Our Legal Dispute With Shiva Ayyadurai Is Now Over

from the moving-on dept

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It’s possible that some of you saw the news earlier this week that the legal dispute, in which Shiva Ayyadurai sued us for defamation over 14 posts on Techdirt, has been settled. Many people — including lawyers I know — had been under the impression that this case ended a long time ago, but it has actually continued for nearly two and a half years. As you may recall, back in September of 2017, the district court dismissed the case, largely on First Amendment grounds, saying that everything we wrote about Ayyadurai was protected speech. Unfortunately, the court did not accept our argument that California?s anti-SLAPP law should apply, which would have allowed us to recover our legal fees.

Ayyadurai appealed this dismissal, and we cross-appealed the anti-SLAPP question. For the past 18 months, we have held ongoing negotiations to settle the case, which concluded with the announcement earlier this week. The settlement is that we agreed to add links on the articles at issue, to a statement on one of Ayyadurai’s sites that he says is a response to our articles. No money exchanged hands. We found the terms of this settlement acceptable, as basically all of our posts were linking to and responding to Ayyadurai’s claims in the first place, so, if he wants to repeat those claims, he is more than free to do so. We have no interest in silencing anyone. We continue to stand by everything that we wrote about those claims, and suggest that you read our posts as well.

You may wonder how it could possibly take 18 months to negotiate a settlement about adding links to old articles — and, indeed, I wonder that myself. The entire process has been quite a pain for us. I cannot and would not describe this result as a victory, because this has been nearly two and a half years of wasted time, effort, resources, attention and money just to defend our right to report on a public figure and explain to the world that we do not believe his claims to have invented email are correct, based on reams of evidence.

During those 18 months, we stopped all the fundraising we had done around the lawsuit, as, for nearly all of that time, it did appear that a settlement was close, and we did not wish to mislead anyone into believing that we were raising money on the premise that our continued existence was in grave danger only to settle the case immediately after doing so. We did not, in any way, expect this process to drag out this long, and we now have significant legal and other bills that we still have to pay. We are glad the lawsuit is done, but we now need to ask for your support. If we are able to raise more than our bills, any excess will go towards our ongoing reporting. If you would prefer to support us in other ways — including via Patreon or in exchange for t-shirts and other merch, all the various options are available to check out here.

We are glad this chapter is behind us, and we have a bunch of other plans that we’ve been working on, which we hope we can now focus on without this major distraction.

Separately, we would like to give a tremendous thank you to our legal team at Prince Lobel Tye, mainly Rob Bertsche and Jeff Pyle, who were truly wonderful partners through this harrowing experience. While I personally hope to never require their services again — for anyone on the receiving end of this kind of lawsuit, I cannot recommend them more. I’d also like to say thank you to Chris Bavitz at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society for his help and support.

Contribute to the Techdirt Survival Fund and help us recover from this legal fight »

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Comments on “Our Legal Dispute With Shiva Ayyadurai Is Now Over”

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313 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I stand with and believe Techdirt's reporting ..

I know he didn’t. As a kid I wrote an email system in the early days of BBSes, well before anything Shiva Ayymadumbass wrote. And I know I didn’t invent email either — the idea came from reading about other electronic mail systems in BYTE magazine.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: I stand with and believe Techdirt's reporting ..

Exactly. He wrote "email" the program. He did not invent "email" the concept, nor the underlying concepts which existed before he wrote that program. He did not write the RFCs that underpin what we use today. He made a great achievement in writing that program. But, he did not achieve what he claimed.

Shiva is a fraud and a liar because he’s trying to claim things that he did not do. End of story.

Yet Another Account (profile) says:

Re: Re: I stand with and believe Techdirt's reporting ..

Be careful, or you might get sued for failing to hit the CAPS Lock. The adolescent twerp named his liddle application "EMAIL" – all caps. That makes it all the stupider that he tries to perch his fragile ego on a false claim of having invented the real thing. In fact, if email had an owner with a trademark, antivaxxer Ayymadumbass (good pseudo-name, AC) would be subject to a trademark lawsuit that he would lose.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: I stand with and believe Techdirt's reporting ..

Al Gore promoted high-speed telecommunications, and urged several government networks to connect together ("internetworking"). He supported high technology as an engine of economic growth. He was an "Atari Democrat", and allocated many millions (one $600M for high-speed networking and high-performance computing).

He helped fund the NCSA, who developed Mosaic, the first web browser that was really any good (and it sucked! I remember, first thing I downloaded was an early version of Netscape!).

He didn’t "invent" the Internet, or claim to. But he supported and funded many of the places the Internet grew from. Would never have happened without all that. Otherwise right now we’d be on Genie or Compuserve, in one of their private "rooms" or whatever it was, using whatever "browser" technology they each decided to develop, for their incompatible networks.

You might have had email between Compuserve and AOL, say. AOL originally also was a private network with closed content. But that’s all you’d get for inter-networking.

It would suck, basically, without the public money that watered the Internet’s first seeds. Causing academic and government networks to join together, and allowing commercial ones too. Creating standards, open published ones, not secret like Microsoft! So that anyone following the standards could connect to the Internet and be part of it. Others could connect through them, as well as others, and so on.

Al was one of the few people in the US government that gave a shit about all that geek stuff, and now look at it. It’s literally the world’s economy! Half of everything ever bought comes through the Internet (I made that figure up, I admit). Thanks, Al!

Anonymous Coward says:

Mike, this seems like the sort of thing you could write a book about, if interested. I know I’d buy it.

But I also understand if you want to put that headache fully behind you and move forward with defending logic and reasoning in technology. You know, the kind of logic and reasoning that makes it obvious to a sane mind that Shiva Ayyadurai did not, in fact, invent the concept, phrase, or current technology we call email, e-mail, Email, or electronic mail.

I have no difficulty crediting him with creating a since-abandoned electronic mail system back in the dawn of office networking, and I doubt you do either.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

I was saving something for a moment like this.

A “Cover Everyone’s Ass” Disclaimer: This comment neither represents the opinions nor speaks on behalf of Mike Masnick, any other Techdirt contributor or commenter, or Techdirt as a company.

(And a “Cover My Ass” Disclaimer: Most of the non-quoted material below is adapted from comments made on Ars Technica and Techdirt articles about Shiva Ayyadurai. I do not claim ownership of those comments — but I do share the opinions they express.)

Shiva Ayyadurai invented an email system at age 14, almost certainly with little or no awareness of any prior art. His work was impressive, especially given his age. But this invention was in isolation both before and after, and the mainstream evolution of electronic messaging happened independently of his ideas and his code. People invent things in isolation all the time. It makes for a good yarn between nerds at a convention, but little else, precisely because it occurred in isolation. Coming up with an idea and writing the code for it is cool — getting it widely adopted and used, however, is far more noteworthy.

So far as anyone can tell, Ayyadurai has done little or nothing of note since then — and he is still letting this one minor achievement consume his life nearly forty years later. His methods of pursuing his claims are both aggressive and downright malicious. He will end businesses and bankrupt people in pursuit of a trivial vanity claim, regardless of its truth. His refusal to accept that history sometimes gets made by people who started earlier puts him deep into "nutcase" territory, as does his twisting of logic, his moving the goalposts, his appeals to irrelevant legal authority, and his belief in a conspiracy theory designed to make him the victim of racism.

Youthful software development, especially back when the resources for that were both scarce and unfriendly, would be something to put on a resumé. Again, given what Ayyadurai did, that would be impressive enough on its own. He has instead gone all-in on a claim that requires ARPANET to have never existed for his claim to be, at the bare minimum, chronologically coherent. Even if we accept his claims, he admitted that his system did not have any true successors. It was one of the numerous in-house messaging systems that predated widespread email adoption, existed in relative isolation, died without having much broader influence, and was eventually replaced with email as we know it today.

Ayyadurai’s argument that ARPANET and other systems people had heard of were just primitive text messaging that wasn’t at all like electronic mail could be correct — but only under the right circumstances and reasoning. The ARPANET messaging system was the genuine predecessor of the email systems that were widely adopted by the general public; Ayyadurai’s system, which lived and died in isolation, was not.

