We Digg It!

The story is already running rampant through the blogosphere -- News ranking site, Digg.com will not let the man bring it down!

Last night, thousands of Digg users revolted when a code that unlocked copyrighted DVDs was taken off the site after reaching front page status. Geeks across the Web united to post the link in any form possible, from a song on YouTube to cryptic messages on blogs. Soon, the front page of Digg was teaming with copies of the code and the site administrators couldn't keep up with the overwhelming power of their creation.

Kevin Rose, a founder and chief architect, and Digg soon gave in to the power of the people. In Diggtheblog he said:

Today was an insane day. And as the founder of Digg, I just wanted to post my thoughts…

In building and shaping the site I’ve always tried to stay as hands on as possible. We’ve always given site moderation (digging/burying) power to the community. Occasionally we step in to remove stories that violate our terms of use (eg. linking to pornography, illegal downloads, racial hate sites, etc.). 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.

Digg on,

Kevin

This is a great celebration of how people can affect change if they act as a unit and a better demonstration of living up to your original vision and standards as a company. This is truly what the interactive revolution of Web 2.0 is about. Digg, like Facebook, is another example of a company being in it for the user. Is it time for companies like MySpace to take a page out of the Digg handbook?

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10 Comments

  • Chandawg

    I agree with the last poster. Obviously the company that the out of work musician worked for either took to much of a cut or something? For you to blame your career change on people downloading music is absurd, maybe either one your music sucked, or two you were charging too much for nothing. I don't download hardly any music, but when I did, I usually tried to download as much as one album as I could, I was sick of buying a CD for that one song I heard on the radio, just to find that was the only good song on the whole CD, so I pretty much paid 17.95 for one song, thats crazy. Now if someone was to let me listen to the whole CD before hand, I would have never bought it for one song, so maybe I was deceived buy the seller? Maybe some if I was informed that the CD only had one song on it I would have saved money. Anyways, good luck in your new career john smith?

  • Dan

    People don't rip off music producers for the sake of it. People download music because the price that is being asked of them in the stores is too high for what they're getting. Just because media producers have been able to abuse their power to the detriment of consumers for the past few generations doesn't mean that they should continue doing so.

    At the moment, we're seeing the pendulum swing the other way. Deal with it. Get over it. Move on.

    "Stealing" sounds simple but it's not. To copy a piece of data only becomes stealing when our laws reflect that it is stealing. Most of us forget that we invented the concept of 'piracy' around the same time that we decided that words, sounds and information was something that could be possessed by somebody. But really it's an artificial construct.

    Before it was legal, pretty much everybody recorded TV shows. That's what VCRs were for! But VCRs weren't banned, and nor did they destroy the television industry. Disruptive innovations - by definition - force the existing framework to grow, change and develop. That's the nature of things. The future for intellectual property will be different from what it is today, but one thing is certain: We won't move forward by longing for the past.

    I don't think you're a Luddite... so wake up, smell the coffee and read the RSS feed.

    Consumers don't want the copy protection, though they're willing to pay a fair price to support the creators of the media. And, if they won't, it's time for you to find a better way that you can contribute to the community - because we're sick of paying too much.

    It's time to welcome the creatively destructive world.

  • Googly Eyed

    Sounds like mobs rule. Wow, would hate to see a bunch of folks on my block do that. What if they all hate the law and think certain races should disappear? The law? Thats for morons. Technogeeks should rule the earth.

    Oh and online and offline carry quite a bit of the same weight these days. This is the real world.

  • ralph

    As a huge fan of Digg, "If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying." - having seen what Digg tried to do, that sounds like something that was written in the marketing department rather than something authentic.

