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Old 08-25-2012, 08:41 PM   #76
JSWolf
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Originally Posted by Harmon View Post
Neither Scalzi nor his publisher can make something that is illegal (marketing DRM stripping tools) legal by permitting you to do it on their books.

But the law does not make it illegal to acquire DRM stripping tools, so if you acquire them, what Scalzi & the publisher are doing is telling you that they won't sue you for stripping. They could still actually sue you, but they would lose (1) because it's not illegal for you to strip the DRM from a book you legally acquired from them, and (2) even if that turned out not to be true, you could defend yourself under a legal doctrine called "detrimental reliance," basically meaning that you relied on their promise so they can't take it back.

Technically speaking, Scalzi might be violating the law for linking to the tools, since he's helping to distribute them in a commercial context. Certainly if I were his lawyer, I would tell him not to link. The way this should be handled is for everyone who bought a DRMed ebook to be sent a new, DRM free copy by the publisher.
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?
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:22 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
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...

Last edited by Harmon; 08-26-2012 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:32 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
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?
I made a quick check of Scalzi's site did not see any link to DRM tools. I didn't check Tor. Maybe I'm missing something.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:57 AM   #79
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I made a quick check of Scalzi's site did not see any link to DRM tools. I didn't check Tor. Maybe I'm missing something.
It was posted in his blog.

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/06/0...-re-redshirts/
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:37 PM   #80
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The reason that the owner of this website does not permit posting of techical information on how to accomplish removal of DRM is probably that he/she/it does not want to argue with the authorities whether doing so violates the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA, which it might under some circumstances. While merely posting the information might be "free speech," hosting a site where people who actually do violate those provisions come together to discuss how to accomplish it would expose the owner to conspiracy charges.


Thank you. I finally have a good and reasonable answer to my major question.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:46 AM   #81
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I am still trying to figure out how to de-drm Kindle books I purchased so that I can read them on my Sony PRS-T1 and not just my laptop. Can you help?
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:10 AM   #82
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I am still trying to figure out how to de-drm Kindle books I purchased so that I can read them on my Sony PRS-T1 and not just my laptop. Can you help?
Detailed DRM removal instructions are not permitted on MobileRead. I suggest you google for Apprentice Alf and ask there.
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