Then again, Ayyadurai claims to have invented all email:

“I was issued the first US copyright for EMAIL,” he said on The Alex Jones Show[.] “I was officially recognized as the inventor of email.” … Aamoth introduced the piece by reciting Ayyadurai’s view that the 1978 EMAIL program was when “e-mail—as we currently know it—was born.” … “And I’m telling you, e-mail is the electronic version of the replicated form of the interoffice mail system, and I defined it. I called it E-M-A-I-L. These are facts.[”]

If his claim was simply that he "invented" an email program in isolation, no one would generally care, one way or the other. His claim would be true and an interesting footnote, yet otherwise unremarkable. When he claims to have invented email in general, accuses others of trying to write him out of history when they point out that his program had nothing to do with the development of email as people know and use it today (including development of the major protocols that govern modern email), and sues someone for pointing that out, he deserves all the mockery he gets.

Supporters of Ayyadurai might make claims of "parallel creation", arguing that both he and the developers of ARPANET are "originators" of what became email. But Ayyadurai himself argues that everything else in development before he wrote his program that people think of as "email" is not email — that his program is the first thing which qualifies as email. When he claims exclusivity in the role, he undermines the entire "parallel creation" argument.

If Shiva Ayyadurai had claimed he independently created a program that reflects more features of a modern email system than other established electronic messaging systems of the time, it might be a truer, more reasonable claim. On its own, that claim would be deserving of respect, especially in regards to the "independently" part. But what Ayyadurai has claimed in practice is nowhere near close to that.

He has mocked those that worked on the projects that resulted in email as the public knows it. He has said their work, and its results, do not count, then constantly redefined the meaning of "email" so he could "win" the argument. He has never offered, and has yet to produce, any evidence that anyone who developed either the ARPANET messaging system or the three major email protocols had ever heard about or seen his work — or that it inspired them to develop modern email. He has filed lawsuits against outlets and people who presented the facts that contradict his version of history (and maybe called him mean names, to boot). If he wanted respect for what he truly accomplished as a teenager, he lost that chance when he tried to have the courts turn his claims into the truth.

Shiva Ayyadurai invented an email system at age 14. That much is true. Everything else he claims about his role in the development of email is willful misrepresentation at best and a deliberate lie at worst.

And if he does not like my saying so, he can sue me.

Reed Onkulous says:

Re: I was saving something for a moment like this.

Shiva Ayyadurai invented an email system at age 14.

That’s what I understood.

But the lawsuti isn’t about email, but defamation.

Masnick didn’t limit himself to facts, and repeated charges with variations until provoked a response — from someone known willing to sue! How smart was that?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I was saving something for a moment like this.

Shiva Ayyadurai invented an email system at age 14, almost certainly with little or no awareness of any prior art.

From Webster: Invent definition is – to produce (something, such as a useful device or process) for the first time through the use of the imagination or of ingenious thinking and experiment.

Ignorance does not make something an invention. So, no, Shiva Ayyadurai did not invent email at age 14 or any other. Try again.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

He invented something he might have truly thought was the first thing of its kind (or at least, that is his story nowadays). He did invent the specific system he created, and it is highly likely (thought not outside the realm of either possibility or probability) he did so without any prior knowledge of ARPANET or other similar electronic messaging systems. Under those specific circumstances, calling what he did “inventing” is truthful.

But if you want, call it a chartiable interpretation of what he did. It is the only charity I am willing to give him.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

He invented something he might have truly thought was the first thing of its kind

Again, ignorance does not make something an invention.

Under those specific circumstances, calling what he did “inventing” is truthful.

Again, ignorance does not make something an invention. So , no, it is not truthful and neither are you.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"Again, ignorance does not make something an invention."

Well… I’m with him on the idea that if he really did not have any knowledge of the existing email infrastructure (which I find highly suspect, but let’s go with it), then he may actually have invented AN email system from scratch.

The problem is that this con artist is trying to claim that he invented THE email system. The thing currently called email relies on numerous RFC and standards and concepts, many of them developed before he wrote his program, other still very much in discussion among people (Shiva not being one of them) to create the way it currently works.

Shiva may or not be lying about having written an email implementation from scratch and therefore having "invented" that. But, what he wrote is not the email format that’s currently used by anybody else. Even taking him at face value, he’s still a lying little shit because he’s claiming to have written the familiar public standard rather than his specific implementation.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

if he really did not have any knowledge of the existing email infrastructure (which I find highly suspect, but let’s go with it)

I personally think the claim is at least plausible, given both his age and the year when he first started writing his code.

he may actually have invented AN email system from scratch

Which was my point, yes — he invented an inter-office network messaging system that, much like similar systems of its day, lived and died in isolation before being replaced by what we know today as email.

DB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I doubt that he really didn’t know about existing email system.

This was at a university computing center. If he didn’t know about them originally, he would quickly have been told. Computing was a bit of a niche field in 1979, but that plays two ways: it was easy to follow everything going on.

And he wouldn’t have only learned about the concept there. CompuServe was widely known, and pre-deployment Minitel was getting lots of stories in the general press. He wouldn’t have gotten technical details from those sources, but there would be enough to know where to start reading.

Glenn Fleishman (profile) says:

Re: I was saving something for a moment like this.

Stephen, that first paragraph is a very fair accounting. I don’t know what happened later in his life, but it’s a shame that his pursuit of credit for something he didn’t invent outstripped that early accomplishment and later work that he could have built out of it.

Now, I wrote a hypertext browser from scratch for a screen-based terminal in 1988, and it worked, but you don’t hear me claiming I invented the Web. (I didn’t think anybody would be interested in such a thing, so I deleted the code at the end of my C programming class! Ahhh!)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I was saving something for a moment like this.

He invented a messaging system and called it "email". But it’s not email, and it doesn’t magically become email because the program is named that or because he conned others into believing it was.

Email was invented by Ray Tomlinson and a lot of other people working on the ARPAnet. This guy is a fraud, a liar, a con artists, and a completely asshole. I hope he dies screaming in agony and that I’m still alive when he does — because I’m going to go to his funeral and shit all over his dead face. He deserves to be degraded and bullied and abused forever.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I was saving something for a moment like this.

Thing is… copyright isn’t what you use for inventions. At best, he should have patented it. Of course, he couldn’t, because there was plenty of prior art actually in use back then.

If he’s claiming to have copyrighted the word, "email", again, you can’t copyright a word. Some names you can trademark.

So what was his copyright? The program itself, it’s code, could be.

His copyright registration presumably just means he sent his work off, with the fee, and got a letter back saying he’d been added to the Big Register. That said, I don’t think the Copyright Office actually checks works to check they’re not derivative, etc, or otherwise infringing. That is left to the courts in any future cases. All that copyright registration does, is establish a date where you sent in your work.

Chris Chan has a copyright on Sonichu, a blatantly infringing piece of garbage. It would be demolished in seconds in an actual case (which would be hilarious but I should stop here).

So what Shiva has is worthless. To claim "copyright" over an invention, it’s ridiculous. Does he think the public are idiots? Does he think Alex Jones’s audience are morons? Heheheh! Excuse me!

Reed Onkulous says:

Millionaire MM now asks YOU to subsidize his lying!

You can be sure Masnick is a millionaire: lawyers get a report on how much defendant might pay, and my guess is that 10% in cash was expected.

So after given Ivy League "Doctorate" and house in Frisco, no visible means of support for 20 years, but undoubtedly given money to buy tech stocks when cheap that are now worth millions, THAT MILLIONAIRE now asks YOU to pay for his egregious and prolonged assaults. — He could have just mentioned Ayyadurai once, but no, he bore down on it repeatedly for clickbait, and to greater degree than sites he re-wrote from.

By the way, DE FACTO, he’s wrong on defamation law too.

While out lawyer fees isn’t enough, I’m sure that Masnick has gotten his first real lesson in life: DON’T go out of your way to attack people.

Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.

Politics is the art of addition, not subtraction.

Don’t be mean on the way up, ’cause you’ll come down one day.

People in public view can’t afford to be other than strictly polite.

As I’ve noted before (though tiny franction of my motive in writing here) Masnick went out of his way to call me an "asshole", and now I get a little revenge. Sweet it is.

THIS is the day I predicted when new here long ago, that the site would be brought down by allowing vile comments that show its own nasty nature.

[And on the meta-view: what do I have to lose by being petty? So long as Masnick sticks with the current site format, you can only "hide" this as you do with my every other comment! — And if he now changes it, I’ve won a point there too!]

So, HA, HA! — But yes, I’m disappointed wasn’t much more.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

There’s a reason I consider them TD’s #1 fan(atic)…

I’m pretty sure there are a higher than zero number of people with legal restraining orders who were less fixated on whoever they were stalking than Blue is regarding TD, and yet somehow they still seem to think that exposing their obsession with the site is somehow going to make them look better/TD look worse.

