Diggers Mad at Digg

30 comments

So for those of you who aren't frequent visitors to Digg, there's a story that's been circulating all week on Digg and other hacker websites where HD-DVD decryption keys were posted. Digg admins have been killing the stories, but they keep popping back up in one form or another in fact one got 16,000 diggs before it was sent to digg heaven. It got so bad Digg had to address the issue publicaly What’s Happening with HD-DVD Stories?

I just wanted to explain what some of you have been noticing around some stories that have been submitted to Digg on the HD DVD encryption key being cracked.

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.

Our goal is always to maintain a purely democratic system for the submission and sharing of information - and we want Digg to continue to be a great resource for finding the best content. However, in order for that to happen, we all need to work together to protect Digg from exposure to lawsuits that could very quickly shut us down.

Stories are now beginning to circulate of Diggers getting annoyed because the 'the man' is cracking down on them and how it might be time to move along and find a new home. You'll excuse me if I find the entire situation rather amusing.

Hat Tip to Geek in Paradise

Comments

First time I've enjoyed

First time I've enjoyed Digg. Ever. This fractured group has come together for a common cause.

Favorites:

Favorites:

ADD ME TO MYSPACE I'M http://www.myspace.com/09f911029d74e35bd84156

Jesus has "the key" Add as My Number One
kcapxis kcapxis submitted 1 hour 13 min ago (www.openjesus.org)
Anyone who tries to stifle this information is going to hell. So says Jesus

From their blog...

Just saw this on the digg blog:

Today was an insane day. And as the founder of Digg, I just wanted to post my thoughts…

In building and shaping the site I’ve always tried to stay as hands on as possible. 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.

If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.

Digg on,

Kevin

Hell'll Broke Loose...

WOW...Digg will be dugg under! Digg will go down...hill--that is. They should have known better than to fight the power--of their users. The way they handle this situation is unprofessional.

As in the response posted by Kevin, it's totally UNWISE to publicly declare: "[We] will deal with whatever the consequences might be." He should have said something along that line that: "Right now, the CODE has already been circulating around the net...[Plus more explanation why we can NOT delete thousand of the pirated key-gens submission by hand]..." Once the secret is out on the net...you know the rest.

Anyway, I'm going to guestimate that there's going to be a lawsuit against Digg.com pretty soon just because of this statement from the Digg founder. Yeah, I think the big CORP want something in return (in 'attempt' to savage what was lost).

From what I know, 'knowingly' encourage/support the act/piracy of 'intellectual' copyright infringement DO get you in trouble, assuming the HD-DVD company has a patent copyright filed at the USPTO.

So this is a key ...

So all this excitement is over a key to get around a high definition DVD encryption?

Geez. What's next -- thrills over stealing chocolate?

Seriously. Can't they afford a DVD at this late date?

--So all this excitement is

--So all this excitement is over a key to get around a high definition DVD encryption?--

No, you need to see out of the box. It is much more than that. Diggers think that Digg should fight the power instead of burrying their head in the sand. Of course this could mean lawsuits and tons of problems.

Right.

To what end, though? As a kind of generalized fight against the "powers that be" (who happen to hold all the cards in that game)?

IMO, it's a sad thing when a community thinks its owner should bear the legal responsibility for something that's intended to prove ... something.

It would be more impressive if they took that responsibility on their own shoulders. ;)

How would Digg be in trouble?

You get over 250,000 results in Google with the code. Are they planning on suing all the search engines too?

In the back of my mind though, I don't exactly think this is a bad thing for HD-DVD. The ability to pirate movies easily is bad for them, but it also gives people a reason to buy HD-DVD players in the first place. The more tech savvy crowd who will pirate may trickle down to the mainstream market that won't.

Here's How

Digg could be in trouble because of Kevin's blog entry. It's an open invitation for a lawsuit and could be easily interpreted by a judge as "We know this is wrong, but we're doing it anyways."

As soon as the keys hit usenet they were as good as permanently archived on the web, but that's a far cry from being posted on a site as popular as Digg.

Sometimes you have to stand up to your community for your community.

Some of the anger was

Some of the anger was stirred up by accusations of a conflict of interest, with their complicity being tied to HD-DVD having been a minor sponsor of Digg in the past.

>> Are they planning on suing all the search engines too?

According to a post at CD Freaks, Google was one of the many sites to receive a cease and desist recently.

Unfortunately for the AACS, it looks like it is going to be quite tricky for Google to take on this measure, considering the 1,000's of websites this processing key has been published on and more showing up all the time. Going by the letter, Google had a week from the letter's date of April 17th to comply and despite that period now being long overdue, Google still indexes 1,000's of website site links containing the key

This ties into another reason why some users were upset. While the key is certainly important corporate information, it's still a number. Especially when used out of context, can sites and search engines be expected to effectively censor a number?

