Techdirt's First Amendment Fight For Its Life

from the the-first-amendment-has-to-mean-something dept

As you may have heard, last week we were sued for $15 million by Shiva Ayyadurai, who claims to have invented email. We have written, at great length, about his claims and our opinion — backed up by detailed and thorough evidence — that email existed long before Ayyadurai created any software. We believe the legal claims in the lawsuit are meritless, and we intend to fight them and to win.

There is a larger point here. Defamation claims like this can force independent media companies to capitulate and shut down due to mounting legal costs. Ayyadurai's attorney, Charles Harder, has already shown that this model can lead to exactly that result. His efforts helped put a much larger and much more well-resourced company than Techdirt completely out of business.

So, in our view, this is not a fight about who invented email. This is a fight about whether or not our legal system will silence independent publications for publishing opinions that public figures do not like.

And here's the thing: this fight could very well be the end of Techdirt, even if we are completely on the right side of the law.

Whether or not you agree with us on our opinions about various things, I hope that you can recognize the importance of what's at stake here. Our First Amendment is designed to enable a free and open press — a press that can investigate and dig, a press that can challenge and expose. And if prominent individuals can make use of a crippling legal process to silence that effort, or even to create chilling effects among others, we become a weaker nation and a weaker people because of it.

We are a truly small and independent media company. We do not have many resources. We intend to fight this baseless lawsuit because of the principles at stake, but we have no illusions about the costs. It will take a toll on us, even if we win. It will be a distraction, no matter what happens. It already has been — which may well have been part of Ayyadurai's intent.

I am beyond thankful to the many of you who have reached out and offered to help in all sorts of ways. It is heartening to know so many people care about Techdirt. At some point soon, we may set up a dedicated legal defense fund. But, in the meantime, any support you can provide us will help — whether it's just alerting people to this situation and the danger of trying to stifle a free press through meritless lawsuits, or it's supporting Techdirt directly (or, if you have a company, advertising with us). As always, you can support us directly as a Friend of Techdirt, or check out some of the other perks you can get in our Insider program. You can also support us via Patreon.

If freedom of expression and the press is to actually mean something, it needs to be protected, not stomped on with baseless lawsuits that silence independent voices and opinions.


Reader Comments

The First Word

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:05pm

    Good luck, folks. I hope you successfully defend your First Amendment rights.

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

  2. identicon
    SpaceLifeForm, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:07pm

    Loser must pay

    That would certainly reduce the
    amount of vexatious lawsuits.

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

  3. icon
    Michael Barclay (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:09pm

    Do you have a specific donation page to fund your defense?

    Mike, do you have a donation page specifically to fund your defense? As opposed to the general membership pages (Friends of Techdirt, etc.)

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

  4. icon
    Zarvus (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:09pm

    If you win (I hope), maybe you can get his "theinventorofemail" website replaced with a picture of a sad kitten. I hope you find a well-funded third-party (EFF?) to represent you, takes money to fight money.

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

  5. icon
    sorrykb (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:14pm

    Whatever help I can provide, it's yours.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:14pm

    Best of luck and hope you emerge absolutely victorious. thoughts are with you.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:14pm

    Why not ask the EFF or another firm for pro bono representation? Given Techdirt's lax and cozy relationship with some groups, it wouldn't be that hard to get a deal.

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

  8. icon
    mikeisaac (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:14pm

    Just donated.

    Good luck, Mike.

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

  9. icon
    alphadogg (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:16pm

    Inertia Didn't Win

    So, I have persued this site off and on for years, don't always agree, but that turd of a man made me finally donate to TechDirt.

    Hope TD wins. Freedom of speech is obviously not a principle that is taken seriously these days.

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:17pm

    Step one - unblock ads

    OK, I'll support you by unblocking the ads for the site...it's a start

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

  11. icon
    AricTheRed (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:20pm

    Re:

    "lax and cozy relationship with some groups..."

    I hope you know what lax means.

    Regardless, you sound like a bit of a Cee You Next Tuesday.

    There does not appear to be anything lax about this publications relationship with the groups that you feel they should throw themselves at the feet of, and beg for their strength and protection.

    By the way who are you Peter Thiel, or some dick from Comcast or Verizon?

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

  12. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    AC, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:21pm

    What goes around, comes around

    Mike, you have literally made a living for years by blogging personal attacks and insults against people with whom you disagree. You could have chosen to present your arguments and let the reader decide. But you chose, over and over, to call people names. THAT is what this case is about. I'm delighted that one of them finally decided to fight back. If you can't afford the cost of your actions, then you probably need a better business model. Try selling more t-shirts.

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

  13. identicon
    bob, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:22pm

    squash his little head with his big ego

    Is it that Shiva is mad because he thinks you are saying he didn't invent his software named email?

    Who am I kidding no-one could be that stupid to misunderstand we aren't talking about his software program and instead are talking about E-mail for this long.

    Good luck.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:26pm

    Getting dumped by Fran Drescher must sting but this guy is really venting his frustration in all the wrong places.

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:26pm

    I'd be glad to toss in extra $ for this purpose but I don't want to donate a grand and have $70 of it shaved off by payment processor fees. Any alternate method of donation that avoids the payment processor fee that works for you, Mike?

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:26pm

    Please allow me to support you with a payment processed through Amazon just like I do Wikipedia.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:26pm

    Please allow me to support you with a payment processed through Amazon just like I do Wikipedia.

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:26pm

    Please allow me to support you with a payment processed through Amazon just like I do Wikipedia.

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

  19. icon
    JP (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:29pm

    Demons Run When A Good Man Goes To War

    Techdirt has been frequent bookmarked stop for me for well over a decade. This bs was the final piece of the CwF+RtB needed to push me to become a watercooler insider.

    Fight the good fight!

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

  20. icon
    CK20XX (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:29pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    Except there's a high chance that no judge will see it that way... though, we do, admittedly, live in a post-truth era now.

    Besides, this is always the wrong attitude to have. If you see one of your enemies fall, you shouldn't gloat, but be sad that things came to what they did, because it is always a shame to see a life go to waste.

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:29pm

    Awwww, Shiva is all butt hurt ... Wah, wah, wah!

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

  22. icon
    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:31pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me...

    Insulting someone is not grounds for a lawsuit. Defamation is about materially untrue statements being made as fact in such a way that it injures someone's reputation. Mike has never said anything that is untrue about Ayyadurai. The man did not invent email, and this is established historical fact. The lawsuit is baseless and the fact that you are championing it as just deserts shows how little respect you have for the 1st Amendment.

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

  23. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:31pm

    "And here's the thing: this fight could very well be the end of Techdirt, even if we are completely on the right side of the law."

    Please, please, please let it be so. This couldn't have happened a more deserving fellow, Mike. Sow, reap.

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

  24. icon
    alphadogg (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:31pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    Lame. If you are American and respect the First Amendment, you would know that name-calling and insults are not reasons for legal retribution. Maybe you and Ayya should learn how to defend Freedom, not kill it.

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

  25. icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:31pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    The only name calling I see for Shiva is "a very bright kid."

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

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:32pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    > by blogging personal attacks and insults against people with whom you disagree

    Links, or it didn't happen.

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

  27. icon
    metalliqaz (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:32pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    Insults are not defamation, dumbass.

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

  28. icon
    Sean L. (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:33pm

    Popehat?

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

  29. icon
    killthelawyers (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:35pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    Calling someone names isn't libel. Claiming something factually untrue is. This case is about TD's claim that the plaintiff did not invent email and that he has lied or misled people by representing that he did so. Legally speaking, if Mike merely insulted the guy this wouldn't even be a case.

    To put it another way, your schadenfreude is balanced by mild amusement at your ignorance.

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

  30. icon
    metalliqaz (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:35pm

    Re:

    Mike has contributed more to the world through Techdirt than you ever will. If you cared about facts or truth, you wouldn't be so butthurt. Now take your foolish ass outside while the adults are talking.

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:36pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    Is that you Janice?

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

  32. icon
    alphadogg (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    Are you an American? Do you understand and respect the 1st Amendment? If so, how can you reply as you did?

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

  33. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:38pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    "Mike, you have literally made a living for years by blogging personal attacks and insults against people with whom you disagree. You could have chosen to present your arguments and let the reader decide. But you chose, over and over, to call people names. THAT is what this case is about. I'm delighted that one of them finally decided to fight back. If you can't afford the cost of your actions, then you probably need a better business model. Try selling more t-shirts."

    Amen. This has been long overdue. There's reasonable disagreement, and then there's Mike's ridiculous and childish personal attacks.

    Mike's awesome business model is really coming together:

    1. Cloaking his childish insults in the First Amendment? Check.
    2. Begging for more money? Check.
    3. Planning on selling more t-shirts to make ends meet? Check.
    4. Taking no responsibility for any of the awful things he's done? Check.

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

  34. icon
    Andres (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:38pm

    Keep fighting the good fight!

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

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:38pm

    Re:

    II would be very curious to see if Ken White would represent them.

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

  36. icon
    killthelawyers (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:38pm

    Re:

    As far as I know, Ken White of Popehat is based out of California and this case was filed in Massachusetts. While the Popehat Signal may find a lawyer willing to take on this case, there are going to be a lot of costs (regardless of attorney's fees) that have to be covered.

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

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:40pm

    The irony of internet trolls gloating when someone is shut down (Gawker) or threatened to be shut down (Techdirt) over what they've said that others disagree with is both sad and humorous.

    "I think anyone who exercises the right to free speech should be silenced! Wait, why are you trying to silence me?"

    The trolls will have to find a new forum to spout their corporatist nonsense if TD goes down.

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

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    > then there's Mike's ridiculous and childish personal attacks.

    What part of "Links, or it didn't happen" did you not understand?

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

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Here come the sock puppets.

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

  40. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:40pm

    It's a few months early but this certainly provides a solid reason to spring for a watercooler subscription this time around.

    The most disgusting part of this, even more so than Shiva using the legal system to bully people who say mean things about him is the fact that even if he loses he still wins, since without a strong federal anti-SLAPP law on the books these kinds of lawsuits are basically no-risk affairs.

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

  41. identicon
    I.T. Guy, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    You can always drop a Check or Money Order to:
    Floor64, Inc.
    370 Convention Way
    Redwood City, CA 94063

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

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Or he doesn't understand it in the first place. Also possible that he is the guy funding the whole thing and his comments on the site will be used against him in a court of law.

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

  43. identicon
    David, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    If being American meant to respect the Bill of Rights, a whole lot of laws and law enforcement would look decidedly different.

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

  44. identicon
    JustShutUpAndObey, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Step one - unblock ads

    I just did this, too.

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

  45. icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:47pm

    Personally, I don't agree with techdirt's assessment. The same constitutional rights that protect techdirt's first amendment claim are also the same constitutional rights that can penalize sites like techdirt from running articles without backing up its information.

    Far too often I see techdirt running articles that are first posted by other sites, quoting the same quotes that those other sites are quoting from.

    I simply think that techdirt, if they cave in or lose, might be on its last legs because I don't think they do any research except generate a few quotes from people involved with the subject matter they are posting about.

    This is why I have policies set in place on my site that prevent registered members from posting messages without any sources or research.

    Unfortunately, techdirt could lose just from the attrition of this lawsuit.

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

  46. icon
    Gwiz (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:48pm

    Mixed Feelings

    While I regret the undue financial burden and distraction this will pose to Techdirt and it's staff, I also applaud your decision to fight and look forward to the discovery process which will place Ayyadurai's claims under a legal microscope.

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

  47. icon
    metalliqaz (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:53pm

    Re:

    No doubt the filing in Massachusetts was intentional because they have a very weak anti-SLAPP law. It only protects cases that involve speech directed at the government. However, it is possible that Techdirt could fit into a broad interpretation of the guidelines since they usually are talking about government-related topics like lawsuits and policy making.

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

  48. identicon
    kallethen, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Step one - unblock ads

    Turned off my adblocker on the site too. Mental note: Do the same at home.

    It's not much, but every bit helps, right?

    Good luck fighting this, TD.

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

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:56pm

    Re:

    "Far too often I see techdirt running articles that are first posted by other sites"

    This is pretty common to many tech sites and news in general. The value I see is the commentary and knowledge generalized publications lack.

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

  50. identicon
    AC, 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Here is the link to the Complaint (that Mike didn't link to): https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3252883-Techdirt-Emaillawsuit.html

    It contains quotations from numerous techdirt blogs, with specific titles and dates provided. Very thorough.

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

  51. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:01pm

    Re:

    Okay, you get a funny vote for that one.

    Your complaint is that TD doesn't do enough 'original' research and simply 'quoting the same quotes that those other sites are quoting from'? The First has nothing against that, so I'm failing to see how TD could or should be penalized for that.

    As for presenting it's own content TD is typically really good about providing supporting evidence, so no clue where your first paragraphs is from either.

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

  52. icon
    alphadogg (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Again, by the First Amendment, you may not like Mike's opinion, name-calling or attacks, but those don't constitute libel/slander. If you can point to quotes where he knowingly fabricated facts to character assasinate, then by all means post'em!

    Otherwise, you have no understanding of Freedom.

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

  53. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    AC, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Except if the insult is "you lied" and you didn't lie, and Mike was reckless about checking whether you, in fact, lied. Then it IS defamation.

    Sorry, folks, but the 1st Amendment doesn't excuse people just because you like what they say.

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

  54. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    AC, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Except if the insult is "you lied" and you didn't lie, and Mike was reckless about checking whether you, in fact, lied. Then it IS defamation.

    Sorry, folks, but the 1st Amendment doesn't excuse people just because you like what they say.

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

  55. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:02pm

    Re:

    Which is the entire point of it being financed in the first place. A billionaire with hurt feelings and a legal team that is willing to be as evil as he asks is all it takes to ruin lives. Hopefully he has a change of heart soon and either stops this dumb stuff or has it done to him until he no longer has the ability to ruin lives through vindictive litigation.

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

  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Except that nothing in there would seem to qualify as a "ridiculous and childish personal attack". If anything, they seem to be fairly accurate statements. Feel free to point out what parts are, for example, childish.

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

  57. identicon
    kallethen, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Stating facts are childish personal attacks?

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

  58. icon
    NeghVar (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:03pm

    counter suit

    If you win, could you file a counter suit to reclaim all legal costs?

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

  59. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:04pm

    Re:

    "The same constitutional rights that protect techdirt's first amendment claim are also the same constitutional rights that can penalize sites like techdirt from running articles without backing up its information."

    I'm not sure that you know what you're talking about, here. The First Amendment does not require that you do independent research when commenting on public figures. It merely requires that you do not post facts that you believe are false. And to the extent that people have a right to not be defamed, I would say that's not a constitutional right - it's a right based in the law, which is not the same thing. If tomorrow your state abolished defamation as a tort, that would not violate your constitutional rights.

    As far as the lawsuit goes, the plaintiff's argument seems to be that since TechDirt knew Gawker settled the lawsuit, they also knew that the underlying claims were true. That's ridiculous.

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

  60. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:04pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    Give Shiva a call. I'm sure he could use the help of the one other person besides his lawyer that thinks like him.

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

  61. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Quite possible, I believe CA has a fairly strong anti-SLAPP law, and Shiva certainly doesn't want to face that. Bullying someone with the legal system becomes a lot less fun when the other person can fight back and make you pay after all.

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

  62. icon
    art guerrilla (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:05pm

    Re:

    counter-suit ? ? ?
    the little shit needs to be kneecapped...
    you know, metaphorically speaking...

