For those of who may not have been following the controversial case about how one Cody Wilson and several plaintiffs won a case against the US State Department banning 3D-printing guns and uploading their blueprints, there has been another development after a Seattle judge and several other states followed suit in issuing a TRO on the settlement. Cody Wilson, controversial and central figure in the fight for legalizing 3D-printing guns and founder of Defcad.com, broke his silence on August 28th by holding a press conference in Austin, Texas. It’s here that he announced that he intends to comply with the federal court order of banning his publication of CAD files for 3D-printing firearms internationally. However, Wilson said he would start to sell copies of his 3D-printable gun files on a pay-what-you-want arrangement, and “suggesting” that you pay at least $10 per data set.
In compliance with the latest ruling, Wilson explained that his company, Defense Distributed, will send the files on Defense Distributed-branded flash drives to customers within the US only. Wilson explained to reporters:
“We’re not desperate for cash, we’re just covering costs. I remember when Radiohead did this [in 2007 with their In Rainbows album], they said they didn’t make real money for this… I don’t expect to either. There’s plenty of people who don’t want this, don’t care, until they see the Attorney General of Pennsylvania doesn’t want you to have it.”
Wilson also mentioned that he would be exploring the possibility of distributing the files via customer email and secure download links. He even encouraged anyone to send him other files of 3D-printable guns, and he’d be willing to share 50 percent of the sales. Wilson stressed that files must be CAD files, blueprints and schematics that can be used on a 3D printer, and that users can’t resell materials they don’t own the rights to; he has also claimed that Defense Distributed has already readied the infrastructure for reviewing user submissions. Clearly, by selling the files only to people within the US, Defense Distributed has found a loophole that allows him to distribute 3D gun blueprints, yet still comply with the ban.