There’s been this rampant fear over Defense Distributed’s Cody Wilson and his desire to give away 3-D printer files that allow people to make firearm parts and, in one case, a full firearm. They have freaked out and screamed and gotten the courts involved. They’re terrified at the idea of people being able to hop on the internet and download files that may allow them to build a firearm without the government’s permission.
The fact that people have been doing just that for years is completely irrelevant, apparently.
However, Cody Wilson has been the personal target of all of this. The courts have been focused on him. Anti-gun activists have been focused on him. All this despite the files being hosted on a number of other sites. That doesn’t matter. Wilson simply can’t be allowed to give these files away.
Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson crushed their short-lived happiness during a Tuesday press conference where he revealed that he actually won’t be stopped from sharing technical data; he will simply sell the files via his website, defcad.com. (Yes, he can do this.)
“This judge’s order, stopping us from simply giving things away, was only an authorization that we could sell it, that we could mail it, that we could email it, that we could provide it by secure transfer. I will be doing all of those things, now,” announced Wilson.
“A lot of this to me was about principle,” he continued. “For many years, I just chose not to sell these files, because I’m an open-source activist. I believed in demonstrating that there was a right to commit this information to the public domain.”
“But, this is my opportunity to correct the media all in one place. To read headline after headline about how you can no longer 3D-print a gun, you can no longer have these files, this is not true. This has never been true. I now have to demonstrate this to you, forcefully, to deliver the point.”
There is no set price for the material; patrons are asked to give whatever they’d like in exchange. Wilson said the money would be used for further legal fees.
I’m sorry, but I’ve got to admire Wilson. The man seems to live for hoisting a hardy middle finger and waving it at anti-gun activists. He’s not doing what the courts said he couldn’t. He’s following the letter of the court order, just probably not the spirit.
And it’s great.
It’ll allow him to continue to share these files while not getting hit with a contempt of court charge–though, frankly, I’ve got a lot of contempt for this court, let me tell you.
Further, based on the way Wilson is setting this up, people can pay whatever they can afford. As he notes, he’s not in this for the money, but it means these files can be distributed even more widely, even if all the other avenues for download are shut down somehow. Like the man in the movie said, “You can’t stop the signal.”
They’ll keep trying, but maybe they’ll eventually figure out that it’s a lost cause?