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

  63. icon
    Gwiz (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:05pm

    Re:

    The same constitutional rights that protect techdirt's first amendment claim are also the same constitutional rights that can penalize sites like techdirt from running articles without backing up its information.

    What the heck are you talking about here? The Constitution doesn't penalize, it enumerates the unalienable rights of the people and defines how the government is to be kept from infringing those rights.

     

    Far too often I see techdirt running articles that are first posted by other sites, quoting the same quotes that those other sites are quoting from.  

    This is why I have policies set in place on my site that prevent registered members from posting messages without any sources or research.

    Umm, yeah. This isn't a news site, it's an opinion blog. Kind of hard to give an opinion on something without giving background first.

     

    Unfortunately, techdirt could lose just from the attrition of this lawsuit.

    Well yeah. As Mike stated in the article, this lawsuit might bankrupt them. What is your point?

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

  64. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Loser must pay

    Many states have some version of this. It's provided in something called anti-SLAPP statutes.

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

  65. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    > Then it IS defamation.

    And your proof of this is... what, exactly?

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

  66. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re:

    I agree. I have not seen anything yet that doesn't have supporting links unless it is so blatantly obvious, that only a disturbed person would question the statement in the first place. You can disagree with Mike all you like, but that doesn't make anything said wrong or illegal. I plan on supporting the defense fund monthly for as long as this farce takes to work itself out.

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

  67. identicon
    Your S. Truly, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:09pm

    ReTechdirt's First Amendment Fight For Its Life

    Newegg

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

  68. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:10pm

    Re:

    The same constitutional rights that protect techdirt's first amendment claim are also the same constitutional rights that can penalize sites like techdirt from running articles without backing up its information.

    Techdirt did in fact back up its information, providing many citations including the RFCs standardizing email long before Ayyadurai's system.

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

  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:10pm

    Wikipedia says "Randazza is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts"

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

  70. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    A flat 'You lied' is rather different than 'You lied and here's the proof demonstrating that'. Even if Mike was wrong he still based his claim upon what evidence was available to him, and if saying something that you think is correct based upon the facts you have is grounds for being sued by someone who thinks otherwise then there is a whole bunch of people that need to shut their mouths I'd say.

    But I'm getting on a tangent, what exactly was Mike 'reckless about checking' in pointing out that the claims made were without factual basis?

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

  71. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:13pm

    Re:

    And if memory serves with regards to previous articles on TD he's pretty gung-ho on lawsuits that impact the First, promising...

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

  72. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Reading through it, I honestly can't understand why the lawyer thought this case has any chance of winning. They reference multiple articles and stories, but don't ever disprove the statements. This is clearly an attempt to bankrupt someone through a vindictive lawsuit but if Mike is able to make it to the trial, he will win in a landslide and hopefully the judge will impose sanctions on the prosecution for wasting everyone's time and money.

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

  73. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:16pm

    Smithsonian

    "Exchanging messages through computer systems, what most people call “email,” predates the work of Ayyadurai. "

    http://americanhistory.si.edu/press/releases/statement-national-museum-american-history-collection- materials-va-shiva-ayyudurai

    that should be all a judge needs to see...

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

  74. icon
    Gwiz (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Step one - unblock ads

    I'll support you by unblocking the ads for the site

    Yep. Me too.

    Longer page loading times in exchange for more eyeballs on the ads and (hopefully) more ad revenue for Techdirt.

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

  75. identicon
    Thad, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Except if the insult is "you lied" and you didn't lie, and Mike was reckless about checking whether you, in fact, lied. Then it IS defamation.

    Leaving aside that it's questionable whether or not "you lied" is a strong enough criticism to qualify as defamation, Masnick provided ample sources and supporting information for his protected opinion.

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

  76. identicon
    Thad, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    There's reasonable disagreement, and then there's Mike's ridiculous and childish personal attacks.

    Last I checked, ridiculous and childish personal attacks weren't illegal.

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

  77. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Smithsonian

    In furtherance of your post...

    "The AUTODIN network, first operational in 1962, provided a message service between 1,350 terminals, handling 30 million messages per month, with an average message length of approximately 3,000 characters. Autodin was supported by 18 large computerized switches, and was connected to the United States General Services Administration Advanced Record System, which provided similar services to roughly 2,500 terminals.[23] By 1968, AUTODIN linked more than 300 sites in several countries."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email#history

    He's maybe trying to play on words? He invented a program CALLED "email", not the generic term "Email"?

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

  78. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:26pm

    Re:

    As the saying goes, murum aries attigit.

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

  79. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Notice how this "AC" loser dodges the fact that he's completely incorrect and just pretends the link he gives validates his shitty opinion.

    And he just conveniently fails to address that the link he provided does not contain any childish and personal attacks.

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

  80. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Define 'winning'. Winning on the facts, no, that is not going to happen. Winning through driving the other side into the ground through protracted legal fighting and the associated costs, such that they have no choice but to fold, that is a very real possibility, and almost certainly the true goal.

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

  81. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:32pm

    This is concerning..

    Page 30 of the complaint: "Plaintiff demands trial by jury."

    Of course he does. The actual history of the development of email is long, technical and complex. Ayyadurai's story is easy to digest and (if it were true) inspiring. Much of his success in pushing his fraud comes from his being a convincing showman. I'm seriously concerned with which way the jury could go.

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

  82. identicon
    Thad, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    There are certainly some personal attacks in there; he repeatedly calls Ayyadurai a liar, and makes it clear that he believes he's a scam artist (even if he doesn't use those exact words). That's pretty personal.

    Childish? Yeah, sure, I'll grant that. The article where he kept repeating the phrase "Shiva Ayyadurai did not invent email" wasn't exactly the paragon of maturity.

    Ridiculous? Well, that's a matter of opinion. I think his articles were perfectly reasonable. People are welcome to disagree.

    But, fun fact: saying things that are personal attacks, childish, ridiculous, or even all three is not actually illegal.

    Criticism is not defamation, even if it's mean or immature.

    Regardless of his tone, Masnick stated (1) protected opinions that were based on (2) cited supporting evidence. This is a SLAPP suit, plain and simple; Ayyadurai and Harder don't have a case, they're just using the legal system to cause financial harm to someone who called them names. That's completely fucking despicable.

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

  83. identicon
    I.T. Guy, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:34pm

    Re:

    Wow... tech news sites covering the same topics. Whoda thunk.

    DAMN YOU TECHDIRT!!!

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

  84. identicon
    Thad, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    You're assuming that isn't Shiva or his lawyer.

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

  85. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re:

    The First Amendment does not require that you do independent research when commenting on public figures. It merely requires that you do not post facts that you believe are false.

    What First Amendment are you reading? Wikipedia says the full text is "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    It doesn't say anything about "facts that you believe are false"; in fact, "free exercise" of speech requires that people be allowed to lie, although SCOTUS generally ignore that.

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

  86. identicon
    Thad, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:36pm

    Re:

    What, exactly, is it that he sowed and is now reaping?

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

  87. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:37pm

    Here's to hoping many patent trolls, reading this article, finds a new target in the "inventor" of email, who clearly violated many patents to ensure his claim is valid.

    East Texas has a few spots open in a few months.

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

  88. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:38pm

    Well now...

    From his wiki page:

    'Randazza filed an Anti-SLAPP motion in the under the California Anti-SLAPP law, despite the case being in Florida. The motion was granted, since one of the plaintiffs was from California. It was successful, and the federal court awarded Novella a victory in the case. "As a prevailing defendant, Novella is entitled to recover his attorney's fees and costs under the anti-SLAPP statute. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 425.16(c)(1). He may seek to recover his fees and costs by separate motion."

    So it is possible to make use of a state's anti-SLAPP law even if the case if filed in another state, so long as one of the parties is from the state with the law, which TD/Mike is.

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

  89. icon
    aerinai (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:39pm

    With you all the way Mike!

    I really hope that this gets knocked down on anti-SLAPP but I expect that bc of the entire Gawker fiasco, this will be forced to go to trial.... Best of luck Mike and team! You guys are on the right side of history and it will be a shame if a butt-hurt con artist* sinks this amazing ship.

    * - please note this is a personal opinion of Shiva given his actions in shaking down a legitimate news organization, not a statement of fact... i do not assert that i know personally whether or not he is a con artist. I don't want your litigious ass-hat of a lawyer to get any ideas...

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

  90. identicon
    Thad, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    Personally, I don't agree with techdirt's assessment. The same constitutional rights that protect techdirt's first amendment claim are also the same constitutional rights that can penalize sites like techdirt from running articles without backing up its information.

    Far too often I see techdirt running articles that are first posted by other sites, quoting the same quotes that those other sites are quoting from.

    I simply think that techdirt, if they cave in or lose, might be on its last legs because I don't think they do any research except generate a few quotes from people involved with the subject matter they are posting about.

    This is why I have policies set in place on my site that prevent registered members from posting messages without any sources or research.

    ...and you wrote those four paragraphs of text, and clicked the Submit button, and at no point during that time did the irony that you cited not one single example occur to you?

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

  91. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    So, following YOUR OWN RULES, please provide sources and research or IT DIDN'T HAPPEN amirite?

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

  92. identicon
    Thad, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Fun fact: the SCOTUS's opinions about the First Amendment are legally-binding. Yours aren't.

    Unless you're Ruth Bader Ginsberg posting as an anon, in which case it's an honor to have you here.

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

  93. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re:

    I dont think Thief would be posting comments on techdirt. he has his hands/mouth/other orifices full most of the time to bother.

    It's only my opinion but given the rumors about a certain buttugly hasbeen wrestler, wouldn't surprise me if they were buttin' uglies and thats why he chose THAT case to bankroll

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

  94. icon
    tommygilley (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:49pm

    Value of Your Work

    I visit your site multiple times a day, and it's one of the first I visit. I value your work, and I hope it continues. If you're life was a movie then this would be the beginning of the second act. It parallels so much of the topics you cover, and I hope this movie has a happy ending.

    Donation coming on Friday.

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

  95. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Smithsonian

    "Ayyadurai maintained that EMAIL was the first electronic mail system to integrate an easy-to-use user interface, a word processor, a relational database, and a modular inter-communications protocol "integrated together in one single and holistic platform to ensure high-reliability and user-friendliness network-wide."

    All that may be true...but that's not email. I mean, I use pine and mail (unix) regularly - he may have very well invented the first "modern" email gui - but that doesn't mean he invented email in a technical (and hopefully legal) sense.

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

  96. icon
    Tim R (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: RFCs

    Yeah, about that. I read the actual filing. I see a lot of people giving him metaphorical reacharounds, but I did a text search, and I do not see the letters RFC anywhere in that document.

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

  97. icon
    timlash (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:55pm

    Well...

    ...this is a particularly sickening development. Best wishes, and be sure to share any defense fund info if need be.

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

  98. icon
    Gwiz (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    I quickly read through the complaint. I still don't understand what you are referring to as "childish personal attacks" myself, but whatever.

    I did find this bit amusing though:

    These statements also resulted in a wave of efforts by others to discredit Dr. Ayyadurai and erase him from the history of electronic communications, attacks on Wikipedia that remove reference to his contribution,...

    So Techdirt's articles created a "wave of efforts by others to discredit Dr. Ayyadurai". Of course, none of that was caused by Ayyadurai's own actions, right? Techdirt's influence on the greater internet is simply amazing!

    And this part: "attacks on Wikipedia that remove reference to his contribution" is really good too. Techdirt has somehow brainwashed all the independent editors at Wikipedia, instead of them simply fact-checking entries like they always do. Funny stuff.

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

  99. icon
    383bigblock (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:59pm

    Time to get rid of Revisionist Historians

    I think most folks who follow Techdirt would be up for donating to the cause even if its just a few bucks. There is a lot at stake here given that one individual can use the courts to change history and ignore the facts. They say if you repeat someothing often enough and get enough others to do the same that we can change everyone's reality. Bullshit, this has to end and this guy needs to be taken to the matt. Also, I think there is an opportunity for an anti-SLAPP suit to take back all of his false winnings from other suits. We'll support you. put up a gofundme account.

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

  100. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Claiming to invent something and then selling that story to make money off of it is ... not a scam? It's not a lie if you believe it enough?

    Stating "facts" should not be perceived as attacks, and if they are then something obviously isn't right...

    TD should just write an article citing "extremely credible sources" that DT invented email and ask PEOTUS for comment...that should put an end to it...

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

  101. icon
    Scott Yates (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:02pm

    Keep up the good fight!

    Mike, This really needs to be fought hard. I hope you are able to come out on top and not have it drag the site down. You are an important voice in the tech wilderness.

    Thank you for being consistently sane and vocal.

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

  102. icon
    noisyparker (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:04pm

    Added on Patreon

    Added to my Patreon list... best of luck with the case.

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

  103. icon
    Gorshkov (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Popehat

    I just send an email to Ken White with a link to this story - hopefully it'll get his attention

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

  104. icon
    Natanael L (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Unless the judges are rational and looks up a legal way to deny appeal (likely possible on technical grounds, i.e. faults in the details of the lawsuit). Basically declaring the lawsuit entirely invalid.

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

  105. icon
    Teamchaos (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:05pm

    Google "Who invented email"

    Mike, can't you get your friends at Google to fix this one? You have to dig quite a bit to find the real (true) store. If you setup a legal defense fund, I'll donate.

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

  106. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:05pm

    Re: counter suit

    American legal system: with few exceptions, each party bears the cost of their attorneys (which is the bulk of the cost in a suit).

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

  107. icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:07pm

    The point I was trying to make is that website owners and administrators need to force themselves to adopt policies to prevent things like this. Posting articles with titles designed as click-bait, i.e., provocative headlines, then you deserve what you get.

    I'm not saying I'd like to see techdirt go but that website administrators often set themselves up for lawsuits like this.

    With my website and forum communities, I have developed site policies designed for every possible occurrence and allow for content to be removed if either myself or my forum staff decide that the content is inappropriate for my community. I have to say that content is usually caught pretty quickly before it causes any damage.

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

  108. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: RFCs

    Shiva doesn't want to reference the RFC because it would prove he doesn't get credit for making the email protocols and standards.

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

  109. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Popehat

    You don't have to bug Ken about every First Amendment case. If you read his Twitter feed, you'd know that he was aware of the case before this article was even published.

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

  110. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Oh, I'm betting that they'll be moving into the territory of using third party comments on the site against Mike, and trying to remove his safe harbor protections.

    I don't think it will work, but that in itself can cause a domino effect of trials, retrials, etc. that smacks of SCO. Mike doesn't have IBM's limitless pool of top notch lawyers to lean on; he's not going to be able to wait this legal attack out -- he's going to need judges and defense lawyers who see this for what it is and figure out some way to short circuit the proceedings to arrive at the eventual outcome sooner rather than later.

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

  111. identicon
    Matt P., 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:14pm

    Do It

    Fight like hell, Techdirt!

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

  112. icon
    sorrykb (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:17pm

    Re:

    Section 230.

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

  113. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:20pm

    Re:

    Those are what we like to call 'chilling effects', and run counter to the core values of the First Amendment. It bears pointing out that Techdirt would be one of the first to not give in to such suppression.

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

  114. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Last I checked, ridiculous and childish personal attacks weren't illegal.

    ... or even qualitative. One person's ridicule is another person's incredulity. One person's childish is another person's innocence. One person's attacks are another person's stating the truth.

    When we get to stating things that have been proven to be untrue with the intent of harming another person, then we've got to the territory of illegal. Mike was stating facts and opinions based on those facts, and wasn't trying to harm anyone; rather, he was standing up for those who were being harmed by the refuted claims of those bringing this suit.

