The Chilling Effects Of A SLAPP Suit: My Story

from the no-fun-at-all dept

Last week, I presented at the always excellent Personal Democracy Forum event in NY, talking publicly for the first time about the lawsuit that's been filed against us. Specifically, what I chose to talk about is the real chilling effects that such a lawsuit can have -- and has already had on us. We've written about SLAPP defamation suits for many, many years. But it's (unfortunately) different (and much, much worse) to experience it yourself. You can see the video here, which got more emotional than I had expected it to be.

If you agree that these chilling effects are a dangerous attack on free speech, please consider supporting our ongoing reporting via any of the following methods: ISupportJournalism.com, Patreon.com, our own Insider Shop, or perhaps you want to buy some t-shirts, hoodies, mugs or stickers. However you support us: thank you. Related to this, I also want to thank both the staff and attendees at PDF, who were amazing, kind, thoughtful and helpful to me over the course of the event.

Separately, Ars Technica just published a long deep dive article on the claims that the plaintiff in the case against us, Shiva Ayyadurai, has made. It's a worthwhile read.


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 9:44am

    On this WHINING, headline should be "Emotional Toll Of DEFAMATION". But not a hint that Ayyadurai has feelings too: to Ma snick, it's all about HIM.

    Meanwhile, headline on Drudge: AMAZONFACEBOOKGOOGLE HAVE 'CAPTURED THE ECONOMY'...

    This may be "tech" and may be "dirt", but is neither important nor interesting.

    Techdirt is the most wacky site I've run across, for sheer lack of proportion. Useful to me for diversion from the real world.

    I do hope this unique irrelevance isn't handed over in the looming settlement with Ayyadurai. From what I hear, Masnick may escape for a million five and keep the site.

    [ First attempt on another thread blocked by "Moderation"! Again, I wouldn't complain about that except that Techdirt does not state it reserves the right, isn't honest because doesn't state that its message is biased, but sneaks its censoring out of sight. ]

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    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 9:54am

      Warning, warning!

      Intruder alert, aliens attempting to breach the perimeter.

      Captain to the bridge.

      Shields buckling.

      More power to the shields.

      It's not working, shields down to 23%

      Reverse shield polarity, the alien is out of phase with normal space.

      The power grid is off-line.

      Switch to emergency power.

      Emergency power won't do any good, it's not the power generator that is off line, the power grid is off-line and cannot transport power.

      More power to the power grid.

      All circuits overloaded.

      Resistance is futile, I am immune to logic or reason. I have an agenda and you WILL comply.

      Use a hologram to recreate the power grid and send more power to the shields.

      Structural integrity at 10%

      I don't recognize your euphemism 'integrity'. Prepare to die.

      The shields have collapsed, alien intruder infiltrating.

      Set the auto-destruct for 5 minutes, authorization Z 3492 Delta. That'll fix em.

      No, no, no, not the auto-destruct...well, OK, what if I promise to meekly return to my intended course and find a less resilient species to intimidate?

      Cancel auto-destruct.

      Resume course, warp 9, and keep an eye out for more alien intruders. They tend to swarm posts like this.

      Captain's log...supplemental...Even though this species is out of phase with normal space, their tendency to fire spitballs when logic, reason, and verifiable facts are more effective weapons indicates that the threat is minimal. Best strategy, ignore the irrelevant tactics. 'He who has faith need have no knowledge.[1]'

      [1] Eiji Yoshikawa from Musashi

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 10:00am

      Re: On this WHINING, headline should be "Emotional Toll Of DEFAMATION". But not a hint that Ayyadurai has feelings too: to Ma snick, it's all about HIM.

      Filthy TORpirate like typing detected.

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    • icon
      aerinai (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 10:06am

      Learn the First Amendment...

      First off, Free speech and First Amendment is about protecting unpopular speech, or speech that might 'hurt feelings'. Everything that Masnick has reported has been truthful, and your obvious bend leads me to believe you either:
      A) Are a conspiracy theory nut-job who somehow finds credibility in Ayyadurai's insane claim.
      B) Have a hard-on for attacking Masnick because Troll
      C) Ayyadurai himself ranting on here as an Anonymous Coward

      Ayyadurai's self aggrandizement and attempt to rewrite history is a deplorable tactic. The thought that he has to resort to these kinds of free-speech-stifiling activities only reaffirms that his argument holds no water.

      I don't care about Ayyadurai's feelings, his skin is thinner than the Gollum-Dictator in Turkey... this is a mess he made himself. Masnick, on the other hand, is just doing his job as a journalist and is being punished for speaking truth. Yeah, he said mean things about this scam artist, but they are wholly deserved.

      Not being able to call a liar, a fraud, or a scam artist by their names, is what got us into this mess... if TD loses this court case... watch out journalists... the Political-Correctness police will be coming for you... which is literally what this article is about... stifling free speech.

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        identicon
        My_Name_Here, 15 Jun 2017 @ 1:45pm

        Re: Learn the First Amendment...

        Yes, but free speech isn't practiced here... my comments will be "moderated" because of who I am, censored and held from the discussion until perhaps they are no longer relevant or read.

        For Mike to make a big push about his free speech rights (including the rights to denigrate someone) seems pretty off considering how he runs the site here.

        Mike, if you want to do free speech, start at home. Stop being spiteful towards people who don't agree with you. Open your mind and accept that not everyone sees the world your way. Otherwise, this place turns into a Trump cabinet meeting, where all the toadies suck up and that's all you get.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 2:42pm

          Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

          "free speech isn't practiced here"

          I thought that term referred to the first amendment. Apparently you think it is some law that websites must adhere to - funny that.

          I think you are confused. Mike has a first amendment right to not have the government allow censoring via civil law suits. Search on the term SLAPP for more details. You on the other hand do not have a first amendment right to post what ever the hell you want upon any website you so choose as that is not under the jurisdiction of the government. Got it?

          Not sure wth the rest of your post is about so I'll just ignore it.

