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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Digg Users Revolt

Last week, JF alerted us in the forum that he received a takedown notice from regarding a posting he made at his blog. His post read nothing but this:

DRM cracked on HD DVD discs. The processing key is

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

More here on this forum [linked]

The company AACS saw this and sent a takedown notice to Google Inc, arguing the blog post is “a violation of the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.” JF says, “whats interesting is that i did not blog instructions on HOW to crack drm. i merely provided a well reported key and a link to a forum discussing it.”

After JF submitted this story to Digg, it reached an impressive 15,000 or so diggs... but then got pulled by Digg moderators. Digg users however didn’t like this kind of moderation, and escalated the issue... by digging everything related to the copyright encryption key for HD-DVD discs! “Hundreds of references to the code flooded the site’s submissions, filling its main pages and overwhelming the administrators’ attempts to control the site’s content,” Forbes writes, and Thomas of the SEO Critique blog took a screenshot.

Now, Digg gave in to the revolt. Digg’s Kevin Rose writes:

We’ve always given site moderation (digging/burying) power to the community. Occasionally we step in to remove stories that violate our terms of use (eg. linking to pornography, illegal downloads, racial hate sites, etc.). So today was a difficult day for us. We had to decide whether to remove stories containing a single code based on a cease and desist declaration. We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code.

But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.

The company that tried to suppress mentions of “09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0” now achieved the exact opposite: this particular key is now spread all over the web in a multitude of ways, including being sold on t-shirts, registered as domains, converted to poems, promoted in mockup graphics, and sent via ecards.

[Thanks Thomas and Ludwik Trammer!]


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