Here's The Truth: Shiva Ayyadurai Didn't Invent Email

from the let's-try-this-again dept

So, yesterday we wrote about how Nick Denton had settled all the remaining legal disputes that Gawker had involving three lawsuits filed by lawyer Charles Harder. Most of the attention was paid to the big one -- the settlement with Hulk Hogan. We, however, focused on one of the other cases, since it was one that we followed closely and which showed how Peter Thiel was full of shit in claiming he only bankrolled these anti-Gawker lawsuits to "protect privacy" (and, yes, it's hilarious to see the early backer of both Facebook and Palantir pretending to care about privacy).

The case of Shiva Ayyadurai is the really telling one. For almost five years now, we've been among those explaining why Shiva Ayyadurai's claim that he invented email is complete bullshit. It's not true. Not even remotely. What does appear to be true is that as a fairly bright kid, Ayyadurai was working for a small college in New Jersey and he wrote an electronic messaging program for the school, which he named Email. It was not the first. It was not the last. It was nothing special. Nothing about what Ayyadurrai did was new -- even if he came up with the ideas entirely on his own. Basically every feature that he put in the application was previously discussed on open mailing lists and RFCs about the internet and the messaging systems that would be grafted onto it -- sometimes many years earlier. Ayyadurai tries to rely on the fact that he got a copyright for his program as proof, hoping to confuse people who don't understand the difference between a copyright and a patent. As we've noted in the past: Microsoft has a copyright on the "Windows" operating system. That doesn't mean it invented windows-based graphical user interfaces (because it did not).

Apparently, part of the settlement involved Ayyadurai getting $750,000 along with the agreement to take down the article (it's not entirely clear to me if the article was still up, since Univision had already taken it down). As plenty of people quickly noted on Twitter this was insane. Ayyadurai has spent many years falsely claiming to have invented email and trying to tarnish the obituaries of Ray Tomlinson who was critical in the creation of email (though was humble enough to admit that no one individual actually "invented" email). And now he was getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for suing a news site that correctly explained the actual truth: Shiva Ayyadurai did not invent email. I'm sure a good chunk of that money is going to Charles Harder. Who knows if any of it makes its way back to Peter Thiel, who recently explained that he had to help Hulk Hogan because mere "single digit millionaires" couldn't fight back.

In response to this, Ayyadurai has put out a self-congratulatory press release claiming that the settlement supports his blatantly false claims:
Certain of the settlement terms are incorporated within Gawker Media's latest proposed plan of liquidation, filed today, and include a proposed settlement payment to Dr. Ayyadurai and removal of the article at issue. More details will be forthcoming. Dr. Ayyadurai stated: "History will reflect that this settlement is a victory for truth."
No, it's not. It's a victory for bullshit. It's a victory for trying to rewrite history and smear the actual truth. And it was aided by Peter Thiel. I do wonder, though, if Ayyadurai continues to sue publications that properly point out that he is not telling the truth, and targets us, if Thiel will come to our aid. Hell, I'm not even a single-digit millionaire. So, clearly, he's going to help us out, right?

Let's discuss some truth: Ayyadurai did not invent email. Ayyadurai also filed a highly questionable lawsuit over a news story correctly claiming he did not invent email. Ayyadurai's case was only settled because Nick Denton and what remains of Gawker recognized that it was easier to move on with things and end these cases. For Peter Thiel to champion this and for Ayyadurai to claim that his little spat -- which got caught up in the whirlwind of a billionaire's personal grudge -- is a "victory for truth" is complete bullshit. That's the truth.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2016 @ 1:21pm

    Ayyadurai Is a dipshit who loves to kick puppies and babies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2016 @ 1:26pm

    And he didn't invent email.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ruthie, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:36pm

      Re: Who invented email?

      DARPA most likely invented the concept of email. The whole concept was to permit scientists & engineers to interact if other infrastructure was compromised.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard Bennett (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:46pm

        Re: Re: Who invented email?

        IBM and its customers were the likely first users of email.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 3:49am

          Re: Re: Re: Who invented email?

