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Digg users, unhappy with the company’s compliance with a DMCA takedown request on the codes to break HD-DVD encryption, flooded and overwhelmed the social news site with stories containing the code, until its front page was filled entirely with references to the hack (visualization embedded below). Digg, whose premise is based on not controlling what happens on its site, capitulated last night, telling users,
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.
By this morning, it’s become cliche to say this was a turning point in user-generated content. But we wonder, what would happen if users revolted on a video-sharing sites, most of which are precariously balanced on key turns of DMCA phrase?
Of course, most video sites don’t have such a homogeneous and self-identified culture. And encryption keys are clearly little bits of information that seem impossible to contain once they hit the internet. But the core tenets are there: users submit content, and use social tools to find and elevate the stuff they like. If YouTube users submitted copyrighted content en masse, would Google delete all their accounts?