Adam Steinbaugh (profile) says:

Re: Millionaire MM now asks YOU to subsidize his lying!

"By the way, DE FACTO, he’s wrong on defamation law too."

Hmm. Gonna agree with the federal judge who concluded otherwise, which is why (ahem) Shiva Ayyadurai had to appeal.

I wonder how much Shiva Ayyadurai paid in lawyers’ fees to have a link added to an article.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Millionaire MM now asks YOU to subsidize his lying!

I wonder how much Shiva Ayyadurai paid in lawyers’ fees to have a link added to an article.

I am guessing that between his disaster of a political campaign and him paying Harder out of his pocket, he is pretty much broke when it comes to his settlement from Gawker. I’d expect that is why he really really really wanted to get out of the lawsuit.

The links are just his way of trying to save face.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Millionaire MM now asks YOU to subsidize his lying!

Um crazy person that is just a no. Ayyadurai kept bringing it up in multiple news outlets, and threats to anyone factually pointing out that Ayyadurai did not in fact create our entail system, or its precursors. Techdirt covered those outbursts as journalists.

Ayyadurai obviously didn’t like being debunked yet again. And lost on top of his claims being thrown out.

The site is still here, and yes, you are an ass.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Millionaire MM now asks YOU to subsidize his lying!

"…So after given Ivy League "Doctorate" and house in Frisco, no visible means of support for 20 years, but undoubtedly given money to buy tech stocks when cheap that are now worth millions, THAT MILLIONAIRE now asks YOU to pay for his egregious and prolonged assaults."

I don’t know about millionaire, but your thinking that Techdirt was his only source of income is a bit short sided. And thinking that anyone ‘gave’ him money to invest for himself, rather than for them, is just more wonky than the normal imagination can comprehend. Also, so what if he has done well for himself, is that something you have concerns about? Are you really relating his success to your own failures? You also forget the Floor 64 operation:

"Floor64 has been generating insights and developing insight platforms for over 21years — and doing so in unique and innovative ways designed to help drive businesses forward, rather than keeping them tied to the past. We manage both Techdirt and the Copia Institute."

Now what is that? Who pays for what Floor 64 does? I bet it is a bunch of businesses, and that they not only find what they do helpful, but I bet they have many repeat clients. I don’t know for sure, but it is reasonable to assume that a company that is more than 20 years old is doing something right. And the fact that they have been around for more than 20 years distinguishes them from the lies you tell (well ‘tell’ is giving you more than you deserve, imagine and spout is a better definition of what you do). Got anything from this reality?

While Floor 64 manages Techdirt, it is not the same entity. To ask readers of Techdirt to support a defense that should not have been necessary, except for the depraved attitude of the person persecuting them (no defamation found by the court) is not unreasonable. What was unreasonable was filing the lawsuit in the beginning.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Millionaire MM now asks YOU to subsidize his lying!

I don’t know about millionaire, but your thinking that Techdirt was his only source of income is a bit short sided. And thinking that anyone ‘gave’ him money to invest for himself, rather than for them, is just more wonky than the normal imagination can comprehend. Also, so what if he has done well for himself, is that something you have concerns about?

Money is very easy to make if one values it that way. Some of the greatest artists of all time died broke, and some of the worst made fortunes. One famous female singer once gave $100 to a woman singing on the street saying "you’re more talented than me."

Masnick went after Shiva because Shiva had sued Gawker. He goes after many litigants, which indicates an odd fixation of sorts. Most people on the internet just aren’t preoccupied with who is suing who. In his article, he added enough "mean things" to result in a lawsuit which dragged on and which wasn’t a SLAPP (probably because Shiva did not file it for any reason other than a genuine belief he was defamed, and not to say silence Mke’s protests about cellphone companies invading privacy). A SLAPP needs more than a "spiteful motive" as a rule.

Mike’s personal attacks on Shiva, and his allowing vicious attacks through his comments section, suggest a "sore winner" who really won’t leave much of a mark on this world, at least not one most would be proud of. Sure, he has money and an MBA, but AOC went from being a waitress from the Bronx to a member of congress who has already changed the world more than Masnick ever will. As for true success, a waiter who can seduce a supermodel while working room service in a hotel she’s staying at probably has everyone beat.

I don’t think Shiva should have sued, and he certainly should have quit while he was ahead after Gawker (since he could then say he won that suit and proved his point), but that’s now his legacy, and not one I find particularly impressive. Even if everything Shiva said about his email "invention" were true, it’s kind of like the story of who invented Buffalo wings. Three stories say it was the Anchor Bar, and a fourth say it was a Jamaican named John Young who made what we should be calling "American Jerk Wings." Young is the most likely candidate, but I doubt Anchor Bar would sue me for saying that.

Shiva actually had a much more compelling case in the media because he was definitely a pioneer of some sort.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Ah, going for the "why did you make me hit you" angle now. Big surprise from the guy whose entire argument for 230 repeal consists of revenge porn and rape fantasies.

No, it’s based on the harm Section 230 inflicts.

You seem awfully fixated on the angle of men seducing women, now why is that bobmail?

The only fixation is yorus on me.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The ARPANET messaging system was well in development before Ayyadurai ever wrote one line of code for his “EMAIL” program. None of his work inspired the development of the IMAP, POP, and SMTP protocols. None of his work predates RFC 733, the document that turned “best practices” on the ARPANET system into a binding standard and paved the way for modern email. (733 was published in 1977, whereas Ayyadurai’s work on “EMAIL” began in 1978 at the earliest.) Nothing about his program had any practical effect on the development of modern email by the people who truly developed it. If Shiva Ayyadurai is a “pioneer”, I am the Space Pope.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

"Fake Indian" doesn’t refer to Shiva Ayyadurai. It refers to Elizabeth Warren, after she claimed to have Native American ancestry and got flak for it.

When Shiva Ayyadurai campaigned as her political opponent, propping himself up as the "real Indian" was one of his strategies, decrying Warren as the "fake Indian".

And after all was said and done he still managed to lose against her.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"The ARPANET messaging system was well in development before Ayyadurai ever wrote one line of code for his “EMAIL” program."

And everyone tends to forget that at that time everyone who used computers wrote their own apps for literally everything. Siva wrote an email client yes…around the same time as ten thousand early coders did the same.

This is part and parcel of why software patents are shit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Literally the only "smart" thing Shiva did was to hold the "copyright" to his code. It’s a completely meaningless distinction as far as modern email implementation is concerned, and it’s not as though anyone uses his system. But copyright still has that characteristic of suddenly turning courts dumber than a sack of hammers by merely mentioning it, and copyright will last for Shiva’s lifetime unlike a patent.

Unfortunately for him, he’s not nearly the first guy to think of a way to scam the public using our country’s fucked up intellectual property law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

You’re not wrong. But copyright only covers the actual program. It’s features and working principles would need to be patented. Which would of course be impossible because even in 1978 there were other email systems.

The issue here is patents! And presumably Shiva knows that, and avoids it, because he knows he wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. He wouldn’t even have hips.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Millionaire MM now asks YOU to subsidize his lying!

Shiva you are a very silly person. A grown man of your age should not be pursuing silly Internet vendettas. A court, really!? When you know full well you have no case!

What you did at 14 was clever, but you weren’t the first. You deserve credit for being a smart kid who independently invented email among the people he knew. But the rest of the world uses email developed from Arpanet and early RFCs. SMTP. You’re surely intelligent enough to know this.

How can someone with so much intelligence do such stupid things? You need wisdom, my man. Think upon your actions, before making a fool of yourself in public, and growing your ego at the expense of honest people who perhaps cannot afford the lawyers you can.

You’re acting like a bully and a madman. Is that what you want to be remembered for? The Internet never forgets! You’re a small chapter in the story, but this is what you’re going to be immortalised for. In a thousand years, when people have Internet connections in their brain, if they’re ever looking up Shiva the destroyer, and some hiccup accidentally brings your name up, they’re going to laugh at you.

A big man forgives his enemies. And is humble enough not to make many in the first place. Don’t attack others. What does it gain you?

You were a very clever child. That child did well. It’s a shame what he grew into. Would he be disappointed?

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

He is. Techdirt was not the first outlet he sued.