          A search through old Science fiction would probably yield reference to text based electronic messaging being a concept at least as far back as the thirties.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2016 @ 1:33pm

    EMAIL

    Egotistical Maniac Ayyadurai Is a Liar

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    stryx, 3 Nov 2016 @ 1:37pm

    Yeah, Ayyadurai didn't invent email, but did he invent Facebook?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    art guerrilla (profile), 3 Nov 2016 @ 1:39pm

    heres the thing...

    i will stipulate he is a true nerd and did some email thingy of some sort...
    but, i REALLY cant get my head around the factoid that HE must know he is full of shit, but insists otherwise...
    um, that puts him squarely in psychopath territory, as far as i am concerned...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Manabi (profile), 3 Nov 2016 @ 5:14pm

      Re: heres the thing...

      It's more than just that, he's also taken to accusing anyone who points out he didn't invent E-mail as being racist because they can't handle the fact an Indian-American invented it.

      In my opinion he's a delusional, insecure, egotistical asshole. I don't know what he was hoping to accomplish, but I can tell you that he's managed to make me have no respect for him whatsoever. If he'd not been such a delusional asshole, I might have respected the fact he created an E-mail program independently. And he can't sue to make me respect him. Respect can't be ordered by a court.

      Frankly I suspect he's just so stuck on himself that he really believes he did invent E-mail. Which doesn't say much about his grip on reality.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stan (profile), 4 Nov 2016 @ 1:28am

        Re: Re: heres the thing...

        "In my opinion he's a delusional, insecure, egotistical asshole. "

        With an endorsement like that, Trump (upon his election) will probably appoint him to lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          OldGeezer (profile), 4 Nov 2016 @ 3:51am

          Re: Re: Re: heres the thing...

          AstroTurf much? I don't like either candidate so just don't accuse me for sticking up for either of those worthless criminals. It's just that everywhere I've been on the web lately the Trump bashers are out in force. There are comments everywhere, even when there is nothing remotely related to politics. I was just on a site to look up and comment on spam calls and there was a long string of comments there blaming him for how ineffective the do not call law is. That was passed in 2003, so how exactly is that his fault?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Niall (profile), 4 Nov 2016 @ 6:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: heres the thing...

            Sort of like how Trump accused Obama of the Iraq War? Or Clinton for Watergate?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            orbitalinsertion (profile), 4 Nov 2016 @ 9:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: heres the thing...

            Who the hell knows how Trump is responsible for the Do Not Call law. I can't even imagine. But you'll have to separate that from standard Trump-bashing, for which you can thank only Trump by making it political and increasing the popularity of it.

            Clinton is and has been blamed for all sorts of things she has nothing to do with either, for a very long time. Not that i much support her either given actual things that are wrong with her.

            But frequently the difference is that bashing a flaming non-stop moron will be fun simply for entertainment value. General stupid corrupt politician bashing will continue as well, with or without merit, and dragged into any conversation on the thinnest pretext. But if that is astroturfing, then i don't know what to call endless months of Hillary-bashing here that have been so far out of alignment with reality as to be hysterical. Emails! Noes! Treason! Hang her! There is always someone with crazed hyperbolic statements and extra exclamation points hanging around. I don't see the above comparison as anything other than a funny and apt connection. I mean, Shiva dude must need some kind of actual job at some point, yeah? Perfect fit, unless he looks to Trump like a terrorist or the kind of fellow who is the sort that should leave rooms in a stretcher. Of course he is equally fitting for a position in a Clinton administration for reasons that are not as concisely humourous.

            tl;dr, that is one of the less frothing and agenda-oriented comments i have seen here where someone felt there was an opportunity to 2016-election-Godwin the comment section.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              OldGeezer (profile), 5 Nov 2016 @ 1:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: heres the thing...

              Yes, Trump is an egotistical blowhard that blurts out something stupid every time he opens his mouth. His past is a nightmare from all the investors and contractors he has cheated and ruined right up to the leaked tapes bragging about sexual assaults. Hillary is no better with decades of scandals that may even include conspiracy to murder. Time was when the parties would vet their candidates and if reporters discovered so much as a marital affair they would drop out of the race.

