The Day Digg Ate Itself

Andrew Krespanis

It’s been an interesting 24 hours for the darling of user-driven content, digg. Upon removing an item regarding the discovery of the processing key that unlocks AACS copy protection (used in both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs), digg was overwhelemed by a flood of angry users, submitting and digging more stories containing the now-legendary hexidecimal string.

Digg prides itself on the idea of the community controlling the content, but this incident has been a prime example of how user driven content can backfire — what do you do if your users fill your site with content that is in direct conflict with your advertisers and therefore puts your revenue at risk? Oh, didn’t you know? Diggnation is (or was), sponsored by the HD-DVD Promotions Group.

Kevin Rose’s official post on the matter states that they pulled the story due to a cease and desist letter. While I don’t doubt that digg may have received a cease and desist, surely Wired would have received the same when they published the code in February?

Hmmm… Interesting.

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  • DesdeGuate.com
  • Maxine Sherrin

    OK, I’m no Futurist, more of a Nowist, but my prediction is this will be seen less as the moment when user driven or generated content stalled, and more as a moment when the recording industry, hollywood, etc etc etc really accepted the lay of the land and got serious about finding themselves a new business model.

  • mihd
  • wwb_99

    I don’t thing the DMCA applies to print media. Nevermind that Wired can much more easily wrap itslef in an American flag and claim freedom of the press. Whereas it is unclear at best if digg can be constructed as the free press from a legal standing.

    Disclaimer: IANAL. But I do date one.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com Matthew Magain

    The code was published to their blogs, not their print magazine.

  • Robert

    Oh well, why not for good measure:
    09F911029D74E35BD84156C5635688C0
    This is the number of planets in the Universe

  • wwb_99

    Good point Matt. But I think that the fact that Wired also has a print publication makes the “wrap in american flag, and scream freedom of the press” argument hold alot more water. Whereas Digg is a concept which is much more difficult to trace to the US Constitution.

    Oh, and I bet Wired can afford better lawyers.

  • http://thechrisblackwell.com Chris Blackwell

    This is definitely a black eye for Digg. However, can we really be surprised by this? Digg after all is a business and if you have something that directly hurts your business, most people are forced to take action.

  • http://www.nexternal.com/?Source=JS JSebastian

    Yesterday I was proud of the “mob” I saw take over Digg. Digg is no victim. Digg may be but a casualty in a larger fight, but if I ever meet Kevin, I’ll be sure to shake his hand.

    The media consumer is the victim. You the buyer are the one with the black eye. Yesterday a digital mob assembled and Digg was merely the location. They did not Digg a story, they are finally beginning to Digg ideas.

    I say proudly “I Dugg it too.” I reached out and threw up a middle finger for my right to do whatever I want with my media. Does that mean I want to steal your intellectual property? No. Do you still have an exclusive right to profit from it? Yes.

    So I Dugg it… To be but one voice in a screaming mob that does not stand for DRM or censorship of a NUMBER. Now, a voice to say I support Digg for letting the mob be heard. Also, a voice to laugh at the explosion in popularity of a NUMBER no one ever cared about, brought about by the very people seeking to conceal it.

    Sincerely
    Josh Sebastian

  • ChestRockwell

    In no way is this a “black eye” for digg. They did what they thought was right, when the people told them it was wrong, they changed the adapted. It would have been a black eye if digg decided to not heed the words of the community.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com AlexW

    It would have been a black eye if digg decided to not heed the words of the community.

    They didn’t really have a choice. If there’s a 900lb gorilla trashing your living room, you won’t be too concerned over spending a couple of bananas to get him out of there.

  • http://www.andyandjaime.com creole

    @wwb_99

    Remember that Digg is owned by Ruper Murdoch’s News Corp. They can surely afford good lawyers.