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

  115. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:21pm

    There is some irony to be found on those who are taking pot shots are doing so anonymously, as is recognized by the 1st Amend. as being important.

    Of course they won't say who they are, because many of them have a personal axe to grind & are giddy at the idea of bad befalling TechDirt and who gives a fuck if establishes a shitty legal tactic that will be used more. They won't see it as a problem until someone uses the tactic on them, then they will be screaming how unfair it is & trying to understand why people are pointing and laughing saying they were asking for it.

    This is a meritless case, brought to financially harm TechDirt. The plaintiff is a conman, who has been running this con for years. Dare to question the story, and you are a racist in the backpocket of the military industrial complex. He has a lawyer who worked on a strategy of finding enough people to complain to bankrupt a media outlet. (We could debate Gawker being media, but thats not the point). Now they move onto TechDirt & the real reason behind the case might be mentioning someone bankrolling this type of lawfare was gay in print again, its all it took the first time.

    If you can help, please help. Make a stand today, even if you don't always agree with what TechDirt has to say. If you won't stand up for the rights of those you disagree with, don't be shocked when no one comes to help you.

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

  116. icon
    simp (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:22pm

    legal defense

    IP litigation attorney and Berkeley Law grad (2002) with BigLaw experience. Would be willing to assist with defense on a heavily discounted basis. alan.engle[at]meenlegal[dot]com.

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

  117. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Popehat

    He was aware of this case before the Ars article was even published.

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

  118. icon
    Chris ODonnell (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    They don't care if they can win. They are trying to harass Techdirt into permanent silence or a settlement to make the suit go away. They are bullying via the legal system.

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

  119. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:29pm

    Re:

    So, I'm confused. Are you saying that your comment the other day,

    HRD Software, nothing but a company full of idiots.

    should have been removed? Or did I miss the part where you provided peer-reviewed original research that backed it up? Something that would have satisfied "the community", at any rate.

    It doesn't seem to me like it's much different at all from what Techdirt has written about this issue, and they've provided a ton of supplemental links with background information to go along with it.

    If you want to take the approach that puts "avoid being sued" above other considerations then that's perfectly fine. But if Techdirt wants to emphasize the argument that "this is perfectly legitimate criticism and even if we do get sued that doesn't make us wrong" that's also fine. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that their approach is vital to all of us, and we should be lucky they take it.

    Calling someone a liar when they're lying, especially when you can and do show why you say they're lying, isn't something that we should be trying to shy away from.

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

  120. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It doesn't say anything about "facts that you believe are false"; in fact, "free exercise" of speech requires that people be allowed to lie, although SCOTUS generally ignore that.

    Interesting thing here: the reason that there are copyright etc. lawyers is that the constitution was not written and then referred to out of context by each judge who wanted to decide future cases.

    Every year, judging becomes more and more complex, as case law based on previous decisions becomes part of the deciding factors. This means that the current legal understanding of the 1st Amendment and associated torts and laws is not just the full text on Wikipedia; it fills multiple volumes, based on all the cases decided since the amendment was first signed, and changes to state laws that take these decisions into consideration.

    There must be a compelling reason (I'd say even beyond the weak anti-SLAPP law) why they filed this in MA. It probably has to do with the case law on the subject and how they can believably interpret it, as well as a solid strategy for stringing this out into 10+ years of hearings, filings and trials.

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

  121. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    On the other hand, I did a Google search on "History of Email." One of the "featured snippets" - quick related questions and answers that Google put between the search results - is "Who is called the creator of email?" This lists Ayyadurai as the answer.

    I followed the "Search for: Who is called the creator of email?", followed by the "Feedback" link, and flagged it as incorrect. With the following comment:

    While Shiva Ayyadurai claims to have invented email, it's well documented that email systems were around long before he created his own version named "EMAIL." This should be clarified or the answer changed to "Ray Tomlinson and others."

    I recommend that others do the same. Not to discredit Dr. Ayyadurai, but to correct the record and ensure accurate information.

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

  122. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:44pm

    Re:

    You really have no idea what you're talking about.

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

  123. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:45pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    How's your John Steele defence fund going bro?

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

  124. identicon
    Tin Samuel, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:45pm

    Fucking people...

    Just seems like an absolutely retarded thing to sue someone over. How is an opinion piece that sights evidence of a claim that someone did or did not invent email going to affect his standing or reputation? Are you not entitled to an opinion? Is his claim so weak that he has to resort to the legal system, rather than posting a rebuttal? People are damned idiots...

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

  125. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: RFCs

    > Yeah, about that. I read the actual filing. I see a lot of people giving him metaphorical reacharounds, but I did a text search, and I do not see the letters RFC anywhere in that document.

    Sorry; I'm not sure what you're saying here. By "actual filing" do you mean Shiva's actual filing? and by "giving him metaphorical reacharounds" you're referring to Shiva? Or did you mean you read Mike's response and are referring to Mike?

    I'm pretty sure Mike's legal response will include the RFCs, as they pretty much sink the claims in the original filing, with not much room for argument. But given the lawyer retained here, there has to be some longer-term game being played, and Mike's lawyers will have to figure out what that is and counter THAT as well, or this will become a very long-term and expensive legal battle (even if it's done pro bono, this is going to take a LOT of man hours to counter Thiel's war chest -- at the expense of the lawyers taking the case in a state that may not reimburse the winners).

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

  126. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Fucking people...

    Wait until the court looks at his 'evidence' supporting his claims, that is all sourced by him/from him.

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

  127. icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:49pm

    Where are the t-shirts?

    I'm down with buying a t-shirt praising the first amendment and/or bashing Ayyadurai. Crank up the t-shirt press, Masnick, I'm with you.

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

  128. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:51pm

    Re: counter suit

    I've been wondering if this meritless lawsuit, if not quashed by anti-SLAPP law, could be held up as defamation by Shiva, as he is asserting something that's false in the court of law with the intent to harm Mike. Shouldn't be hard to prove, as he's actually filed the documents, and both sides of this "argument" are well laid out already, as is his lawyer's MO.

    On a different topic, does Mike have somewhere to stay for free while attending court in MA? Seems like that's one way we could definitely help out if he doesn't already have a quiet and free place to stay with Internet access, and some reasonable transportation to/from the courthouse.

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

  129. icon
    Padpaw (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:52pm

    wouldn't popehat or one of those other lawyers you guys are always writing about that help people being sued to shut them up not because of any real law issue.

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

  130. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Well now...

    Would an insider please bubble this up? This is a very useful tidbit to have going into court.

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

  131. icon
    Padpaw (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:54pm

    So thiel is behind this, good luck then. I hope this site wins, when it comes to what is good and right versus criminals with lots of cash. IT's not in your favour the banana republic justice system the US has going for it

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

  132. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Smithsonian

    Nope; his filing specifically backs his claim by stating that his software was the first to use specific email headers... which is demonstrably false, as those same headers show up in an ARPA electronic messaging RFC that predates his software by 2 years.

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

  133. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re:

    You sound like an Ayyadaurai.

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

  134. icon
    shanen (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:58pm

    A just cause and a couple of bucks will buy a cup of coffee

    I, too, believe that your cause is just and that you should prevail. If I were filthy rich, I'd even toss you some money on the principle, but... I'm not so rich, so I have to think about what I do with my money.

    Hey, here's a funny idea. Why don't you TELL US how you want to use our money?

    More concretely, why don't you follow this article with links to some "solution projects", probably projects to fight this stupid lawsuit in this case. The proposals should stand on their own merits and persuade is to donate enough money to fund the budget.

    After the project has been completed, hopefully in accord with the schedule and budget included in the proposal, then you can tell us how it went, and maybe even ask us to donate to some more projects, too.

    Actually, this is a more general model that could be used for OSS development or broader journalistic or even social purposes.

    I really do wish you well, but right now I'd rather have the cup of coffee, and your just cause isn't fungible.

    Details available upon request, even though I think they have become intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. Most obviously, the old business models of journalism are dead[, Jim].

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

  135. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Funny you hide behind the protection of the 1st admentmend AC, but you don't know shit about it.

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

  136. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:00pm

    Re: This is concerning..

    How many potential jurors would argue with the Smithsonian? Sure, he's got a better chance with a jury than with a judge, but he still has virtually no chance of winning.

    That said, jury trials have more variables, and so can be dragged on for much longer, even when the judge is fed up. And this can also result in judges making mistakes, which results in a retrial with jury, opening up MORE opportunities.

    When your goal is to cause harm and not to win, this tactic makes sense. But it's highly unlikely it will result in a win.

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

  137. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:01pm

    Re:

    In other words, you have been tricked into becoming the thought police.

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

  138. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:02pm

    Re:

    Unfortunately, you can't claim damages based on false claims, and the statute of limitations ran out on any actual product Shiva produced years ago.

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

  139. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Where are the t-shirts?

    T shirts directly referencing the pending lawsuit would possibly be deemed improper. If however he made some with the verified history of email.....

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

  140. identicon
    Thad, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Claiming to invent something and then selling that story to make money off of it is ... not a scam?

    Don't look at me; I never said that. I said it was a personal attack; I never said it wasn't the truth.

    That was my entire point: there is not actually any law against "ridiculous and childish personal attacks". What Mike said wasn't very nice, but that doesn't make it defamation. Everything he said was either a factual statement which he provided evidence for, or an opinion based on facts which he provided evidence for.

    No defamation occurred. Calling someone names is not defamation. Hurting someone's feelings is not defamation. Hurting someone's reputation is not defamation.

    Defamation requires one of:

    1. making factual statements that are knowingly false,
    2. making factual statements with reckless disregard for whether they're true or false, or
    3. expressing opinions that imply 1 or 2.

    It's quite clear that Mike did none of those things. The factual statements he made are true, and have the citations to prove it; the opinions he expressed are based on those same cited facts.

    Whether or not he engaged in "ridiculous and childish personal attacks" is irrelevant. There's no law against hurting Shiva Ayyadurai's feelings.

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

  141. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Where are the t-shirts?

    I'd buy a T-shirt sporting a timeline of email on the front and links to verified sources on the back....

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

  142. identicon
    Brian Solis, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:11pm

    Just donated.

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

  143. icon
    Gothenem (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:12pm

    SLAPP them away.

    Could this potentially be and Anti-SLAPP suit??

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

  144. identicon
    Thad, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, no; he's a private entity and he's allowed to run his comment section however he wants.

    But his victim-blaming "it's your own fault for not keeping your head down" attitude is bullshit.

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

  145. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:16pm

    The attack on the truth continues. I wish you guys the best of luck.

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

  146. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: counter suit

    No. There's something called litigation privilege. You can't sue someone for defamation based on what they claimed in a court filing. (They could be convicted of perjury if they are knowingly making false claims, but that is very rare.)

    I'm guessing that if Mike has to travel to MA for this it won't be for a long time, unless it's to meet his local lawyers.

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

  147. icon
    Manabi (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Do you have a specific donation page to fund your defense?

    They don't have one yet, but it may be coming soon. From the next to last paragraph:

    At some point soon, we may set up a dedicated legal defense fund.

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

  148. icon
    metalliqaz (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    uhmm, no it's not. "you lied" or "liar" and similar descriptions are classic examples of protected statements of opinion. go back and read about defamation, fool

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

  149. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:24pm

    Re: SLAPP them away.

    Massachusetts does have an anti-SLAPP law. But it's very narrow - it only applies to things related to government affairs, more or less. (Although someone else in the comments section linked a case where California anti-SLAPP was used in a federal case because one of the parties was from there.)

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

  150. identicon
    Thad, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:25pm

    Re:

    Posting articles with titles designed as click-bait, i.e., provocative headlines, then you deserve what you get.

    AYFKM?

    Are you seriously suggesting that this is Masnick's fault because his headlines weren't weak and noncommital enough? That if you get frivolously sued by a litigious douchebag, it's your own fault, because you shouldn't have criticized a litigious douchebag for being a litigious douchebag?

    The First Amendment does not have an exception for controversial or offensive speech. If it did, there would be no point in even having a First Amendment; nobody needs a law protecting uncontroversial and inoffensive speech.

    Masnick didn't break any laws. Somebody with a lot of money is taking advantage of a failure condition in our legal system in an attempt to silence him for legitimate criticism. Quit blaming the victim.

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

  151. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:28pm

    Re: A just cause and a couple of bucks will buy a cup of coffee

    He HAS told us how he wants to use the money: To defend against this vexatious lawsuit. That takes money. What part of this was unclear?

    The only relevant "solution project" would be to properly document the history of the development of email. This has already been done. Check the citations in the articles he's being sued over.

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

  152. icon
    ottermaton (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: RFCs

    Of course they're not in the filing. That would be undermining their own argument (weak as it is). Roger strong was referring to the fact the TD linked to the relevant RFCs in their original articles.

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

  153. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:35pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    "[Y]ou have literally made a living for years by blogging personal attacks and insults against people with whom you disagree."

    That is not against the law. You may disagree with it, but that does not make what he does illegal (or punishable by a lawsuit).

    "You could have chosen to present your arguments and let the reader decide."

    If you do not like the "direction" in which this blog "leans" or the tone in which it is written, you are free to go read a blog that you think is more "objective" or "friendly". The site's editorial slant and tone are not illegal.

    "But you chose, over and over, to call people names. THAT is what this case is about."

    This lawsuit is about punishing Techdirt for lawful (and truthful) speech - about leveraging the judiciary against a media outlet for printing speech that is not defamatory.

    The main gist of the lawsuit is that Techdirt defamed Ayyadurai by claiming he did not invent email. Techdirt has presented a coherent, factual, and easy-to-follow case as to why that claim is true. If you want to whine about how Techdirt presented that case, go ahead. But that whining does not change the underlying facts presented by Techdirt in its claim. If you can present a factual argument that counters Techdirt's claim, you may want to contact Mr. Ayyadurai yourself; he will probably need your help.

    "If you can't afford the cost of your actions, then you probably need a better business model."

    Techdirt is not being sued for defamation because they actually defamed someone. It is being sued for defamation because an asshole with a lot of resources at his disposal decided he wanted to silence critics with via lawsuits. Do you really believe Techdirt should pay the ultimate cost - bankruptcy and shutdown - for presenting factual, non-defamatory information?

    Or do you just not give a damn about the First Amendment?

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

  154. icon
    wallyb132 (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Step one - unblock ads

    Unblocked...

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

  155. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:41pm

    Re:

    I want to ask you a simple yes-or-no question.

    Do you believe a media outlet should be destroyed if it publishes factually correct information to counter a false claim?

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

  156. icon
    Rick Battle (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:42pm

    Just went behind the curtain

    I know $15 per month isn't a lot when facing a $15 million threat, but you now have my recurring support.

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

  157. identicon
    RR, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    For Ayyadurai it's not just about "winning this case". It's about making an example of TD that he can point to when he wants to shutdown the next site. Just like the Gawker win. Look at the various news sites reporting on this lawsuit, they are all already being careful not to call him out on his bullshit claims.

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

  158. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:47pm

    Re:

    "The same constitutional rights that protect techdirt's first amendment claim are also the same constitutional rights that can penalize sites like techdirt from running articles without backing up its information."

    Therein lies the rub: Techdirt did back up its argument with factual information. Thoroughly. There is plenty of documentation to back up the site's claims against Mr. Ayyadurai, which was linked to and acknowledged in the article which claims Mr. Ayyadurai did not invent email.

    If Techdirt can be penalized for writing factual information in response to a false claim, what does that say about the First Amendment?