              Both are easy targets for negative posts. I myself have posted scathing comments on Facebook and surprisingly most of the replies are defending Trump. These are not random trolls, most are people that I know.

              What I was referring to is the blatant AstroTurfing that is everywhere. It make you wonder if Hillary has an organized social media program like Vladimir Putin. Trump has pulled some stupid shit but he is being blamed for things he couldn't possibly be responsible for. People bitching that he is the reason they are getting they are getting scam robo calls? It's either AstroTurfing or his supporters are as stupid as he is. There was a comment on this site a few says ago that included "make America grate again" among some seriously bad grammar and misspellings.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2016 @ 9:00am

          Re: Re: Re: heres the thing...

          Still a step up from Marsha Blackburn. He at least understands the tech.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 4 Nov 2016 @ 2:51am

        Re: Re: heres the thing...

        "I don't know what he was hoping to accomplish"

        Fame, I think. He's got lots of press, some of which he's fooled into believing his claims, and he's just got a $750,000 settlement for doing nothing but lying. Chances are, he's going to be launching further lawsuits with this as a precedent and hope others pay up or print his lies instead.

        Sure, he won't see most of that money, but it apparently far surpasses anything he seems to have accomplished through honest work. He might not go down in history as the inventor of email but he's got his wish of being known.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      The Wanderer (profile), 5 Nov 2016 @ 5:09am

      Re: heres the thing...

      My own guess is that in his mind, the logic is something like "I invented this program; this program is/was Email (because I named it that); therefore I clearly invented Email, and any claims otherwise fly in the face of the truth". With the fact that two things having the same name doesn't mean they're interchangeable or identical skipped over - i.e., not even entering his conscious mind - in the process.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2016 @ 3:25pm

        Re: Re: heres the thing...

        Perhaps that's so. But the truth is going to prevail here, because we're not going to allow any other outcome. On the one side, we have Ayyadurai, who is a snivelling whining coward in addition to being a lying fraudster. On the other side, we have hundreds of people who wrote the standards, wrote the code, ran the servers, participated in the discussions, wrote the papers and tech reports, and have archives of all of this. He won't dare challenge us because he's afraid. (That's why he waited until Ray was dead. He was too much of a coward to take him on when he was alive.)

        He won't outlive us all. And as long as any of us stand, we'll make sure the truth stands. Ayyadurai did not invent email. He did NOTHING worthwhile and original. He's just a self-aggrandizing prick of no value and the world will be much better off when he dies. Good riddance to a parasite.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2016 @ 5:15pm

        Re: Re: heres the thing...

        > My own guess is that in his mind, the logic is something like "I invented this program;...

        The problem is, the program wasn't an invention. It was an implementation. Big difference.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2016 @ 1:32am

          Re: Re: Re: heres the thing...

          Yeah. And it wasn't much of an implementation, either -- which means he was too stupid to take advantage of extant prior art, learn from it, and build on it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    usul_of_arakis (profile), 3 Nov 2016 @ 1:40pm

    Does that mean I invented photography, since I have copyright on some photos?

    And just so you all know Ayyadurai didn't invent email.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 3 Nov 2016 @ 1:41pm

    Why don't you just flat out DARE Ayyadurai to sue you? Because you're coming pretty close.

    I have fantasies where eccentric billionaires set up funds to defend people from abuse of the legal system by others.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2016 @ 1:41pm

    You forgot to mention that Shiva Ayyadurai did not invent email.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 3 Nov 2016 @ 1:49pm

    then I stand corrected from yesterday.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    concerned citizen, 3 Nov 2016 @ 2:00pm

    We live in the post fact age of mankind

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 3 Nov 2016 @ 2:05pm

      Re:

      When I got into computers early on, I knew that it was going to be both "The Information Age" and because of human behavior, "The MisInformation Age" too.

