Originally Posted by JSWolf
I do think Tor was also on board.
The tools have to exist in order for DRM to be stripped. If we go by just the DMCA exception saying that DRM can be stripped in a certain case, then the tools have to be written so they can be used to strip the DRM. So how can it be illegal to write the tools if it's not illegal to use them?
Because however strange it may seem, that actually seems to be what the law says.
Basically, if you can write your own tools, you can strip DRM from anything that you are allowed to strip it from. And it's the same thing if you acquire the tools from someone else. So TOR can tell you that it's fine with them, as the copyright owner, if you strip the DRM on their books.
And TOR could probably give you a tool to do it with, if the tool were restricted to their own books. I'm not entirely sure about that, though, because I've never looked at the law from that angle.
But the problem is that the DMCA is pretty clear about prohibiting the distribution
of stripping tools. So anyone who writes the tools and gives them away for free could
be in trouble, even if the person who receives the tools isn't. I can think of an argument that would allow distribution, but I'm not sure how good the argument really is. It has to do with whether the tools are intended for use in a commercial activity, or are distributed as a part of a commercial activity.
So it is entirely possible that the rule is that you can strip the DRM if you can figure out how to write or get the tools, but the person who you get the tools from could be in violation of the law.
It seems to me that there's enough risk involved that I wouldn't advise anyone to take it for free, and if they take it while being paid, then they really are in violation. Fortunately, there are some people who are willing to take the free risk...