Monday, July 23, 2012

Programming A Computer Does Not Make A New Machine

Interesting argument that adding software to a machine (computer) does not create a new machine. It's a Groklaw page so there is significant discussion following.
"Most computer professionals would say the technical explanations given in Noll, Prater, Bernhart and WMS Gaming are incorrect from a computer science perspective. From the point of view of physical machine structure, no new machine is made when a computer is programmed.

"I am aware of the legal theory that a new machine is made because a new machine function is implemented. This is not the same explanation as the one found in the cases cited above but competent lawyers are telling me this explanation is legally correct. From the point of view of computer science, this explanation doesn't work any better than the other one. The technical evidence shows that programming a computer doesn't impart the computer with capabilities it doesn't already have absent the programming. "