If there's anyone who believes people should have access to whatever they want online, it's probably file-sharing advocate and Mega founder Kim Dotcom. But Kim's pro-sharing sentiment apparently doesn't extend to the blueprints needed to 3D-print a firearm.
In a statement to TechCrunch this week, Dotcom confirmed that he had ordered the staff of his file-hosting website Mega to take down any files uploaded for building "The Liberator," the world's first 3D-printed gun.
“I think it’s a serious threat to the security of the community," said Dotcom, according to a statement emailed to TechCrunch by a spokesman. "I think it’s scary that people can print 3D guns that can’t even be detected by metal detectors. This should concern everybody."
Yet Dotcom's surprising move may not do much to slow the proliferation of The Liberator, which has had a busy month since a gun printed from the plans fired its first shot on May 5. After more than 100,000 downloads of the blueprint files in just two days, the State Department ordered Defense Distributed, the gun's maker and the site hosting the files, to take down the plans. They have since found shelter on myriad other services however, including The Pirate Bay, where they've been download thousands of times.
Though Dotcom says protecting people is paramount, he may also have removed the gun blueprints to avoid further legal trouble with the United States government. U.S. prosecutors are still working to extradite the New Zealand entrepreneur over criminal copyright infringement, money laundering, racketeering and fraud charges stemming from his tenure running the file-sharing site Megaupload.