John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

That’s Always Been the Problem With the Digg Community: Digg Users

As lost causes go, few are more futile than the entertainment industry’s quest to lock down its content with Digital Rights Management. DRM is an increasingly outmoded technology protecting an ever-evolving content medium. And so it came as little surprise when the Advanced Access Content System, Hollywood’s latest DRM poster child, was cracked last December and more fully this past February.

What is surprising is that the result of those cracks, the AACS key, would inspire a digital revolt on a popular social news site after being widely available online for so long. Yet, that’s what happened Tuesday when administrators of began deleting story submissions that pointed to the AACS key (the publishing of which could be a crime under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act). In a matter of hours, Digg’s users rebelled, flooding the site with posts referencing the key. Turned out Digg Inc. doesn’t entirely control Crowdsourcing does have its disadvantages. Just look at the Digg mob running the asylum.

Finally, Digg’s leadership conceded. In a post published on the site’s blog, Digg founder Kevin Rose said the site would no longer censor stories containing the AACS key. “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,” he wrote. “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.”
(BusinessWeek cover courtesy ILoveKetchup)