The Gatalog Foundation

(Or, Who Busts the Fudd Busters)

The Black Flag White Paper is now on Amazon. Thank you for the enthusiastic reception. Yes, I’m showboating in places, but it was fun to stretch my legs. To make the same points, all I really had to do was post the longtime motto of the Deterrence Dispensed Keybase: “Code is free speech. Copyright is theft.”

I wonder where they got that?

These days, you’ll find the admins of that very Keybase misguiding newcomers to our space with entirely opposite (and embarrassing) legal takes:

Ivan embarrassing himself and The Gatalog Foundation

All we’re left with after such friendly, and frequent, legal misstatements is the impression these people will proudly suffer comparison to Taylor Swift. Conceptual failures this great invite questions, and I answer the more serious of these in the Black Flag paper.

The most obvious remaining question is cui bono?

In 3D2A, the principles dictate the methods. After JStark died and his Keybase was flushed, his lieutenants had, at best, a casual grasp of the principles. They assumed 3D2A meant property, that copyright meant good title, and they ended up teaching gun control to hundreds of would-be developers without even realizing it.

Consider the new website for The Gatalog Foundation. Though Gatalog Command quickly took it down after publication of the Black Flag, we can still examine the site’s most recent snapshots from May:

$400 a year. Now, I know what you’re thinking. And yes, it does seem a little underpriced.

“Digital Right” means intellectual property. They have no other theory of right. The word “steward” is custodial and similarly propertarian. For $400 a year, these guys will sell you a letter from Ashley at the Copyright Office and a full federal doxxing as title to your work.

Ashley at the Copyright Office learning about 3D guns.

And I don’t have to imagine the dumb shit they wrote in their copyright registration applications. Ashley will show me. Did you know it’s a crime to lie to her?

The Gatalog embraced IP to maintain the appearance that they somehow lead community sentiment rather than get led by it. There’s something more than dishonest about this. They misguide the “masses” and demand the impossible of the law in order to be affirmed in their own ideological naïveté. What, for example, am I to make of this text?

By my count, it’s been 5,568 hours since that was sent. Were repression and private vindication not the desired outcomes?

The Fudd Buster Idea

Chief among their feminine habits in conflict, The Gatalog Foundation employs the Fudd Busters method of disavowal.

The Fudd Buster is much more concerned with the possibility of manipulation than with the traumatic dimension of reality. His theories (consumer, legal, media) are entirely anchored in the will to not be deceived; in the will to let others know he is not.

His trivial knowledge of firearms, or really anything, serves as an object-fetish that allows him to ignore and survive the real. We can read The Gatalog Foundation’s tagline differently now: “A pro-gun org run by people who actually like guns.” Ah, so that’s what was missing from 2A advocacy and litigation. Nobody liked the guns enough.

$400 a year is ten times more expensive than an NRA membership. It is twenty-six times more expensive than an annual membership with the Second Amendment Foundation. That organization is running almost sixty cases nationwide, and all the Fudd Buster can do is tell you they’re somehow ripping you off. This becomes even easier for them when there’s no chance they will be invited to participate in major 2A litigation.

So, gun printer to thy guns? Not quite. Though a Creative Commons membership is free, The Gatalog Foundation’s membership fee is less than the $425 required to join the American Intellectual Property Law Association. I’m not saying legal amateurs shouldn’t organize and build what they like, even if that means IP organizations. The American tradition in arms is an amateur tradition.

Marx himself praised the “watchmaker [James] Watt” for inventing the steam engine. So you see, even the best of us get fooled by IP. James Watt improved the steam engine. He patented this improvement, fought his competitors for title in the idea, and delayed the mass adoption of the steam engine by two decades.

Now you’re nobody’s fool. That’ll be $400.

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Memorial Day Weekend

There’s a weird trend in our space of ersatz anarchists more or less begging for federal protection of their files. Just a sample:

Big maudlin. One blanches.

It’s become a convenient piece of rhetoric that no one can sue DEFCAD because they’d have to give up anonymity. This is, of course, not true. Our Everytown case was, in the end, about your right to proceed anonymously. I support your right to proceed anonymously. The reason you don’t sue is because you got the law wrong on copyright. That and because you’re a huge pussy.

Anyway, I wrote a paper to commemorate the great pirates who lit our way. They pillaged so we could plunder.

Enjoy your holiday weekend. If you would like to support these legal actions, please join LEGIO.

DD at the Supreme Court

Yesterday the Supreme Court granted certiorari in VanDerStok, the so-called “frame and receiver” case where Defense Distributed and Polymer80 are major intervenor plaintiffs. The case’s docket page can be found here.

The Court has posted the case’s “Questions Presented” document, which you can download below. In short, these questions are:

Briefing and Argument

July 8 is the presumptive deadline for our brief on the merits, assuming ATF files on June 6.

July 15 is the deadline for amicus briefs supporting SAF and DD’s side, again assuming that ATF files on June 6. 

