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No Legal Advice

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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maybe you need to define "semantics" | 756 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
maybe you need to define "semantics"
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 02:30 PM EDT
I'm trying to show you how a lawyer or judge will approach
the problem. It will help if you are extra clear that you
are NOT saying that programming is trivial.
Because lawyers have heard the "no programs are ever new"
argument before, and they will stop listening.

I realize that this article is about existing legal
rationales for the "programming = new machine" argument. As
such, whether programming is trivial is somewhat out of
scope. "programs never make new machines" only *sounds* a
lot like "programs are never new art". But it will help to
keep your audience engaged (and your critics focused on the
grounds where you want to fight them) if you remind them
about the boundaries of the discussion.

I'd also like to go further than to say, a) "the
reasoning in this particular case is flawed." The larger
question is, b) "can the reasoning be corrected and still
arrive at the same result?" And the still larger question
is, c) "is that result desirable at all?"

For example, we can argue a bit about whether transistors
are perfectly equivalent to switches. That's a type a
argument we could have about your article. But it's not
really important to the conclusion you reached, which is
that the switches theory doesn't get you to "new electrical
paths" by any defensible meaning of that phrase, thus the
whole rationale of that case is hogwash. That part of your
article survives a type b argument. So, thinking ahead, the
next steps are: b)ii) is there some other, correct rationale
that can be found? (Which your article goes some way toward
addressing, since it discusses other rationales that other
cases have advanced) and c) why look for a rationale in the
first place - what are the results? Again, thinking ahead
here. You're doing a valuable service by establishing the
facts ahead of me charging on to larger conclusions.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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