Few people know that Disney and other content creators and distributors were mostly responsible for enabling the surveillance state where Americans could be tracked by GUIDs (Globally Unique IDentifiers) embedded in digital files and in some cases documents printed with everyday printers. The goal was to prevent the loss of profits to copyright infringement of digitally-produced materials.
These are the same folks that took the civil matter of copyright infringement and federalized it, so the costs of investigations and prosecution are no longer the responsibility of the company suffering the infringement, but the taxpayer. These are the same folks that extended copyright protections to deny materials from entering the public domain in your lifetime, and when that proves to be difficult, criminalizing the breaking of the electronic file wrapper around public domain materials. These are the people who want internet ISPs to engage in unencrypted deep-packed mining to detect and deter copyright infringement.
And, they are at it again using the progressives love of “common sense gun control” to develop a legislative pretext and a judicial precedent for banning the download of so-called 3D-gun printing programs and files containing the commands for the machining of "unregistered" gun parts. And, as long as they can grab a “piece of the action,” the GOP is unlikely to act.
Believe it or not, this is an issue that is not about guns or the Second Amendment, but about money. The ability to ban the posting of digital files that would allow consumers to make copyrighted or patented goods in their own home, even those ostensibly for their own use in making “homebrew” repairs.
It’s about toys and other consumer and industrial goods. Being able to replicate hard-to-replace or expensive parts to fix a previous purchase. Think laser-cut gaskets for your car repair.
While one might sympathize with businesspeople whose intellectual property is being illegally copied, it is quite another thing to empower the federal government to ban the transfer of certain types of data files and to engage in the surreptitious surveillance and prosecution to detect and deter such downloaded files. An effort that would not only legitimize domestic spying on American citizens but would enable evildoers to cripple capitalism.
One foolish argument against three-dimensional program files and numerically-controlled machinery is a thought exercise that asks should we allow access to files containing detailed instructions to build the components of a nuclear weapon. Talk about nonsense. Since when did criminals, crazies, and terrorists abide by any law?
Pretty much the same argument for gun parts. Criminals, crazies, and terrorists do not abide by the law – and in most cases would find in substantially easier to steal a weapon than go to the trouble of making one. As for weapons without serial numbers, does anyone believe that serializing weapons actually prevents gun violence?
Bottom line …
Producing counterfeit goods for sale is already a crime, as is manufacturing and distributing weapons. There are enough laws on the books to deter criminal activity.
It is time we start thinking of protecting and defending our constitution and protecting our freedoms. The freedom not to be disarmed and unable to exercise our right to self-defense. The right to not become part of a larger victim pool that must authorize the exponential expansion of government to provide safety and security – which is mostly a sham since the police cannot be everywhere they are needed, when they are needed.
In the final analysis, it is about politicians continuing to engorge themselves with campaign funds, voter support, and media attention by carrying the water of the special interests whose obsolete business models are at risk from modern technology that can replicate counterfeits which are indistinguishable from the original.
Thus, it appears that the driving impetus behind the push to outlaw and criminalize data downloads of 3-D printer instructions, is not about guns, but empowering the federal government to domestically surveil Americans and ban specific products on behalf of the special interests who pay their way. And since the grubby politicians need the legal authority and legislation to justify such bans, they are starting with “gun files.”
We think we own our computers, but they are worthless without the “licensed” operating system and application software. The hardware and software vendors already claim the right to surveil your system, ostensibly to improve the “customer experience” and prevent errors. Pretty soon, all software will be hosted in the cloud and that each and every program we access will be funneled through a licensed gateway and surcharged by the gatekeepers. Right now, there is a legislative fight to allow the repair of your own electronic devices in the People’s Republik of California. I think that the bill will not pass or will be severely limited – after all both sides are raking in the campaign funds.
We are so screwed.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius