Defense Distributed is an online, open-source organization that collaboratively produce, publish, and distribute to the public, without charge, information and knowledge related to the digital manufacture of arms. On May 5, 2013, DD released the files for The Liberator pistol as result of the Wiki Weapon Project. This release was met by a flurry of US governmental censures and investigations. Its 21st century, and in some countries you have the right to buy a gun, but you’re not free to make it by yourself. Is it ethics, security or pure economics?
Defense Distributed was born in the Summer of 2012 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Founders Ben Denio and Cody Wilson sought to create a political and legal vehicle for demonstrating and promoting the subversive potential of publicly-available 3D Printing technologies. On July 27th, 2012 they launched the Wiki Weapon Project—the effort to create and release the files for the world’s first printable handgun. In August 2012, Indiegogo.com removed DD’s inaugural fundraising campaign from its website, citing a terms of service violation. This removal prompted stirrings in the 3DP and tech blogs, and led DD to court the Bitcoin community to help fund the Wiki Weapon. By September 2012, DD had raised enough money to set to prototyping and experimentation, when industry player Stratasys scandalously revoked its lease with the company and quickly repossessed its printer. On May 5, 2013, DD released the files for the Liberator pistol—the culmination of the Wiki Weapon Project. This release was met by a flurry of US governmental censures and investigations, and DD is still involved in a conflict with the US State Department over whether there is a requirement to seek government approval before releasing privately generated gun files into the public domain.