Michael, maybe I’m biased as an avid reddit user, but for one Alexis is no longer connected with reddit in any official capacity as far as I know, secondly I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mean “You suck for copying others!” he means “You’re copying popular features from elsewhere that have no real use on your site”. Imagine if Techcrunch decided to copy twitter and implement a followers feature… something completely worthless and out of place, I’m sure you’d be criticized for that.
Again, maybe I’m blind to the hypocrisy of Alexis, but it seems he’s saying that Digg is wrong for copying something *because* it’s out of place, not because copying is wrong: afterall, the internet thrives on reimplementation of others ideas, everyone knows this.
As a side note, Digg was not an original idea, many sites for sharing links existed before it, many have been created since. It’s all about implementation, if I create a blog about “tech” today am I copying Techcrunch?