      I just didn't think the later could be so prevalent because the former should easily dispel the later.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        stryx, 3 Nov 2016 @ 2:16pm

        Re: Re:

        But did you invent email when you got into computers?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2016 @ 2:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I dance on graves and got into computers by inventing them. That abacus thing, mine. Dr. Ayyadsomebodyorother D.B.S. (Doctor of Bull Shit)



          /sarcasticpostforpurposeofpurepublicmockery

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 4 Nov 2016 @ 6:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That I did not do. :)
          But I did try to invent the dual boot system by loading DOS 2.0 on top of DOS 3.3. That didn't turn out so well. =b

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 3 Nov 2016 @ 3:08pm

    V6 Unix

    Here's a link to binaries and src for V6 UNIX:

    In v6root.tar.gz in the folder 'bin', there's a little program I used to use called 'mail'. It was used to send a form of 'electronic mail' between users. It's from July 1975. Just a few years before that 1979 date.

    More about V6 UNIX at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Version_6_Unix

    UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy) was later developed and used to transfer email between UNIX hosts in 1978 using uuxqt with a "bang path". i.e. dec!ucb!root (hop to dec [Digital Equipment], then hop to usb [Univ CA Berkley], then into root's mailbox). Later mapping made it easier by building routing maps of hops between UUnet hosts, so you only had to used the host!user format.

    I was a UUCP host at one time.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UUCP

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2016 @ 6:04pm

      Re: V6 Unix

      Here's a link to the v6 manual page for mail:

      http://wwwlehre.dhbw-stuttgart.de/~helbig/os/v6/doc/I/mail.html

      (Incidentally, note that the "see also" portion of this man page references "write" -- an instant messaging program. Yeah. In 1975.)

      Here's a link to a well-researched page about Ayyadurai's bogus, lying, totally false claims:

      http://www.sigcis.org/ayyadurai

      Here's an entire web site about the history of email:

      http://emailhistory.org/

      Here's Tom Van Vleck's well-researched history of email:

      http://multicians.org/thvv/mail-history.html

      I just took the time to search some archives to see if fraudster Ayyadurai actually showed up anywhere. I can find no trace of his alleged source code in any of the standard repositories of the time, e.g., Usenet's net.sources or successor newsgroups such as comp.sources.misc. I find no trace of him in any of the RFCs, the standards documents which trace the history and evolution of email. I find no messages from him in any of the mailing lists discussing mail, SMTP (the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), mail servers, mail clients, mail system operations, or anything else. To contrast and compare: there are THOUSANDS of message from many of the key contributors and hundreds of thousands more from people who had a problem or solved a problem, found a bug or published a fix, encountered a configuration issue or published a how-to. Ayyadurai simply doesn't exist at all - which isn't surprising, because his piffling and unimportant project existed in isolation and contributed precisely zero to the development of email.

      Ayyadurai is particularly annoying because of his bogus claims of racism: those of us who were actually there know that the ARPAnet and CSnet and Usenet and BITnet were built by ridiculously diverse groups of people: just look at the names on the documents and the software. Ayyadurai's claims are annoying and absolutely false: they're a cheap stunt designed to make him appear the victim, and they're insulting to everyone who actually has been disadvantaged because of their race or ethnicity.

      And he's annoying because of his willingness to take credit from those who did the heavy lifting -- Ray Tomlinson being one of them. All of those people have eschewed credit, preferring to see their work as building on that of others and minimizing their own contributions. Ayyadurai has seized on this to claim everything for his own, when in fact he contributed nothing of value or interest.

      I kinda hope he sues TechDirt, because the discovery process will be fascinating. He will face dozens, if not hundreds, of subject-matter experts -- people like me who have been running real mail servers (not his bogus, worthless tripe) for decades. People who wrote the code. People who wrote the standards. People who have archives of all of this going back 20, 30, 40 years. People who are willing to invest a lot of time stacking supporting evidence to the ceiling and giving expert first-hand testimony.

      Ayyadurai is a liar. He is a fraud. He is a charlatan. He is an unimportant nobody who has contributed nothing and deserves to be remembered as a posing, self-aggrandizing asshole -- nothing more.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Jamie, 3 Nov 2016 @ 7:56pm

        Re: Re: V6 Unix

        Bravo!

        Sing it, sibling of whatever gender!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        OldGeezer (profile), 4 Nov 2016 @ 4:51am

        Re: Re: V6 Unix

        Very well researched and written post.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Steven Leach, 4 Nov 2016 @ 8:51am

        Re: Re: V6 Unix

        So does this make Al Gore who invented the internet and Ayyadurai friends ??