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        • identicon
          Thad, 15 Jun 2017 @ 2:45pm

          Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

          until perhaps they are no longer relevant

          That would require them to be relevant in the first goddamn place.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 2:52pm

          Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

          To avoid wasting too much time on you, I'll stick with the tl;dr version:

          1) Spam filters aren't censorship.

          2) As for having your comments reported, take it away xkcd.

          (As an aside thanks for the laugh. Having you of all people chide Mike for being 'spiteful towards people who don't agree with you' is easily the funniest thing I've read today.)

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          • identicon
            Thad, 15 Jun 2017 @ 3:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

            I would add this as a supplement (and just to be clear, contrary to the title of the post I'm not referring you to it because you're wrong about the First Amendment, I'm just trying to preempt this argument before somebody else brings it up):

            https://www.popehat.com/2016/06/11/hello-youve-been-referred-here-because-youre-wrong-about-the -first-amendment/

            SLAPP suits do raise First Amendment concerns even though they're not congressional action, because they use the instruments of the state to punish people for exercising free speech.

            Flagging some jagoff's comment on a website, of course, does not.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 5:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

            It gets better. Consider the fact that the fucktard whines about having his posts held back so nobody can respond to it, all the time.

            Here we have an example of people responding to him _within the hour_ of him posting his typical rubbish.

            What horse with no name/Whatever/Just Sayin'/fitta is really pissed about is that nobody considers him insightful. But then you really only have to look at his posts, which amount to little more than "I disagree with you, I troll you, now accept me!"

            But what else could you expect from a bitter, grumpy git who hates fair use?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 10:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

            Oh please. Everyone knows the report button is used here to silence dissent.

            I imagine that fact will be of interest to the plaintiff.

            Masnick was warned about karma so many times that it's comical.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 3:31pm

          Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

          lern2reed,n00b.

          "Flagged by the <i>community</i>." As in, the people visiting this site. Remember, the right to free speech isn't the right to listen to your assholishness.

          And trust me, no matter how Ayyadurai conducts himself now, he will forever be an asshole, in my eyes. The reasons boil down to the people he's aligned himself with, and the fact that he is fully intending to silence any criticisms of his accounts.

          Now, don't get me wrong - what Ayyadurai did in the late 70s and early 80s was actually pretty impressive work, all things considered. But <i>it was not at the cutting-edge of the field.</i> That is my contention with his accounts.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 3:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

            I have not seen any evidence that Shiva’s program, impressive though it may be in the context of what he accomplished at the time, influenced anyone who actually worked on the standards and protocols that became the email system as we know it. The same goes for evidence that anyone outside of his school or his narrow sphere of influence ever saw his program.

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            • icon
              Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 4:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

              It makes me wonder since he copyrighted his EMAIL program, and by his assertion invented email, then logic says that all email programs that followed copied his code. Yet he has never sued anyone for copyright infringement, only defamation. Hmmmmm

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 3:35pm

          Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

          For Mike to make a big push about his free speech rights (including the rights to denigrate someone) seems pretty off considering how he runs the site here.

          For you to believe you can force a privately-owned platform into hosting your speech seems ignorant of at least a century’s worth of First Amendment jurisprudence, considering your apparent infatuation with the idea of free speech.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 5:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

            I don't think the question is one of legal standing rather one of moral standing.

            Censoring posts or blocking posters because you do not agree with them is bad moral form for someone who claims to fight for free and open speech.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 5:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

              Techdirt’s owners/admins has every right to moderate the comments sections here however they see fit. That moderation does not really amount to the silencing of voices when those same voices can say their piece elsewhere. I would have far more of a problem with that if Techdirt nuked all dissenting speech from the comments; that, I could not defend. But for now, the only comments I see getting hidden are those that look trollish or provocative for provocation’s sake.

              Techdirt is under no legal or moral obligation to host anyone else’s uncensored, unedited, unabridged speech. If your voice can be completely silenced by either the flagging system or the spam filter, you are not trying hard enough to make yourself heard.

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              • identicon
                Wendy Cockcroft, 16 Jun 2017 @ 5:08am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

                In any case it's the community, not the moderators, who flag the posts. I'm not sure how many times the report button has to be clicked for a post to be hidden — can someone advise, please?

                Basically, it's a case of readers like me not wanting to wade through what we consider drivel to get to those comments we do want to read. People have a right to speak, no doubt about it, but they don't have a right to be heard. Don't confuse the two; they're different things.

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                • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                  identicon
                  My_Name_Here, 16 Jun 2017 @ 1:21pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

                  Wendy, you are wrong. My posts go directly to moderation when I click submit. It is the same if I use my handle, if I post anonymously, if I use a different browser, etc. The community never gets to "vote" on my posts before they are moderated, they are just moderated.

                  Community voting to censor a post is a different story. It's a tool that is entirely abused here. Different problem, different story. Don't confuse the two.

                  When it comes to my posts, you don't get a choice up front - Techdirt has already decided to make my posts harder for you to read.

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            • identicon
              Thad, 16 Jun 2017 @ 7:36am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

              Censoring posts or blocking posters because you do not agree with them is bad moral form for someone who claims to fight for free and open speech.

              1. No it isn't. There is no moral contradiction between saying "You should be allowed to say that without fear of legal reprisal" and saying "You're not allowed to say that in my house." Just because I support the Supreme Court's ruling in Snyder v Phelps doesn't mean that I'm going to invite the Westboro Baptist Church into my living room.

              2. We're not flagging posts because we disagree with them. We're flagging posts because the posters are obnoxious narcissists who suck up all the oxygen and distract from the discussion the grownups are trying to have.

              If you have a difference of opinion and want to debate it rationally, there are a lot of people here who will be happy to do so. If, however, you just repeat the same talking points and catchphrases for months on end and continually detract from discussions rather than adding to them, people will start flagging you instead of feeding you.

              I support My_Name_Here's right to say stupid shit and not get arrested for it. I have recommended, more than once, that he start his own blog, where he will never have to worry about getting his posts flagged.

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              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                My_Name_Here, 16 Jun 2017 @ 1:29pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

                You are still missing the point THad.