Amicus Briefs

If you’d like to file an amicus brief, contact SAF, FPC, or DD at [email protected].

Oral Argument

We expect oral argument to be between October 7 and 16. Let me know if you’d like to attend.

Thank you for your support resisting the receiver rule since 2021. Defense Distributed and LEGIO were instrumental in narrowing the first version of the rule, preserving the errors of the second, and successfully challenging the rule in the Western District of Texas and the Fifth Circuit. Only one more stop to go.

If you would like to support these legal actions, please join LEGIO.

Deadly Gifts

Yesterday Defense Distributed filed its long-delayed 3D gun brief with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. This one has become the grandfather case to determine the free speech value of CAD files. Its anomalous procedural history shows just how dangerous the federal courts have found it over the years.

Gift Exchange

Justin Lee at Compact Mag has written a thoughtful piece about Jessica Solce’s film Death Athletic, and the philosophy behind the founding of GunCAD. I encourage you to read it:

If you would like to support these legal actions, please join LEGIO.

VanDerStok Respondents’ Brief

This week saw FPC’s and New Jersey’s briefs at the Supreme Court in VanDerStok, the “frame or receiver” rule case against the ATF. Today we filed our brief as well, joined by Polymer80 and JSD Supply.

The differences are merely in emphasis. Where FPC spends paragraphs on Due Process vagueness and the Second Amendment’s necessary inclusion of a “right to make”, the Defense Distributed brief devotes pages.

Thank you for your enthusiastic feedback on our recent podcast about the history of GunCAD.

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Last night I joined Garret on YouTube to answer questions concerning DEFCAD in support of victims of domestic FOSS.

One of the questions we take up is: Why does DEFCAD require a membership even though most 3D gun files have free software licenses?

On June 9, 2021, BIS sent Defense Distributed the first and only EAR enforcement letter concerning the 3D gun question since the completion of the Export Control Reform Initiative, the settlement of Defense Distributed v. U.S. Dep’t of State, and the regulatory transfer of firearms technical data from the USML to the CCL in March of 2020.

So a simple answer. But this little letter hides a lot.

The policy statement in the BIS letter would seem to contradict the reading of 734.7(c) suggested in 85 FR 4172, which provides for a “CAD/CAM distinction” as an answer to the First Amendment questions raised in Defense Distributed v. U.S. Dep’t of State. Everytown, among others, pressured BIS in the spring of 2021 to erase this reading of the CAD/CAM rule, and BIS would eventually bury a contradictory interpretation (now a distinction without a difference) in official online guidance that they’d tweak for weeks. Their May 28, 2021 publication follows:

Gun people understand rogue federal agencies can subvert Congress’ legislative power through the process of official rulemaking. This isn’t even that. This is lawmaking by FAQ.

The BIS revisionism in Question 2 of this FAQ is a fun point of departure, for those still interested. It frames the four most fateful weeks in modern guncad. Shall we read it together?

This story about the Ninth Circuit decision (which allowed 3D gun files back on the Internet) is necessary because DEFCAD immediately published, for free, every 3D gun file from across the Internet on April 28th. And published loudly. You’ve read the DEFCAD newsletter. When DOJ threatened to prosecute Defense Distributed again, we immediately went to court for a TRO.

An excerpt from our emergency injunction request that same week in Texas:

In short, the feds were saying “No, you can’t publish yet.” And so was The Gatalog.

To ensure judicial notice of their public domain status, we included the best of the Gatalog designs in our re-release of free files. But this was an outrage for which Gatalog high command required payment. While it may offend modern sensibilities (in 2024 we all know it’s wrong to ask for money for free files), in the wild weeks of May, 2021, free files were pricey things. Just try to remember these were men of their time!

For the FGC-9 Mk II alone, the Director of The Gatalog (then, as now, a little-known figure) demanded a wire payment of $2,500 to his personal shell company. And so this was the price to officially open source the FGC-9 Mk II.

The reader will note I paid for the FGC-9 the day after the Ninth Circuit mandate issued, on May 26th. But it’s also the same day The Gatalog Foundation was formed in Florida. Could these two facts be related?

By June 1st, 2021, DEFCAD went back to a paywall, The Gatalog became a corporation, and BIS would assume jurisdiction of 3D gun files, pretending nothing had happened the previous four weeks.

JStark was dead a month later.

VanDerStok 2024 and John Walker

ATF petitioned for cert in VanDerStok v. Garland, our “frame and receiver rule” case that The Fifth Circuit just won’t let Joe Biden win. It’s nice to read the words “Defense Distributed” in yet another Supreme Court petition. Polymer80 and JSD Supply have agreed to join our pending brief, where we will also request the Supreme Court grant cert to at last consider the grand question: what is the definition of a firearm?

We’ll know something here by June.