Well said, nevetS -- and

Well said, nevetS -- and good on you for coining a phrase.

> 250,000

Well, they'd only have to sue so many, which would be sure to get attention, would it not? This may be the Internet, but laws still apply.

> Diggers think that Digg should fight the power

Wow. That makes it sound like campaigning for civil rights.

I figure that whatever's on those HD DVDs cost someone(s) a lot of time, talent, creativity, money and perseverence -- in essence, putting their hearts and souls into it, and their money where their mouths are -- in order to make something of value. That's the cost. So giving out this "key" really means, not a fight against the power, but an attempt to get something for nothing. In other words, free movies. Under the guise of fighting the power.

I get it.

I would have agreed with

I would have agreed with Digg's first stance. It doesn't matter that the DVD company(?) was a sponsor; wrong is wrong.

I took a screen shot of it

I had to take a screen shot of it during the height of the disaster:


source

Is it wrong to want to play

Is it wrong to want to play HD-DVD movies on your Linux machine?

I think the term you're looking for is illegal*.

Anyway I'm not entirely sure that 16 hex pairs can be copyrighted.

* not synonymous with wrong

Is it wrong to want to play

Is it wrong to want to play HD-DVD movies on your Linux machine?

Well, I'm don't see that it's "wrong" to want that -- but that kind of bends the scenario away from the posting of or using a cracking key by implying that it's been verified that all the people who posted (or copied) the code wanted to play HD DVDs on their Linux machines, if that's what you're trying to say. (If so, that's one fast survey.)

But it's no doubt wrong to use an illegally-obtained key. But, hey, if they want to play it on some other type of machine than the one(s) it was created for, then it's okay!

And the issue may not be a copyrighted key, but some other law(s) that prohibit such behavior.

And the issue may not be a

And the issue may not be a copyrighted key, but some other law(s) that prohibit such behavior.

I agree with Diane. The law on wrong on this one. If I legitimately buy a DVD I want to play it on *any* of my appliances. This is why so many people get annoyed at copyright protection. We saw exactly the same thing with the DeCSS code release back in 2000. That got to the point where the MPAA were taking people to court for distributing t-shirts with the code on.

I get wound up enough about region encoding. I've bought DVD's in the UK that don't play in Russian players. Most PC DVD players lock down after 5 region changes. None of these things are a problem for tech literate people but still a hassle. What does the MPAA want the average user to do - buy their movies again? [rhetorical question - of course they do...]

Digg messed up on this, the

Digg messed up on this, the original story deleted was to a takedown notice - that did include the number. Classic google C&D response, sure we will take it down and then post the notice including what you want taken down and why. Check chillingeffects.org for more.

But having the digg founder come out and actually use it in the title of his post and condone it? Bye-bye safe harbor.

It remains to be seen if anyone will take action on it, I doubt it. During the original decss case, the accused wore his "illegal" number on a t-shirt during the trial. But it was still a stupid thing to do for digg. Then again, having 100 employees to run a site like digg seems a pretty stupid thing as well, so what do i know?

All your keys are belong to us...

I can appreciate digg wanting to legally cover their 4ss.

What I find most interesting is the issue of the consumers letting the suppliers know what they want. They don't want to be locked in a corner.

Why didn't companies flip out when people were recording NFL football games, TV shows, movies, etc on their VCRs back in the 80s/90s? Or all those swell mixed cassette tapes? People want entertainment when and where they want it. Once they feel they've paid for it once they've had enough being juiced.

As for what DianeV mentioned:

"I figure that whatever's on those HD DVDs cost someone(s) a lot of time, talent, creativity, money and perseverence -- in essence, putting their hearts and souls into it, and their money where their mouths are -- in order to make something of value. That's the cost."

You are absolutely right.

At the end of the day theft is theft and it should be dealt with. The other side of this, is that the big companies need to get off their 4sses and find a way to make things work with what the market wants.

Why didn't companies flip

Why didn't companies flip out when people were recording NFL football games, TV shows, movies, etc on their VCRs back in the 80s/90s?

They did flip out.

re: "They did flip out."

I grew up in the 70s and 80s and don't recall nearly the level of heat that's going on right now. I lived in a household where news was on at least once or twice a day, I would have heard about it if it was a seriously hot topic. None of my school friends or their parents were threatened with lawsuits as a result of recording the television airing of The Wizard of Oz so I could watch it later in the week...or loaning it to friends, family or neighbors.