    "Far too often I see techdirt running articles that are first posted by other sites, quoting the same quotes that those other sites are quoting from."

    …so what? That has no bearing on this case.

    "I have policies set in place on my site that prevent registered members from posting messages without any sources or research."

    Go read the article that demolishes Mr. Ayyadurai's claims that he invented email. If there is any bit of information that is neither sourced nor easily found via Google, you may want to contact Mr. Ayyadurai and help him with his case.

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

  159. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:50pm

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

  160. icon
    John85851 (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:57pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    *Insulting someone is not grounds for a lawsuit.*
    Yes, this is true, but in this case, the point isn't to file a lawsuit for defamation, it's to outspend a critic to make them shut down.

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

  161. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Show me anywhere that a "reckless disregard for fact checking" is defamation. Otherwise blow it out your uneducated ass.

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

  162. identicon
    Thad, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Google search for reckless disregard for truth, first result: http://dictionary.findlaw.com/definition/reckless-disregard-of-the-truth.html

    Uneducated or no, he's not actually wrong about reckless disregard for truth being a criterion for defamation.

    But it doesn't apply here. Mike's posts about Ayyadurai are well-researched and have citations.

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

  163. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Smithsonian

    And as pointed out by Techdirt, RFC 733 - https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc733 - contains the details about the standards that email would eventually take on.

    That document was published before Mr. Ayyadurai was ever even working at the school where he created his email program.

    Therein lies the problem with Mr. Ayyadurai's claim of fact: He may have written an email program, but he did not contribute to what would become the standards of email, many of which were already in place as part of the ARPANET messaging system well before he wrote his program.

    If he were to win this lawsuit in a court of law (instead of by attrition), he would have overcome the best defense against defamation: the actual, factual truth.

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

  164. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    The First Amendment isn't a blanket "get out of jail free" card. If people abuse it, then the law is written so that they will be punished.

    Not my problem.

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

  165. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: This is concerning..

    This makes me think about how many actual jurors (in this case) would know what an RFC actually is. Then, once they know, what the implications of an RFC would be?

    Massachusetts has a tech establishment, but I doubt that anyone with any tech background would make it onto the jury due to the plaintiffs attorney disqualifying them.

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

  166. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    I've been saying for years that karma would catch up to Masnick.

    And once again, I was right.

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

  167. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:10pm

    Expected antidirt and Whatever's masturbatory sockpuppets to show up, was not surprised when they did.

    Kick these fuckers in the ass, Masnick. Go for it!

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

  168. icon
    danhalen (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:10pm

    For CRYING out LOUD.

    Rest in peace FREEDOM OF SPEECH. It was nice knowing ya.

    I wonder how Shiva Ayyadurai would react if his bullsh*t claim of inventing the email was covered by jailface.com

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

  169. identicon
    Thad, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

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

  170. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:12pm

    I want a t-shirt saying:

    I invented Fire when I was 13 weeks old.
    And I'll sue anyone that says otherwise.

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

  171. identicon
    The Insightful One, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:13pm

    Shiva is lying

    Shiva was born in 1963. First e-mail was sent in 1971 by Ray Thomlinson. Shiva claims he invented e-mail in the later 70s when in high school.

    This is all you need to shut the stupid lying fraud down in court. The timeline alone does not match and thus he is a lying sack.

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

  172. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    And how exactly has Mike/TD 'abused' the First Amendment?

    As well, when people abuse the legal system to punish people that say things that they don't like, the punishment is...?

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

  173. identicon
    Kobra, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:18pm

    Re: Re:

    Naw, literally is fitting.

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

  174. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:21pm

    I would have sent you email from my 7094, but

    it doesn't support https. However, it does email just fine.

    It's time to shut this shameless jerk and his ambulance-chasing lawyers down, once and for all. I would surmise that some substantial percentage of billionaires from the computer industry should be happy to chip in to help get this guy stopped.

    I've emailed on every time-sharing system I've used since 1965, when this jerk was 1 year old, and on every networked system since 1971. Since this jerk went to MIT, he willfully ignores CTSS, ITS, Multics, Unix, Tops-10, Tops-20, even a time-shared PDP-8, for god's sake.

    Then there's a large number of military messaging systems that were in heavy use -- including in the Vietnam era.

    Then there's the pirate copies of Unix that were running on East German copies of PDP-11's, and the pirate copies of IBM software that were running on Russian copies of IBM 360's. It wouldn't surprise me if some of these machines made it to Shiva Ayyadurai's birth country of India, where they might even have processed his own birth certificate or his family's other documents.

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

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

  175. icon
    shanen (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Re: A just cause and a couple of bucks will buy a cup of coffee

    Typo in original: "is to" should have been "us to".

    Obviously you are not a lawyer, so I congratulate you on that. In ANY legal action, there are MANY possible approaches. Why don't you want to help pick the best one, especially if some of YOUR money was going to be involved?

    Think of it differently, in terms of the wisdom of crowds. If they present three different defense strategies, just seeing which one gets the most sincere support is useful. You can even regard the willingness to donate as a metric of sincerity.

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

  176. identicon
    raptureRaptor, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:42pm

    First Amendment doesn't apply

    First Amendment is to protect US citizens from US government for their ability to share their opinion. This is a citizen suing another citizen. First Amendment does not apply.

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

  177. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: Loser must pay

    Sadly, the state this was filed in has shitty anti-SLAPP statutes.

    Perhaps they can get a change of venue?

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

  178. identicon
    caroline gerardo, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:47pm

    inventor of post its

    When Shiva registered his email patent in 1982 I already worked on an inter-office email system at Great Western Bank for years. We didn't call it email, it was DOS based message sending. This is not his first claim to fame lawsuit. Anyone can sue, I hope you counter- sue him for damages. My advice: do not call your attorney, limit his (I say male because...) budget.

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

  179. icon
    madasahatter (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:49pm

    Keep us posted

    Mike keep us posted (as best you can). Also, remind us how to donate to you to help out.

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

  180. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Loser must pay

    Supposedly, the lawyer suing him has another case where, even though the suit was brought against his client in Florida, he successfully filed an anti-SLAPP suit in California because that's where his client resided.

    Mike also lives in California, and it has really strong anti-SLAPP laws.

    Is turnabout fair play?

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

  181. icon
    TechDescartes (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Well now...

    "...since one of the plaintiffs was from California..."

    Here, two of the defendants are from California (Floor64 and Mike) but the only plaintiff (Ayyadurai) is from Massachusetts.

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

  182. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    You mean like having a spurious lawsuit like this against him ending up propelling him further than ever before? Karma isn't the same from all viewpoints and I have a feeling that you will not be happy with the results.

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

  183. identicon
    Glenn, 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:21pm

    Mike,

    Write a book. Title it "Email" (any length, any topic is fine). Publish it (copyright included n/c). Setup a domain: theauthorofemail.com (trademark it if you like).

    You're set... you're now the "Author of Email". Congrats!

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

  184. icon
    Gorshkov (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Popehat

    I don't. I've been reading both Popehat and Techdirt since they started, and this is the first time I've ever felt the *need* to send Ken a note about anything.

    And I don't read his twitter feed, because I don't do twitter or any other "social" media.

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

  185. identicon
    Paul Williams, 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:32pm

    Typical Panty Ruffling

    Foreclosurepedia stands with you folks. I'm a common blogger, but look I get great stuff from y'all. Set that fund up. I'll donate and encourage all my people to donate as well.

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

  186. icon
    kmo12345 (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:34pm

    Just bought a 1 yr membership

    Best of luck in court. Hope you pwn this guy and set the record straight once and for all..

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

  187. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:39pm

    Fight it

    Oh boy. That case filing makes me really angry.

    Next time my fingers hit the keyboard to write a quick email, I'll be saying FUCK YOU to Shiva Ayyadurai... and saying thank you to those who authored the RFCs that actually created email.

    Mike, expose Shiva as the FRAUD he is. Take all of that evidence with you. Don't let this disgusting FAKE bottom feeder get another cent from false claims. And once the court is done humiliating him and proving him to be the LIAR he is, recoup your costs from him.

    Good luck Mike. May justice be with you.

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

  188. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Yay! Agreement!

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

  189. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: This is concerning..

    > it says here you are in the tech world, the defendant in this case has "tech" in the "url" (pff, whatever voodoo that is) of his "blog"; i move to dismiss this juror!!

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

  190. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    I'll answer for him:

    "I just don't give a damn about the first amendment."

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

  191. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: This is concerning..

    I've always hated how a 'jury of your peers' is in no way taken as an actual fact. I once thought it meant the defendant would at least get someone in the jury box that would/could understand the depth of the case. A trial about computers, one would think you'd get people who had some background in computers. Maybe not all PhDs in Electrical Engineering, but at least people who can turn a computer on.

    Instead, what do we get? As my friend tends to put it, "Our juries are made up of people to lazy or stupid to get out of the job of jury duty. Sure, there are some people who want to be there to do their civic duty but they almost always get thrown out because they know something."

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

  192. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Time to get rid of Revisionist Historians

    Second that for a gofundme!

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

  193. icon
    burnindaylight (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:03pm

    Wow.. Most redic crap I've seen in a while.

    OK this is just crap first and foremost, and I've written a few e-mail programs myself a few years later.

    IANAL but can someone here tell me off the top of their head where the burden of proof resides as to whether there is any substance to this to begin with? (IE as to whether there is even a claim?) Is it up to the plaintiff to prove he invented email or the defendant to prove he didn't? I'd assume it's the former. (Yes, I know there's google but that's 1/2 hr for me and 10 seconds for someone who does this for a living so I'd appreciate a quick answer :)

    I'll be supporting you however is possible, but I'm an outsourced IT worker so IDK at the moment!

    This is nuts though.. The libel claim is based on you've knowingly posted lies.. and I don't know.. I don't see any evidence of that - especially when I see a load of crap. I "invented" some e-mail programs!

    This is the first thing that's got me pissed off enough to register and if this (redacted) out-guns you I'll be pissed. I really hope someone puts up defense pro-bono.

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

  194. icon
    killthelawyers (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, the plaintiff is a resident of Massachusetts. I'm not sure how much homecooking that buys him, but it's as good of a reason as any.

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

  195. icon
    Eldakka (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    These statements also resulted in a wave of efforts by others to discredit Dr. Ayyadurai and erase him from the history of electronic communications, attacks on Wikipedia that remove reference to his contribution,...

    I think that quote would be more accurate if it read:

    "These statements also resulted in a wave of efforts by others to correct the disinformation spread by Dr. Ayyadurai and correctly state his place in the history of electronic communications, edits on wikipedia that more accurately reflect the history..."

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

  196. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:14pm

    Re: First Amendment doesn't apply

    The legal system is an arm of the government. A civil defamation lawsuit still involves the government, even if the plaintiff and the defendant are both private individuals or non-government entities.

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

  197. icon
    JMT (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:21pm

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    "Mike, you have literally made a living for years by blogging personal attacks and insults against people with whom you disagree."

    So what? If people do things that make them worthy of being insulted (and TD has documented thousands of examples) then they deserve to be insulted. Of course, thin-skinned authoritarians like you perceive any accurate description you don't agree with as an insult, because how dare anyone publicly call you out!

    "You could have chosen to present your arguments and let the reader decide."

    Er, how is that not what happens? I read, I decide.

    "But you chose, over and over, to call people names. THAT is what this case is about."

    Not sure if you realise how ignorant that sounds, but this is a defamation case, which by definition is not about name-calling but about stating falsehoods. Feel free to refute any points Mike's actually made in this story that would legally quality as defamation. I note you've done nothing close to that yet. Just lots of blah, blah.

    "I'm delighted that one of them finally decided to fight back."

    You're delighted that the legal system is being abused in an attempt to stifle someone's constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech? Wow, that's a pretty sick attitude. You know there's no legal merit here, so you know this is a pure SLAPP case.

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

  198. identicon
    John, 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:22pm

    The bs lawsuit

    I have just shared your post and the Link to the Fortune article. I am no celebrity but I will force this news into my circles endlessly.

    If there is anything I can do--and encourage my small circle and their weirdly large concentric circles to do--please reach out to me and let me know. I am not wealthy but every little bit counts.
    John Anker
    Jcanker@hotmail.com

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

  199. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    I stand corrected. Except for the blowing it out his ass part.

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

  200. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Wow.. Most redic crap I've seen in a while.

    In the United States, the burden of proof in a defamation case falls upon the plaintiff. They must prove that the party being sued made factual statements that were knowingly false and did so with reckless disregard as to whether those statements were false.

    For Mr. Ayyadurai to win his case, he must prove that Techdirt made knowingly false statements of fact when the site printed articles that rebutted his claims of having invented email, and that the site did so with reckless disregard to whether those statements were true. His main hurdle in such a case will be the best defense against a charge of defamation: the factual truth. The history of the programs and standards that would become email as we know it today is well-documented. A lot of the work on those programs and standards predates Mr. Ayyadurai's work by several years, and his work had no real effect on their development.

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

  201. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This is concerning..

    One of the greatest moments of my civic life has been to swing a jury to the verdict of not guilty in municipal court, regarding a traffic violation case in which the defendant represented himself pro se and put his wife on the stand. We're talking high comedy there. Defendant was an immigrant, who still had some faith in the USA. I feel a tinge of pride to know I kept his faith alive just a little longer. Ticket never should have been issued and state did a particularly poor job litigating. Police officer and witness were both not credible (at least in my eyes, and those of fellow jurors once I pointed out specific examples). Judge was very forgiving of defendant's lack of decorum due to naivete of the procedures. This was the only time I've ever been selected, but don't knock serving on a jury until you've tried it.

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

  202. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:39pm

    Re:

    So.... you really don't much like T.D. or Mike, and you certainly don't appear to actually understand the First Amendment.

    What you do seem intent on doing is promoting your website and how great is is.

    You should go away... don't go away mad, just go away.

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

  203. icon
    burnindaylight (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re: Wow.. Most redic crap I've seen in a while.

    Thanks for your quick & informative reply - always appreciated from somebody who knows & can just tell you as opposed to me searching and figuring it out. There's no chance that's gonna happen IMHO. (In my professional opinion? I've probably written more e-mail programs/interfaces than this guy LOL)

    Apparently I've got to get used to how threads/replies work here because my inbox just got hit and there's nothing in the threads :(

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

  204. icon
    JMT (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Oops, correction. Libel not defamation. Still not about name calling.

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

  205. icon
    Eldakka (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:48pm

    Re:

    There is some irony to be found on those who are taking pot shots are doing so anonymously, as is recognized by the 1st Amend. as being important.

    I would be surprised if many of them didn't turn out to be Ayyadurai, his legal team, or people otherwise employed (marketing, SEO, etc) by Ayyadurai and/or any backers he may have.

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

  206. icon
    Eldakka (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:49pm

    Re: legal defense

    alan.engle[at]meenlegal[dot]com

    I first read that as meanlegal, which would bu much more fun ;)

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

  207. icon
    Eldakka (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where are the t-shirts?

    Could put a lot of links if QR codes were used, then people could take photos of the codes with their phones to get right to the references.

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

  208. icon
    Eldakka (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:55pm

    Re:

    Since it's masturbatory, they are probably using socks for other things than sock puppets...

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

  209. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: A just cause and a couple of bucks will buy a cup of coffee

    What sensible defendant to litigation would want to air their legal strategy in public or subject it to the "wisdom" of the crowds? Seems rather silly what you are suggesting.

    However, crowd sourced defense was quite successfully performed by PJ and Groklaw, when SCO and David Boies were attacking Linux. Horse of a different color though.

