Late last year the 3D print torrent website Thingiverse announced that they banned 3D gun designs, citing their terms of service which clearly prohibit files used to make weapons.
In a reaction, Defense Distributed opened, and the people behind the first 3D printable
gun, opened a website to host the designs that had been banned at Thingiverse. This included the popular blueprints of their own gun “The Liberator.”
The Department of State Office of Defense Trade Controls kindly requested that DEFCAD remove the 3D printable gun documents, mentioning a potential violation of International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
These files were subsequently removed, but DEFCAD was already working on a new project that would prevent government regulation.
“In March of this year, seeing an opportunity to expand the DEFCAD concept to fight the prevailing ideas about intellectual property in the entire physible space, I split Defense Distributed and DEFCAD and turned the latter into another company,” the founder, Cody Wilson told TorrentFreak.
“The idea was to move away from direct hosting to employ the first amendment victories won by Google in the courts and become a meta-search engine as a more robust way of spreading and preserving physibles. We hope to build a piece of infrastructure to help stem the next wave of the IP wars in advance if you will.”
DEFCAD raised a great number of funds and has swiftly rolled out the meta-search engine to the public on DEFCAD.com.
“After the State Department came after Defense Distributed and our hand was forced, I believe the Pirate Bay is still the Pirate Bay of 3D sharing. But nothing would be better than building complementary structures in the spirit of TPB,” Wilson says.
“There was some dissatisfaction with our public testing earlier in the summer. A handful of makers felt like we were taking advantage of Thingiverse’s bandwidth or not adequately respecting their ‘rights’ to their ‘property,’ but since we’ve appointed a DMCA agent we’ve received no takedown requests.”