[darcs-users] darcs patch: relicense Darcs.Commands.GZCRCs as BSD3

Gwern Branwen gwern0 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 29 00:09:57 UTC 2009

On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 11:06 PM, Stephen J. Turnbull <stephen at xemacs.org> wrote:
> Gwern Branwen writes:
>  > 1. Any copyrighted work can be represented as a number, x
> Starting from a false premise, of course you can derive a
> contradiction.
> A copyrighted work is not a mathematically defined entity, like the
> current definition of the meter in terms of the number of wavelengths
> of light emitted by a specific electron state transition.  It is
> defined with reference to a unique physical embodiment, as in the
> original definition of the meter as the distance between two scratch
> marks on a particular bar of platinum-iridium alloy in a vault in
> Paris.[1]
> The scope of copyright is the transitive closure of works created by
> copying (in a fuzzy but well-defined sense) or performing the
> copyrightable portions of that original work.
> Footnotes:
> [1]  The scope of a patent, on the other hand, includes any physical
> entity that embodies the description presented in the patent, whether
> or not it is a copy.

Alright, fine. I pick a random large prime, and I apply successive transformations - each a copy, thus giving you your transitive closure - which get ever closer to my random large prime, eventually reaching it. Now I have a large number which was not copyrighted by construction, yet is reachable by a copyrighted path. The rest of my proof goes through as before.

Attempting to defend copyright as any sort of logic is about as effective as logically defending the Transubstantiation of the Host. You're trying to put metaphysical ghosts on solid ground - it just isn't going to work. You need to take such systems on either faith or pragmatics...

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