In Web uproar, antipiracy code spreads wildly
Sophisticated Internet users have banded together over the last two days to publish and widely distribute a secret code used by the technology and movie industries to prevent piracy of high-definition movies.
The campaign to remove the number from circulation went largely unnoticed until news of the letters hit Digg. The 25-employee company in San Francisco, acting on the advice of its lawyers, removed posting submissions about the secret number from its database earlier this week, then explained the move to its readers on Tuesday afternoon.
The removals were seen by many Digg users as a capitulation to corporate interests and an assault on free speech. Some also said that the trade group that promotes the HD-DVD format, which uses AACS protection, had advertised on a weekly Digg-related video podcast.
On Tuesday afternoon and into the evening, stories about or including the code swamped Digg's main page, which the company says gets 16 million readers each month. At 9 p.m. West Coast time, the company surrendered to mob sentiment.
"You'd rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company," wrote Kevin Rose, Digg's founder, in a blog post. "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 Digg loses, he wrote, "at least we died trying."
PD2: Los números me hacen acordar a Lost!