, this fictional C-like version of Jon Lech 
Johansen's "illegal" deCSS code helped compel a judge to rule that code 
is a form of speech like other forms of written expression.

Unfortunately, since the court still held that such algorithms if 
functional could be proscribed as "dangerous speech," Touretzky's legal 
standing is to this day unclear. If someone writes a compiler for his 
language, will Touretzky then be retroactively liable for violating the 
Digital Millenium Copyright Act?

To cover himself, Touretzky began his fictional code with the comment, 
"Please do not write a compiler or interpreter for this language." Maybe 
you should attach a license to your "Liberated Computer Language" 
requiring that such language accompany any derivative program based on 
your original code ;)

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/DeCSS/Gallery/

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/DeCSS/Gallery/new-language.txt

jon

-----Original Message-----
From: nettime-l-request {AT} bbs.thing.net on behalf of Alexander Galloway 
and Eugene Thacker
Sent: Wed 7/20/2005 12:06 PM
To: nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net
Subject: <nettime> Notes for a Liberated Computer Language

backdoor TARGET.
Installs a backdoor in the machine specified in TARGET. If no target is
provided, the backdoor is installed in the local machine.

bandwidth AMOUNT.
Enlarges or reduces bandwidth by AMOUNT.
 <...>


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