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Posted
1 May 2007 @ 10pm

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Digg in Trouble over HD-DVD

Looks like Digg is facing an outright user rebellion righ now

After taking down an article about the HD-DVD encryption key (with the key published in the headline, I think) and banning users who dugg the article and commented on it, things are getting pretty ugly right now.

If you wonder how just how upset the digges are, have a look at this screenshot of the homepage:

TEXYT thinks the reasoning behind it is that DiggNation is being sponsored by the HD-DVD promotion group:

Episodes of the DiggNation video show were sponsored by the HD DVD Promotion Group. DiggNation is produced by Revision3, a company run by Digg founders, Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose. Rose is also a co-host of the DiggNation show. The image below shows the HD DVD logo displayed at the beginning of one such episode.

During the past 24 hours, Digg administrators have apparently deleted dozens of stories which included references to the HD DVD decryption code. These included one story which appeared poised to become the most popular ever seen on Digg, with almost 16000 votes within 20 hours. Administrators have also apparently begun deleting stories criticizing their actions, and also banned numerous members – according to angry statements posted by Digg users on the site and elsewhere.

It is moments like this that can break or make a site like Digg. A lot of the goodwill for digg came from the fact that people like Kevin Rose. Digg needs to make a statement about this quickly. Social networks are fickle when alternatives are available. Reddit doesn’t seem to have taken any steps in the same direction so far.

Here is the reaction from the rest of the blogosphere:

Download Squad

Pronet Advertising: The Reason Why Digg Removed That Story

Practical Blogging: Community-Driven Responses — Your response to unwelcome actions …

TechFold: ZOMG! Infringing lawsuit bait content deleted from Digg!

Geek News Central: HD-DVD Code gets Blogger Banned from Digg

Boing Boing: Web-page aggregates links to “forbidden numbers” used to break HD-DVD

Update: Digg says that they were forced into taking action because they were notified by the owners of the intellectual property:

This has all come up in the past 24 hours, mostly connected to the HD-DVD hack that has been circulating online, having been posted to Digg as well as numerous other popular news and information websites. We’ve been notified by the owners of this intellectual property that they believe the posting of the encryption key infringes their intellectual property rights. In order to respect these rights and to comply with the law, we have removed postings of the key that have been brought to our attention.

Whether you agree or disagree with the policies of the intellectual property holders and consortiums, in order for Digg to survive, it must abide by the law. Digg’s Terms of Use, and the terms of use of most popular sites, are required by law to include policies against the infringement of intellectual property. This helps protect Digg from claims of infringement and being shut down due to the posting of infringing material by others.

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