Tags: 3d | gun | designer | political

Creator Says Order to Remove 3D Gun Design From Web 'Political'

By Sandy Fitzgerald and Kathleen Walter   |   Monday, 13 May 2013 03:48 PM

The creator of a downloadable, plastic gun suspects politics are behind a State Department order that his design be removed from the Internet, but he expects his 3-D technology to be a game-changer where federal regulations are concerned.

"The timing is just too obvious," Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed and the creator of "The Liberator" plastic firearm, told Newsmax.TV.

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State ordered Wilson's company to remove plans that allowed people with a 3-D printer to make a plastic gun. The plans were downloaded more than 200,000 times in only a few days before the order.

Critics have claimed terrorists could use the plans to create weapons to do harm against Americans. Wilson said while that's a valid argument, "terrorists can also use weapons that are given to them by the United States government."

Wilson, though, says the company's motive was to teach "what we thought was an alternative vision of the future through this distributed technology, 3-D printing, and then putting what would be a function of firearms online."

But the Liberator pistol was ordered taken down within two days after it was released, and Wilson says he doesn't know where the pressure came from to take it down.

"Maybe it is a senator," he said. "Maybe it was another nation, like the U.K. or Australia, but the pressure was strong enough that the Secretary of State just felt like they had to do something to try to stop this or just try to make it appear like they were stopping it."

He said he believes he heard from State, rather than from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms because the government couldn't stop the site through manufacturing or other grounds, so it used arms export control laws to stop the 3-D plans.

But even though State ordered the download stopped, Wilson said it's not possible to control the plans that are already out on the Internet.

"That Liberator pistol has now spread all over the Internet and all of the popular file sharing websites have taken it up as a kind of (cause)," he said. "I mean, they don’t believe in a world of administrative control of information in the Internet and they are responding by sharing the files even more than they would have ordinarily been shared."

The new technology, and the response online to it, could mean more decentralized control, Wilson believes.

The 3-D printing technology could expand into other areas currently restricted by the government, such as healthcare and medical devices, Wilson said, and he intends to push the printing technology further than it currently exists.

"The tool is an interesting one to challenge our understanding of intellectual property and regulation not just from a gun front, but on the medical device front," Wilson said. "We can have confrontations at the FDA, we can have confrontations with 'rights holders' over their design or utility patents. This is a wonderful tool because it can be a paradigm smasher and I'm interested in continuing to push its potential forward."

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