Granted, p2p and torrent sites have taken it to a different level but I'm fairly confident in assuming that there was widespread recording of shows & tunes back then too, just in a different format...and likely not 'quite' as rampant.

Again, not saying theft is right by any means, what I'm saying is it seems as if lack of revenue combined with the new technology has exacerbated the situation. Their lack of income I imagine has more to do with overpriced tickets in theaters and a greater availability of home theaters systems than anything.

Their response to a need to evolve is litigation. :/

They Flipped out

trust me on this, in the 80's they flipped out on the N'th level. The Differences you see between then and now everyone has a blog.

So you not only hear it once in the paper, you hear it on drudge, you hear it on threadwatch, you hear it on digg, you hear it on 200 other sites.. you hear someone screaming about it on Youtube.. you get 20 forwards from people to 'sign this petition'

In the 80's you heard a blip on it on ABC news for about 2 seconds, and maybe a page 3 article in your local paper.

The level of information exchange has greatly exceeded what was open to individuals in the 1980's ... in short.. a guy with 8 dollar domain name and 5 dollar a month hosting account can challenge the local paper in readership today.. that was impossible in the 1980's.

HD DVD

"I figure that whatever's on those HD DVDs cost someone(s) a lot of time, talent, creativity, money and perseverence -- in essence, putting their hearts and souls into it, and their money where their mouths are -- in order to make something of value. That's the cost"

Agreed Diane, but that doesn't give them the right to infringe my property rights. i.e. that I should expect portability of property I own. What I pay for is the right to view the content. I don't buy the medium the content appears on, although they certainly like to obfuscate this way, sometimes in their favour, and sometimes the reverse.

They can try and dictate terms, and attempt to redefine my property rights, but they should expect push-back. They're certainly getting it.

They have legitimate piracy concerns, but they haven't learned the lessons of history. We've seen this before....VHS, cassette tapes etc

Peter, I'm not sure about that

I think an argument can be made that you pay for the right to view/hear/whatever it via the medium in which it was recorded rather than the right to extract it and use it elsewhere, give it away, etc.

I'm not sure I've ever seen a product statement on digital (or video) media confering the right to extract the product from the medium and use it however one wishes, although I say this with the knowledge that I didn't look into it.

However, I would think that, if the medium (here, a DVD) was copy-protected, that alone indicates the intent of the creator/manufacturer/seller *not* to allow extraction.

Re property rights

You do have a point about property rights; however, I expect that there are rights or licensing that go along with the purchase.

It's similar to buying software, I'd think: I can buy it and get a license to use it, and perhaps I can transfer the license to a client, but I can't just copy and distribute it. That said, that does happen to software developers, and some have had to go to the trouble of encrypting portions of their applications.

SeanIM, not sure what to say

SeanIM, not sure what to say except you should do some research. The landmark fair use rulings we currently still use today were created during that period and involved both vcrs(betamax) and cassette tapes.

Just some reading to get you started., and to say the ease of distributing copies back in the day is anywhere near what it is today?

Fair Use

"I think an argument can be made that you pay for the right to view/hear/whatever it via the medium in which it was recorded rather than the right to extract it and use it elsewhere, give it away, etc"

Right. That's how the media companies argue it, when it suits them. However, that can conflict with the idea of fair use.

Without going into the legal ramifications, which obviously might be different for you and I given our different locations, I think there is a general argument about media companies impinging on our right to fair use.

Historically, the courts have favored media portability for personal use. The media companies are pushing that boundary, once again, and I'm glad they're experiencing resistance. Their position is mostly about control, greed and failure to formulate workable business models.

PS: Great speech on the topic: www.dashes.com/anil/stuff/doctorow-drm-ms.html

Interesting

Historically, the courts have favored media portability for personal use.

I've not kept up with this -- but are you referring to the U.K or U.S.? Or ...?

That said, my understanding of fair use means, more or less, snippets used in the context of discussion, debate, etc. But I'm no lawyer.

So, this is being argued in the context of both fair use (which suggests it wouldn't fly) and media portability for personal use. Interesting.

Have a read of that speech, Diane

Says it better than I ever can :)

It's like buying a record, and only being able to play it on one type of record player. Stupid, right? They're trying to do much the same thing with digital...

Ah. Thanks.

Ah. Thanks.

The Internet's Boston Tea Party

Isnt this what web 2.0 is all about? A community of voices expressing its feelings, not as with a singular tiny voice, but as a group roar?

http://onlinesaleschannels.wordpress.com/2007/05/02/the-internets-boston-tea-party-digg-and-the-mpaa/

Jeff Buechler

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