Digg That - Censorship revolt crashes top site


First Grader
THE world's most popular technology news website collapsed today after a digital revolt led by its users.

The technology news site Digg.com, was unavailable this afternoon after users began attacking the site after it censored stories reporting how to hack high-definition DVD discs.

Digg is a so-called “social news” site that publishes stories according to votes by its users and receives one per cent of the total internet traffic in the US.

When the DVD hacking story was taken down, users rebelled and began re-submitting the sttories by the thousands.

The site, which accounts for one per cent of all web traffic in the US market, soon collapsed under the weight of the attack.

But Digg founder Kevin Rose, who made the decision to pull the reports off the site, later joined users in agreeing to not allow censorship in the future.

"After seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear," Mr Rose said on his blog.

"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."


Reserve Grader
Well, they weren't really posting a how to exactly. There's been a program out for a while that basically rips the disc but requires a key. Everyone was just posting a new key that was found and as far as I can remember, it was 'more special' than the others posted previously.

Each 'brand' of HDDVD player (software or hardware) has its own key and if that key is compromised, it can be revoked by a HDDVD that was released after the key was compromised. That is to say, your player will be disabled and become a brick, because the 'industry' doesn't want people to play the media that they have paid for in ways that the industry doesn't want them to play it.

It's all a load of BS and it's great to see these keys getting released: hopefully, one day, consumers will realise that they're being raped by the industry and will hopefully, one day, realise that they don't have to be and stand up to them.


Reserve Grader
fLIP: firstly, copyright infringement is NEVER theft / stealing. There's a very firm legal definition of theft and it's basically what we know as theft: I take something of yours and you don't have it anymore. Copyright infringement is not theft, obviously, because you would still have your copy. Also, there's the fact that up until recently, at least, all copyright infringement cases were covered by CIVIL law, while theft is covered by CRIMINAL law.

However, this is nothing to do with that at all. This is to do with the fact that you bought the disc, you should be able to do whatever the hell you want with it. But you can't.

Did you want to watch that disc on your computer? Sorry... when HDDVD is supported by PCs, there is a very good chance that you will be required to use 'licensed' hardware, from the player through to your monitor and speakers, otherwise you won't get full quality playback, if any. That is to say, you will have to buy a new monitor, new speakers, a new video card, a new sound card... a new computer, most likely.

It took years before you were legally able to watch a DVD movie in Linux. Even today (in the US, though the laws are slowly being pushed through in Australia, too, under 'copyright law harmonisation') you are not legally allowed to watch an Australian DVD in the US. Sorry, I take that back: you can, but you would have to take your Australian ('Region 4') DVD player with you.

Do you think it is RIGHT that some group of people should be able to tell you WHERE you can watch something that you purchased?

Do you think it is RIGHT that some group of people can totally BRICK your new HDDVD player because they want to stop someone uploading movies to the internet?

Do you think it is RIGHT that even though you paid good money for that Disney DVD, you have to sit through 20 minutes of non-fast-forwardable commercials each time you want to watch it?

Unfortunately the movie and music industries decided to ignore the fact that the product they were selling was becoming obsolete. Now, instead of changing themselves to meet these changes in technology, they would rather make it AOK for them to destroy hardware that you buy, or force you to buy a new copy of a DVD just because you moved overseas... I actually find it mildly ironic that THAT is more akin to THEFT than copyright infringement is!

So, do you think that that is all OK? If so, why? If not, what do you intend to do about it? These keys that are being released are about RIGHTS first and foremost. The fact that they enable copyright infringement is a side effect.



UFO Hunter
Completely understand where your coming from and no I don't agree that their should be certain stipulations on a product that you buy but people are entitled to protect their property.

What is happening is there are a certain few, like yourself obviously who don't have bad intentions. By that I mean, you buy a DVD, rip it, and make it accessible through torrent clients and similar such programs.

All the companies are trying to do is stop their media from being distributed for free by people with no respect for intellectual right and creativity. Along the way, the honest people are being pissed on but its the age old question of where do you draw the line? I'm on the same level as you.

I have a CD, think its Good Charlotte but that is irrelevant. Obviously there are ways around the following but it does its best to stop you from copying the CD as a backup incase your original is damaged. It trys to prevent making MP3 or WMA files for my IPod and if I want to listen to the CD I can't use Window media player or any other 3rd party audio players. I have to use the bundled software that happens to play back at an unchangeable 46kbps which sounds like a transistor radio inside a garbage can playing music from an AM station.

