Misbehaving Diggers

So digg users have staged a revolt. A HD DVD encryption key, a proprietary code protecting the HD DVD producer’s “property” was being posted in digg stories and it seems the digg admins were taking the stories down. The users started re-posting and “digging” en masse, resulting in a wave that the company couldn’t easily stop or ignore.

The CEO, Jay Adelson, explains it. Diggers are calling their right to post the numbers “freedom of speech” and are insulted they are being taken down. And a lot of bloggers are pleased with the behavior and revolt.

First off, this isn’t your application, it’s a service you are using with it’s own terms of use and legal responsibility. If they get sued out of existence you’re not gaining anything. Them respecting a law does not mean they are infringing on your freedom of speech. You want to post the numbers? Post them on your blog. You take the chance, the fact you don’t like the law does not mean they have to let you break it.

If someone posted a link to pirated files from some new album, would you be surprised? You (we) might disagree with the DMCA, with some applications of copyright law, etc. it doesn’t make the law disappear. If they were taking down a story disparaging one of their investors, that’s attacking the user’s freedom of speech. Respecting a (dumb) law isn’t.

In the end, digg gave in with founder Rose taking a “what the hell” approach which I think is wrong. You’re a user who wants to change things? Write to your congressman, take action against those laws but bitching to digg because they aren’t supporting pirated codes being shown illegally on their site? Short sighted and certainly not the best way to have things change.

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