Though I have to wonder why he has yet to sue SIGCIS, considering its article on Shiva Ayyadurai’s claims goes even further than the Techdirt articles in claiming Ayyadurai did not invent email and starts out with this summary:

This page has become rather long, so here is the one paragraph version[:] V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai is not a member of the MIT faculty and did not invent email. In 1980 he created a small-scale electronic mail system used within University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, but this could not send messages outside the university and included no important features missing from earlier systems. The details of Ayyadurai’s program were never published, it was never commercialized, and it had no apparent influence on any further work in the field. He does not “hold the patent for email” or have a copyright on the word email, though in 1982 he did register a copyright claim covering the exact text of a program called "EMAIL." The U.S. Government has not recognized him as the inventor of email and he did not win the Westinghouse Science Talent Search for his program. Electronic mail services were widely used in the 1960s and 1970s and were commercially available long before 1980. To substantiate his claim to be the "inventor of email" Ayyadurai would have to show that no electronic mail system was produced prior to 1980, and so he has recently created an absurdly specific and historically inaccurate definition of electronic mail designed to exclude earlier systems. Ayyadurai has not even been able to show that he was the first to contract “electronic mail” to “email” or “e-mail” – his first documented use is in 1981 whereas the Oxford English Dictionary shows a newspaper usage in 1979. Despite Ayyadurai’s energetic public relations campaign, which presents him as the victim of a racist conspiracy financed by corporate interests, he has not received support from any credible experts in email technology or the history of information technology. His claims have been widely debunked by technology bloggers and articles based on them have been retracted by the Washington Post and the Huffington Post.

Gary (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Just reading about this guy makes me think he’s one of those “I am vengeance beware” types

Kinda like that buffoon Van Dyke, of White Power fame:

https://www.popehat.com/2017/07/09/texas-attorney-jason-l-van-dyke-fraudulent-buffoon-violence-threatening-online-tough-guy-vexatious-litigant-proud-bigot-and-all-around-human-dumpster-fire/

That makes for an entertaining read as Van dyke looses his shit.

Anonymous Coward says:

a few questions

How much money (legal expenses, travel, etc) did the cost of fighting this lawsuit total up?

How much money was raised and how much is still owed?

Or is there a reason why such financial disclosures should not be made public?

While it’s appreciated that there’s a disclosure that excess money raised above and beyond actual expenses will basically be switched into a general revenue fund, wouldn’t it be more responsible to simply cap donations when the necessary funds are reached, rather than continue fundraising indefinitely for a cause that no longer exits?

(personally, I’m much more willing to donate money when the funding is tied directly to a law office [ideally with the promise that donations will absolutely not be paid out as part of a settlement] as bait-and-switch fundraising [whether planned or not] is sadly all too common)

Anyway, it’s great to see that Techdirt did not pay out or get snuffed out like Gawker.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: a few questions

How is is any of our business what the financial details are? While it would be interesting, it is still none of our business. If any fundraising efforts exceed the actual costs of the litigation, and Mike says they will be spent on reporting, I think it is reasonable to assume that they will be. It is not like this is a public entity, it is private. And while it, like any other private business, is supported by customers, you and I are customers, and don’t have any reason to inquire into the finances of companies we support.

Now, if Techdirt were a publicly traded company, it might be different, and then only a little so, as even publicly traded companies don’t give out all details of every transaction they make.

mcherm (profile) says:

Re: Re: a few questions

How is is any of our business what the financial details are? While it would be interesting, it is still none of our business.

First of all, it WOULD be interesting — in fact, reporting on the actual costs of being on the receiving end of a meritless lawsuit which ends up not being covered by SLAPP laws is just the kind of thing that Techdirt covers well. I encourage Mike and his crew to consider such an article.

But mainly, while I can’t speak for others, I am more willing to contribute at this point if I see the actual numbers. While Mike and Techdirt are under no obligation to release them, I DID donate in the early stages of the lawsuit, but have not contributed to this fund since (although I do contribute to support Techdirt’s reporting). I might be willing to do so again, but my willingness is dependent on the actual costs and the degree to which the previous contributions helped cover those costs. There may be others out there who take the same position as I do, in which case that may be a motivation for releasing the information.

GHB (profile) says:

This is shocking

Many butthurt users that abuse the DMCA use defamation claims as an attempt to (indirectly) say that “this is insulting and it should be illegal”, which is babyish. Immernant uprising (the Slaughtering Grounds dev that attacked Jim Sterling), Derek Savage (a person who developed Cool Cat Saves the kids attacked IHE until he apologizes) are just two examples. Seeing SLAPP as a gateway, this is a real concern.

The thing is, defamation is the act of making false statements to ruin someone else’s reputation. If it’s truthful, it’s not defamation as often the person making such claims is the one who is embarrassed himself for doing it.

Imagine this: Alex Thomas Mauer, that person goes after videos containing not just music, but also critics calling him out for false DMCA’ing such videos. Alex Thomas Mauer couldn’t successfully claim that those are defamation because he is the one doing bullshit to youtube, so he is to blame.

Reporting someone’s actions isn’t defamation. Techdirt, you deserve my donation, the EFF is constantly at war to defend freedom of speech (and other things).

jonr (profile) says:

Re: Why no anti-SLAPP award?

Look at the previous article linked — it was mostly a procedural question. The suit was brought in Massachusetts (no or weak SLAPP) and Techdirt thought California SLAPP should apply because that’s the state they are located in. As the previous article pointed out, this is why a strong Federal anti-SLAPP law is needed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Why no anti-SLAPP award?

Massachusetts has a fairly good anti-slapp statute.

Haha, no. No, it does not. Its anti-SLAPP law only applies to cases of petitioning the government and not-as in most other good anti-SLAPP laws-on any issue of public concern. So it only can be used in very, very limited situations.

Also, in 2017, there was a ruling in Massachusetts’ Supreme Court that further limited the use of its own anti-SLAPP law to make it close to useless: https://bostonbarjournal.com/2017/08/09/fasten-your-seatbelt-the-sjc-revises-the-standard-for-anti-slapp-motions/

There have long been efforts to update MA’s anti-SLAPP law, but to date they’ve come to no avail. https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/09/28/tripadvisor-wants-tougher-state-law-protecting-online-reviewers-from-lawsuits/ojcWjYVjprYiR5OPwXafRM/story.html

That One Guy (profile) says:

Little late, but still just as welcome

The settlement is that we agreed to add links on the articles at issue, to a statement on one of Ayyadurai’s sites that he says is a response to our articles

Given the articles in question had extensive links to supporting evidence(if said evidence wasn’t already in the article)… yeah, I’m going to go with what an AC said and file this under ‘pathetic attempt to save face’, as anyone gullible enough to read the actual evidence only to be swayed with word-games, attempts to redefine words and ‘nuh-uh!’ arguments was a lost cause from the get-go.

(As an aside I find it telling that that was what he decided to settle for, given that he could have, at any time, posted a ‘response’ in the comment section of any of the articles in question. He could have easily presented his side of the story and what he considers evidence at any time he cared to, yet for some strange reason he never seemed to do so. Now, this might have something to do with how posting in an open comment section would allow people to fact-check anything he said and compare it to the evidence available to show when and how he said something wrong, but as someone who has no problem confidently asserting how right he is I’m sure that such a consideration wouldn’t have been seen as any sort of problem, which brings the question right back to why he didn’t do so. Moot point now I suppose.)

On TD’s side of things however, given this was a pretty blatant attempt to drive it under for daring to challenge Shiva’s claims with things like ‘facts’ and ‘evidence’ I’d call this pretty much a total win, albeit an expensive one. TD has to add some paltry links, while leaving everything showing that what those links leads to is wrong, and gets to continue on, business as usual. Sure sounds like a win to me.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

There’s a theory that Trump never actually expected to win. He was making a lot of noise about election fraud before the vote, and seemed to be pushing toward setting up a Fox-style media channel after the election. He knew he didn’t have the popular vote, and so the thing seemed to be a grift to ensure that when Hillary won, he could live large on a right-wing hate machine for the duration of her term.

Then, he won due to the electoral college. That’s why the presidency has been so full of loud noise, barely prepared plans, 3am Twitter rants, high staff turnover and vacant positions. He never expected to win, and still hasn’t got a clue what to do about it. He’s the dog chasing a car with his teeth on the bumper wondering what to do.

I’m not sure if that’s actually true, but there is a ring of truth to it to my ears at least.

smartalek (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"There’s a theory that Trump never actually expected to win."