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2016 @ 1:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: V6 Unix

          > So does this make Al Gore who invented the internet and Ayyadurai friends ??

          The difference is Al Gore never made that claim.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2016 @ 2:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: V6 Unix

            Correct. The entire thing is covered exhaustive here: http://sethf.com/gore/

            Incidentally, as someone who was around AND working on the ARPAnet at the time AND listened to what Gore actually said: he's correct. And we're grateful, to this day, for what he did. So instead of listening to all the newbies who never had an email address ending in .ARPA, maaaaaaybe you might want to listen to those of us who actually lived it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Ayyadurai Did Not Invent email, 6 Nov 2016 @ 5:35pm

          Algore

          I don't know about the internet, but he did invent some important mathematics.

          Surely you've heard of the Al-Gore-ithm

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      TRX (profile), 5 Nov 2016 @ 1:42am

      Re: V6 Unix

      > UUCP

      My first address had bang paths. And I used uucp to get mail from a university server long after the world went to @ addresses.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    john Katos (profile), 3 Nov 2016 @ 4:15pm

    Send me an email

    Send me an email if/when he sues, I will happily donate to a defense fund. I hope that he doesn't patent email in the meantime.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2016 @ 4:22pm

    And here comes the lawsuit. A threat letter at least.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JMT (profile), 3 Nov 2016 @ 4:35pm

    For me, not for thee

    "...(and, yes, it's hilarious to see the early backer of both Facebook and Palantir pretending to care about privacy)."

    I'm sure he cares a lot about his privacy. Everyone else's not so much.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Manabi (profile), 3 Nov 2016 @ 5:21pm

      Re: For me, not for thee

      Considering the reason he hates Gawker so much is because their Valleywag site outed him as gay, that's absolutely true. It's made even sadder by the fact that apparently everyone already knew he was gay so it wasn't much of an outing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 3 Nov 2016 @ 5:10pm

    "That doesn't mean it invented windows-based graphical user interfaces (because it did not)."

    Nope they built OS/2 and took what they learned in the process. See Also: Video of Young Bill Gates 'We here at Microsoft believe that 0S/2 is the operating system of the 90's' (paraphrased from memory)

    So does this make the case that a copyright doesn't encourage people to keep creating and rather attempt to use the copyright to alter the world to fit their narrative. Someone who obviously had some talent, the devoted all of their intellect to stake out and 'protect' EMAIL from the idea that 1 outdated program is the same as the basic concept of exchanging messages. Nothing is to far, from claiming it is a racist plot to shitting on the memory of people who built the foundations that 1 shitty program wouldn't exist without.

    Siva Ayyadurai invented a program, not a concept.
    Siva Ayyadurai is a thin skinned liar, hoping to hold onto the singular high point of his life.
    Siva Ayyadurai is a charlatan hocking a crappy book based on his single imaginary claim to fame.
    Siva Ayyadurai probably has night terrors that somewhere someone says email and doesn't think of him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Unanimous Cow Herd, 3 Nov 2016 @ 7:25pm

      Re:

      what was that you said about OS/2?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Eldakka (profile), 3 Nov 2016 @ 9:26pm

      Re:

      Nope they built OS/2 and took what they learned in the process. See Also: Video of Young Bill Gates 'We here at Microsoft believe that 0S/2 is the operating system of the 90's' (paraphrased from memory)

      Windows existed long before OS/2, and GUIs long before that.

      After windows 1 and 2, MS and IBM entered a partnership to make OS/2. OS/2 was basically supposed to replace the Windows line. But while OS/2 was under development and it's initial releases, Windows 3 (unlike 1 and 2) became wildly popular, especially 3.11 (aka Windows for Workgroups). Whereupon MS basically renegged on all it's OS/2 agreements (well, found legal loop-holes to leave), dumped OS/2 development and re-directed it all to Windows, leaving IBM to continue developing and supporting OS/2 alone. And did the usual MS practice of doing it's best to extinguish OS/2 (an OS it co-developed).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2016 @ 7:35pm

    We need a "Shiva Ayyadurai Didn't Invent Email Day" where we all spam the dude with stories, posts, et al of how he didn't invent email.