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

  210. icon
    Eldakka (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:59pm

    Re: inventor of post its

    He doesn't have a patent. He has a copyright on a specific piece of software that is a specific implementation of an email system created at least a decade after other implementations of email systems like the AUTODIN network referenced on the wikipedia article about email.

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

  211. icon
    Eldakka (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 7:02pm

    Re: Mike,

    or a top-level domain:
    .theinventorofemail

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

  212. icon
    Eldakka (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Wow.. Most redic crap I've seen in a while.

    The problem is, it's often not a case of winning or losing the legal argument.

    The cost of trying to win the argument can be greater than you can afford, so often cases can be decided purely on the amount of funds available to either party. Sorta "whoever blinks first loses" where 'blinks' is "runs out of money".

    It could cost several million dollars to defend such a suit.

    That is one of the purposes behind various anti-SLAPP statuettes passed in some states, where they recognise that the mere act of defending oneself against a frivolous lawsuit can send you bankrupt before a judgement before a court verdict is even reached.

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

  213. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 7:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This is concerning..

    "It was not my class of people, there was not a producer, a press agent, a director, an actor."

    - Zsa Zsa Gabor, judged by a jury after slapping a police officer for catching her with an expired license and an open bottle of liquor in her car

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

  214. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A just cause and a couple of bucks will buy a cup of coffee

    Aw, c'mon. Don't shoot down his dream of watching Randazza battle a case using the medium of interpretive dance.

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

  215. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 7:38pm

    I normally block ad's but I am turning it off for this site.

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

  216. icon
    Phoenix84 (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 8:01pm

    Techdirt is the first, and only site, I have unblocked ads for.
    I was an insider for a while, and have several of your shirts.
    Good hunting.

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

  217. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 8:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Popehat

    You might not like social media, but it really is the best way to keep up with people like Ken & the rest of the Popehat team.

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

  218. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 8:35pm

    Do Mike / techdirt have a significant presence of business in Massachusetts? (and no, running a website that can be viewed in thay state, or talks about someone from that state doesn't count) IANAL, but I've heard that a lawsuit should be filed in the location the defendent's supposed actions took place, which seems like that would be California. It's irrelevent if the plaintiff Shitstain Ayyadurai lives in MA, it's improper venue and not within MA's jurisdiction.

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

  219. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 8:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    > go back and read about defamation, fool

    You called him a fool. He's gonna sue!

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

  220. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    > There are certainly some personal attacks in there;

    I would more call them observations.

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

  221. icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: [first amendment requirements]

    First Amendment does not require research, nowhere in its text will you find such a thing. The US Supremes, in Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), said that an action by a public figure will only lie if there is what they term malice.

    Malice is either knowing falsehood or reckless disregard. In other words, you can repeat something you heard, even if it is false, so long as you do not believe it to be false or avoid finding out that it is false.

    There is a great body of work on this subject and I am summarizing, leaving out many nuances.

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

  222. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 9:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Karma, huh? Is that you call douche-baggery?

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

  223. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 9:03pm

    Re:

    > Getting dumped by Fran Drescher must sting but this guy is really venting his frustration in all the wrong places.

    I can just imagine that laugh of hers when she did it.

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

  224. icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Smithsonian

    [use Pine and unix mail]
    Yes. Pine post-dates Elm, which post-dates 1978.

    Interestingly enough, I have tarballs of old V6 and V7 unix sources, which contain e-mail back in the late 1970s. Which is no surprise, if you consider that even as an undergrad at that time, I expected e-mail to be provided on pretty much anything calling itself a computer system.

    I conclude that the plaintiff may be less than fully forthright in asserting a claim to have invented e-mail in late 1978.

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

  225. identicon
    Dan Audy, 11 Jan 2017 @ 9:10pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Given that this is Charles Harder we are talking about I'm pretty confident that Shiva's lawyer either knows he is full of shit or has been reckless negligence in his duty as a lawyer to ensure his client has a valid claim. Either way he will continue to be an example of everything that is wrong with the legal profession while laughing all the way to the bank with the buckets of cash he is being paid.

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

  226. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 9:17pm

    Re: Smithsonian

    > that should be all a judge needs to see...

    The problem is that it can cost a lot to get a judge to see things.

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

  227. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 9:24pm

    Re: Well now...

    I'm not afraid to do it...

    Randazza, Randazza, Randazza...
    *looks into the mirror to see if he appears*

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

  228. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 9:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: A just cause and a couple of bucks will buy a cup of coffee

    > Think of it differently, in terms of the wisdom of crowds.

    Oh, like "Boaty McBoatface"?
    No thanks. I'd rather see Techdirt win.

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

  229. icon
    Eldakka (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 9:33pm

    There is already a way to shut up TD if Ayyadurai wants

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

  230. identicon
    My_Name_Here, 11 Jan 2017 @ 10:18pm

    Alas

    My post will be moderated for a few days, but that's okay, it needs to be said anyway.

    The lawsuit is baseless in many ways because the guy did not invent email, he invented AN email. It may have been new to him, it may have been new to his country, but it wasn't new in the world. There in lies the problem: he's not wrong when he says he invented email, if you speak generally and without qualifying that point.

    Pointing out that he is not the inventor of email (the whole world concept) is totally acceptable and cannot be argued. It is true and can be backed up with plenty of examples well back in time line of computing.

    However, making fun of him, calling him names, and making comments about his character and such may cross the line. The guy actually has a pretty reasonable case here. If he has deep enough pockets or a lawyer (lawyers) willing to spend the time papering things over, this could go for years and literally cost millions. Without a doubt, the survival of Techdirt is at stake, at least in some way until EFF decides to provide pro-bono legal help.

    It brings a more solid question for discussion, that of sites being responsible for the content they publish, and considering the repercussions of nastygram style blogs that may cross the line somewhere. It's not something that Techdirt has ever wanted to face up to but it is something that needs to be considered. Some of the recent posts by people like Karl are starting to push on nasty insults and insinuations of things that are not easily proven. A big company with deep pockets (or a Peter Thiel) could empty this place out faster than a stink bomb in a high school bathroom.

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

  231. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 10:36pm

    see Chery Jacobus v. Trump dismissal ruling

    The recent ruling on the dismissal of the Trump defamation case has some good pointers.

    The judge said that context is the key.

    She also noted the recent article called, How the Internet is Loosing our Grip on the Truth.

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

  232. icon
    Nop (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 10:54pm

    Fighting fund?

    Mike, would you please set up a GoFundMe or whatever so people can easily contribute to Techdirt's defence against this ridiculous lawsuit?
    I would be very happy to donate myself, & heavily promote it amongst my social-media circles.

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

  233. identicon
    Matt, 11 Jan 2017 @ 11:00pm

    Response to: Sean L. on Jan 11th, 2017 @ 12:33pm

    He's aware and talking to relevant people.

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

  234. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 11:11pm

    It seems that now is exellent timing and topic to put old Streisand effect in the play.

    Good luck!

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

  235. icon
    marylovesslaughter (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 11:28pm

    Lying losers

    Shiva is the Hindu Goddess of destruction. This is apropos, as these lawsuits are an egregious effort to destroy Free Speech. Disagreeing with someone should not be actionable. I myself invented DIRT. Thus, plants grow and earthworms have a home. Shiva's claim smacks of hubris and snake oil. His lawsuit is an abuse of the legal system. (I really did invent dirt, so sue me.)

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

  236. identicon
    LoveTD, 12 Jan 2017 @ 12:02am

    suggestion

    I HIGHLY suggest "TD" get this issue in the Light over at Zerohedge. Turn up the HEAT, Get exposure, the right kind, THE SAME PPL THAT PUT TRUMP IN. Create a damn account there and submit it as financial news. After all your business is your hedge itself...

    I go my own problems, but I pray you get decent jurors that that still have two neurons and possibly some DOS or something under their belts to bring this horsepoo to an end. IF they call me as juror that insane dude's toast.

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

  237. identicon
    LoveTD, 12 Jan 2017 @ 12:13am

    Another place to get this issue out is RITLABS

    another place to get this out is RITLABS, Stefan makes the bat email software. (I use thebat pro | voyager personally)

    This lawsuit needs a really hard wack right back into the evil voodoo source. his claim also defame's other email programmers -imo. I can see hundreds of angry dev's. Evolution in Linux, Kmail, on and on and on. let em fight existing GNU vs (TM)

    History also has an argument. Just cause someone says something doesn't make it the truth

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

  238. identicon
    Stewart Stevenson, 12 Jan 2017 @ 12:31am

    Origins of email

    Since email existed from the origins of IBM's CMS (later part of VM) in the 1960s, it is passing strange that your US courts have not struck down what is clearly a vexatious case at the first instance.

    I am sure you would be able to find many individuals in the USA who were actual users of email long before 1982, indeed from the early 1970s.

    The French Minitel system which started in 1978 and the UK's Prestel system (from 1979) also included an email system. Indeed Prestel also had interfaces to other systems such as Telex.

    All these systems were more than a simple terminal to terminal communication system but depended on a central store which held messages sent until a subscriber signed to collect their email at al.

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

  239. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 12:31am

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    That line brings flashbacks to an incident that it describes better than Mike's frustrated refutations of a litigious glory hound. Namely convicted ex-judge and all around scumbag Mark Civarella's Kids for Cash scandal. Where among many other petty misdemeanors his corrupt kangaroo court sentenced minors for was the not-even-illegal obvious fake mocking myspace page for her principal.

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

  240. icon
    shanen (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A just cause and a couple of bucks will buy a cup of coffee

    Very constructive thinking. NOT. Seems typical these days.

    What are your motivations? Perhaps you voted for the Donald, who promises to make it easier to sue websites out of existence? (Speaking more precisely, I have no personal interest in you, but kind of a vague curiosity why civil dialog dies. If you're a paid troll for Trump, that certainly makes sense.)

    So how about the idea of practicing the legal strategies by describing them in sufficient detail so Internet geniuses like you can shoot them to pieces?

    Wasting keystrokes. No sincerity detected.

    Oh well. Just speaking for myself. Not merely saying why I am unlikely to donate to TechDirt's defense, but trying to offer a constructive suggestion to justify donating some of my limited money. If you are also so rich (to go with your brilliance) that you don't care about the money, then congratulations again.

    If not, I'm wagering that I'd be amused by your best attempt to be constructive.

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

  241. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 1:39am

    Re: Re:

    Kenichi is a subtle one. He always almost makes sense but not quite.

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

  242. icon
    PaulT (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 1:48am

    Re:

    "Far too often I see techdirt running articles that are first posted by other sites, quoting the same quotes that those other sites are quoting from."

    ...and that's a problem because...?

    Techdirt has always set itself up as a blog that generates discussion and discourse among subjects that interest Mike and other authors. Despite the whining of various commenters, it has NEVER (as far as I'm aware) set itself up as a primary news source or venue for original investigative journalism. It does occasionally venture into those fields, but that's not its primary remit. The primary focus has always been the community, not whether it's first to write about something or whether the content itself is completely original.

    Given that, why is your complaint any kind of a problem at all?

    "I simply think that techdirt, if they cave in or lose, might be on its last legs because I don't think they do any research except generate a few quotes from people involved with the subject matter they are posting about."

    Except, you know, that the article that they're being sued about have been impeccably argued and researched, with nobody even attempting to contradict the supplied facts.

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

  243. icon
    PaulT (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 1:56am

    Re:

    So, what you're saying is that people need to work tirelessly not to accidentally offend someone, lest they cause a thin-skinned liar to be called such and sue you? Then you think that the fault has to lie with the website owner not being thorough enough, and not the thin-skinned fraudster or the system that allows him to potentially be able to shut people down for telling the truth about him and his attempted scam?

    I respectfully disagree.

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

  244. icon
    PaulT (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 2:05am

    Re: Fucking people...

    "How is an opinion piece that sights evidence of a claim that someone did or did not invent email going to affect his standing or reputation?"

    From what I can see, the guy's failed at everything else so it's the false claim of inventing email that he's basing his entire legacy on. He regularly points to Google searches as "proof" of his claim (the main results of which are his own astroturf sites), but a popular and often cited source like Techdirt will naturally also come up in those searches. A well-reasoned, well-cited rundown of exactly why he's a fraud will damage the reputation he's tried building.

    Mike's refused to follow other sources in censoring or removing pages that expose this liar, so he's been left with no recourse than to try and damage him financially with bogus lawsuits.

    "Is his claim so weak that he has to resort to the legal system, rather than posting a rebuttal?"

    Yes.

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

  245. identicon
    Celeste Guanini, 12 Jan 2017 @ 2:19am

    He's in with Deepak Chopra, another master of ''woo woo"

    He's married to Fran Drescher, and a fan of Deepak Chopra. That should be evidence of bad taste and lend credibiity to the idea that he's all about woo-woo.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/08/fran-drescher-marries-shiva-ayyadurai_n_5784020.htm l

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

  246. identicon
    Cowardly Lion, 12 Jan 2017 @ 2:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    That's what I find concerning, the Domino Effect. If one folds, others may too. And TOG is right, it's not about the facts, it's about resources, and this fantasist who wrote a program called EMAIL thinking it's e-mail, was recently awarded a shed load of money...

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

  247. identicon
    My_Name_Here, 12 Jan 2017 @ 3:18am

    Let Me Add this

    When you consider the lawyer involved and his relationship to Peter Thiel, the Hogan lawsuit, and the nice big pile of Gawker Media money this guy has in hand, you appear to be relatively fucked at this point. This guy can absolutely, utterly, and totally afford to spend you into the ground, and the lawyer may have an even deeper source of income and an almost endless amount of billable hours that he can spend on sinking your ship.

    I don't wish this on anyone. You have been dragged into a gun fight without even a knife to work with. Worse yet, because this site tends to get a bit mouthy and insulting towards people, there is plenty of ammo that can be used to keep you turning around for ages. A deposition could turn really, really, really bad in a hurry.

    So the real question is "how do you get out from under this?". No amount of money you will raise here will ever put you in the ballpark to fight this guy properly. You might be able to slip out of it through some legal maneuvering, but that would at best be a temporary reprieve as he is sure to come back for more - he can afford to keep biting at your feet. Even with EFF and other groups providing legal assistance or representation, winning or losing would mean this is an "all the way to SCOTUS" deal. While that is all going on, the site would suffer your absence, your posted would suffer a certain level of second guessing and gun shy leanings to avoid other similar lawsuits (others may smell blood), and even more important perhaps is that what little outside work you have may dry up as your attention is diverted to this issue. It could take years and years to get to the end of it all.

    So, how do you get out from under it? There are few ways to do so without losing both your dignity and your bully pulpit. Win, lose, or settle out of court, you are wounded. A quiet settlement and dismissal would likely be the best for you, but I don't think that it's likely they will want to settle. This type of lawsuit is similar to the Gawker suits, it's there not just to right the wrong they see, but to punish you severely for it and likely shut you up.

    Good luck. I'm not your biggest fan, but it would suck to see you run out of town by this guy and his legal guns. There is the legal version of the red laser dot on your forehead now, think carefully before you make your next move.

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

  248. icon
    JustMe (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 3:19am

    Fight the good fight

    Ayyadurai really didn't invent email. He wasn't part of ARPAnet in the mid 70s and also didn't participate (and isn't cited) in any of the SMTP RFCs, which came along later than he claims to have invented the concept. Pretty soon he'll start with his tired claim that anyone who doesn't believe him is a racist.

    I contributed to the Insider program again this year.