                Standing ond on the head of a legal pin (which a bunch of angel's asses) is nice, but entirely missing the point.

                The moral contradiction is huge. Techdirt regularly and routinely rails against sites while disable comments or who show only a limited number of comments. When a newspaper removes comments (or decides to use social media for such interactions) you know that there will be Techdirt article claiming they are not respecting their readers and so forth.

                So to address your two points, simply:

                1. If you want to claim free speech all the time every where, start at home. Be the shining example of free speech, not one of censorship and sneaky blocking of people. It shows a mean spirit that is not in keeping with your overall message.

                2. It's not about flagging. My posts never get put up to be flagged, they get "moderated" immediately. You don't get a choice in the matter, my posts do no appear until someone from Techdirt has deemed them worthy. That could be minutes, hours, days, or never - and you don't get to flag anything for that to happen. Someone else has chosen for you (ie, censorship).

                "If you have a difference of opinion and want to debate it rationally, there are a lot of people here who will be happy to do so."

                There are some. There are others who only job it is to defend the good ship Techdirt at all costs. They fake post, they attack, the adhom, and they deride the person and rarely discuss the ideas except in the abstract "only an idiot would think" way. I love a good debate, when people are debating ideas and not personalities. That's a huge difference.

                Ideas that are too different from the norm here get savagely attacked, on a very personal level. The debate quickly sinks into the muck, and that's too bad for the people with open minds willing to consider other viewpoints and ideas. You lose as a result.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 11:01am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

                  My posts never get put up to be flagged, they get "moderated" immediately.

                  If a spam filter is the only blocking you from having your voice heard, you are not trying hard enough to make yourself heard.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 5:45pm

          Re: Re: Learn the First Amendment...

          Hm, a response within less than an hour of the original post. Clearly this post was made by a fakenick poster.

          Reported for fake nick.

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    • identicon
      Thad, 15 Jun 2017 @ 10:16am

      Re: On this WHINING, headline should be "Emotional Toll Of DEFAMATION". But not a hint that Ayyadurai has feelings too: to Ma snick, it's all about HIM.

      From what I hear, Masnick may escape for a million five and keep the site.

      And where do you hear that?

      Either someone connected to the case has violated legal confidentiality, or you're lying.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 11:20am

        Re: Re: On this WHINING, headline should be "Emotional Toll Of DEFAMATION". But not a hint that Ayyadurai has feelings too: to Ma snick, it's all about HIM.

        He is the plaintiff and clearly just broke confidentiality. Crazy is as crazy does.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 11:26am

      Re: On this WHINING, headline should be "Emotional Toll Of DEFAMATION". But not a hint that Ayyadurai has feelings too: to Ma snick, it's all about HIM.

      Defamation? Show us ANYTHING in the articles here that was untrue and not impeccably well documented. Or even unjustifiably insulting.

      But before you make any "unjustifiably insulting" claim, read up on Ayyadurai's own statements. The Ars Technica article linked above is a good place to start. Anyone who documents the history of email, Ayyadurai labels liars and racists. He calls Vint Cerf - a co-inventor of the TCP/IP protocol - a liar and says that he knows nothing. When Ray Tomlinson - who worked with networked email in the 1960s - died last year, Ayyadurai declared "Tomlinson dies a liar"

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 12:19pm

        Re: Re: On this WHINING, headline should be "Emotional Toll Of DEFAMATION". But not a hint that Ayyadurai has feelings too: to Ma snick, it's all about HIM.

        That sounds like defamation

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 1:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: On this WHINING, headline should be "Emotional Toll Of DEFAMATION". But not a hint that Ayyadurai has feelings too: to Ma snick, it's all about HIM.

          Ah, but he waited until he was dead, and it's just his opinion. He's not stating it as fact. Thankfully, defamation lawsuits don't put much stock in statements of opinion.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 2:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: On this WHINING, headline should be &quot;Emotional Toll Of DEFAMATION&quot;. But not a hint that Ayyadurai has feelings too: to Ma snick, it's all about HIM.

            Ayyadurai calls Vint Cerf a liar and says that he knows nothing. This shows that it is Ayyadurai knows little to nothing about TCP and probably much more.

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

    • icon
      brad (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 11:41am

      Re: On this WHINING, headline should be "Emotional Toll Of DEFAMATION". But not a hint that Ayyadurai has feelings too: to Ma snick, it's all about HIM.

      How has Fran been?

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 11:54am

      Re: On this WHINING, headline should be "Emotional Toll Of DEFAMATION". But not a hint that Ayyadurai has feelings too: to Ma snick, it's all about HIM.

      Ayyadurai's feelings, being as they are exclusively those of malice and greed, are unworthy of consideration.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 10:00am

    "I do hope this unique irrelevance isn't handed over in the looming settlement with Ayyadurai. From what I hear, Masnick may escape for a million five and keep the site."

    Wow....the troll is strong in this one. Guess Techdirt escaping damages because of the law just doesn't figure in to your reality.

    What's the weather like in your reality?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 10:03am

    Just when I thought this whiny man could not get any whinier, here comes Page 2 of the Ars article to prove me wrong.

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

  • icon
    Andrew (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 11:00am

    UMDNJ already had email

    I worked at UMDNJ (technically CMDNJ at the time), both in Newark and Piscataway in 1978 as a software engineer. We already had email at the time, plain old Arpanet email provided through Rutgers University (which we shared a campus with, because we were originally Rutgers Medical School, then CMDNJ up until 1981).

    I'm not sure what this new email program was, but I never heard of it and never used it. I had my rutgers[.edu] address, which if I recall was only one '!' away from decvax.

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    • identicon
      Alwaid, 15 Jun 2017 @ 11:14am

      Re: UMDNJ already had email

      ... in 1978 as a software engineer. We already had email at the time...

      That's only because of Shiva's second invention. You see, after he invented e-mail, he invented time travel and went back in time to bless you with e-mail.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 11:19am

      Re: UMDNJ already had email

      We all already know that the liar didn't invent email and is going to lose in court. His post as an AC shows how unhinged he is from reality. His feelings are so important, that they trump law and reality. We must be blessed to live in the same universe as his warped mind.

