Just like a child having a temper tantrum, the users of digg.com fell to the ground and slammed their hands and feet in anger. There was a online revolt this past week on the very popular news site in response to the site yielding to the Motion Picture Association of America.

The above hex code is used for HD DVD decoding and when combined with the right tools, can be used to create copies of HD DVD’s. Obviously, the Motion Picture Association of America didn’t like that it was posted and ordered web sites to remove it and cited that it was their intellectual property. Well, Digg.com heard the request and pulled the story. Then, all hell broke loose! Everyone was posting the hex code as stories and others were digging the stories faster than they could pull them down. It was awesome. The front page looked like a war zone of these stupid hex codes. Jay Adelson posted the following response.

Hey all,

I just wanted to explain what some of you have been noticing around some stories that have been submitted to Digg on the HD DVD encryption key being cracked.

This has all come up in the past 24 hours, mostly connected to the HD-DVD hack that has been circulating online, having been posted to Digg as well as numerous other popular news and information websites. We’ve been notified by the owners of this intellectual property that they believe the posting of the encryption key infringes their intellectual property rights. In order to respect these rights and to comply with the law, we have removed postings of the key that have been brought to our attention.

Whether you agree or disagree with the policies of the intellectual property holders and consortiums, in order for Digg to survive, it must abide by the law. Digg’s Terms of Use, and the terms of use of most popular sites, are required by law to include policies against the infringement of intellectual property. This helps protect Digg from claims of infringement and being shut down due to the posting of infringing material by others.

Our goal is always to maintain a purely democratic system for the submission and sharing of information – and we want Digg to continue to be a great resource for finding the best content. However, in order for that to happen, we all need to work together to protect Digg from exposure to lawsuits that could very quickly shut us down.

Thanks for your understanding,


Well, that seemed to anger folks even more and the chaos continued. It was truly fun to watch the site become helpless to its users. All of the top stories had to do with this hex code. Later that day, Kevin Rose responded.

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,


Lesson learned, if the Motion Picture Association of America calls, pretend that you didn’t get their message.


3 thoughts on “09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0

  1. Randy

    Here’s an opposing point of view, I think…

    Are we saying that it’s ok to post information that helps people steal copyrighted material? Copying HD DVDs clearly violates that area and breaks the law. How is that different than posting links to hate sites and pornography? Those are also illegal…more morally offensive for sure…but legally in the same boat…maybe even less illegal.

    So Digg feels compelled to pull morally offensive content but not content that directly aids the illegal activity of copyright infringment? I don’t get it.

    How would all those people out there who want free DVD content feel if Digg said it was ok to post information on how to break into your house? What would happen if people posted the code to your alarm system so anyone could enter your home at night to steal…and worse. What would Digg’s responsbility be?

    I say Digg was right in the first place to comply with the lay and the reasonable request from the MPAA. The fact that people whine about not being able to hack and steal reflects on their own character. Not on Digg’s.

  2. Chris

    Yo Randy, your comment brings the term “brain-washed” to a whole new level. It’s impressive how you can tell so many lies, spread so much misinformation and blather so much bull in such a few lines. Hell, that’s not washing, it’s bleaching.

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