Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Guns and Circuses: The New 3D Printing Search Engine

Cody Wilson. Image Source: Wired.

Caption for the above photograph: "Cody Wilson, a 24-year-old law student at the University of Texas, didn't invent the concept of printable, downloadable guns. He's only created the first platform devoted to sharing the blueprints online for free to anyone who wants one, anywhere in the world, at any time. Wilson and his group of amateur gunsmiths, known as Defense Distributed, are also currently working on producing what may become the world's first fully 3-D printed gun, which they call the 'Wiki Weapon.'"

The Gen Y entrepreneurs who brought us the 3D printed gun (primarily designer Cody Wilson, whom Wired named as one of "The 15 Most Dangerous People in the World.") did not like government authorities censoring them. So they've invented a new search engine devoted to 3D print model schematics. Oh, and it functions like the Pirate Bay.

The search engine is called DEFCAD (main site is here; their Twitter account is here). From TorrentFreak:
Like The Pirate Bay, the new search engine allows users to add links without storing any of the files on its own servers. “We hope to build a piece of infrastructure to help stem the next wave of the IP wars in advance,” founder Cody Wilson tells TorrentFreak. ...

Late last year [2012] the 3D print website Thingiverse decided to ban 3D gun designs, citing their terms of service which clearly prohibit files used to make weapons.

In a response Defense Distributed, the people behind the first 3D printable gun, threw up a website to host the designs that had been banned at Thingiverse. This included the popular blueprints of their own gun “The Liberator.”

The worldwide release of the prints did not sit well with the State Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls who kindly requested that DEFCAD remove the availability of the 3D printable gun documents, citing a possible violation of International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

The files in question were removed, but at the same time DEFCAD was already working on a new project that would be harder to censor. Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson had started to raise funds for a separate meta-search engine, the first to focus on 3D print models.

“In March of this year [2013], 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,” Wilson tells 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 significant amount of funds and has now quietly rolled out the meta-search engine to the public on DEFCAD.com. While still labeled as an Alpha release the site already indexes more than 74,000 files, all stored on external sites. ...

“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. ...

Of course it is still early days for 3D printing and at the moment the scale of 3D print piracy is rather minimal. This is bound to change in the years to come, but DEFCAD’s founder doubts that it will ever compete with the size and prevalence of more traditional forms of piracy, such as sharing movies and music.

“I’m of two minds about this right now. Having grasped the state of 3D printing at the top and the bottom, I think the deck is stacked against [a] movement [devoted to] physible piracy,” Wilson tells us.

“What I mean is that I don’t see the same passions being exercised to liberate copyrighted design as I see used to liberate entertainment media. This is probably obvious, and it may mean nothing for the future political defense of the physible, but I think the distinction is worthwhile.”

Wilson expects that when the ball starts rolling the entertainment industry might be the first to jump in to protect their 3D designs, as they have done already on a small scale.

“It’s interesting that the old movie and film giants were the first to issue physible takedown notices. It’s quite likely entertainment-related physibles are going to be the battleground in the near future,” Wilson says.

Earlier this year [2013] HBO was one of the first to issue a 3D print takedown request for a Game of Thrones iPhone cover. Those who search DEFCAD for the name of the popular series will see that they have plenty of work to do.

For now, however, the most downloaded files on the new meta-search engine are, perhaps fittingly, guns. With more than 6,000 downloads The Liberator v1.1 is the most popular, followed by other gun designs, the FOSSCAD Atlas SSR and DMR Shanrilivan with over 5,000 downloads.
Image Source: TorrentFreak.

See all my posts on 3D Printing.

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