  • Corey Ward

    Stealing is stealing.
    People can try to justify it any way the want, but they're wrong.
    People think they're "sticking it to the man" but they're not.
    Sure some multi-millionaire may make a percent or two less this year because of illegal downloading, but many more "regular Joe's" will lose a lot more because people will not stop stealing.
    How many less college kids can't get jobs in the music industry because they stole music?
    How many record stores had to fire the 16 year old clerk because all his friends downloaded music?
    How many kids will see their parents lose jobs because of stolen music?
    What about the next Jimmi Hendrix, that was about to break, but had to go back to his day job, just because people are too cheap to buy his music?
    I'm a big comic book fan, and the same thing is happening right now in that community. Artist are losing their jobs, companies are folding. All because people who claim to love music/comic won't stop stealing them.
    If this keeps up, the only music we'll have left is American Idol and Britney Spears. Must being pushed by corporations.
    Stop killing creative industries.
    If people don't, the world really going to suck when creative people have to stop being creative.
    Corey

  • John Smith

    My comment was posted twice because this form returned an error message when I clicked the post button - both times. The site programmers might want to look at this issue and fix the bug.

  • John Smith

    I was once a recording artist who earned a living from creating music, and from helping others do the same. My music was played widely on the radio for years, but it was from CD sales that I earned a living. I did not get rich; I earned just enough to pay my bills.

    As a result of rampant intellectual property theft on the internet in recent years, I can no longer sell enough CDs or music downloads, and so I have had to stop creating music altogether. I am just one of countless independent musicians who have been forced to switch occupations as a result of unethical consumers who believe they have a right to steal what musicians have worked so hard to create.

    If musicians, movie producers, or software engineers explicitly make their work available free of charge, then by all means, enjoy it without paying. But if a DVD is encrypted, then the creator obviously expects payment. That is the creator’s right. If you choose to enjoy music, movies, or software that are not intended to be free, then be decent enough to pay for them. If you do, then the creator may be able to earn the necessary income to continue producing more of what you enjoy.

    Wanting to believe that theft is okay does not make it okay. Even if millions of other people steal, theft is still wrong. Try to understand what it would feel like to have your own work stolen, and be deprived of your life-long career as a result. Every act of theft has consequences. I and countless other independent musicians are living proof of that.

    Journalists in particular need to understand this, as their influence is far-reaching. Defending what is right is a vital role they play in society. That takes courage and a solid sense of ethics. Journalists lacking these qualities should find another occupation, as they do more harm to the world than good. In particular, any journalist caught mindlessly glorifying the power of the people is suspect. Chances are, such journalists are doing nothing more than spinelessly pandering to the power of the mob.

    Do you want to have a positive impact on the world? Do you want to consider yourself a decent, ethical person? If so, then pay for the work of others that you are so fortunate to enjoy. There is no substitute for doing what is right.

  • John Smith

    I was once a recording artist who earned a living from creating music, and from helping others do the same. My music was played widely on the radio for years, but it was from CD sales that I earned a living. I did not get rich; I earned just enough to pay my bills.

    As a result of rampant intellectual property theft on the internet in recent years, I can no longer sell enough CDs or music downloads, and so I have had to stop creating music altogether. I am just one of countless independent musicians who have been forced to switch occupations as a result of unethical consumers who believe they have a right to steal what musicians have worked so hard to create.

    If musicians, movie producers, or software engineers explicitly make their work available free of charge, then by all means, enjoy it without paying. But if a DVD is encrypted, then the creator obviously expects payment. That is the creator’s right. If you choose to enjoy music, movies, or software that are not intended to be free, then be decent enough to pay for them. If you do, then the creator may be able to earn the necessary income to continue producing more of what you enjoy.

    Wanting to believe that theft is okay does not make it okay. Even if millions of other people steal, theft is still wrong. Try to understand what it would feel like to have your own work stolen, and be deprived of your life-long career as a result. Every act of theft has consequences. I and countless other independent musicians are living proof of that.

    Journalists in particular need to understand this, as their influence is far-reaching. Defending what is right is a vital role they play in society. That takes courage and a solid sense of ethics. Journalists lacking these qualities should find another occupation, as they do more harm to the world than good. In particular, any journalist caught mindlessly glorifying “the power of the people” is suspect. Chances are, such journalists are doing nothing more than spinelessly pandering to the power of the mob.

    Do you want to have a positive impact on the world? Do you want to consider yourself a decent, ethical person? If so, then pay for the work of others that you are so fortunate to enjoy. There is no substitute for doing what is right.