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

  249. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 3:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Wow, good one. That arrogant prick was sentenced to 28 years of getting-his-ass-pounded in federal prison.

    Apparently The Law (and Justice) does work, sometimes.

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

  250. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 3:37am

    Re: Origins of email

    "[I]t is passing strange that your US courts have not struck down what is clearly a vexatious case at the first instance."

    America has laws to protect against what we call Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP. These laws are supposed to protect people from vexatious and baseless lawsuits on First Amendment grounds (e.g., someone getting sued because they printed factual information that embarassed someone else).

    The problem is that anti-SLAPP laws are a patchwork throughout the country, with some states having either none or weak ones, and some states having strong ones. (There is also no federal anti-SLAPP law.) Mr. Ayyadurai sued Techdirt in a state with a weak anti-SLAPP law, which was part of the point - if he had sued Techdirt in California, the suit would likely be tossed out under that state's much stronger law.

    There is also something else to consider: Mr. Ayyadurai is not in this "game" to vindicate himself in a court of law. Outside of a ridiculous amount of bad luck, Techdirt would have little trouble proving the truth of the factual claims made about Mr. Ayyadurai and his claims of inventing email. By now, he has to know that he could never win a fair court case. So a lawsuit like this one is meant to be a war of attrition - he wants to drain the site's resources until it is forced to shut down, at which point he can claim "victory" over another critic. He does not give a shit about whether a court believes his claim; he cares only if he can hoodwink a court long enough to force his critics into bankruptcy.

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

  251. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 3:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow.. Most redic crap I've seen in a while.

    Yeah, lawsuits like this are a negative-sum game: Both sides will keep losing as long as the game is played, and the game ends when one side figures it has lost more than it can afford to lose.

    In this case, it comes down to Mr. Ayyadurai's "war chest" versus Techdirt's "war chest", and Ayyadurai appears to have the bigger bankroll to work with. (I have to wonder if possible vampire Peter Thiel is funding this suit.) He can afford to lose more, especially if he believes he can come out of this game with as few losses as possible - or even a net gain.

    That is why we need stronger anti-SLAPP laws (in addition to a federal one): To stop a negative-sum game based on a faulty premise - in this case, that Techdirt printed lies about Mr. Ayyadurai when it said he did not invent email - before all the players get in too deep.

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

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

    Re: Re:

    I feel certain that at least one of these anonymous dickbags is Charles Carreon, continuing to troll the site years after it helped to embarass his sorry ass.

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

  253. icon
    XcOM987 (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 4:10am

    For the fight ahead

    Although being across the pond we don't see this as much, I've bought an insider membership to help you out and have shared the article, if you do setup a legal fund I will be more than happy to donate to it.

    We also need the Popehat torch to be lit and get every lawyer in defence of this to help make a stand, if this goes the wrong way it will open a floodgate of lawsuits against anyone over anything they don't like.

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

  254. identicon
    My_Name_Here, 12 Jan 2017 @ 4:11am

    Re: Well now...

    The problem with your point here is that Techdirt didn't just discuss the concept of if the facts are true or not, but also took some fairly solid swipes at the guys integrity and character.

    With the Gawker lawsuit in hand and at least marginal proof that he did in fact create an early version of mail in his country, this guy might have enough ammo that anti-SLAPP may not be such a slam dunk. That the Techdirt posts are not just factual but seem to be intended to mock the person and discredit them in public... well, you can draw your own conclusions.

    It's not as clear cut as the other case.

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

  255. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 4:36am

    I'm really in a very delicate financial situation but that's worth skipping some meals to support. May this hard earned cash bring you good vibes in this fight!

    Nobody should be punished for speaking the truth.

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

  256. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 4:40am

    Re: There is already a way to shut up TD if Ayyadurai wants

    I wonder how much this lawsuit will end up costing. Still, I have a feeling Mike can get more than it from people that don't want TD silenced.

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

  257. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 4:43am

    Re: Re: First Amendment doesn't apply

    I am HOPING Popehat gets involved. He's another dude I'd skip some meals to help.

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

  258. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 4:48am

    Re:

    It seems to me from this post alone that TD has a shitload of support. So yeah, sore, lone losers the trolls are.

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

  259. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re:

    Let's not forget that Ayyadaurai's lies are easily exposed by simple searches that return well documented facts. So Mr Tanaka is actually saying these things about a site that's 100% in the right.

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

  260. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 4:56am

    Re: Google "Who invented email"

    Mr Ayyadaurai is clever. He set up a few self aggrandizing sites and had the help of clueless media outfits to push the real story down the search results list.

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

  261. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 4:58am

    Re: With you all the way Mike!

    You got a funny vote for the *.

    But yeah, right on spot.

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

  262. icon
    XcOM987 (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Agreed, I've just done the same more or less, but also citing links to evidence.

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

  263. icon
    XcOM987 (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Ironicly it was Mike that said (Paraphrasing here) Even if you don't like what is being said you should still feel offended and worried about the attacks against their free speech.

    Who will you turn to when a precedence is set and someone takes offence to what your saying, will what you say be protected by Free Speech when someone doesn't like you or what you say in general?

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

  264. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    And doesn't mention the tons of factual references Mike provided in those same articles. Funny that.

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

  265. identicon
    Tang, 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:34am

    Re:

    EFF is going to screw them over and demand that Techdirt follow their editorial direction if they want EFF's support. There are people that Techdirt will no longer be allowed to criticize, and Techdirt will be given fake stories that they would be advised to run if they want the EFF to remain enthusiastic about Techdirt's case. EFF has been compromised for years.

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

  266. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re:

    > It seems to me from this post alone that TD has a shitload of support.

    Let's hope that support turns into money. Lack of money is the only thing that could cause Techdirt to lose this one.

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

  267. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Speaking of childish personal insults...

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

  268. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow.. Most redic crap I've seen in a while.

    > Both sides will keep losing as long as the game is played...

    There's a third side that always wins: The lawyers.

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

  269. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re: Origins of email

    > America has laws to protect against what we call Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP.

    Some states do, but America, in general, does not because there is no federal SLAPP law.

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

  270. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re:

    The socks stand up better then their weak ass arguements.

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

  271. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 6:04am

    Re:

    It goes way beyond that. They're trying to defend OUR First Amendment rights, too.

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

  272. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 6:06am

    Re: He's in with Deepak Chopra, another master of ''woo woo"

    > He's married to Fran Drescher, and a fan of Deepak Chopra.

    Ayyadurai and Drescher both claimed that they had gotten married, and the event was widely reported as such. Later, when no one could an official record of the marriage, Ayyadurai finally admitted it was not "a formal wedding or marriage"...

    It seems that he has recurring problems with the truth.

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

  273. identicon
    Paul Keating, 12 Jan 2017 @ 6:08am

    Contributions to Litigation

    Mike, I would like to offer whatever services might be appropriate. I am a California licensed attorney and am happy to help with strategy, drafting etc in connection ith your defense. I can be reached at paul@law.es.

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

  274. icon
    Gorshkov (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 6:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Popehat

    That would kinda/sorta depend on your definition of "best" now, wouldn't it?

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

  275. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: He's in with Deepak Chopra, another master of ''woo woo"

    And then EMAIL was born?

    No?

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

  276. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 6:52am

    Re:

    I wonder if somebody could take down that domain if proven it's spreading falsehoods..

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

  277. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re:

    Really? Do you have any evidence to support what you said? I've been following them for ages and it seems you are wrong.

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

  278. icon
    Deuce (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 6:57am

    Seriously... fvck this guy

    The fact that this is even real life is insane.

    Unblocked ads for you guys. Please destroy this man so I never have to digitally read his name again.

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

  279. icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:00am

    Re: Step one - unblock ads

    I stopped counting at 150 requests. It makes the page much slower D-:

    I'd rather donate directly but yeah it's an idea!

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

  280. icon
    Doug (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re:

    It really is *our* fight, because, for example, I thought about showing solidarity with TechDirt by posting on twitter how Mr.Email didn't invent email, using the same info TD used, but then I was chilled. I don't need a lawsuit anymore than TD does.

    Using the courts as a "tool" in any fight is terrible. Courts should be used to *resolve* disputes on an equitable basis, not as a weapon that helps you win just because you have more money.

    Anti-SLAPP, loser-pays approaches are sorely needed, especially when it comes to free speech.

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

  281. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    You guys seriously need to get over SOPA.

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

  282. identicon
    erik g, 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:19am

    If There Is A Way, You Need To Sue Thiel

    It seems in the world today, anyone can sue over anything, no matter how absurd. If you simply go on defense, it wont matter if you win, the process will be enough to wipe you out. You absolutely need to go on the offense after Thiel's fortune - and for that matter, bring the other publications he is and has gone after into it. There is no other way.

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

  283. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A just cause and a couple of bucks will buy a cup of coffee

    I'm for letting a lawyer handle the legal decisions. You want to crowdsource the decisions to a random crowd on the internet.

    And YOU accuse ME of being a Trump supporter? Or are you just upset that Palin didn't run?

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

  284. identicon
    Thad, 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re:

    "Lone losers"?

    You can't pluralize a noun and then modify it with "lone". It's not lone if there's more than one of them.

    That's the whole joke in the Lone Gunmen's name.

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

  285. identicon
    Thad, 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: [first amendment requirements]

    If you define "research" at its most basic level -- say, did you spend thirty seconds on Google to see if what you're saying is true or not -- then yeah, lack of research could qualify as reckless disregard.

    But, as I've noted elsewhere in the comments, that standard clearly does not apply here; Mike's articles all contained detailed arguments and cited sources for their claims.

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

  286. identicon
    Thad, 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    Libel is a kind of defamation. Defamation can be spoken (slander) or written (libel).

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

  287. identicon
    kallethen, 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:49am

    Re:

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

  288. icon
    sigalrm (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    "If one folds, others may too. "

    Not "may". "will".

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

  289. icon
    ebbes (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:55am

    Pledged on Patreon

    I saw this today and I pledged on Patreon to help. Good luck guys!

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

  290. icon
    rant spiner (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    ..did the same just now.
    Although I'm not American, we're in this together. All bad things that have proven to slip through in the US later make it to the EU..

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

  291. icon
    sorrykb (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    That arrogant prick was sentenced to 28 years of getting-his-ass-pounded in federal prison.

    How about we try being relieved at someone going to prison without celebrating people being raped.

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

  292. icon
    nasch (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re:

    I wonder if somebody could take down that domain if proven it's spreading falsehoods..

    Not via legal action. Lying is not illegal per se, and he's not defaming anyone or anything like that.

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

  293. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:49am

    We should all tell Ayyadurai what we think:

    http://www.inventorofemail.com/feedback.asp

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

  294. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:55am

    When Techdirt wins this case, is there anyway to have the judge rule that Ayyadurai must come out and tell everybody that he did NOT invent email.

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

  295. identicon
    Vic, 12 Jan 2017 @ 9:02am

    Ready to donate ...

    ... to the TD cause! Never actually blocked ads on the site. Also, strongly recommend a new line of t-shirts to help spread info about the fight... I'll sure buy a few.

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

  296. identicon
    Darkhog, 12 Jan 2017 @ 9:15am

    Try reaching out ot Ira Rothken

    Maybe he could help pro bono?

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

  297. icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re:

    Gotta agree with Ninja, you're going to need to put up or shut up on this one. I've never seen any indication of any sort of censorship agenda from the EFF.

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

  298. identicon
    Darkhog, 12 Jan 2017 @ 9:27am

    Re: Step one - unblock ads

    I'd do that... if I were blocking TD's ads in the first place.

    I mean, why would I? They're non-intrusive, no site-obscurers or popups/popunders so I have no reason to block them. Looking at a banner or two won't hurt me.

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

  299. identicon
    Thad, 12 Jan 2017 @ 9:37am

    Re:

    I really don't think flooding him with angry e-mails is going to help TechDirt.

    If you *do* write to protest, please be polite and professional. And maybe make it clear that you're writing on your own initiative and that TechDirt itself never asked or encouraged anyone to do so.

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

  300. icon
    dropcap (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 10:14am

    Just signed up as an insider and disabled my ad blocker. I know it's not much, but hopefully it helps some. I love this site, its willingness to stand up for its values (or frankly even just the possession of values at all), to make strong statements where they're warranted, and to back all of that up facts, figures and sound logic. It's a rarity, and deserves better than being threatened a frivolous, ego-driven lawsuit.

    Good luck.

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

  301. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re:

    And where did you see the comment suggest to people that we all flood him with angry e-mails?

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

  302. identicon
    Craig Jacobs, 12 Jan 2017 @ 10:26am

    Re: What goes around, comes around

    Peter, is that you?

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

  303. icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    > Not via legal action. Lying is not illegal per se, and he's not defaming anyone or anything like that.

    I believe Ray Tomlinson's estate would disagree with you. Mr (not)"theinventorofemail" was really nasty to Ray and the companies who announced his death. He certainly defamed Mr. Tomlinson in stating that he wasn't the "Father of Email" and arguing Mr. Tomlinson wasn't instrumental in the development of the electronic mail system we all use, instead of some pet project a 14 year old came up with that nobody (beyond a small medical college) has ever used.

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

  304. icon
    nasch (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I believe Ray Tomlinson's estate would disagree with you.

    I doubt it, but even if they did that wouldn't mean I'm wrong. Notice I said lying is not illegal per se. It is certainly possible for it to be illegal if it's also defamatory, but just lying, without any defamation, is not illegal.

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

  305. icon
    simp (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 10:44am

    Re: Let Me Add this

    This is so wrong. This is not the sort of case a defendant typically has to spend A LOT of money on. It could even be litigated on a budget. A "median" budget would probably be around $500k, and that only because a lawyer and expert will have to develop a good deal of evidence about the history of email.

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

  306. identicon
    Someone that beat a shakedown, 12 Jan 2017 @ 11:01am

    Re: Well now...

    If it does indeed fall under California jurisdiction, and you can prove the suit is indeed meritless, then you should look into a motion for sanctions. I used CCP § 128.7 and CCP § 128.5 to beat a fraudulent lawsuit–I was a pro per individual against venture capitalists. When the plaintiffs dropped the suit, they insisted the terms prevented me from filing the motions I had written because their safe harbor had expired that day. Those CCPs have teeth.

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

  307. identicon
    FlameCCT, 12 Jan 2017 @ 11:03am

    & Vice Versa

    Things that slip through in the EU later make it to the US.

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

  308. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 11:06am

    File for summary judgement

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

  309. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 11:17am

    Techdirt sell stock IPO? Sell company keep intact

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

  310. icon
    BostonPilot (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 11:33am

    Shiva Ayyadurai's Lawsuit

    Mike, just contributed via Techdirt Insider Shop. Please kick Shiva Ayyadurai's butt for all of us.

    -- PC

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

  311. icon
    checkmate (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 12:12pm

    'just signed up as well as a TD insider. The articles here are interesting, informative and well researched.

    Ready to donate -

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

  312. icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And the final piece of the puzzle drops into place...

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

  313. identicon
    Babs, 12 Jan 2017 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Alas

    "However, making fun of him, calling him names, and making comments about his character and such may cross the line."
    None of those things is illegal. Trying to avoid being sued by wealthy snowflakes is no basis for a quality website.

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

  314. icon
    David Post (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 12:58pm

    Blog posting on the lawsuit

    Mike:

    Thought you might find my take on this lawsuit interesting.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/01/12/gawker-techdirt-and- the-first-amendment-under-fire

    Please let me know if you're looking for pro bono counsel - I have pretty good connections with good lawyers, and might be able to help you find someone.
    David Post

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

  315. icon
    Cowardly Anonymous (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 1:04pm

    Re: & Vice Versa

    Donated and turned off ad blocker.