John Walker

In DD’s longest running case, Defense Distributed v. Attorney General of New Jersey, No. 23-3058 (3d Cir.), I’d like to highlight the role and contributions of John Walker, who we learned passed on February 2nd.

Mr. Walker was the founder of Autodesk, a libertarian philosopher in the Atlantic tradition, and the earliest financier of Defense Distributed. In our New Jersey line of free speech cases, beginning in late 2018, Mr. Walker contributed authoritative declarations supporting the speech value of CAD files. I’d like to share one of his original declarations below, which will be used in our upcoming Third Circuit brief :

Kind of difficult for Everytown and the New Jersey AG to contradict the testimony of the inventor of AutoCAD. May he rest in power.

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On Getting Supremed

For the second time in as many weeks, the Supreme Court had to intervene to rescue Biden’s “Ghost Gun” rule from the judgments of O’Connor and the Fifth Circuit. Defense Distributed’s injunctions were vacated twice! Winning hurts, and in our experience is one of the fastest ways to lose.

The press buried us everywhere. It makes all their quiet in our weeks of victory more conspicuous.

The Court’s second order comes without explanation or dissent.

I guess being “Supreme” means never having to issue an opinion.

So that’s it for kit guns by mail, at least for a couple of years. Can’t say we didn’t fight Old Man Biden. The only advice I have is that you have to aestheticize these kinds of reversals. Appropriate your defeats and integrate them with strong plastic powers. I gave a speech about this last month in Prague.

There’s a movie about our ten years of official defeat premiering in Austin tonight at AFS. It’s called Death Athletic.

If you would like to support these legal defeats, please join LEGIO.

Freeman’s Folly Part III

To answer my charge that Freeman1337 is a coward, Everytown defendant Gatalog-Printable Magazines, joined by the owner of the Gatalog, have offered to make an appearance on this weekend’s Out of Battery Live. Discerning readers may note this is not the traditional way a man answers the charge of cowardice. Nevertheless, Freeman’s keepers have two hours to explain why trapping him in the Everytown case with them, why persuading CtrlPew to perjure himself, and why hiding the fact they were identified by Odysee are all 200 IQ moves that you, too, would have made.

You are free to believe the “no worries” above is actually a coded message. By “no worries”, Freeman (a known Straussian) secretly means: “Actually, you guys, I’m very worried, and with any pressure at all I’ll probably, understandably, abandon my post.”

Anyway, now that he’s missed his show-cause hearing on the 11th, a chain of events begins which will include final judgment, takedown orders, and–most likely–Freeman in jail or underground. Though no longer with us, he can at least take comfort in the gravediggers at the Gatalog releasing a printable Freeman figurine. The Gatalog: Where dead developers bury the living.

The dearly departed’s files are restored at DEFCAD, where they will remain safely archived according to our mission of preservation. DEFCAD will always be home to files censored by enemy actors, even when those enemy actors are the creators themselves. We’ve now finished archiving the Gatalog as well.

Help us celebrate by reading our companion guide to Open Source development.

xoxo crw

Freeman’s Folly Part II

I’m amused by the large response to our last post, and the readers who shared Freeman’s identity. Thank you, but this isn’t the point. Freeman’s information has been an open secret among 3D2A developers for at least the last year. And this shouldn’t be a surprise given his daily commitment to maintaining a certain kind of profile on social media. Profile work requires producing a constant stream of information about oneself, and advertising this information in public and private spaces.

We should instead consider Freeman’s weakness of personality as a notable kind of failure within our community. A failure to engage with what is actually happening.

As I said in the previous post, the cause for the loss of this winnable case was the profile politics of the Gatalog. The only coherent response I’ve seen from them is: “it’s ok we were all immediately doxxed by Odysee, they have to obey subpoenas.” Sweethearts, not only is this not true, there was not even a subpoena.

And don’t take my word for it. Behold Twitter’s third party motions to intervene from November of 2021:

Twitter fighting ex parte discovery order
An excellent primer on Rule 45 and the First Amendment

This defense of the rights of 3D gun printers by Twitter was made a year before Elon Musk bought the platform. I am telling you that our avowed enemy,, put in more work to fight this judge’s ex parte discovery orders than Odysee, who produced instantly and without any kind of objection.

Defendant “TheGatalog-PrintableMagazines” made a decision not to join this case at all. His big bet was Odysee wouldn’t ID him if Odysee wasn’t a named party in the lawsuit. He was instead ID’d within ten days. Realizing their entire organizational identity was built on sand, and that any of their devs will be ID’d whenever any authority so much as asks, “The Gatalog” invented and popularized fantasy defenses to their real trauma: “We were the victims of a mean lawyer (one must never confess to being unfortunate)” and “Actually it was DEFCAD (who would take the anonymity fight to the Second Circuit three times) who was doxxing creators.”

You cannot make it up. Anyway, I’ve agreed to share what’s left to say about this on Out of Battery Live on Saturday.