These are the same regulations that prohibit the export of 3D model files over the internet if the model is a weapon or a part of a weapon.
The 3D models are banned because they are "technical documentation" (blueprints, manufacturing information). I would argue that the source code to encryption (a "weapon" according to the regulations) also counts are technical documentation. Therefor I think that printing the source code was just as illegal as sending the source code (or compiled software) over the internet.
Try exporting the blueprints or software source for a Gen III+ night vision and see how quickly you are picked up by the FBI.
I can't help but think this whole book thing was more designed to shame the government into letting it be exported, or for a judge to declare that the regulations were unconstitutional, or the guys who did it were misinformed about the law.
It's difficult to say one way or the other whether it would have held up in the long run because the government backed out of prosecuting without further comment. There were similar issues with DeCSS, the various 'illegal primes', etc . . .
There's a link to the same content on the main page, but it seems to be broken.
I am curious if someone could "paper up" something like PGP to be stored in a safe, if the format I vaguely recall did not go that far.
While I was typing that, I thought of a second point: would it still be a munition if it were only diffs? E.g. Could one put the patchsets on a public server without legal woes, because it's only the full source that's problematic?
Otherwise yeah, I agree that what they are saying is strange. The fact that prior to this any German using a copy of PGP was using a copy that an American broke the law to give him doesn't mean that the German was himself breaking the law.
Wouldn't it have been sufficient to scan only the crypto-code? I guess that the bulk of the code deals with UI, keyservers, file formats, etc, so why bother with exporting the non-crypto stuff in paper form?