The reason DVD's have region codes, and you would know is to stop oversea's content being sold here prior to its different release date and prior to being rated.

I'm no expert but if someone said to me your new movies going to copied and uploaded to thousands of people for no cost than I would take the risk of pissing off a select few to prevent my work from being stolen. Like I said previously how far you go is the problem but you know as well as I that most people looking to rip their DVD's aren't those with honorable intentions and yes I disagree with that.

As for advertising on DVD's no its wrong. But i've never seen 20 mins of non-fast-forwardable commercials on a DVD.


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
yes but fLIP what Narc is saying is instead of combatting the problem, torrents and internet sharing, which they could do at an ISP level they are instead restriting your rights.

So instead of fixing the problem and updating the issue which is essentially their obsolete media they are instead trying to umm force you into a corner.

Not right

if the situation were reversed you would have issues with restraint of business etc.

They are in a way creating a monopoly!


Winging it
The reason DVD's have region codes, and you would know is to stop oversea's content being sold here prior to its different release date and prior to being rated.
fLIP, that is one reason. I believe the single main reason is to set prices in the different regions and gouge out the maximum amount of money through distribution collusion. I know the ACCC has looked into this and I certainly think it is happening on a large scale.

The whole industry has itself to blame. They have fought each technology innovation and the result is that the consumer (yes, the ones that keep them in their employment and profits) has consistently missed out on what they want.

I would happily pay a small fee to download movies or tv content. Finally that is legally allowable but I can only play it on my PC. There is no concept in their stupid minds of attempting to harness as big an audience as possible. I want to watch programs at a time that suits me and on a medium that suits me. I want to watch programs/films on my big tellie that I downloaded and paid for.

Until the industry gets its act together, (and I will admit I am seeing some good signs like releasing US shows worldwide at one time), I have no problems with any of the code tampering or folks attempting to get stuff by unauthorised channels. Stuff them.


Reserve Grader
fLIP: besides what Dan and MB have said (which I agree with), it's funny that you mentioned not being able to play that CD on your computer. I'm going to guess that you have 'autoplay' set up as that's pretty much the only way for that to happen. The CD doesn't magically stop playing, but instead it secretly installs software on your computer to force you to not be able to listen to it.

Look at the ****storm that Sony got into recently for their practices (Google 'sony rootkit'): popping up a message, 'do you want to install this?' and installing it no matter what the answer, then basically installing what is called a rootkit so as to not be discovered. A rootkit is what hackers / crackers use so that their software is not discovered.

Then they had the nerve to say 'well, it doesn't hurt anyone...', until of course the next round of hacking tools were given the same naming convention as the Sony app and voila, the Sony rootkit hid their files, too.

At the very basic level, we have to remember: copyright is not a god given right. It's a privilege that we, society, give people to encourage them to create. Where do you draw the line? Surely we should be able to turn to them and say "when you would prefer to destroy our HDDVD players and install software that we don't want, that is used by hackers, to protect that special privilege that WE GAVE YOU, then you do not deserve that privilege in the first place."

And don't give me the BS line about no-one creating if they weren't able to protect their works as aggressively as they do now. Admittedly, you might not get to see the next Spiderman movie (and don't even get me started on movies and how the balance sheet of each one is 'tweaked' to show no profit) or listen to the next manufactured one hit wonder, but there are thousands of bands out there that make great music and give it away for free and the 'homemade professional movie' 'genre' is growing, too...

My point is this: the only 'rights' they have were given to them by us as a society. The minute they start to harm us to protect that right is the minute we should be able to revoke it.


UFO Hunter
I don't agree that a company should so heavily control the way you use the media you purchase as long as its not being copied and sold or distributed with out rights.

If these companies products weren't being shared amongst people free of charge than I doubt we would see such control measures being put in place.

Perhaps the anger over this issue would be better targeted at those who are doing the wrong thing to begin with.

I don't know where you read me say they can't produce media if some of it is stollen?

Hopefully you guys read my whole rant there and not just skipped it. ITS CRAP THAT THEY CONTROL THE WAY YOU USE YOUR MEDIA. It doesn't change the fact that stealing because you can't have everything your own way is garbage.