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

  316. icon
    raimund (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 1:48pm

    Techdirt gear

    I'm sure you are immensely busy with this suit but as another means of funding, I think it'd be fantastic to start selling some Techdirt physical gear so we can support you and show it.

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

  317. identicon
    Thad, 12 Jan 2017 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It didn't. But given that this is not my first day on the Internet, I am familiar with what usually happens when people who are upset about a controversial topic get directed to a feedback form.

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

  318. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 2:54pm

    Remember people this is about Peter Thiel not Shiva Ayyadurai. Shiva is just a pawn, Chuck Harder is a rook, but Thiel is ... the most powerful piece on the board. This suit is about Thiel getting revenge on TechDirt. Do not work for Peter Thiel or any of his businesses or you are hurting TechDirt.

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

  319. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Alas

    "[M]aking fun of him, calling him names, and making comments about his character and such may cross the line."

    You may consider it morally repugnant, but it is not illegal.

    Assume I were to call Mike Masnick "a rotten piece of shit". Mr. Masnick is obviously not a pile of decaying fecal matter, so my statement would be one of opinion - in this case, an opinion of his character. As much as Mr. Masnick may dislike my opinion, I am legally allowed to express it without prior restraint or post-expression legal punishment. An opinion is not a defamatory statement in and of itself.

    Now assume I were to say, "Mike Masnick is a rotten piece of shit because he raped and murdered a male prostitute in the summer of 2009." (Sidebar: my apologies, Mike; I am just making a point!) While I would still be expressing an opinion about Mr. Masnick's character, I would also be making a factual statement about Mr. Masnick that is false, and I would be making it without caring that the statement is false. That is a defamation, and Mr. Masnick could damn well sue me into oblivion for it.

    Techdirt has insulted Mr. Ayyadurai for making factual claims that can be disproven - which Techdirt has also done - and using the legal system to silence his critics. If he feels he does not deserve these insults, he is welcome to feel that way. (Perhaps he could also act like less of an asshole if he wanted to help his public image.) But he is not welcome to sue Techdirt because it made factual statements that are actually true. Any lawsuit that succeeds in doing so will be a gross violation of the First Amendment and a victory for censors and legal bullies.

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

  320. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re:

    I think you have confused the EFF with the RIAA.

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

  321. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    You're about a year late on that account bro.

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

  322. icon
    Monday (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 3:51pm

    Do you have a specific donation page for funding?

    I Know. Go on and ridicule, but I say Get on Kickstarter. It's not as silly or useless as, perhaps, you Mike, might think. TD is not the only rodeo. There are hundreds of sites that people visit with the same reporting. Once They hear about a fight for First Amendment Rights, and a Life and Death struggle involving TechDirt, they'll be on board.

    AND, get the trial etc. re-located to your state! Loser Pays! SLAPP the lunatic down...

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

  323. identicon
    Christenson, 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:03pm

    Rule 11 can substitute for a SLAPP motion here

    Hey guys:
    This case is so obviously frivolous that its filing violates Rule 11, which requires the filing attorney to attest a reasonable, good-faith belief that what is filed is TRUE.

    That bar will be missed in a very provable way once a response is filed.

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

  324. identicon
    My_Name_Here, 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re: Alas

    You may consider it morally repugnant, but it is not illegal.

    Saying someone is a rotten piece of shit isn't an issue. The question comes when you raise points of fact, calling someone a thief, a liar, or saying they are running a scam when it's not true can (and does) harm their character.

    Techdirt has insulted Mr. Ayyadurai for making factual claims that can be disproven

    The plaintiff feels otherwise, and in some small way may be right (he created the first mail system he was aware of, possibly the first one in his country, etc). Moreover, he has a pretty solid judgement against Gawker to back up his position. The question of fact is disputable (both sides would have factual basis for their claims), but it would not excuse maligning his character or making statements about the man that may make it harder for him to do business or would change the nature of how people perceive him, especially if those claims are not entirely backed up by the facts.

    I don't think it's right. All I am saying is that I think it's going to cost Techdirt a bigger pile of money than they have to prove otherwise, perhaps the ultimate in Pyrrhic victories.

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

  325. identicon
    My_Name_Here, 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re: Let Me Add this

    I am glad you live in a world where 500k is pocket change.

    You have to frame the amount against Mike Masnick and Techdirt both having strong down years in income (ad revenues off 90% according to Mike). 500k would appear to be as unlikely as a billion in that context.

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

  326. identicon
    me, 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:58pm

    Techdirt's First Amendment Fight For Its Life

    I am now following this story and i will be seeking to contribute to your legal Fund

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

  327. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:07pm

    Re: First Amendment doesn't apply

    Educate yourself, please.

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

  328. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:27pm

    I just pitched in via the Friend Of Techdirt link. Two notes:

    - Throughout the entire process (via the Checkout! link, not PayPal or Amazon), there was no currency indicator. That should be up front where you enter the donation amount.

    - I didn't get the Insider Badge. But then other than entering the email address on the checkout page, there was nothing to link the donation to my Techdirt account. Not a problem; I'm happy being just a casual visitor.

    Good luck!

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

  329. icon
    JMT (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Alas

    "The lawsuit is baseless in many ways because the guy did not invent email, he invented AN email. It may have been new to him, it may have been new to his country, but it wasn't new in the world. There in lies the problem: he's not wrong when he says he invented email, if you speak generally and without qualifying that point."

    Let me change a word and show you how silly that argument is:

    "The lawsuit is baseless in many ways because the guy did not invent the car, he invented a car. It may have been new to him, it may have been new to his country, but it wasn't new in the world. There in lies the problem: he's not wrong when he says he invented a car, if you speak generally and without qualifying that point."

    Sounds ridiculous because it is. Invention by definition is creating something that didn't exist before, not a your own version version of an extant system. Naming your program Email is not 'inventing email', which is what he very specifically claims to have done.

    "However, making fun of him, calling him names, and making comments about his character and such may cross the line."

    Firstly, it actually it crosses no legal line at all. That's all perfectly legal and is absolutely not libel unless it's knowingly and provably false. Secondly, what you refer to as making fun of him, calling him names, and making comments about his character I would describe as quite accurate descriptions of this guy. If someone makes such egregious and easily disproved claims that almost nobody believes (where are all his supporters?), and also public shits on the people that actually invented email, he fully deserves to be ridiculed and called a liar and a fraud, because that's what he is.

    "Some of the recent posts by people like Karl are starting to push on nasty insults and insinuations of things that are not easily proven."

    Post some examples. I suspect you may be mocked for your choices though...

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

  330. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 10:37pm

    Re: Alas

    My post will be moderated for a few days, but that's okay, it needs to be said anyway.

    This shit again, Whatever? How many sockpuppets are you going to pull out of your ass? And reusing pseudonyms, no less.

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

  331. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 10:39pm

    Re: Re: Alas

    Don't expect any.

    "My Name Here" is Whatever's pseudonym after he got caught out running "Just Sayin'" after he abandoned "horse with no name".

    The longstanding Prenda fan has come to gloat.

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

  332. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 10:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The Lone Gunmen.

    Happy days...

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

  333. icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 12:25am

    Go Team TechDirt!

    I have nothing substantive to add except for my support of TD both in terms of always donating as much as I can... in spreading word of its successes (and now its challenges) and in getting people fired up to support TD.

    I would love to see MR or KW or any of the other "extremely effective" players in 1st AM defense make a move here, and am patiently waiting for that, as well as the "okay okay, donate to us" page.

    I did try to get some background info for you... I called Dell Technical Support and asked who invented email and the guy on the other end said "Shiva Ayyadurai, idiot"... in a Mumbai accent... and hung up on me. /s

    E

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

  334. icon
    Ninja (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 2:02am

    Re:

    Weird, once you buy the subscription you get an e-mail with the receipt and another one with an activation link where you can either associate it with a new account or login with an existing one and do said association. It takes a few minutes to fully activate and you may have to logout and login again.

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

  335. identicon
    Margaret O'Hara, 13 Jan 2017 @ 3:22am

    Tech support

    I wish you all the best in your efforts to protect the first amendment of your country's constitution.

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

  336. icon
    Doug (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 5:49am

    Re:

    KT: "...I have developed site policies designed for every possible occurrence...".

    You realize your credibility plummets after spouting this kind of self-aggrandizing back-patting, right? (I meant that intentional redundant redundancy...) More to the point, claiming you are some kind of expert in forum management doesn't strengthen your weak arguments. It makes them even weaker, because your only claim to a legitimate argument is your own claim of being an authority.

    Your victim-blaming is shameful on two levels. One, the victim in this case didn't even do anything to, in your words, "deserve what [they got]". To suggest that is just you trying to make yourself better in comparison to a strawman you're creating. Second, even if you think they did make a mistake, why does it then follow that they deserve to be sued out of existence.

    We don't live in a world where it is a good idea to leave your wallet sitting on a park bench somewhere. If you do, chances are good it will be stolen. It's predictable, and easily preventable, but does the person who does that *deserve* to have the wallet stolen. No. Period.

    Your attitude suggests you feel that people *should* be punished for not living up to some threshold of moral or intellectual achievement. That is some dangerous thinking, man.

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

  337. icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 5:53am

    Re: Time to get rid of Revisionist Historians

    opportunity for an anti-SLAPP suit

    If there were such a thing, then it would have to be brought in a state where the law supports it. Most states have fairly crummy anti-SLAPP laws, with the most common deficiency being that they only apply to things involving the government. See, for some foundation, Eastern Railroad Presidents Ass'n v. Noerr Motor Freight, Inc., 365 U.S. 127 (20-Feb-1961). While it does not deal with an anti-SLAPP motion, it does give some foundation for the run-of-the-mill statute.

    Unless you can show that the plaintiff is a government figure, your anti-SLAPP aspirations are probably doomed.

    His aspirations to have invented e-mail, which I was personally using before his ``invention'', well, that is a fact question which may have to go to trial. Not my case, I am not a lawyer in the state where venue appears to lie, and I cannot usefully discuss the parties' respective litigation strategies.

    If I were to have any views at all as to the merits of the case, they would probably lump the plaintiff's claim in with claims for goodness for this "markdown" mark-up intended to replace HTML with something less familiar but at the same time less useful.

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

  338. icon
    Doug (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 5:55am

    Re: legal defense

    I'm not sure I'd hire a lawyer who makes an offer of services in a site's comments section.

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

  339. icon
    Doug (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Fucking people...

    I've been wondering what Ayyadurai gets out of this whole fight, aside from bragging rights? I used to presume he was some minor tech drone with nothing else to his name than bragging rights over email. But he seems to be an educated person with many other ways to succeed in life. How did he end up becoming a person with nothing better to do than fight over bragging rights?

    Does this create economic opportunity for him, as a consultant or web developer or what?

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

  340. icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: RFCs

    doesn't want to reference the RFC

    Certainly it would be hard for him to reference them without bringing himself into frivolous territory. My copy of RFC733 (format for ARPANET electronic mail) is dated 1977, which is somewhat prior to the plaintiff's publication.

    The problem is authentication. The authors have surely moved on from their institutions at the time of publication, and some may no longer be available at all.

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

  341. icon
    Doug (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 6:11am

    Re: Where are the t-shirts?

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

  342. icon
    Doug (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Fucking people...

    Ahh, after a bit of googling, now I see. He's got an email management company, just wrote a book about email, etc. He's made a business out of being the purported "inventor of email".

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

  343. icon
    Doug (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 6:19am

    Re:

    Genius. Generalizing, what about a whole line of T-shirts claiming to have invented all sorts of stuff, or just one with blanks:

    I invented _______ in ______.

    You can write your own in with a marker.

    I invented wheels in 1985.
    I invented bread in 1992.
    I invented photons in 2003.
    I invented toasters in 1945.

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

  344. identicon
    spodula, 13 Jan 2017 @ 6:27am

    Re: squash his little head with his big ego

    I was wondering the same thing. I wonder if he as been trying to equate the invention of the Term "Email" (I dont know if this is true or not) with the invention of a computer based messeging system. (The RFC's are pretty clear on this being false)

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

  345. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2017 @ 6:38am

    The real history of email

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

  346. icon
    The Wanderer (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, you can. In this case the argument would be that, although there are several of them, none of them has any direct connection to the others - and thus each of them individually is alone.

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

  347. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re:

    Thanks! An activation email showed up a few hours later.

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

  348. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Sure I'll Put My Real Name, 13 Jan 2017 @ 9:18am

    I used to like this website, till I realized you were just more nauseating Silicon Valley leftoid virtue-signalling SJW dipshits, as evidenced by the hysterical anti-Trump propaganda you constantly publish.

    So while I would agree with you this lawsuit is wholly woithout merit and the complainant is an idiot, I can't say I have much sympathy for you at all. From a coment above, a good summary "Worse yet, because this site tends to get a bit mouthy and insulting towards people, there is plenty of ammo that can be used to keep you turning around for ages."

    As you may have guessed, I am from the alt-right, and we have to endure thousands of fake news/outright lie/insult attacks on us every day, coming from people like you, who will torture any "fact" until it suits your agenda, get us banned from social medias, dox us, seek to end our careers etc - just for having a viewpoint that differs from yours. So while this lawsuit is not the right method, I mentally file it under "Karma: what goes around comes around", in view of all the idiotic assertions about people on the right made here, in posts and comments, over the last few years. Is that too harsh, probably, but like most of the people I know on the right, we are totally fed up to the sky with the antics of the left. See "SJWs Always Lie" for more.

    I've joined the alt-tech movement, and our goal is to destroy all of the current digital left-coast elite and every one of their vile leftoid propaganda organs posing as businesses. Which plans are well into the implementation stage, I am pleased to report. The left has had a good run for the last 50 years, but it's over now, the pendulum is swinging back to the right, so I hoped you enjoyed your time in the sun while it lasted.

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

  349. icon
    Ninja (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Fucking people...

    That's about to collapse. One hopes TD doesn't collapse along. I see many willing to put money in the cause to avois it.

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

  350. icon
    blueflame78504 (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 9:30am

    Fight the Good Fight

    I signed up for an account by the water cooler just because of this nonsense. Stick in there.

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

  351. icon
    Ninja (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 9:31am

    Re:

    Spot on! What about the hysterical anti-Obama propaganda? Or the hysterical anti-Clinton during the elections? And the hysterical anti-Bush propaganda that pops around every now and then when the fallout of 9/11 is in discussion? This site is sickening indeed.

    "I am from the alt-right"

    This was obvious when you used the word 'leftoid'. The rest of your comment is pretty much garbage after that.

    "The left has had a good run for the last 50 years"

    There is no left in the US. The closest you got from left was Obama that was just right wing, not nazi right wing.

    "the pendulum is swinging back to the right, so I hoped you enjoyed your time in the sun while it lasted."

    Last time this happened we had World War II. Just thought I should mention it.

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

  352. identicon
    gizzardboy, 13 Jan 2017 @ 11:20am

    using available tools

    Back when I was in real estate sales, the sale of a bar came up. To avoid being cleaned out in a law suit when some fool got to drunk, caused major damage and blamed the bar, the owner would do this: All the assets except the liquor license would be owned by one entity and the liquor license and the bar operation would be owned by another entity that would hold harmless the one with the assets. Any suit could not be too damaging. This kind of strategy might be adapted to small operations like Techdirt.

    Something else might be to shield ownership behind a maze of off-shore corporations, such that determining who to sue would be very costly and time consuming (if not impossible)for a would-be plaintiff.

