The Copyright Act preempts the GPL

John Cowan cowan at
Mon Feb 9 13:00:38 UTC 2004

Alexander Terekhov scripsit:

> To me, compilers (and tools like 
> do nothing but "transliteration", not "translation" in the 
> legal sense. I may be wrong, of course.

A strong point, certainly; but I think legal language, like ordinary
language, applies "mechanical" to only a small subset of the acts that
can actually be done by machines these days; roughly, those performable
by machines that have only a small amount of state or none at all.

Certainly machine translation is not translation in the full sense of
the word, but the (very imperfect) state of the art requires considerably
more state than seems to me consistent with the meaning of the word

All Norstrilians knew what laughter was:        John Cowan
it was "pleasurable corrigible malfunction".
        --Cordwainer Smith, _Norstrilia_        jcowan at
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