Too bad. DEFCAD veers off from its printable gun mission

I’m a big supporter of the Second Amendment, and opponent of gun control. So, as you’d imagine, I’ve been supportive of Defense Distributed’s efforts to print firearm parts and eventually an entire gun. And when Cody Wilson’s group created DEFCAD, a repository for firearm related CAD files, I was likewise supportive.

But now he’s moving DEFCAD beyond the idea of a firearm files repository, and is turning it into a Pirate Bay for CAD files, where intellectual property rights are not respected. I can’t get behind that. (I know that quite a few in the maker community feel the exact opposite of how I do — they want to clamp down on guns and ignore copyrights. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.) I won’t go into a discussion of the value of patents and copyrights here, as it’s a subject that deserves more space; but suffice it to say that I believe ignoring intellectual property is theft, pure and simple. DEFCAD’s mission of actively setting out to host copyrighted and patented designs is promoting theft and that’s not something I can support.

Cody, you had me at guns. You lost me at theft. What a shame.

  • Jeff

    I agree.

    I fully support creating and hosting open source files of all things, especially gun parts. I have no problem with a search engine that will help you find open source or copyrighted / patented files.

    But, if you are hosting them, or assisting in their download in any way, you should have an agreement with the IP owner to compensate them. Otherwise, just point at where they are and let the end user negotiate with / pay the IP owner themselves.

    Open source is a great way to come up with new designs (for items or software). The person who designs it should be the one to decide whether they want it to be open source or to be paid for it. To do otherwise for 3d printing is to relegate it to the hobbiest relm forever.

  • Joe

    IP is going the way of the old skool. PPL have been “taking” since the dawn of man. I mean look at the fashion industry, change one button and it’s a different shirt. It’s about branding and building a base of ppl that want the brand. This is the great thing about america everyone wants to do what they want, when they want, how they want and not have to answer to anyone.

    DEFCAD is a great example of this. I mean why take responsibility for ones actions…I say let ’em have at it. In a free market, if no one wants it then let the ppl vote with their “dollars”….

    • Mark Fleming

      Welcome to anarchy then. Sounds good at first (not to me!), but without the profit motive nothing that really takes any time to invent will be invented. It’s like communism: who is going to school for 10 years to be a doctor when it pays the same as a postal worker?

      Now, if you are talking about the stupid patents that the USPTO issues (things like Amazon patenting the 1-Click Buy Button), that’s another story.