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If You Build It, They Will Come... All Over Yr Face
Arguably the most powerful site on the web, Digg, ran into an issue where the Internet found one line of code, which when used (im)properly would make it very easy for pirates to copy HD-DVD discs in high quality - and as it was meant to be, the users of Digg dugg it.
Only problem, HD-DVD is a sponsor of Digg, an advertiser. And, oh yeah, pirating is illegal and Digg could be found partially responsible for lost income from said piracy.
Such a lawsuit could easily bury the strong, but young, Digg. So they decided to delete any posts that had that code in it, and edit any comment that had the code.
The ever-aware Diggers called bullshit in a way that crippled the site, and the company fought back by halting new posts and stopping stories from making the highly trafficked "front page". Eventually after every post on the front page and in the upcoming stories column all had stories containing the 32-digit hexadecimal code, Digg Founder Kevin Rose threw his hands up and surrendered to the hive.
In a post entitled Digg This: 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0 and written on his personal blog within the corporate portion of the Digg site, Rose, who could possibly sell the site for several hundred million dollars, explained that yesterday was a tough day but the geeks had spoken:
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.
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