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      • identicon
        Thad, 15 Jun 2017 @ 11:33am

        Re: Re: UMDNJ already had email

        His post as an AC shows how unhinged he is from reality.

        You...do realize that you just posted as an AC, yes?

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        • identicon
          Her Majesty, The Queen of England, 15 Jun 2017 @ 12:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: UMDNJ already had email

          You...do realize that you just posted as an AC, yes?

          He should have posted under his real name, like you and I do.

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

        • icon
          orbitalinsertion (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 1:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: UMDNJ already had email

          Your implication is a non-sequitur. "as an AC" is merely a descriptive parenthetical expression reflecting who he is, not that which is claimed as evidence for whomever being unhinged from reality; the post content.

          The joke is ok but the logic isn't broken properly. ;)

          signed,
          merely in my humble but protected opinion,
          Only Slightly Hinged Pseudonymous Wotsit
          pirate, defamation artist, and party line democrat by some accounts, because reasons

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 4:47pm

        Re: Re: UMDNJ already had email

        Sadly the 'and is going to lose in court' isn't necessarily true, not because he has a solid case, but rather thanks to our delightful legal system.

        It's entirely possible to lose a case even if the facts are on your side simply because you can no longer afford to fight back thanks to the case dragging on long enough. The other side merely has to make it too expensive to fight back, draining you of all your resources, until eventually you are forced to 'settle' and cave in to the demands presented to you.

        (This is how he 'won' his case against Gawker, not in court, but simply because thanks to the Hogan case they ran out of funds to fight back and had to settle the various cases against them, his included.)

        The case here has 'SLAPP' written all over it, and while hopefully the judge will find that california's decent anti-SLAPP law applies and dismiss it on those grounds, it serves as yet another fine example of why a strong federal anti-SLAPP law is desperately needed.

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        • icon
          JMT (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 6:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: UMDNJ already had email

          It amuses me that in the Ars article this pathological liar implies that this case is not financially supported by Thiel or anyone else. I find this very hard to believe. Given the financial risk to Techdirt, who have a very strong case, he must be very confident he can succeed the same way he did with Gawker, which means cost is not a problem. Just another lie of top of all his others.

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 6:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: UMDNJ already had email

            As I understand it the Gawker settlement resulted in him getting $750,000, so it's possible that he is in fact telling the truth there and that that is the source of the warchest he's using to fund his lawsuit against TD. While it's possible that someone with a burning hatred of TD is bankrolling the suit, similar to what happened with Gawker, given three-quarters of a million spending money like that available I don't really see any need to look further than that without some more solid evidence of a third party doing so.

            The Gawker settlement could also be responsible for his confidence in filing the suit against TD, after all he 'won' that one by default, he might figure that he can do the same here as well, and if he can silence TD then that's likely to keep anyone else from questioning The Official Narrative, so in that case it would be an investment towards making sure no-one else has the audacity to do so in the future.

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          • identicon
            Thad, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: UMDNJ already had email

            Nitpick: the phrase "pathological liar" is overused, and frequently used inaccurately.

            A pathological liar is someone who lies compulsively, even when he has nothing to gain by lying.

            Ayyadurai lies strategically and for his own benefit. That's not pathological, it's just dishonest.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 6:56pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: UMDNJ already had email

              And if you look at what he is saying, he knows it's a lie - but that is in tune with his aspirations of becoming a politician - where, on the whole, you need to be able to speak out of the other side of your mouth, knowing that what you are saying is a load of hogwash.

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  • icon
    Retsibsi (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 11:51am

    You definitely have my sympathy. I was sued in the past, by a person who made utterly outrageous and very serious allegations about me professionally. The intention was not just to try and silence me but to destroy my professional reputation. They were wholly unfounded and, happily, I was able to prove they were exactly that. I was fortunate, I *am* a lawyer in civil litigation so the costs weren't a worry to me and I knew exactly what steps to take, but it made me appreciate just how stressful it must be for someone who feels they've had control of their lives taken away from them.

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  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 1:16pm

    The comments on the video, as few as they are, are an astonishing morass.

    I know. I broke the First Rule of YouTube. I am going to sit in the corner now.

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    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 1:51pm

      Re:

      The comments on the video, as few as they are, are an astonishing morass.

       

      I saw that too. Janice Duffy, Patrick Zarrelli & Richard Bennet all crawled out of the woodwork to comment there.

      I found the Ray Gordon guy to be the funniest though:

      "Section 230 of course chills speech because once someone is defamed, everyone else can pile on with immunity."

      "Section 230 destroys lives by immunizing instigators and third-party defamers."

      I wonder where Mr. Gordon would post all those comments if Section 230 didn't exist?

      The best Gordon line is this one though:

      "A simple motion to dismiss would defeat a frivolous lawsuit."

      He makes it sound like fighting a $15 million lawsuit is as easy as walking into Micky D's and ordering a burger. Not to mention that Techdirt is currently waiting on the court's decision concerning the motions to dismiss that have already been filed and argued.

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      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 16 Jun 2017 @ 5:21am

        Re: Re:

        These people need to understand that people who disagree with them or criticise them — or merely report about them — aren't necessarily their enemies.

        TD's crime in the cases of each of the people mentioned was "Failure to promote our narrative." Well what if their narrative and the facts don't match? That's the line TD walks. That some of our commenters talk smack about individuals and groups should not be a problem; I've had an AC come after me specifically with a view to destroying my reputation. I didn't blame Mike for it nor did I demand that the comments be removed. I won't. Why? Because, as I've said any number of times, your reputation is dependent on your own conduct, not on what others say about you. Reportage — or smack talk — merely causes people to check you out. While the dodgy comments might feature high up in the search results your own conduct ought to trump it by demonstrating that you're not the person depicted in the smack talk, etc.

