Why The AACS-LA Might Be The New Owners Of Digg

The internet riot over the posting of a decryption code for HD-DVD discs yesterday at Digg was fascinating and amusing. But the end result for Digg, and others that post-- or allow to be posted-- that mundane but magical string of numbers and letters could be very severe. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is in a position to know what's legal and enforceable here and what's not, and it looks bad for Digg.

The AACS-LA presumably would argue that the key is a "component" or "part" of a "technology" that circumvents AACS. Moreover, AACS-LA would likely argue that the key was "primarily ... produced" to circumvent AACS, that is has no other commercially significant purpose, and that it is being "marketed" for use in a circumvention technology. The takedown letters seem to take the position that both the poster and the hosting provider are engaged in "trafficking."

The AACS-LA will also doubtless point to the DMCA cases brought against 2600 magazine for posting the DeCSS code back in 2000 (EFF was counsel to the defendant). In that case, both the district court and court of appeals concluded that posting DeCSS to a website violated the DMCA.

The rules are different when you have money in the bank and a fixed address above ground. Read it here, and tell us if you think Digg is in big trouble in the comments. 
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2600 survived their lawsuit and I'm fairly certain Digg makes a HECK of a lot more money and has more mainstream appeal. If anything, all a lawsuit will do is cause some headaches for Digg over the short term, and in the long term they'll just gain more readers through all the press coverage.

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