Lesson learned by Kevin Rose and the Digg folks who tried to play whack-a-mole with users who posted the code to unlocking copy-protected High Def movies: You live by user-generated content, you die by user-generated content. Michael Arrington cheers on the mob: “Until today, it seems, even Digg didn’t fully understand the power of its community to determine what is “news.” I think the community made their point crystal clear. Vive La Revolution.” Er, yikes. More at Techmeme. Bryan Preston sez:
My sympathies lie with Kevin on this. He’s being accused of censorship, a charge that really only ought to be leveled at the government and only when censorship is actually occurring, when all he’s doing is abiding by intellectual property law. The HD-DVD encryption code is a piece of property. Rose couldn’t let Digg become the place where the HD-DVD code got out. Doing so might destroy him and the site he founded and thereby the community that’s rioting against him now. Of course, the Digg community seems to be eating itself alive anyway at this point. For those of us who’ve had problems with the kids over at Digg, this riot is hardly a surprise. In some ways it’s the logical outcome of Web 2.0.
And it’s all going to be moot: Engineers will probably have a new encryption code in a day or so, making the code that has now spread beyond Digg to Slashdot and elsewhere useless. Until it gets hacked and posted at Digg, of course.