There’s a further theory that he never intended or wanted to win.
Cliff Sims and Michael Wolff are just two of the writers who assure us that the whole thing was supposed to be a branding exercise and a money-raising operation for a "Trump TeeVee" project with Roger Ailes, then late of Fox (and now just plain late). Ailes had good reasons to want to out-fox and out-Fox Fox — he’d spent his latter career building Murdoch’s #-1 profit center, worth billions, only to wind up being unceremoniously dumped with mere tens of millions and a bad rep as a failed skirt-chaser as his reward. And Trump, of course, wanted to be a REAL billionaire — and between his name and Ailes’ skill-set and track-record, might well have accomplished that.
We’re further told that the reason Trump and Melania were so late to their own victory party is that he’d promised her they’d not be leaving NYC; that nothing would change except they’d be richer; and that night, she enjoyed a major meltdown that delayed them.
This is not inconsistent with the recently-revealed info that she was able to parlay delaying her move to DC by weeks or months into a rewrite of her prenup.
Trump went from a nascent broadcast wonder to a situation in which the probable criminal past that he’d successfully kept under wraps for years, decades, may now be at risk of exposure, following the most catastrophic f-up of an administration our nation’s yet suffered.
This does not constitute "winning" by any reasonable definition.

Bubba Linover says:

Putting links to opposing view means site required to be FAIR.

This is actually BIG victory for me because Masnick has not even been able to dodge the falsity of a favorite assertion: that pretending to be objective but actually partisan simply isn’t allowed.

Oh, you can argue isn’t a clean victory but was FORCED monetarily to that admission / action, but actually IS "fair" that one millionaire can force another to cease blatantly one-sided fact-free lying. The principle stands.

We’d all have ability (as of old) to obtain Truth and Fairness at affordable cost if lawyers didn’t have a monopoly on the "practice" of law, AND The Rich were taxed enough weren’t so vastly advantaged.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Putting links to opposing view means site required to be FAIR.

No website is not required to be fair. Even in this case, the “fairness” is the result of a prolonged legal battle where one party tried to destroy the other through attrition — a battle, I might add, that ended with Ayyadurai settling for a link to his website placed on several articles here rather than winning his case on its merits. He received no other alterations to the articles in question. He received no monetary award. And most importantly, he did not receive a judiciary stamp of approval on his claim that he invented modern email as we know it.

Shiva’s “victory”, such as it is, looks even worse when you realize it took him over two years to achieve. I hope he enjoys it, for whatever worth that “win” holds for him. At least it looks slightly better than losing an election by 57 points.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

*Said the subpoena man. Why is it unsurprising that the person who sues an insignificant website is not the bully but a troll responder is?

Someone sounds triggered.*

Must be the person who claimed to have e-mails from two congresspeople taking their side against other here, or the pussy-whipped guys who overpaid for their women getting browbeaten by said women for not "defending their honor." If I can help them finally get laid by their own chicks, by all means I’m happy to help out. I know how desperate they are. One look at their WAs and anyone does.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Speaking of weak minded bullies

Bro did you even see all the shit you wrote while you were blotto earlier?

I was helping those desperate nice guys to get noticed by the women I reject.

The one-sided use of shaming devices is amusing. You’re like the people who try to shame Trump. Good luck in 2020.

Why again do rich men get laid so easily? Oh yeah, women have price tags.

Anonymous Coward says:

And to think Hamilton was gloating a few days ago, claiming that Harder was planning an appeal in the works to sue for the original lawsuit portraying him as incompetent.

The meltdown from out_of_the_blue is EPIC. Completely expected, but bonus points for being EPIC. You and your RIAA cockmasters failed to kill the site, dumbass, nice going!

That sound you hear is out_of_the_blue, Hamilton and Jhon Boi Herrick MyNameHere Smith angrily masturbating each other in righteous protest.

Hahahahahahaha!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

And to think Hamilton was gloating a few days ago, claiming that Harder was planning an appeal in the works to sue for the original lawsuit portraying him as incompetent.
The meltdown from out_of_the_blue is EPIC. Completely expected, but bonus points for being EPIC. You and your RIAA cockmasters failed to kill the site, dumbass, nice going!
That sound you hear is out_of_the_blue, Hamilton and Jhon Boi Herrick MyNameHere Smith angrily masturbating each other in righteous protest.
Hahahahahahaha!

This is called a "double bind": when they post like that, it’s….something, but anything others do is a "meltdown."

They are like someone spastically pointing at someone and jumping up and down while calling them crazy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

And here comes John Smith/horse with no name/The Anti-Mike/MyNameHere/Whatever/Just Sayin’ to clench his fist in tearful trembling.
You know, at least Shiva Ayyadurai knew when to stop being a glutton for punishment.

If you call what you’re doing "punishment" you’re weaker than Masnick, and he’s about as mentally weak as it gets.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Oh, I’m not doing a thing. I’m not the obsessed maniac tossing rape threats and scenarios left and right on a website he loathes with every fiber of his being.
You choosing to be here shows your desire for punishment, not mine.

I have never threatened anyone with rape. You insisting on libeling me means nothing. You can’t "punish" me or anyone else. You can run your mouth and make Masnick look horrible when you do so.

That you are so ridiculously intense and fixated on lil ol’ me speaks for itself, and not very kindly of you.

Anywhere but behind a monitor you’d get a quick, decisive reality check.

I wonder what Masnick’s wife thinks of his tolerance of bullying, and the example it sets for those shitstains they call their kids. She obviously isn’t much of a lady if she married someone like that. Then again, a true lady would never have to settle for someone so pathetic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

and make Masnick look horrible when you do so

Nothin any commenter says reflects on Mike or anyone else at TD. What I say doesn’t reflect on him any more than what you say does, i.e. nil. What you say does, however, reflect very poorly on you.

Anywhere but behind a monitor you’d get a quick, decisive reality check

Let’s put that to the test. Where do you live?

I wonder what Masnick’s wife thinks of his tolerance of bullying, and the example it sets for those shitstains they call their kids. She obviously isn’t much of a lady if she married someone like that. Then again, a true lady would never have to settle for someone so pathetic.

Hmm. Who recently derided someone else for namecalling? Oh yeah! You did less than an hour previously!

Wow, namecalling! Such POWER in it! Oh wait, they change nothing.

Nobody is obsessing over you, nobody is fixated on you and nobody really cares about you. But you make such an obvious though impotent and pethetic target that it’s really hard not to call you out. To wit: this post.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

make Masnick look horrible when you do so

You seem oddly disappointed that people are willingly working towards your end goal.

lil ol’ me

Little? Weren’t you supposed to be this big respectable guy who gets subpoenas and police investigations on demand?

I wonder what Masnick’s wife thinks of his tolerance of bullying, and the example it sets for those shitstains they call their kids

How brave of you to say that behind a monitor.

Physician heal thyself!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

when they post like that, it’s….something, but anything others do is a "meltdown."

That’s because your side lost, and the side that’s not yours… won. Imagine that.

You want to give it a name so badly? Call it "gloating".

But your reaction and blue’s? Now… those are meltdowns.

A sour, spiteful, scummy display of what happens when everything you hoped and dreamed for collapses and crumbles in a colossal, crushing catastrophe.

And it’s fucking beautiful to watch.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Re: Re:
when they post like that, it’s….something, but anything others do is a "meltdown."
That’s because your side lost, and the side that’s not yours… won. Imagine that.

I didn’t have a side in this, didn’t care about the outcome.

You want to give it a name so badly? Call it "gloating".

People who "gloat" are generally petty.

Say, where’s the alleged e-mail from those two congresspeople? Post it.

But your reaction and blue’s? Now… those are meltdowns.

We have an internet psychic! It says more about YOUR investment in this site that you’d characterize my posts like that. You’re obviously obsessed with me.

I’d say the reaction to Article 13 was far more extreme. Guess what? The internet hasn’t broken any more than it did after FOSTA passed.

A sour, spiteful, scummy display of what happens when everything you hoped and dreamed for collapses and crumbles in a colossal, crushing catastrophe.
And it’s fucking beautiful to watch.

Except you’re watching your own hallucinations, which I suppose you would find appealing, as your brain created them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I didn’t have a side in this, didn’t care about the outcome.

Whatever helps you sleep at night.

People who "gloat" are generally petty.

blue takes that as a compliment, I know.

Say, where’s the alleged e-mail from those two congresspeople? Post it.

You’ll have to ask the guy who calls you an impotent fuckwit. Personally I prefer to call you Herrick.

It says more about YOUR investment in this site that you’d characterize my posts like that. You’re obviously obsessed with me.

IP address snowflakes literally shows you having a long diatribe that anyone who scrolls up from this message can see. You’re the one with an investment in this site. Better still, you’re the one with an investment in a site you HATE. Now that’s obsession.

Guess what? The internet hasn’t broken any more than it did after FOSTA passed.

