Cyber-revolt: Digg, Wikipedia, Slashdot
Andrew Lih’s got the scoop on the cyber-revolt over censorship of the new HD-DVD hack that came out yesterday.
And then I saw the elements align perfectly for this disaster:
* The issue: copyright of movies and video
* The technology: encryption key of HD-DVD discovered
* The community: digg.com users who posted the key
* The conflict: â€ścensorshipâ€? of the key by digg.com higher ups
* The villain: the MPAA, RIAA and the Advanced Access Content System
* The co-conspirator: digg.com
What happened was an all-out cyber-revolt, with the three most visible and popular usergen sites in the crosshairs â€” Digg.com, Slashdot and Wikipedia. It shows both the power and the danger of crowdsourcing, and the fickle balance between the mob and the operators.
After an incredible protest, Digg agreed to keep the data posted.
This is quite unprecedented â€” you basically have a multi-million dollar enterprise intimidated by its mob community into taking a stance that is rather clearly against the law.
Itâ€™s even more fascinating if you realize the amounts of money being considered here. Business Week had a front cover story about Digg, where they said,
So far, Digg is breaking even on an estimated $3 million annually in revenues. Nonetheless, people in the know say Digg is easily worth $200 million.
This hundred million dollar company has decided to follow its crowd, and face the music (and movie industry). It shows that this Web 2.0 has a dynamic very distinct from the original dot-com boom of the 1990s.
Read the whole thing here.