    We will call this day... Everyday.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2016 @ 7:37pm

    > Apparently, part of the settlement involved Ayyadurai getting $750,000

    I wonder how much of that went to the lawyers? After all, who has the most to gain in a lawsuit, eh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    OldGeezer (profile), 3 Nov 2016 @ 9:19pm

    Ayyadurai meet Barbara!

    I hope your settlement was worth even more attention to how full of shit you are. You succeeded in getting one article taken down and ridiculously were paid off. This article by far is is not alone in calling bullshit on your claim. A Google search for "Ayyadurai invented email" finds the overwhelming results including Wikipedia are about what a fraud you are. Just try bringing another suit. What would be great if all these news organizations would pool resources and SLAPP your sorry ass. I don't even believe the money is what you were after. You just want glory and a place in history for your false claims. If you had only tried to get credit for a few innovations to an already existing technology few would have disputed it.

    It's like Al Gore being mocked for something he did not actually say. The actual quote was "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet" He actually did push important legislation that helped pave the way for it. He was one of the most technologically knowledgeable congressman of his day. He also should get credit for his work in making satellite dishes legal and calling programmers to task for demanding higher rates for subscriptions when scrambling began. Just as it is today, cable had funneled a lot of money into lobbying and it took real balls to force competition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2016 @ 3:18am

    This shows that in the american justice system theres one rule for the rich and one rule for the rest of us,
    someone with lots of cash can threaten over someone who
    cant afford a long court case ,
    and get them to pay out money to someone who has a very weak case .
    Would oj simpson have won his case if he did not happen to be famous and have millions to pay for expensive lawyers to defend him.
    many companys have patents on things they did not invent.
    Thats how paent trolls work give me 50k for this
    weak patent i have on a basic process on a the web,
    eg real time order tracking,
    it,ll cost you 500k to go to court to prove my patent
    is worthless .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2016 @ 5:06am

      Re:

      It is pathetic that justice needs to be purchased.

      Justice is proportional to the amount of money you spend on it.

      To some, "justice" means perpetrators are held accountable.
      For others, "justice" means revenge - at any cost - must destroy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mike Masnick, 4 Nov 2016 @ 7:14am

    I invented Tech Dirt

    AND I invented Email, AND I invented the Internet, AND I even invented Mike Masnick.....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2016 @ 7:20am

    The sad thing (one of the many) is that any kid googling "Who invented email" for a school report is going to get "VA Shiva Ayyadurai" as the top and definitive result. Today some of the stories about gawker are popping up, but normally the first page is full of Shiva's vanity websites and the handful of news outlets he's conned. The gizmodo story was the only story calling him out that consistently appeared on the first page of results, and now that's gone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 4 Nov 2016 @ 7:39am

    "The gizmodo story was the only story calling him out that consistently appeared on the first page of results"

    Not quite true, but hopefully those schoolkids are going to read past the headline (sadly a problem for most adults today it seems, but still).

    If you read below the name in block letters at the top of search results, you'll notice that the data comes from Wikipedia and the opening text from the relevant article is quoted thusly:

    "Shiva Ayyadurai. VA Shiva Ayyadurai is an Indian-born American scientist. Ayyadura is best known for incorrectly claiming to have invented email"

    So, the first search result notes that he's lying. I also notice that a Techdirt article from May 11 2016 is also on the front page of my search results.

    I hope Google are notified and are able to adjust their algorithms to address such obvious manipulation. Although I'd also hope that the ability to understand biased sources rather than accept whatever comes up first as truth is an ability that more people on this planet gain.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2016 @ 7:46am

    Let's turn the sword

    Can we sue Shiva Ayyadurai for SPAM mail, since SPAM mail wouldn't exist without EMail?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), 4 Nov 2016 @ 8:11pm

    Finally!

