After a federal Court extended an order barring crypto- and free-market anarchist Cody Wilson from giving away plans to make firearms with a 3D printer, he launched a “pay anything” plan to distribute gun blueprints via mail.
Wilson unveiled “Operation Integral Accident” during a press conference Tuesday in Austin that will allow visitors to his website to buy the plans after setting their own price. “I’m happy now to become the iTunes of downloadable guns if I can’t be the Napster,” he said.
The initiative is a nod toward Radiohead, which released an album using a similar construct in 2007. The English rock band allowed fans to buy a digital copy of the album “In Rainbow” by essentially setting their own price.
As for the process, visitors can download any of the 10 digital plans optimized for 3D printing technology in either SLDPRT or STP format. The default price populates as $10, but users can adjust it to as low as zero. The plans are uploaded to a flash drive and mailed at a flat $7 shipping rate. Buyers have to click a box to certify that they are a U.S. citizen and agree to terms and conditions.
Those who have other 3D gun files to share will be able to upload them to the site for sale, splitting the proceeds with Wilson’s company, and he said he expects that soon the number of user-uploaded files will outnumber his.
Individuals from states that have filed to block access to DefCAD receive an error message that reads “Oops. You’re behind the blue wall. Your masters say you can’t be trusted with this information. Sorry, little lamb.”
By Tuesday morning, some 25,000 downloads were displayed on the DefCAD site’s counter with the most popular file, that for the Beretta 92FS, being requested 3,534 times.
“For many years I chose not to sell these files,” said Wilson, touting that he is an open-source activist, but said he was forced into the action by a court order against his ability to post them for free. “Anyone who wants these files are going to get them.”
The 25-page order, handed down Monday, says that 1970s-era Arms Export Control Act keeps the files from being uploaded to the internet, but they can be emailed, mailed, securely transmitted, or otherwise published inside the country.
Wilson first came to the public eye after posting plans for his mostly plastic Liberator pistol in 2013. After a lengthy legal battle with the U.S. State Department, who forced him to take the plans down to comply with international arms controls, the federal government moved to settle their case with the self-described anarchist earlier this year. At that point, a group of states — now numbering 19 — allied with gun control groups, sought to block the settlement in federal court.
In related news, a site established by gun rights groups earlier this month to mirror DefCAD’s plans in defiance of the court has seen some 1.5 million downloads requested. As of Tuesday, activists further tweaked the court by registering the name of the judge who issued the restraining order against Wilson, JudgeRobertLasnik.com, to point to the free site.
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