Feeds

Digg buried by users in piracy face-down

The mob rules

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Social news aggregator Digg was repeatedly brought down yesterday by users angry that it had bowed to the anti-piracy lobby.

The firestorm began when Digg's administrators acted on a Advance Access Content System (AACS) cease and desist order, which demanded it remove the link to an article revealing the encryption key for HD-DVDs, which was cracked by hacker muslix64 in December.

Much of Digg's audience, heavy on male college students and internet workers, saw the move as an act of censorship. Their response was to repeatedly re-post links, and vote them back up to the site's front page.

Pleading for the Digg hive mind to practice self-moderation, CEO Jay Adelson responded on the company blog at 1PM Pacific Time: "We all need to work together to protect Digg from exposure to lawsuits that could very quickly shut us down."

Diggers continued their revolt, however, overloading the site with the thousands of places where the encryption code can easily be found online, until servers started spouting 404 errors and moderators finally gave up trying to control the rabble about eight hours after Adelson's plea.

Founder Kevin Rose told users: "So today was a difficult day for us. 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.

"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."

Digg boasts more than a million Diggers, and has remained light on advertising and sponsorship, despite its veneration by the business press as a poster child for the San Francisco web 2.0 hysteria.

This episode provides ample illustration of its reliance on, and vulnerabilty to, a particular community of internet users, who have no truck with DRM and corporate behaviour generally. One-time rival Reddit has seen its star dim rapidly since it "sold out" to Condé Nast, which publishes Wired.

It remains to be seen whether AACS has the stones to follow up on its threat, and take on the Digg mob. ®

Update

Please don't bother trying to post the encryption key on our comment section. We are bound by UK copyright and patents law, not to mention the DMCA. Comments carrying the key will be rejected.

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?