    At long last, young master Masnick has published something with which I agree. Let's keep it going.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 1:24pm

    i know

    Here's The Truth: Shiva Ayyadurai Didn't Invent Email

    oh i know.
    on the other hand its gawker.
    so i wil let it pass.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lourdes Maria Pita, 7 Jan 2017 @ 11:30am

    RE; Shiva Ayyadurai

    Dear Tech dirt,

    Today I am breaking my silence.

    First I had to read a few years ago in the paper that Shiva Ayyadurai invented email. Then I read multiple articles debunking his claim and newspapers having to retract these false stories like the Washington Post.

    Fact: Ray Tomlinson who died this year was one of the inventors of email. Shiva deplorably lied about him after all this attention was brought on by his recent death in early 2016. Shiva, claiming once again he is the inventor of email and suing any and all places he can that tell this story which is the truth.

    Let me be clear, he created all of this because he wanted the world to know he did something he really did not do because he is a narcissist just like our newly elected president. No coincidence this man supported Trump.

    I am breaking my silence. The only reason he married anyone is because his parents died! Sorry Fran! I almost married this man and I can tell you about the night I broke up with him! He was a coward who could never tell his parents we wanted to get married so he lied to his parents and to me for years to appease us both. You don't even want to know the deplorable thing that happened to me when his parents showed up at his house one day unannounced and found me living with him. Long horrid story.

    After almost 4 years of dating him I got to know this man for who he really is. A brilliant smart pathological liar with zero integrity and lots of miss placed anger.

    After forgiving him for lying and being a coward so many times I lost count, his behavior the night I broke up with him pretty much sums up who he is and what he is all about and still doing to this day 25 years later.

    This is what happened the night I ran for my life and told him it was over for good. What he did that night as I said, is the same bullshit he is doing now to play victim to all the news organizations railing against his very false claim that he invented email. I am a witness to how full of shit he is personally.

    My experience should shine a very strong light on this bullshit fraud that is Shiva. He did it to himself by trying to pass off as the inventor of email and then suing all those who dared to correct him and tell the real truth of who really invented it! So here it is.

    After years of watching this angry coward pathologically lie about everything this is what happened the night I finally broke up with him.

    It was a nice late summer night in Cambridge,MA. Decided to go out to eat at a restaurant in the square with Shiva. We ordered our food. The food came and he complained about his meal to the nice waitress. She asked him if she could get him another meal. She then brought him out another meal that made him so mad he attacked her for it. Then he blurted out his favorite line. " You are just treating me like this because I am black". Those were his exact words! He made such a huge scene that the restaurant called the police. We were escorted out of the restaurant. After we quietly walked to the train station( I was quiet) He kept ranting that the waitress was a racist..blah blah blah... I got on the red line and told him I never wanted to see him again. He then stalked me the entire night ringing my door bell. I ignored it. This is who this man is.

    I will tell the world this fact about this prick who is still using the race card as a manipulative tool to get people to believe he invented email. He does not say he is black anymore. He just uses "dark skinned living in poor area of NJ" crap. This man is a pathological liar narcissist. Every news out let needs to call him out for who he really is.

    He sued multiple news organizations for simply reporting the truth on him. He claims his story of inventing email has been debunked because he was just a dark skinned boy living in poor part of NJ. Oh poor victim. He is claiming that these stories have hurt his reputation and he had lost speaking engagements and business as a result, which is why he sued Gawker media. Let me be very clear here. He has destroyed his own reputation himself for needing so badly to be given credit for something he did not do. No one else is responsible for his loss of a "good reputation" except his over inflated ginormous EGO.

    That's the truth.

    Sincerely,
    Lourdes Pita

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:31am

      Re: RE; Shiva Ayyadurai

      And now he's suing Techdirt. Hilarious.

      Yet more proof the most damaging thing to Shiva Ayyadurai's reputation is Shiva Ayyadurai himself.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:00pm

    I first used email ca 1980 with an Apple ][ and a Hayes modem going through a server in a federal park in NYC. Email as a concept and a practice was old (in computer years) at that time.

    Asking me to prove when I first used it, is like asking me to prove the first milisecond when I started to breathe. The year is known, but whether it was spontaneous or assisted is not, and not likely to be provable.

    To my great fortune, I am in Hospice, and will not live to much longer to watch of the degradation of this civilization

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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