Last night, Digg.com underwent a user rebellion. Digg removed many posts — and terminated the accounts of some of its users — for posting a 16-digit hexadecimal number that is used to lock up HD-DVD movies. The number — a “processing key” — was discovered (Seriously, how does one stumble on to something like that? Was he just punching random numbers in?) by Doom9 message-board poster muslix64, who was frustrated by his inability to play his lawfully purchased HD-DVD movies because of failure in the anti-copying system.
The AACS Licensing Authority, which controls the anti-copying technology underlying HD-DVD, sent out hundreds of legal threats to sites that had posted the key, including Digg. It appears that Digg took a pro-active stance and began to seek out new examples of the key and delete them immediately, instead of waiting for notice from the AACS-LA. It’s likely that their lawyers advised them to take this course of action, since the penalties for posting “circumvention devices” can be stiff.
Does this mean the end of Digg? The beginning of cheap Chinese-style DVDs in paper covers? Or simply a new ironic t-shirt to replace Aqua Teen Hunger Force Is The Bomb?