Last night I witnessed the digital equivalent of the LA Riots. You probably know the story already, so I am going to give you my take. Someone posted a 2 month old hex code that somehow cracks HD-DVD DRM on digg.com. The code was deleted. Then someone reposted it. It got 15K+ diggs. It was deleted and Digg.com users went nuts. Digg’s CEO pulled a Rodney King and asked people to “give peace a chance.” That didn’t work out so well. The site was inundated with stories that included the code soon after. Anything that wasn’t the code was dugg down. Eventually digg caved. I have a few thoughts on this:
- People went nuts because someone was trying to delete something as simple as a hex code off the Internet. It’s not just about cesorship or just about DRM. The idea that someone would try to delete something off the internet is offensive, scary, and revolting.
- The code is unimportant. Most people don’t know what to do with it and those that do will get it either way. Reminds me of the history of the 21 Club. Coincidentally, I had lunch there today.
- The RIAA, MPAA, AACS, and others need to stop treating “consumers” like criminals. We’re customers, not criminals. Make a worthwhile product and people will buy it. It’s a bad thing when your “customers” hate your guts.
- Yesterday’s Digg riot will go down as a significant moment in the history of the Internet. It’s a day when a Top 90 site had to face a digital revolt over bad policy. The site’s own features were used against it.
There are plenty of news articles on this all over the place, so I am going to link to something else. The cynics at Something Awful had a lot of interesting things to say. Check them out here and here.
Update: And the You Tube responses are just hysterical.