The Digg community has been known to throw a fit when other sites have implemented a “Digg-like” interface. They threw temper tantrums and rattled off obscenities when Yahoo launched their “Digg-like” suggestion site. They’ve done the same countless other times, but now they’ve turned on their very own Digg.

It all started when Digg decided to pull a story that revealed the HD-DVD AACS Processing Key number. The story had received over 15,000 diggs and was still going strong when Digg pulled the plug. The reason that they did this was because they were contacted and told that posting the key was a violation of intellectual property rights. Digg didn’t want to have to deal with any lawsuits, and so they complied.


What has followed has been nothing short of a nightmare for Digg, I’m sure.  Digg users were furious that they were being censored, and so they have spent countless hours plastering the Digg front-page with articles containing the code. At this point, those members of the Digg community participating in this are acting worse than little children. Whether Digg was right for pulling the article, I’ll leave that for you to decide.

It really seems like this has gotten out of hand. I haven’t seen one intelligent article or response discussing the issues of censorship (although they may be out there, just hard to find with the masses of stories containing the code) which could have resulted in a great topic and conversation to follow this up. The code is already plastered all over the web, and you’d think by now that the Digg users would feel satisfied that they got their point across.

There’s lots of issues here that I’ve seen brought up such as censorship, free speech, and can you actually copyright or patent a number? Should Digg have stuck up for their community?Sure the code in and of itself is not illegal, but what people are bound to do with it is.

It really is amazing what one set of numbers, albeit very important numbers can do to a community. As I mentioned, I’ll leave it for you to decide. Was Digg right with their move to take the article down or else face a lawsuit?

Thanks Curtiss for pointing this out!

Update:One of the founders of Digg, Kevin Rose, posted and update on their blog saying: 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. He put the key in the title of his very own post, and said “Digg This.”