Reserve Grader
fLIP: when I said "And don't give me the BS line about no-one creating if they weren't able to protect their works as aggressively as they do now" I wasn't trying in imply that you would actually try that... it's a line that's thrown around quite often with regards to this kind of stuff so it was a 'pre-emptive strike' against anyone :)

I think there is some blame to be placed on those that do the infringing for sure, but there's a lot to be placed on the politicians who for some reason are happy to bend over and smile whenever 'Hollywood' comes to talk to them. They won't outlaw guns ("guns don't kill people, people kill people") which do a lot worse than allow you to copy a DVD illegally, but they're happy to make it illegal to create tools to copy DVDs. It's ridiculous! The tools themselves are illegal (to the point where technically it is illegal to mention that secret number!).

I think you place a little too much faith in them to say that this would not have happened if it weren't for the pirates, for two reasons:
1) they are still making record profits: it's not like they're wasting away to nothing and need to protect themselves.
2) they know from experience that copyright infringement won't destroy them.

Jack Valenti (the head of the MPAA for a long time: now that's he's dead, I'm sure he's in the place he deserves to be :) ) was pulled in front of Congress in the 80s and said something to the effect of: "The VCR will destroy Hollywood. Home video copying will be to the industry as Jack The Ripper is to a lonely woman at night". Whatever the exact quote, that was his analogy. Then, years down the track he was standing in front of Congress again saying that if the tools to copy DVDs weren't illegal, and the trafficking of such tools wasn't given harsher penalties, then it would destroy the industry. Like they say, even a stopped watch is right sometimes...

Another (possibly smaller) reason is that a number of 'industry heads' are annoyed by the fact that you can watch your DVDs as often as you like. There have been quotes of some of them saying something to the effect of "well, it isn't fair that you pay for the DVD then don't have to pay each time you watch it".

This, people, is where we are headed. Don't think for one minute the politicians will stand up for you. For some reason they too have ignored a little thing we call technology. Oh, they know to whinge when the Blackberry network goes down for a day, but they'll be damned if they're going to help those same people that created it to watch a legitimately bought DVD on their computer that isn't running "Microsoft Office Windows 97 XP". They just don't get it!

Where is this reply going? Nowhere, fast, so I'll stop right there for now.


UFO Hunter
You make a good point about increased profits despite the piracy problem. That's one thing I can't understand them complaining about. It ****s me too.

What I heard about things like napster were people downloading music, getting a liking for what the bands ect were about and then going out and purchasing the albums or singles. I doubt you can get a better form off world wide 'free' advertising than that.

I also had friends who would download entire albums. burn them and then sell them. Thats the part I hate, but as far as everything else I agree with everything you put forward.

I believe instead of trying to restrain the way you use your media they should invest their time and money away from control measures and more to catching people responsible for piracy.

I can see the positives of relaxing anti piracy software and I also believe they would outweigh the negatives. However if the mind set of industry leaders is getting people to pay-per-view on their own DVD players then I would be ropeable.

For every 1 person who pirates media theres probably thousands who do the right thing. And how much money do you need before your just a greedy ****?

Still don't agree with stealing, but that was obviously not the topic, so I apologise for misunderstanding, I thought thats what you were talking about.


Winging it
I agree with fLIP in that music files (Napster, and all the others) and movie files (BitTorrent, etc) are being stolen. I have a lot of sympathy for and am against the loss of intellectual property.

1 bad person for 1000 doing the right thing? Probably more like 50/50. Youngsters got used to getting music for free for years and think the same way about movies/tv shows now.

Providing free samples is a proven marketing technique that promotes sales. They should persist with it as it really does work. There are so many examples and probably Acrobat and ZoneAlarm are good ones with s/w.

What still upsets me is that the industry does nothing to make their property affordable and easy to use. Without being a smartarse on economics there are two main ways of selling something: 1. to as many people as possible at the cheapest price with profits coming from the large scale, or 2. to a niche or select market where the balance is getting the maximum profit from a small number of sales.

Music and movies definitely come into category 1 as the market is to get it to as many people as possible. But they just don't do it. They make restrictions on the play mediums allowed, the types of files that are allowed and the pricing is wrong. Fix that and their sales would be huge. They keep thinking in terms of CD or DVD sale prices and not with millions of potential downloads. I am happy to pay, say, $1 to $2 for a Stargate episode and will probably watch it once, but the industry thinking is still stuck along the lines of people who buy the DVD set and are fanatics. Now THAT is the 1 versus 1000 as most people want to watch something once or twice without high expense. Plus a downloadable file doesn't incur manufacturing, shipping and distribution costs (the porn industry worked this out a long time ago).

For me the pricing structure is all wrong and until they see the potential then millions are going to source as much for free as possible.

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