Digging this user rebellion

The corporate media world loves to lock you out of sharing files. There have been more insidious acts of control as well, such as designating region codes for DVDs so that you are forced to buy media only for the region you live in. This has been a huge pain for me because after moving to Europe from the US none of the DVDs I bought at home can play on machines made in Europe. It is ridiculous that I would have to buy something twice. It’s highway robbery.

Anyhow, there have been efforts to control HD-TV programming through an encryption code, but it has been hacked and now authors are posting to Digg the code so anyone who needs to can use it. Knowing the encryption code is not just about facilitating privacy. It’s also about enabling users to to save and back-up their files, but more importantly have control over their own content. At first Digg took down the articles with the code, but a rebellion ensued, with users adding the code to articles posted to the site. Digg’s staff decided to side with its users, and is now allowing people to post the code. Incidentally, if you want to Digg the encryption code, click here.

To explain what is happening, Digg’s Kevin Ross writes the following…

Digg the Blog » Blog Archive:

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

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