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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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Does Programming a Computer Make A New Machine?~By PolR | 756 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Does Programming a Computer Make A New Machine?~By PolR
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 24 2012 @ 09:54 AM EDT
"It takes more than... to make a machine"

This is the crux. What more than moving atoms around is
needed to make a new kind of molecule or even a new kind of
mousetrap?

Reductio ad Absurdam is a valid mode of argument, and it
happens to be one of the few bits of real logic that all
lawyers can apply correctly, though they may not know its
name. (Lawyers will recognize the phrase "your argument
proves too much.")

Your last response, I think, boils down to "but the analogy
between bits and atoms doesn't hold!" In a courtroom,
that's not good enough. What's so special about bits and
why should the law consider that difference important enough
to change the rules? (That's a policy argument: start with
facts and show how they lead to particular social
consequences if you were to apply some existing or proposed
set of rules. It's an uphill battle, putting it mildly, to
push a policy through the courts, but if you can articulate
it clearly enough, lawyers might pass your ideas along to
Congress.) Or, what particular rules does the law already
have that show that bits should be treated differently from
atoms? (That's a legal argument [as opposed to equity] and
that's where you want to stake your ground in court, if you
can.)

I'm being unfair, of course. You've said before that you'll
leave the lawyering to the lawyers. You might have left it
at that instead of assuming the question was trying to troll
you.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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