Digg has been the subject of a ‘cease and desist’ letter by AACS (the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator), the body that oversees the digital rights management technology (commonly known as DRM) after blogs and websites began to publish the software key that breaks the encryption on HD-DVD’s.

They started to remove stories posted to their social community. This caused a riot with fans of Digg, and as one user suggested a “21st Century revolt” began, as fast as Digg removed the articles they were reposted, eventually leading to Digg collapsing under the strain at one point!

Digg’s founder has now decided not to censor the information saying:

“If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying”.

The exploit was found by hacker “muslix64” late last year after he broke the encryption key (a mere 32 characters and here)when a HD-DVD (which he had bought!) would not play on his monitor – due to not having the compliant connector demanded by the movie industry.

Initially Digg towed the line:

“Whether you agree or disagree with the policies of the intellectual property holders and consortiums, in order for Digg to survive, it must abide by the law,” chief executive officer Jay Adelson told readers.

Users continually pushed the story to the top of the headlines on Digg and forced a change of heart:

“After seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company.

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,” said founder Kevin Rose.

How far can Digg and other user-generated content in the Web2.0 era be censored?