This is a classic Web 2.0 problem: it’s hard to aggregate the wisdom of the crowd without aggregating their madness as well.
Steve Mallett, O’Reilly Network editor and blogger, was very publicly accused, via a Digg story, of stealing Digg’s CSS pages. The story was voted up rapidly and made the homepage, acquiring thousands of diggs (thumbs-up) from the Digg community along the way. There was only one problem: Steve didn’t steal Digg’s CSS pages. The real story is that Steve’s iTunesLove.com and LinuxFilter sites are built on Pligg, an open source project that recreates the user, story, and voting backends behind Digg. Pligg in turn is based on a Spanish Digg clone, Menéame, and Menéame is where the copying originally took place. Pligg copied Digg’s CSS files, so Steve’s sites had them too. Steve had assumed the open source code didn’t violate copyrights, as we all do, and was surprised to learn otherwise.
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