And the world hasn’t been broken any more than it did after the Black Death, diphtheria, smallpox, cholera, Zika fever, etc. For that matter, human trafficking and prostitution hasn’t been broken any more than it did after FOSTA passed. In fact the police, the biggest supposed beneficiaries of this law, has pointed out FOSTA made it even HARDER to stop.

Also FOSTA wasn’t needed to destroy Backpage, but you knew that already.

Except you’re watching your own hallucinations, which I suppose you would find appealing, as your brain created them.

Uh huh. Your reaction is clearly a hallucination.

The "just to be clear, I’M breaking up with you" reaction is priceless, Herrick.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 It’s as much evidence as you’ve ever provided

*“Say, where’s the alleged e-mail from those two congresspeople? Post it.”

I did bro. You were just too drunkies to remember.*

Of course he did, that’s why it’s not given here or linked to, or found anywhere else but in his head.

I’m sure congressmen love having someone make a claim like that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Would be a real shame if that happened

Sorry bro I refuse to provide more evidence than you do. So you’ll just have to trust that I emailed them and not, say, used your own extremely dumb tactic of vague threats and empty lies against you and that you fell hook line and sinker for it.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"I’d say the reaction to Article 13 was far more extreme. Guess what? The internet hasn’t broken any more than it did after FOSTA passed."

Two things: first, article 13 passed but it hasn’t been implemented yet. There’s still several things that need to happen before it’s actually in force. You should read up on how things actually work, because you’re very confused about how things operate in the real world.

Second – FOSTA didn’t break the internet… but nobody said it would. What people said is that it would be both ineffective and unnecessary for dealing with the things it claimed to be dealing with, while driving sex trafficking further underground and making life much more difficult both for sex workers and law enforcement. Which HAS happened.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

The entire point of FOSTA was supposed to be helping the "ho’s", a.k.a., the victims of sex trafficking. You immoral, degenerate, despicable, venomous, colossal waste of air.

Wow, someone likes defending hookers who spread disease, crime, and destroy families.

Oh yeah I forgot lawyers have to rely on them to get laid.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

It makes it harder for existing sex workers to seek help. It makes it harder for newly recruited trafficked workers to find rescue. It makes it harder for law enforcement to track what’s going in.

Like most such recently laws (Alabama abortion law, porn registration in the uk, etc), it might make people feel and look good if nobody thinks about real consequences but it’s utterly sadistic in reality.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 'The sun might not rise tomorrow'-level odds

While it’s possible that several anti-abortion bills have cropped up soon after Kavanaugh was added to the US Supreme court just by coincidence, I’d put the odds of it being anything but an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade by passing bills that are struck down in lower courts, thereby granting the USSC to rule on them, in the ‘low to non-existent’ range.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

"So you’re saying it’s hard out there for a pimp"

No, I’m saying it’s easier for them thanks to the laws you support. It’s harder for their trafficked victims and law enforcement.

Perhaps you should start reading about the real world rather than the fantasy fed to you by the people who pushed laws that everybody remotely related to the subject at hand opposed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

And to think Hamilton was gloating a few days ago, claiming that Harder was planning an appeal in the works to sue for the original lawsuit portraying him as incompetent.

The meltdown from out_of_the_blue is EPIC. Completely expected, but bonus points for being EPIC. You and your RIAA cockmasters failed to kill the site, dumbass, nice going!

That sound you hear is out_of_the_blue, Hamilton and Jhon Boi Herrick MyNameHere Smith angrily masturbating each other in righteous protest.

Hahahahahahaha!

Truth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

We get it, you’re absolutely devastated this site you don’t care about gets to exist and all you can do is spend the weekend flooding this comment thread to over three hundred shitposts like you did last week. Soooooo much not caring. Did you remember to tell us you don’t care? Because here you are to tell us again! So, soooooo much noooot caring.

You’re a terrible liar, Herrick.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Masnick caved rather than win his appeal

Except the one who appealed the decision wasn’t Masnick.

It was Shiva.

And Shiva failed to rape the site as you so desperately hoped.

Oh, yes, you claim not to care. Which is why you keep lurking on this topic and tut-tutting every time the detractors’ distress is pointed out.

How’s that Paul Hansmeier defense fund coming along by the way, bobmail?

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

And yet, the only true concession given to Ayyadurai in this settlement was putting a link to a page full of self-serving bullshit across the top of several articles on Techdirt. The articles were not changed otherwise. Techdirt did not pay for Ayyadurai’s legal fees. His arguments for defamation were all but laughed out of court by the judge who initially ruled on the matter.

If Techdirt/Mike Masnick “lost”, Shiva Ayyadurai had a far worse loss in comparison to what he wanted out of a win. It was not a “losing to Liz Warren by 57 points”-level loss, but it was close.

Anonymous Coward says:

Everyone can celebrate the end of this lawsuit (How much money?)

The battle that is being fought on Techdirt is not about Mike. It is about morals, and good vs. evil, and the triumph of Western Civilization over all others. It is a uniquely American battle, about American ideals, unique to American History. Not the history of Europe, who have already abdicated their freedoms, or the history of China, who have never known them. Not the history of Russia, or Japan, or Korea. Western civilization, now unique to the USA, and with no better leader than Donald J. Trump, the Magnificent, the POTUS.

In the midst of this battle, Mike is a single soldier, who has suffered the trials and tribulations of actual warfare, in the legal arena. He has survived, not unscathed, as has his opponent.

As one human to another, I cannot help but empathize with Mike and with Shiva, both chose to do battle, in public, both reached their limits of commitment and ferocity and strength of character, and now both have relented. God bless them both with the wisdom that they may have gained from their very personal and very human experience.

And now the battle with rage on. WIth Trump as the leader of Western Civilization, against an evil occupation of the House of Representatives, with evil-doers like Omar in positions of power, and with more soldiers, not so different than Mike and Shiva, doing battle for the cause they are committed to. Bill Barr, the Kraken, who jokes with Nancy Pelosi, upon first meeting, about whether she brought her handcuffs.

And here is god’s truth: Bill Barr is a better comedian than anyone on the evil god-less disgusting left

Good luck, Mike. I’ve been through it too, and wouldn’t wish it on anybody, except for a lot of money. By the way, do you have a lot of money?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Everyone can celebrate the end of this lawsuit (How much mon

Not the history of Europe, who have already abdicated their freedoms

no better leader than Donald J. Trump, the Magnificent

You know Trump would like nothing more than the push the American public further into subservience than any president before him, right? That dick you’re sucking is attached to the worst president we’ve ever had.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

FYI, Mike only “relented” to putting a hyperlink on top of a few pages. And like Mike, Shiva had to pay all his legal bills out of pocket rather than have the “other side” pay them. Techdirt still remains operational, the articles with those new hyperlinks remain otherwise untouched, and Shiva remains the guy who lost at the court hearing to determine whether his suit could go forward (and lost the Senate election where he tried to unseat Liz Warren).

But please, tell me again how a link anyone can ignore (or even adblock) is the exact same level of victory as would have been a ruling of defamation.

kwe (profile) says:

Thanks for asking

I don’t know why I read that article, as it looked like old news, but when I saw that you had outstanding legal bills and were asking for help, I couldn’t say No. I renewed my Friend of Techdirt status (which had lapsed. Why didn’t you ding me?)

Anyway, I hope my contribution can help keep you going. There is nothing else on the Internet for copyright and patent issues like Techdirt and I read RSS from Techdirt every day.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Back to making baseless legal threats is it Jhon boi?

Stalk much? Yes, you do. Nothing baseless at all when a litigant was clearly threatened by an opposing party. Judges don’t like that type of thing.

Got tired of calling all women whores

Why do rich men get laid so easily? Oh yeah, women are for sale.

and threatening to rape disabled people?

You’ve been put on notice that I have never made such a threat. You’ve set it up so that if my name comes out, you can (and will) be sued for this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

*women are for sale

You, uh…you talkin’ about a side business, Jhon? Because that sounds like the kind of thing that could get you looked at under FOSTA/SESTA.*

That’s the law that penalizes men who observe that women have price tags, hooker or not, right?

Don’t worry, if you censor the statement, it magically becomes false!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Bring it on motherfucker

You’ve been put on notice, that yeah, you did bro. Multiple times. There’s screenshots and ip addresses and such. I’ve set it up so that if you sue me we all get to see what other actionable shit you been talking. I wonder if your name came out what the world would think about you calling children shitstains and all women whores…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Bring it on motherfucker

You’ve been put on notice, that yeah, you did bro. Multiple times.