        I've actually tried telling people that and you can tell who won't listen by the way they behave. They do themselves no favours by lashing out at everyone who disagrees with them instead of reflecting on themselves and their attitude and thinking about how to better portray themselves going forward.

        TD does nothing wrong when it reports on the actions and attitudes of others; it's up to them to ensure that their attitudes and actions are within tolerance in the first place. That said, everyone ought to be allowed to live down their past. It's no fun being an online pinata.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 5:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "TD does nothing wrong when it reports on the actions and attitudes of others; it's up to them to ensure that their attitudes and actions are within tolerance in the first place."

          And by implication, I am doing nothing wrong by reporting on your actions and attitudes, right? For example, this is your voice, Wendy, isn't it?

          "It's pretty damn convenient that at a time when we're pushing back against mass surveillance, a terrorist is permitted (yes, I said "permitted") to attack the public in the hope that we'll pretty much beg them to increase their activities."

          I would label that rhetorical terrorism in and of itself. Back up your statement with facts, Wendy. I submit that your narrative and the facts don't match, just as you pointed out.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Jun 2017 @ 6:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I am doing nothing wrong by reporting on your actions and attitudes, right?

            Nope. You just come off as a lower-than-low jerkbag for continually going after a single poster with sexist rhetoric and unfounded allegations. Just because Wendy is clearly higher on the social ladder than you does not excuse your actions toward her.

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      • icon
        BernardoVerda (profile), 16 Jun 2017 @ 11:39pm

        Re: Re:

        I already know that he doesn't let mere facts stand in his way, but -- why in hell would Richard Bennet even give a damn, one way or the other?

        I would have thought he'd be too busy carrying a torch for the ISPs against Net Neutrality and/or Title 2, to have any time for this, anyhow.

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Dr Janice Duffy, 19 Jun 2017 @ 2:32am

        Re: Re:

        I used to think Techdirt was legit. The fact that /masnick got comments removed from Pissed Consumer = hypocrisy

        http://drjaniceduffy.com/2017/06/techdirt-mike-masnick-lessons-from-hypocrisy/

        An then tried to pull rank to hide my comments on his video...well...enough said

        Sooo:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AmkmqYEarw

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        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 12:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Just to respond to these two points you raise, neither of them is true.

          We did not ask Pissed Consumer to remove anything. If they removed them, it was due to PC's own decision making. We also did not ask PDF to remove comments -- as you well know since they told you directly that the links in your comments caused them to be flagged, and they were released as soon as they were noticed. And they are still available on the video (again, as you know).

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 6:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "We did not ask Pissed Consumer to remove anything. If they removed them, it was due to PC's own decision making."

            Reading between the lines, do you know if anyone asked Pissed Consumer to remove it? You leave open the possibility that someone else (like MR) asked them.

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          • identicon
            Dr Janice Duffy, 19 Jun 2017 @ 9:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And yet, my comment (above Masnick's) on Pissed Consumer has been hidden.

            I did not engage or reply to any of the comments on Techdirt (after December 2015), deriding me as a 'loon' and worse, falsely stating that I am a criminal and involved in reputation management.

            Techdirt commentators sent threats to my blog in an attempt to scare me by imputing that I defrauded my government, deserve to be raped, and threatened to kill my dog. Well, they worked for a few days.I was terrified! I hope that your commentators are proud of themselves.

            I don't believe PDF and I certainly do not believe that you or Techdirt are innocent disseminators of free speech.

            I did NOT deserve to have my life destroyed. I reported a scam and formed a support group for others in the same position. Websites such as Ripoff Report and Techdirt hide behind and profit from free speech.

            Both lawsuits are deserved and I hope they win! Maybe now Masnick you understand the absolute decimation to peoples' lives wrought by people like you and Magedson. You could have raised the same issues and viewpoints using critical analysis rather than running a website with a 'lynch mob'.

            I am proud that I fought back and I support others who also fight against the perversion of and profit from the right to free speech. By the way, I note that you did not report that the High Court of Australia granted leave to appeal in that 'nutty' case (as you described it) Trkulja v Google. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/HCATrans/2017/129.html

            I won't be making any more comments here but the fact that my comment was 'hidden' speaks volumes!

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  • identicon
    Another Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 1:36pm

    Mike, sorry to hear you are living though this, it is very important that people can say the kind of things you and the other TD people are saying, so we all can. I live half a world away, but love the research you all do at TD, and believe that you set an example that keeps even us here more free and safe. The truth shall win in the end!

    I could only donate in a small way, but hope that helps you keep going. Remember, your readers are proud of you all!

    P.S. I just invented email, it was last week, and it is so great, that people seem to think they had it all for years!

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  • identicon
    CHRoNo§§, 15 Jun 2017 @ 2:19pm

    "Re: On this WHINING, headline should be "Emotional Toll Of DEFAMATION". But not a hint that Ayyadurai has feelings too: to Ma snick, it's all about HIM."

    well ayyadurai is outright LYING and profiting off the suffering of others

    hes a piece a shit
    and no matter what he does ot mike and this site
    it doesnt change how much a goof he is

    carrying on mike

    chronoss
    chair of a ....hacker assocaition

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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 3:30pm

    I have never seen someone move the goalposts as much as Shiva did in that Ars Technica article. Yikes.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 4:07pm

    Say, weren't you in effect stifling Ayyadurai's speech? He has a right to claim whatever. No one has to believe, but he can claim.

    And who threw the first punch here? Did Ayyadurai bring Techdirt in first? And with some negative remark? Or did you write several times before he even knew you existed? What was your purpose at first, and then in going back over same topic?

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 4:14pm

      This is going to be fun.

      weren't you in effect stifling Ayyadurai's speech?

      What has Techdirt (or Mr. Masnick in particular) done to silence Mr. Ayyadurai’s speech in any way? Because that Ars Technica article seems to prove that no one has stifled his speech.

      And who threw the first punch here?

      Does it matter? Ayyadurai has made a claim of defamation; he has to prove that claim by proving Techdirt issued knowingly false statements with reckless disregard for the reputation of Mr. Ayyadurai.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 5:27pm

        Re: This is going to be fun.

