Congratulations to the Digg users who revolted against the censorship of a number today. Digg took down stories that featured the DRM encryption key for HD DVD encryption. Digg users then started reposting it until the entire front page of Digg was covered with the story and each one had thousands of Diggs.
After tens of thousands of diggs on multiple stories, Digg has decided to stop fighting it.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACSLA) are threatening websites that publish this number. These organizations are fighting a losing battle trying to hold on to the power they purchased for their clients pushing bad legislation like that included in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that has made it illegal to circumvent a DRM scheme.
What happened today is an example of how preposterous DRM is. Every major DRM has been cracked, and once it is, it is useless, and the money invested in it is wasted. Companies are hell bent on locking up their paying customers with DRM, but today's action shows it wont work. A new day has dawned.
As one blog entry on the matter says:
We, digital citizens --commonly referred to by the vulgar term of 'consumers' -- have had enough of content lock-in. We've bought and re-bought entertainment media -- repackaged and regurgitated digital vomitus -- until we're blue in the face. We've been told time and time again that DRM is for our own protection, and we're finally and inconsolably fed up.
As Joe Rogan's character on Newsradio once quite accurately quipped, "Dude, you can't take something off the Internet.. that's like trying to take pee out of a swimming pool." The content providers have attempted to do exactly that, remove pee from the proverbial swimming pool that is the Internet and, as we've witnessed so many times before, they've failed miserably.
The bottom line remains, we as consumers, want our content free (as in Freedom) and if we don't get it, we'll take our content free (as in beer).