    These ideas do not apply to the current case, but might shield others from similar attacks.

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

  353. icon
    sorrykb (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 12:13pm

    Re:

    You've earned my LOL. The satire is dead-on.
    This should definitely win funniest comment of the week!

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

  354. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2017 @ 12:57pm

    Re:

    When you're ultra alt-right everything else looks "leftoid".

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

  355. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2017 @ 1:02pm

    Re: using available tools

    All the assets except the liquor license would be owned by one entity and the liquor license and the bar operation would be owned by another entity that would hold harmless the one with the assets.

    Any decent lawyer would just sue both entities or their common owner.

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

  356. icon
    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Alas

    The plaintiff claims to be the "Inventor of Email", not the inventor of an email program. At the time he wrote his software EMAIL, he was a high school student working for a company in New Jersey, so this isn't a matter of being the first email software written in/for India. There is no question that the claim to being the "Inventor of Email" is a lie and very easily can be demonstrated as such. In fact, it's so easy to demonstrate that essentially every article that Techdirt has written to express the opinion that his claim is a lie has provided the evidence that said opinion is based on.

    Also, the plaintiff does not have a judgement against Gawker. He and Gawker settled the suit for $750000.00 and it never went to trial. Thiel was funding multiple lawsuits against Gawker at the time and after the Bolea verdict against Gawker they could no longer afford further litigation so they settled any remaining suits as the path of least resistance. The plaintiff does not have any judgments in any court of law confirming his claim as correct. It would be almost unimaginable that any court could ever side in his favor. This is all about a war of attrition to use the cost of defending such a lawsuit to bankrupt the defendant. This is meritless weaponized litigation used for punishment, not justice.

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

  357. identicon
    Thad, 13 Jan 2017 @ 1:14pm

    Re:

    In other words, you believe people should be silenced if they disagree with you.

    I don't believe you should be silenced. But I wish you would shut up.

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

  358. identicon
    Jonathan, 13 Jan 2017 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: What goes around, comes around

    And if I want those enemies disabled from continuing to harass me or steal the common, then what? How does one disable a parasite?

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

  359. identicon
    Thad, 13 Jan 2017 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RFCs

    https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc733 gives the title as "STANDARD FOR THE FORMAT OF ARPA NETWORK TEXT MESSAGES"; it doesn't use the word "mail" (which apparently is important to Ayyadurai).

    However, I notice it has the word "mail" in its first sentence.

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

  360. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 1:21pm

    Re: using available tools

    My first thought was along the lines of 'That seems incredibly sleazy and dishonest, a way to dodge being able to be held accountable', and then I thought about it some more, re-read your example, thought about this lawsuit, and moved on to '... and yet, when the system is this broken, I suppose I can't say I can blame those that have to respond to a gamed system by trying to game it in their favor to avoid ridiculous results'.

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

  361. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RFCs

    It describes the messages as "mail" 75 times.

    And even then, if he wants "Mail" in the title, it builds on previous RFCs like 724 and 561 which describe "Mail" in the titles.

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

  362. identicon
    BeenSuedToo, 13 Jan 2017 @ 4:43pm

    Tip to others: Get insurance for this

    I've been sued for defamation before (was an HOA Board member, and was hit with a SLAPP suit by the management company for questioning financial irregularities and bidding practices). Tip for others who might make public criticisms: Be sure you are backstopped by insurance. In my case, I had lawyers provided both by the HOA's insurance, and my own homeowners's insurance, and they also would have paid the costs of a loss up to their policy limit in the event I lost or settled (as I had paid for an upgraded plan that happened to include this coverage among other things). I did feel it important to hire an attorney who was an expert in defamation (i.e., beyond the garden variety lawyers provided by the insurance carriers), who provided excellent advice (and ensured that we actually reversed things, in essence putting the plaintiff on trial, opening up all their records and actions to inspection, and to Streisand-effect things, when their goal was to silence a valid critic). The insurance companies eventually settled (as nearly all such cases do) for nuisance value (i.e., they paid the plaintiff a small amount that was much less than their cost to continue on and win the case, which we surely would have won). I was not in the end prevented from speaking, nor did I have to pay for the lawyers provided or the settlement amount, so the SLAPP suit utterly failed. The moral is that in this absurd sue-happy society, anyone who makes public claims would be well advised to look into liability insurance to cover defamation claims, as that can ease the financial impact and stress; and scout out the local top-notch defamation lawyers in case they're needed. Don't let the SLAPPers win.

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

  363. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Save the jews, 13 Jan 2017 @ 5:57pm

    Save the christians

    Jesus Chirst

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

  364. icon
    shanen (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 7:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A just cause and a couple of bucks will buy a cup of coffee

    NOT a constructive comment.

    Obviously you don't understand where I agree and disagree with you. Not going to waste the keystrokes on it.

    So exactly how much money are you prepared to put where your fat fingers are?

    Amusingly enough, I actually put a $100 on Sanders before the NY primary, though I regarded Hillary as good enough. Not good enough to get any of my limited money. Ditto TechDirt as things stand. With valuable "supporters" like you, I'm sure they'll be just fine and dandy.

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

  365. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Monday (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 7:30pm

    Re: I think you should go to Emergency 'No-Name'

    I think you should go to Emergency 'No-Name'... you invertebrate chest-pounding tard!

    Tillerson; Sessions; DeVos; Price; Mnuchin; Ross; Mattis; Carson; Kelly; Zinke; Perry; Priebus; Haley; McMahon; Pruitt; Flynn; Pompeo... most of these nutters won't get past the exams - that' means not graduating you dill-pickle fuck.

    No-Name, have you ever looked in the mirror and said to yourself, "Man, I am really fucked up..." 'cuz couz, you are really fucked up. Do you seriously believe that everything that has been fact checked ten thousand times over is Propaganda/Fake News/Outright Lies???

    I have spoke with Alt-Right members, and I was wondering what your alt-right defenders are saying. Do your Alt-Right buddies talk about No Wall? Immigration proposals that will never take effect? Fuck Obama Care? Talk about a time when Women just stayed in the Kitchen and spoke when spoken to? Grabbed Beers when told to grab Beers? Talk on War like there is no consequences? Pretty much everything President Elect Trump has promised to the Alt-Right is never, NEVER going to happen. What do you think will happen when thirty-million people... Citizens find themselves suddenly with out Health Care?? How about that Pussy Grabbin' game? You know, reduce Women's Rights to the level that the Greeks were using?

    Greek women had virtually no political rights of any kind and were controlled by men at nearly every stage of their lives

    The President Elect is, to be honest, a Sociopathic Sexual Predatory Misogynist who is a tool of the Russian President.

    Trump will get next to nothing accomplished in his First Hundred Days (bank on it), and all those promises made and broken to your Alt-Right friends have really pissed them off, and they're prolly talkin' 'bout a Second Amendment Resolution for the that lying, insane prick as well.

    They even talk about that ^ solution on Radio, and television, and I'm pretty sure they mean business, 'cuz they're obviously not afraid to say it... dwell on that one.

    #5???

    And, again to be honest, You're sounding as close to nuts as they get.

    SO FUCK OFF Go play your games on your Laptop...

    I gotta see a Man about a Horse :D

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

  366. identicon
    Thad, 14 Jan 2017 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, Happy Days was the one with Fonzie. Lone Gunmen was an X-Files spinoff.

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

  367. identicon
    David Parker, 14 Jan 2017 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Freedom of Speech

    Why do that to kittens?
    Show his picture! Most of his sallow fat-faced sort look more animal than man anyway!

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

  368. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jan 2017 @ 4:18am

    Re: Ready to donate ...

    "I
    nvented
    e-mal"

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

  369. identicon
    TechDirtSupporter, 15 Jan 2017 @ 11:39pm

    Pledge for support

    I pledge to support Techdirt via Patreon. I'm a daily reader and I'd hate to see this site go! Add blockers have been turned off a long time ago.

    Please keep us updated!

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

  370. identicon
    John Smith, 16 Jan 2017 @ 10:18am

    Where are your lawyer buddies?

    Surely Techdirt realizes that its "friends" in the legal industry have gassed them up to say "bring it on!" when someon threatens a defamation suit. So Techdirt "rings the bell" while their lawyer friends run away, leaving them all alone to fight an "obvious" SLAPP suit?

    Sounds like someone needs better friends.

    Anyone ever think these "free speech" lawyers are really just arms deals are who are profiting immensely from the inevitable litigation that results when they encourage websites and individuals to hide behind Section 230? If they didn't think so before, they should now, because these lawyers are awfully silent, telling Techdirt "you're on your own."

    When someone chooses to be a pawn they shouldn't be surprised when the "King" (or say another religious or political leader) throws them under the bus by leaving them hanging out to dry.

    Being so full of yourself that you refuse to consider the other's point of view sounds like the real culprit here. At least now you know who your true friends are, and aren't. So sorry the lesson was so expensive for you.

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

  371. icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 16 Jan 2017 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Where are your lawyer buddies?

    How do you know anything about what their "lawyer friends" are doing? Interesting assumption there.

    "Hide behind". Also interesting. I guess one should tiptoe everywhere in order to avoid upsetting abusive bullies.

    "Being so full of yourself". I don't even know where that comes in, but it seems you just like saying things.

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

  372. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jan 2017 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Where are your lawyer buddies?

    So you've got the trial already conducted and settled, huh? You're so full of it that you sound like Whatever. Maybe you are Whatever, or one of his puppets.

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

  373. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jan 2017 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Nazi is right wing? National Socialist Workers Party is right wing? It seems you are actually trying to be serious in your response but I can't figure out how you actually believe that.

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

  374. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jan 2017 @ 9:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    > Nazi is right wing? National Socialist Workers Party is right wing?

    Was. It no longer exists in its original form. I understand there are those among us who would like to bring it back, though. With a different name, of course.

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

  375. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jan 2017 @ 9:12pm

    Re: Re: Where are your lawyer buddies?

    If memory serves, Techdirt doesn't even really have "lawyer buddies", because Techdirt isn't in the business of having "lawyer buddies". The closest equivalent I can recall are acquaintances Masnick consulted about SOPA and other major copyright decisions the RIAA and gang tried to ram in everywhere (who wouldn't have anything relevant to do with this case), plus the EFF and Popehat (who've already voiced support). So Smith's original question was bullshit to begin with, what a surprise.

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

  376. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jan 2017 @ 9:15pm

    Re: Where are your lawyer buddies?

    Being so full of yourself that you refuse to consider the other's point of view sounds like the real culprit here.

    And what's the other's point of view in this case? A demonstrably false claim of ownership to inventing email, and a willingness to drag others into ruination by means of litigious attrition.

    Most rational individuals would consider that fucking insane, not just one independent blog. Your claim of a "real culprit" is a sham.

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

  377. icon
    Marc John Randazza (profile), 18 Jan 2017 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re: Well now...



    Someone call me?

    By the way, the "Novella Trick" of using the Plaintiff's home state anti-SLAPP statute is only one way of doing it.

    You can also use dépeçage to invoke the defendant's home state anti-SLAPP protections.

    The courts in the 7th Circuit are very comfortable with that. The 1st has not yet applied it in the exact Novella / reverse Novella manner.

    But ... you bet your ass, any defense here should be looking at that pretty French word ... dépeçage.

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

  378. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Jan 2017 @ 4:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Well now...

    It is times like this I wish I was a fly on the wall.

    I can only imagine the Secret Society of First Amendment Badasses has legal pads with sketched out plans for making this case hurt enough that trying to use the law to silence people who disagree with you wouldn't be tried again for a long time (or by someone who wants to keep their bar card).

    Nice to see you Mr. Randazza. What I wouldn't give to see a brief deftly shredding the claims & seeing demands for costs. $750,000 seems like a good number...

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

  379. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2017 @ 5:54pm

    If I was blocking ads, I would have unblocked them.

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

  380. icon
    aicra (profile), 29 Jan 2017 @ 11:58pm

    How's it going!

    Update?

    anything I can do... Let me know!!!!!!!!

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

  381. identicon
    BillyWilliam, 2 Feb 2017 @ 9:57am

    You

    So, there must be a legal construct wherein if someone does this kind of shit to you, at some point, which would become very clear, you simply shut down, and then start up again, a moment later, as a "Different Legal Entity". I can't imagine spending more than a moment worrying about this kind of person. I support you because Barry Eisler supports you, and I trust him. Keep your ass ets protected, and minimal. Invented email? That's a hoot on its face, but lawsuits are annoying, I know. So, make yourselves immune. The corporatocracy does it through legal manipulation, so hey! If that's the game, FUCKING PLAY! I don't even know what a URL is, basic formatting, or HTML...heh? But you geniuses deserve better. It is simply having a smart er lawyer, if not now, for sure next time. I know, you have convinced yourselves it's not that easy. Wanna Bet? Fucking Play!...If Barry supports you guys, so do I. Play

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

  382. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2017 @ 10:19am

    Any updates?

    Hey, is anything going on with this?

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

  383. identicon
    Anthonisamy, 7 Feb 2017 @ 3:26pm

    Have you put yourself in VA Shiva's Shoes?

    The law is there to defend justice.

    You cannot write something without proper due-diligence and defame a guy.

    You did not invent Email in 1978.

    If you had done it, and faced this situation, you would have long sulked.

    Regards

    Anthonisamy

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

  384. identicon
    GD, 8 Feb 2017 @ 11:35am

    What if we disagree with you?

    Where do we contribute money if we think your website deserves to lose the lawsuit, and be shut down?

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

  385. identicon
    Mysti Duncan, 8 Feb 2017 @ 1:37pm

    Freedom of Speech

    If you haven't noticed, our constitution (as it WAS) is being rewritten to suit the NEW government. Please consider setting up a 'Fund Me' account or such. I wished I could help financially but heavy prayers will have to do for now. Our very values are under attack. I'd rather take the risk of getting bad news with the good and searching through it all rather than getting 'no' news. Try your best to hang in there. You keep me informed of current that I can actually follow up on for more info.

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

  386. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2017 @ 9:33am

    The box at the bottom of my screen doesn't show the donate button (at least, I think that's what it is). Might be a good idea to fix this if you hope to get some funds! Good luck, I am a fan of Techdirt and wish all the hackers in the world on this hypersensitive git.

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

  387. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2017 @ 9:41am

    Re:

    I suppose this will just sound demanding but it wouldn't hurt to get some payment option buttons that are relevant to UK and European readers, either. Credit cards aren't the mandatory accessory over here that they seem to be on the other side of the pond ;) And Paypal isn't really good for tracking payments for one's tax records.

    Just a thought.

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

  388. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2017 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You *are* a dipstick, aren't you? Anyone with a basic high school education knows that 'national socialist party' was just a name that the Nazis adopted to steal votes away from actual socialist parties. Their bigotry and anti-egalitarian policies were and always will be pure fascist, and fascism has nada in common with true socialism. The reason why people bought the 'we're happy cuddely national socialists' line was because, in the 1930s just as today, people were all too happy to vote for a party based on its branding alone. Too few people bothered checking the beliefs of the party's members against their claims.

    tl:dr - same thing could easily happen today, and probably already has (cough cough, Trump)

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

  389. identicon
    Stop, 15 Apr 2017 @ 1:49pm

    Stop.

    You deserve to lose the lawsuit.

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

  390. identicon
    Samuel yelime, 18 Apr 2017 @ 10:46pm

    Pledge to help me

    I'm a boy of 27 I need a little money for a small business.please I beg u help me to job.thank u

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


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