        Ayyadurai threw the first punch by claiming to have invented something that predated his creation named email. Everything that has followed is the rest of history correcting Ayyadurai in his incorrect assumption that he can rewrite what has happened and profit based on his twisted interpretation of what happened. Everything since then has drawn more attention to the lie and his net worth is going to shrink as a result of his inability to let something he perceives as a personal attack. We may have to rename the Streisand effect after Ayyadurai once this is all said and done.

        I can easily see this becoming a TV series once his empire crumbles and the average Joe on the street conflates his name with sleazy snake-oil peddlers who ruin their own reputation.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 4:38pm

      Claims are easy, backing them up though...

      He can claim whatever he wants, just like other people are free to point out where his claims aren't backed by evidence, but when he switches from claims of something to demanding people accept his version as truth, and attempts to shut down those that refuse to accept his claims as the 'truth' he doesn't just step over the line he takes a running start and pole-vaults over it.

      Pointing out that the claims someone made aren't backed up by evidence is not, in any way, 'stifling' their speech.

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    • identicon
      Thad, 15 Jun 2017 @ 4:43pm

      Re: Say, do any of you guys know how to Madison?

      Say, weren't you in effect stifling Ayyadurai's speech? He has a right to claim whatever. No one has to believe, but he can claim.

      Criticism does not stifle speech. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism.

      You are correct that Ayyadurai has the right to "claim whatever". But just as surely as he has the right to make his claims, Masnick has the right to criticize those claims, and to do so vociferously and even rudely.

      Masnick hasn't done anything to infringe on Ayyadurai's speech. He has not used the machinery of the state to attempt to silence him.

      Ayyadurai, by contrast, has used, and is using, the machinery of the state to attempt to silence Masnick. That's what this lawsuit is: he's claiming that Masnick has defamed him, and that his defamatory speech should be suppressed.

      That claim is untrue. Masnick made no defamatory statements. "Defamation" doesn't just mean name-calling; it requires making false factual statements, or statements of opinion that imply false facts. Masnick did neither of those things. He stated opinions, and he provided thorough, ample citations of sources to back up those opinions. No false facts were stated; no false facts were implied; no defamation occurred.

      If you read Harder's filings, you will see that they don't dispute any factual claims Masnick made. They take issue with words like "liar" and "fraud", but those aren't factual statements, they're opinion. ("Fraud" is not used in the legal sense of "committed fraud"; it's used in the colloquial, conversational sense where it means, essentially, the same thing as "liar". There is copious court precedent establishing that calling a person a fraud is protected opinion.)

      Criticism is legal. Name-calling is legal. Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) are illegal, at least in the state of California, where Masnick and Techdirt reside.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 5:31pm

        Re: Re: Say, do any of you guys know how to Madison?

        Honestly though I believe that even fraud could be proven in court if it comes down to it. Avoiding the loss of this most visited site is worth proving that this jackass is a fraud if he forces Mike to do so.

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        • identicon
          Thad, 15 Jun 2017 @ 5:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: Say, do any of you guys know how to Madison?

          What's he done that rises to the level of fraud?

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

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 5:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Say, do any of you guys know how to Madison?

            Purely opinion here, but making money off of his clearly fraudulent claims of having invented email might fit such a charge.

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          • identicon
            Wolfie0827, 15 Jun 2017 @ 6:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Say, do any of you guys know how to Madison?

            He claims to be "The inventor of email" and uses that statement in legal documents for business. That would constitute Fraud. Though not in line with this case, but could be used by any business that signed with him. They could claim that that statement was a deciding factor and then could use fraud charges to get out of the contract.

            Just putting that out there to show that fraud could be used both ways. Not that that was what Mike meant when he used the term.

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            • identicon
              Thad, 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Say, do any of you guys know how to Madison?

              Hm, perhaps. I could see such a case succeeding, but I don't think it would be a slam-dunk. Ayyadurai would argue that (1) he sincerely believes he is the inventor of e-mail and therefore wasn't trying to mislead anybody and (2) he has a list of reasons that he considers himself to be the inventor of e-mail up on his website, and the client could have consulted and evaluated that list at any time.

              I'm not a lawyer, and I know a lot less about the laws surrounding fraud than I do about the ones surrounding free speech. So it's hard for me to say. But I think you make a good point.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 4:52pm

    What a giant inferiority complex the "inventor" of email has.

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

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 15 Jun 2017 @ 5:57pm

    He needs help

    Shiva Ayyadurai really comes across as a Narcissist. I feel sorry for him. Too bad he has to drag others down to feel better.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 7:16pm

    You brought this on yourself

    Having both commented on and fully reviewed many articles on this site, I think it fair to say that Techdirt presents a very slanted opinion. In many cases, any individuals who do not conform to the legal and political view espoused by Techdirt are attacked (in a very nasty way) and censored. And by many cases, I mean all cases where I have commented, every single one, as well as many others.

    That's in and of itself, fine, it's your blog to do with what you will. But to ask for money on behalf of supporting Journalism, when you so actively slant and censor dissenting opinion in return for money, seems deceptive and wrong headed, blatantly. Time and time again, posters appearing to represent Techdirt have declared that there is nothing wrong with stacking the deck against anyone who disagrees with Techdirt opinion, including outright censorship. The Techdirt Counter Intelligence Team consistently attacks (often in purposefully disgusting ways) and censors any other opinions.

    I think Techdirt Counter Intelligence is an apt name for the strategy employed by the team of individuals that coordinate their research, their profanity (often disgusting and sexual), and their censoring activities (hiding posts). This includes Stephen T. Stone, PaulT, ThatOneGuy, Wendy Cockcroft and others. Tens of thousands of posts by a small team of (likely paid) posers with a single agenda - silence Techdirt criticism. Not attractive at all, and almost always, done in a way counter to anyone's intelligence.

    Why do you need Techdirt Counter Intelligence on a blog about Free Speech? Why so fierce counter attacks to other opinions? Doesn't this negate the whole "Free Speech" part of your supporting argument?