That’s the point: I didn’t. You have me confused with someone else and refuse to listen to reason because you’d have to admit you were wrong.

The reason I use an alias is to protect low-IQ types like you from their own stupidity.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Stop hitting yourself

“and refuse to listen to reason because you’d have to admit you were wrong.”

This from Cryin Lyin Jhon proves why he’s the king of projection.

It’s fascinating that whenever you try to insult someone all you manage to do is to describe yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Stop hitting yourself

The previous poster makes up a lie that I threatened someone with rape, then doubles down with more insults as if that makes its lie the truth.

Poor Mikey crumbled in his lawsuit. Even the Lions have a better defense than what Mikey gave free speech.

Richard Bennett (profile) says:

Is this a win or a loss?

It looks like Ayyadurai has won. Masnick has to give him free advertising after spending a small fortune to defend his speech rights and Ayyadurai doesn’t have to give up his criminal ways.

This appears to put Masnick in the same position as an artist whose work has been pirated who spends heavily in a lawsuit that fails to stop the abuse of his speech rights.

Truly a sad thing for free speech.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Is this a win or a loss?

an artist whose work has been pirated who spends heavily in a lawsuit that fails to stop the abuse of his speech rights

The idea that piracy is an abuse of the artist’s "speech rights" is just silly and I hope you copyright apologists know that we can all see it for the pathetic, transparent attempt to skew the discussion that it so obviously is. Gradeschool playground level stuff there, Bennett.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

It looks like Ayyadurai has won.

Only if you look from his point of view.

Aside from the conciliatory link, all the Techdirt articles he sued over remain as they were before the lawsuit. Techdirt still exists. Mike is still free to write about Ayyadurai in the future. And while Ayyadurai did not pay Techdirt’s legal bills, Techdirt did not pay his. Shiva’s so-called “victory” is a best-I-can-do result of a legal battle he had no hope of winning in court after the judge struck down his claims — and considering how easy it is for someone to hide the link Techdirt put up with custom CSS or an adblocker, even that “victory” is ultimately meaningless.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Is this a win or a loss?

advertisement? His sole claim to fame is “I invented e mail and sue people who say they I did not for self esteem preservation.” This man does not come off as a buisnessman.
Just like you do not seem to have much hair despite your undoubtedly numerous efforts to assure others that it will grow back.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Is this a win or a loss?

It looks like Ayyadurai has won.

Pray do tell how.

His original suit was to shut Mike up and have those articles removed. In that he failed spectacularly. Neither did Mike pay him a single cent.

So what has Ayyadurai gained from this? More bad publicity showing him to be a con man with an ego that won’t quit. Much like another "dick" I could mention. I wouldn’t exactly call that a win. But as Mike said, neither did he technically "win" either. Though I would disagree. At the very least the First Amendment was upheld from a bully trying to silence someone pointing out his lies. That’s a win in my book. What book are you reading from?

This appears to put Masnick in the same position as an artist whose work has been pirated who spends heavily in a lawsuit that fails to stop the abuse of his speech rights.

Only in your twisted logic. Mike wasn’t trying to shut anyone up or "prevent people from pirating his work". He was trying to stop someone from shutting him up. In that he succeeded.

Try again Richard.

Anonymous Coward says:

The Truth about Techdirt from Your Friend Shiva

Hello, my many fans. Let me share a truth with you – Mike folded like a cheap suitcase and ran away like a scalded dog from a fight he could never win. He lost the respect of the judge, his attorneys, his sponsors, event the court bailiff saw him for the low-life disgusting liar and shit smearing propagandist he is. When he was absolutely sure that there was no hope for his cause (there never was, of course, but he had to see for himself by wasting everyone’s time first) he signed a confidential settlement agreement that he will never publish. He is now precluded from a variety of activities. See for yourself, read his articles in the future, watch how Techdirt has already changed, and see how it will never be the same as it was when it first uttered my name.

Neither Mike nor Techdirt will ever recover from this humiliating loss. As part of the confidential settlement agreement, he turned over all his information regarding every anonymous and non-anonymous poster, every “insider”, every shady deal to take money in return for defamation, all his financial records, all his contributors, everything. Charles and I have it all.

So please, write back to me. Defame me some more. I know who you are, I know where you live, I know about your arrangements with Mike, and I have a spirit of vengefulness that will never relent.

Just ask Mike.

Have a nice day,

Your Friend, Shiva

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The Truth about Techdirt from Your Friend Shiva

Your ugly POS wife is a better laugh. Your shitstain children even better.

You backed down like the little pussy you are. The one who can’t get top-shelf women.

You’re not a man, just a sniveling, foul-mouthed, cowardly little BOY now PWNED by Shiva.

You will leave no meaningful mark on this world.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The Truth about Techdirt from Your Friend Shiva

If ever proof was needed for how bad you suck as a person this post does it. Why are you bringing up his wife? She has absolutely no bearing on anything discussed here. Your doing so only completely discredits you and should bring you deep shame and embarrassment. Your bullshit line about top-shelf women hints at how sexist you are. People who make such statements typically have some stupid chauvinist view of "top-self women" which won’t include intelligence nor independence. Rather it covers beauty, obedience, cooking and how well they keep the house clean. Anyone who truly respects women would ever insult them like you did at the start of this post nor would they ever use the phrase "top self" when discussing women.

Ehud Gavron (profile) says:

182 comments before mine

When I see [usually in WashPo] 1000+ comments I usually comment that "I’ll be the last 900 readers couldn’t be bothered to read other people’s comments, but think theirs should be immediately made doctrine."

Well I saw 182 comments and started reading them, and honestly I had to scroll because most said what I wanted to — offering congratulations, and affirming that Shiva Ayyadurai didn’t invent email.

My 183 comment on this thread affirms that!

E

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 182 comments before mine

Good for you. “Shiva didn’t invent Email”. That’s about the limit of what you will say about email now, isn’t it?

Harder won, bigly. He proved to everyone on Techdirt that if you can’t absolutely back up everything you say, you may be out hundreds of thousands of dollars and have to apologize with an edit to your comments, in public, on the permanent record.

Any of you. It could happen to any of you.

And now you will all be careful, or hide like little girls behind your anonymity, which you better be sure of. Give that POTUS was behind this whole thing, I wouldn’t be too sure.

MAGA

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

He proved to everyone on Techdirt that if you can’t absolutely back up everything you say, you may be out hundreds of thousands of dollars and have to apologize with an edit to your comments, in public, on the permanent record.

Techdirt has issued no apology. It has made no edits on the articles Ayyadurai sued over, other than the link at the top. The article on which you are commenting even says “we do not believe his claims to have invented email are correct, based on reams of evidence”. And even if Techdirt lost money defending itself, Ayyadurai lost money fighting a battle where he literally lost in court and ultimately had to settle for getting a easily-hideable hyperlink placed on a handful of pages on this site.

I doubt this loss is worse than the loss to Liz Warren. But it must sting him all the same to know that, despite his best efforts, he could not silence a critic who was willing and able to fight him.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: That's not setting a low bar, that's throwing the bar out

To the extent that he ‘won’ anything it’s that TD will add links to whatever pathetic ‘response’ he may have come up with, something he could have done without a lawsuit had he simply had the guts to post in the relevant comment sections, so the desperation the trolls are demonstrating in trying to spin this as somehow a ‘win’ for him and/or a ‘loss’ for TD is just downright funny.

Sure TD is out money from having to defend themselves, but given the goal of the lawsuit was pretty clearly meant to destroy the site through attrition(he sure as hell wasn’t ever going to win on the merits of his claims), something it completely failed to do, I’d say that makes for a pretty solid win on TD’s side.

Anonymous Coward says:

every shady deal to take money in return for defamation,

Ever notice how FIXATED a small group of people are about internet litigants? They act like the world gives a shit when most of it does not. Remember that lawyer/hacker mafia I warned about, the one that needs Section 230 for them to weaponize Google, defame people, and set innocents up to be sued when they "reiterate" the defamation in their own words?

Masnick’s the weak link, as he just proved, and BIG threat to some really evil people, the kind that are extremely risk-averse.

His future is not bright.

Anonymous Coward says:

Techdirt is now Toothless

I guarantee that that the Email guy will never be defamed on Techdirt again.

Mike has learned his lesson, and is now running home to mama with his tails between his legs, begging strangers for money. The public humiliation of MM and LB – priceless.

In fact, I know with Certainty that No One on Techdirt will Ever defame someone under their own name, ever again.

Techdirt is Completely Toothless.

Thank you Charles Harder.

