It’€™s old news now, but as you probably are well aware of Digg shut down digggames.com due to infringements on their trademark. Lawyers make me do this, moans Digg’€™s Kevin Rose in the Digg blog, and he’€™s probably telling the truth since trademarks that aren’€™t enforced really isn’€™t trademarks. Logically, more Digg-related sites will receive the same cease and desist letter that hit diggames.com.
First of all, I can’€™t really blame Digg for doing this. As Matt pointed out in our previous post regarding this, you have to be able to protect your trademarks. Still, it rhymes bad with the whole social appeal that sites like Digg thrive on. Do you want to participate in a community effort on a site that kicks on the little guys?
Here’€™s a problem for Web 2.0 companies and all the cuddly-wuddly functionality that they so embrace. On one hand you have to be firm and protect what’€™s yours, no matter if you’€™re doing it because a lawyer says so, or just to ensure that you’€™ll receive further revenue in the future. On the other, if you go on to hard the ever unfaithful blogosphere and the users your service relies on will turn their back to you and then revenues are definitely down. A truly hard choice that I think more and more sites that focuses on an effort from its users (in one way or another) will be faced with in the future. Don’€™t expect the Digg controversy to be the last one to reach The Blog Herald frontpage.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.