    Mike, you consistently place your company and your strategy at the very edge of what is legal and ethical. You and your blog are neither honest nor straightforward. You have hurt a lot of people, personally and financially, there is no doubt about that. You chose the business model of defamation, you chose to "live on the edge" of morality and legality, and you chose the confrontations that resulted. You purposely put yourself and your friends at risk in return for money.

    I do feel bad for you as a person, lawsuits are terrible things, especially the first time. Perhaps you could use the experience to consider how to stay a little farther from the "edge" of what is moral and legal, and take a little more care before defaming others. Free Speech is not free of consequences, especially when used in the way you use it, that is, deceptively to promote a hidden (and paid) agenda.

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

    • identicon
      Kronomex, 15 Jun 2017 @ 7:31pm

      Re: You brought this on yourself

      Does this smack of a certain person hiding behind the Anonymous Coward byline?

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 8:00pm

        Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

        I have long believed that this particular poster is either Shiva Ayyadurai or someone hired by him.

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 8:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

          Stephen (if that's your name) you have gone out of your way to prove it is impossible to reason with you. Your tools include profanity, inappropriate and disgusting sexuality, and accusing me of being someone else or working for someone else in place of an argument. You are simply not worth having a discussion with. You are an angry, petty, foul mouthed, closed minded disgusting idiot displaying not a hint of integrity or sense of fair play.

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

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 8:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

            You are simply not worth having a discussion with.

            Yet here you are, responding to my posts as if I am. If you truly think I am the lowest of the low, why do you keep responding as if I am equal — or possibly even superior — to you?

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        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 16 Jun 2017 @ 5:25am

          Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

          It's a drama troll trying to start a flame war between TD and Shiva.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      icon
      antidirt (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 7:38pm

      Re: You brought this on yourself

      Hear, hear! Thank you for saying this.

      Bawk! #TeamShiva

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 7:57pm

        Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

        How's that Paul Hansmeier fund coming along, bro?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 9:42pm

        Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

        Speaking of... how much Shiva cock do you have in your mouth right now?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 11:05pm

          Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

          It's average_joe; what did you expect?

          If Creationists and abortion abolitionists demanded Masnick's head on a pike tomorrow, antidirt would be in front of the crowd wearing a chicken suit, a cheerleader's dress and pompoms.

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

          • identicon
            Talmyr, 16 Jun 2017 @ 7:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

            Come now, at least anti-abortionists have the core of a valid viewpoint, that is all human life is sacred and no-one should be killed. The fact that they then ruin this with the rampant hypocrisy of fighting against sex education or social programs that might help 'unplanned' children to have a decent quality of life, and follow it up by fetishising instruments of murder is the joke. The fact that they ignore the actual well-being of the mother over the hypothetical well-being of her parasite just adds to that.

            Creationists just employ the same shrill deluded lack-of-facts that we see here from Shiva's Trumpkins.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

              After the child is born, they don't care.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 7:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

              Are you saying that there was no "Big Bang", that the universe has been in existence for eternity?

              If not, then everybody is a Creationist. They just have different views on when, what and how.

              The fact that people want to use the term as a pejorative against those that believe there is an Eternal Creator that created the universe is really neither here nor there.

              It's like an atheist saying that he/she doesn't believe in a god or gods. They all still have a god that they bow down and worship, from simple power over people to money, to themselves, to mankind, etc. If you look closely enough, you can find their god.

              It is like a Moslem I know who has declared that a specific sport teams are gods and he meant it. It was one of those bizarre times when you wonder what strange world you had woken up in.

              There are all kinds of people who dislike the "State" dictating the kind of sex education that is needed. From those who think it doesn't go far enough, to those who think it has gone to far.

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

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:19pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                Define, 'creationist'.

                Define 'atheist'.

                Define 'god'.

                Define 'worship'.

                I ask because you seem to be using some rather novel definitions of the words that don't seem to match up to how I've seen most people use them.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:00pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                  creationist - someone who believes something was created, this includes all things that come into being whether directed or not

                  atheist - not a theist

                  god - what you worship, everything from the Creator of the universe to the Beatles and everything in between

                  worship - anything that you do that makes you bow down (literally or figuratively) to item above, go to any (what's that bird's name, umm, she's been mentioned here before - I don't know) watsernames concerts or even the local football or basketball team's matches.


                  Very general, covers all sort's of activities. Australian National Religion is called Sports and the gods are the team members of any sport. Summer Cricket, Winter Football (of any stripe), January Tennis, etc, etc, etc.

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

                  • icon
                    That One Guy (profile), 16 Jun 2017 @ 10:07pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                    Thanks for the clarifications.

                    At first glance it seems the disconnect here is that you're using the words a lot more widely than I and most others I've come across, such that they cover a lot more than I'm used to.

                    'creationist' - This one leads to another definition request it would seem, what do you mean by 'created'?

                    For example, if I 'believe' that a carpenter 'creates' a chair, does that make me a creationist? If rainfall over a long period of time erodes a hole into the stone/dirt and 'creates' a puddle/pond, does that count as 'creation', because I certainly believe that that can and does happen, yet I certainly wouldn't classify myself as a 'creationist'.

                    'Atheist' - Nothing to object to here.

                    'god' - This one I imagine most religious people would object to rather strongly, as you seem to be lumping pretty much anything under the label. When a band is placed in the same category of a being that's capable of creating universes the word kinda loses any meaning, as anything can be a 'god', and outside of those religions that ascribe 'spirits' and 'gods' to natural forces and certain things, this doesn't seem to match what most people mean when they use the word.

                    'worship' - Another 'definition needed' here, what do you mean by 'bow down'? I can respect someone, or enjoy something(like say the music at a concert), but I certainly wouldn't classify that as 'worship' as the word carries a religious context for myself and most I've run across and other words seem to be more accurate.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 7:56pm

      Re: You brought this on yourself

      You have hurt a lot of people, personally and financially

      Who... with the exception of those actually profiled in these articles such as John Steele, Charles Carreon, David Lowery etc., are somehow never mentioned. But apparently this counts as "a lot" just to drum up the "woe is me" narrative despite having absolutely no citations whatsoever.

