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setq command changes code

I have the following problems:
1. After performing the command (setq x (list ... )), I noticed that
   the code in the function that initializes x was also changed to the
   new value. After consulting with my guru, he pointed out that this
   might be due to a sharing pattern I am not aware of, or to the way
   in which assignments are performed (e.g., by passing a pointer).
   I wasn't able to find this information, so my question is were I
   could find it in order to avoid such occurrences in the future. Of
   course, if somebody up there is terribly curious and wants to look
   at a transcript of the session, I'll be very appreciative.
2. The most updated copy we have of Franz is Opus 38.5. I hear that it
   is now Opus 38.91. What should I do in order to get an updated copy?
   Please don't advise me to contact the person in charge, because this
   person (who no longer wishes to be in charge) told me to contact you.
Thanks very much.