MAGA

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: MOAR tears!

Those tears of yours are so delicious. You went from Shivas gonna destroy this site to my dad totally beat up your dad in a heartbeat. There’s only one party that got humiliated. His names Shiva. He’s a lifelong loser who’s only notable accomplishments are losing to a fake Indian and losing a lawsuit to MM. To be fair he probably gets off on being humiliated. Kinda like you bro.

techflaws (profile) says:

I’m gonna repost my comment from Arstechnica because I’m still baffled that because of judges like him, this BS has been going on so long:

"In the lower court ruling, US District Judge F. Dennis Saylor found that because it is impossible to define precisely and specifically what email is, Ayyadurai’s "claim is incapable of being proved true or false."

I find this to be the most disturbing aspect of this whole shenanigans. You look at each definition (first of course, the one the douchebag is running around with) and check if his claims match reality. They do for example with his claim that he actually wrote a program called Email. But they certainly do not with regards to his impact on the system called email others invented and that we still use today.

Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I find this to be the most disturbing aspect of this whole shenanigans.

You shouldn’t. As I’ve explained over and over again, we do not want courts issuing determinations as to what technical terms mean.

I suggest reading the court filings — specifically, the defense team’s, which make exactly the argument you find so disturbing — for a little more clarity.

Legally, "Shiva Ayyadurai did not invent e-mail" is an opinion based on disclosed facts. That is as it should be. The court ruled correctly that that statement (and other, similar statements) cannot possibly be defamatory. That is the correct result.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

This week in Techdirt history, as the article above explains, an era came to an end.

In the era previous to this, many thought that MM and his likeness could sell defamation, for a price, and without consequence.

In the era previous to this one, many on this site claimed that they were “free” to harass, libel and defame anyone they chose, and that the Internet, and the Law, protected them from retaliation. They literally laughed and pranced and danced in public on the edge of a legal knife with their disgusting and ridiculous arguments that they were in the right.

In the previous era, many believed that they were inoculated against repercussions because of Section 230, and their shrewd understanding of the law in America. They danced literally on the edge of a legal and karmic knife, until a single event occurred – Shiva the Destroyer opened his middle eye!

The previous era is now a historical record for all in the future to consider. Shiva the Destroyer has wrought his wrath. Those who would dance on a knife’s edge of legal understanding now understand something new – they were completely wrong.

Fact – The legal bills inflicted by Shiva the Destroyer on MM were more than any of you make in a year
Fact – The injury to your souls inflicted by Shiva the Destroyer were karmic in scope and will never cease, for any of you. None of you will ever rest peacefully again as Shiva the Destroyer uses his MIddle Eye to hunt you down and make you account to Buddha the fat boy pointing at the sky (not sure that’s quite the right description, but that’s what I see when I think of Buddha).
Now a new Era has begun, for Techdirt. The red stain from the karmic knife wielded by Shiva the Destroyer has opened a new world, never considered before Shiva the Destroyer created this New Reality. A new reality has been born, and we are all witness to the affect it will have on the world, real and karmic.

This is the WYFM era, the Era where you better WATCH YOUR FUCKING MOUTH.

Amen.

The legal battle is over. The moral and karmic battle is without end.

God Bless Shiva the Destroyer, and God Bless Buddha the fat boy pointing at the sky.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Every time you think it's hit rock bottom...

Your tears are so delicious. (C) This comment may not, in whole or in part, be copied, repeated, parodied, or discussed at all for any reason without first consulting Hamilton, the Healer, or Shiva, the Destroyer, who retain all rights considered by whomsoever whensoever howsoever whatsoever, Amen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Every time you think it's hit rock bottom...

Just to be absolutely clear, without any chance of any misunderstanding, this material is licensed under the Open Trade Secret Agreement (OTSA), whereby such trade secret may be consumed by but never repeated by or referenced by or disclosed by any reader of Techdirt for any purpose whatsoever other than the original unexpected consumption of such materials. Any such violation of this agreement will subject you to the United States Trade Secret Act, which shall be applied without regard to your nationality or understanding of the law or mental capacity or ability to function as a cognizant litigant.

Stupid is no excuse.

Except for MM.

Rog S. says:

Re: Re:

Shiva is the Hindu god of chronic masturbation, I think.

It is said that washing ones hands one thousand times after the "act of Gandhi“will wash away the “sins of the eggplant god”, but I am not a Hindu, so I dont really know for sure if that means that Henry Millers telling of Gandhi in the whorehouse is real, or just more Bernaysian sideshow.

But I do know that Shiva Adur…AIDUR….ADDU…. whatever the fuck has a huge ego, predicted by Freud, when he spoke about maternal child masturbatory practices of certain cults and sects of religions, creating narcissistic tiny pricks like this guy.

Or, was that Bettleheim…?

Anonymous Rog S says:

re: blowjobs

After reading this article it occurs to me that Mr Adu…Adurh…ADURA….whatever the fuck his name is, probably fucks his mother, and he really knows how to blow.

Smoke.

Shiva whatever the fuck his name is probably sucks cocks like a Ukrainian grandmother with dentures, and no dependents.

And, his ass probably hurts from ramming ayurvedic eggplants in it, all the way to the stem.

Sue me, now, you little bitch. Sue me.

Whoever you are, you vapid lying cunt.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Like blaming someone for not having a spaceship...

Well, I mean he’s only invented email, you can’t blame him for not adding a feature(online security) that doesn’t even exist yet. Once he does get around to inventing online security/encryption you can be sure it will be positively amazing and he’ll implement it right away.

(If anyone tries to fool you into thinking security/encryption has already been invented before he manages to do so you can safely brush aside such foolish claim, as no doubt they will be lacking in several critical features that all real security/encryption must have to count.)

Lil' Bit More says:

Scott Adams With Dr. Shiva Now to Talk About Vaccinations

What the public doesn’t know about vaccination testing Special Guest: Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai MIT PhD. Topic: Vaccinations, the science, the studies…and lack thereof No studies on impact of multiple vaccines given all at once 1 out of 88 kids now have a marker for autism Why have autism rates increased, is it vaccine driven? We’re NOT applying real risk management to vaccine safety Are the vaccinated as a whole better off than the unvaccinated? We haven’t studied that question

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0sGe9ZOqeE

OH, I see now. Another part of rabid vaccinator Masnick’s REAL cause for fourteen needless attacks on political opponent Ayyadurai. And Masnick now has to label Scott Adams insane too.

Masnick apparently supports EVERY part of The Establishment / globalist plan for high-tech fascism, while posing as libertarian / human rights champion.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Scott Adams With Dr. Shiva Now to Talk About Vaccinations

Oh FFS, he’s found his next grift has he? I suppose there is more money in lying to desperate parents than there is in lying to people who understand technology, although this leaves more blood on his hands. Lets hope the well dries up before he contributes too much to the pool of kids getting maimed/killed by preventable diseases.

"And Masnick now has to label Scott Adams insane too"

Have you read his non-Dilbert writings in recent years? He’s applied that label to himself quite liberally.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Personally I’m waiting for blue to start crowing about his "successful" attempt to "drive" more "new readership" to this thread as his "proof" that this website is a cesspool. Like the Nunes memo thread he likes to obsess over so much.

I mean, if you’re going to fuck up convincing people that Techdirt is a pirate site, you might as well point them to an article about how one of their major adversaries paid the judge for an unfavorable result…

Shame on Techdirt says:

Shame on Techdirt

Shame on anybody who donates to this scam here. This site is full of crap and idiots who think that their shit doesnt stink. Shame he didnt destroy your fraudelent website and now you want to prey on your readers and take their money too? No wonder why Donald Trump is president because scammers like you continue to take advantage of the public by misleading them and calling it in the name of Journalism thats in danger.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Dr Shiva

Paul, the issue is that he has become the new face of the anti-vax "fire fauci" movement, and has sucked in a ton of new idiots with long scientific-sounding videos about how Fauci is just pushing to "mandate vaccines" and is a tool of a global conspiracy of big pharma, china, and the clintons… So suddenly these old stories are getting some new attention.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Dr Shiva

Ah, that makes sense then, Mike, thanks. I hadn’t really been paying attention to his current escapades. But, what a piece of scum. It was bad enough when he tried stealing credit for work done years before he came on the scene. Now, he actively doing things that will get people killed?

Plus, this sadly exposes what kind of an idiot you have to be to be an anti-vaxxer. You find articles from years before telling you that the new guy who’s popped up in your scene is a known con artist and scammer with a string of failed scams in other industries, and your response is to defend him?

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