Digg Digs Own Grave? Or Is It Victory For New Media

Digg is a news site where users vote on news items to move them to the top of listings.
This week, a small number of very prolific users posted a 32 character key that unlocks the encryption on HD DVDs and Blu-Ray DVDs, allowing them to be “ripped” to a computer and, theoretically, shared. Digg initially blocked (ok, I’ll give here and use the “c” word: censored) the post. The users revolted. Digg gave in. The DMCA sued. Will Digg (a free service) survive?
PC Magazine summarized the basic situation in the following paragraphs from a post on its Costa Living site:

Although Digg built its entire business around user-generated content, you have no legal right to Digg anything.
Free speech is great, but remember that being free to say something doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible for it. Even without prior restraint, individuals, magazines, and companies are still open to libel, slander, and, of course, violations of intellectual property. Say what you want, but you can be held accountable for it. And this is, after all, a code that can be used to facilitate large-scale movie copying.
As a private company, doesn’t Digg have the right to pub/unpub what it wants on its site? It already restricts posts that have links to porn and hate speech, so the precedent is there. If the company doesn’t want to abet copyright violation, whether it is for fear of a lawsuit or a simple philosophical preference, doesn’t it have a right not to?

I believe in free speech. I think it’s a crock that if I buy Spiderman 2 and want to put it on my iPod video (which I still haven’t bought), I’m breaking not only the encryption but possibly the law to do it. I’m not sure if Digg ought to be legally liable. But morally, I think the rules for video should be the same as the rules for audio. If I buy a CD, I can rip it (make it digital) and put it on my iPod. It’s not legal, but I can also put it on a friend’s iPod.
If I buy a DVD, I think I should be able to do the same thing. The DMCA will just have to trust me to do the right thing.

Office 2007: Example of small improvements

Many people will choose to pass on Office 2007.
Not me. I like the pain of learning something new and having to hunt for things that I knew where to find seconds before (in the old software). Just kidding.
But there are some neat features in Office 2007. I just ran into one. I was doing a table, and was going to send it to a client, so I wanted to “pretty it up.” I changed the background of the cells at the top of the table to a solid color. And guess what happened to the text?
In previous versions, it would have disappeared or almost disappeared (black on black or something like that). In 2007, Word changed the text color to white.
Nope, I wasn’t picking a style. I just changed the background color.
And then to prove to myself that I wasn’t seeing things, I changed the background back, and the color of the text changed again.
Cool.