      Small wonder why you attract the lot of antidirt/average_joe. He's the one famous for making chicken noises as his contribution to discussions. For someone who wrote a whole pile of what amounts to little more than "waaaah waaaah", I can't say it's surprising.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 7:59pm

      I am staying awake longer than I should just for this.

      Techdirt presents a very slanted opinion.

      So what?

      In many cases, any individuals who do not conform to the legal and political view espoused by Techdirt are attacked (in a very nasty way) and censored.

      Protected speech, no obligation to host the speech of others, yadda yadda yadda — get to something new for once.

      And by many cases, I mean all cases where I have commented, every single one, as well as many others.

      Disagreeing with the opinions of Techdirt writers and commenters is one thing. Trolling the comments section with rants about Alexander Hamilton, blatant sexism, and whining about “censorship” as if you cannot post elsewhere on the Interent is a whole different ballgame—one where you believe everyone else must follow your rules and to hell with a Techdirt admin’s right to moderate the comments sections.

      That's in and of itself, fine, it's your blog to do with what you will.

      Glad we agree on that point, at least.

      But to ask for money on behalf of supporting Journalism, when you so actively slant and censor dissenting opinion in return for money, seems deceptive and wrong headed, blatantly.

      I bet you watch Fox News. Religiously.

      Time and time again, posters appearing to represent Techdirt have declared that there is nothing wrong with stacking the deck against anyone who disagrees with Techdirt opinion, including outright censorship.

      You are more than welcome to disagree with opinions presented in both the articles and the comments. But when your comments go beyond mere disagreements and into the realm of trollish absurdism or provocation for the sake of it, the community will respond in kind. If you do not like that, you can go start your own blog. Your voice will not be “silenced” there.

      the team of individuals that coordinate their research, their profanity (often disgusting and sexual), and their censoring activities (hiding posts)

      If we actually did work together on this sort of thing, you might have a point. But I have no idea who most of these other commenters are beyond their presence here in these comments sections, and I do not talk with anyone here outside of these comments sections. The sole exception would be Mr. Masnick, and only because I have tweeted at him a mere handful of times over the past few years.

      Oh, and I do not co-ordinate my profanity with anyone. Any profane language I use is of my own personal design.

      Tens of thousands of posts by a small team of (likely paid) posers with a single agenda - silence Techdirt criticism.

      Oh please, I would do this for free any day of the week.

      Not attractive at all, and almost always, done in a way counter to anyone's intelligence.

      Says the commenter who once ranted for multiple comments about seeing the ghost of Alexander Hamilton in his dreams.

      Why so fierce counter attacks to other opinions?

      If you were presenting an opinion instead of trying to provoke attacks and make yourself look like a crazy person for the sake of trolling us, you would not receive anywhere near the kind of “fierce” reception you seem to both despise with a vengeance and anticipate with childish glee.

      Doesn't this negate the whole "Free Speech" part of your supporting argument?

      Why would it? You offered your speech, we offer ours, the community determines that your comment deserves to be flagged because it is trollish horseshit, and the cycle begins anew. Your voice is not permanently silenced if your comment gets flagged or held back by the spam filter; you are free to speak your mind about Techdirt elsewhere if you are so incensed about how you are treated here.

      Mike, you consistently place your company and your strategy at the very edge of what is legal and ethical.

      Moderating a comments section does not constitute an illegal or unethical act. Neither does calling people names. Same goes for reporting actual facts.

      You have hurt a lot of people, personally and financially, there is no doubt about that.

      I believe the popular vernacular to use as a response for this sort of claim is “show the receipts”.

      You chose the business model of defamation

      LOLwut.

      I do feel bad for you as a person

      Do not insult the intelligence of everyone here by telling this blatant a lie.

      Perhaps you could use the experience to consider how to stay a little farther from the "edge" of what is moral and legal

      “Maybe next time you’ll think twice before you open your fucking mouth, you son of a bitch.” – Your actual words, probably

      Free Speech is not free of consequences

      Says the commenter who complains that their speech is consistently flagged and countered by the community.

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

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 7:35am

        Re: I am staying awake longer than I should just for this.

        "Tens of thousands of posts by a small team of (likely paid) posers with a single agenda - silence Techdirt criticism."

        Being a quite frequent poster here I'd say he is including me. I have to ask Mike for a pay check. I've been here for years and I've only paid to be an insider so far. I should have known before I was paid!

        Other than that I have to say I actually like the trolls because every once in a while they get replies like yours that are very entertaining to read.

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

    • identicon
      Pixelation, 15 Jun 2017 @ 8:15pm

      Re: You brought this on yourself

      Wow, you're such a victim. Why would you keep coming back if it's so bad?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 8:33pm

        Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

        I consider it a public service on behalf of America, Americans, American Inventors, and (potentially) American Senators. Just doing my part to preserve and protect American values.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Jun 2017 @ 8:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

          America does not need your brand of “service”. India could probably use it, though. Or would the caste system prevent you from doing your important work?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 9:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

          And... you list absolutely none of them aside from very general claims.

          If Masnick has actually damaged any of you to a significant degree surely there must be thousands of examples you could list and cite.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 9:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

            Shirley you are right.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 9:13pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

              You can start listing those examples any time now, instead of throwing faceless numbers around.

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

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 9:42pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                Not until you stop calling me Shirley.

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

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 9:44pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                  OK, maybe only I think it's funny. What about that ShipYard place that was characterized as ShitYard or ShitHead or something like that. When the writer of the article actually substituted the wrong company name, while simultaneously claiming that the two names cannot be mistaken for each other. That kind of thing, disgusting name calling of respectable companies and respectable executives goes on all the time, and I mean ALL the time.

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

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 10:07pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                    Here in Massachusetts, we love a good debate. Fierce debates, where battlers engage point by point, thrusting and parrying, in a dance of ideas that risk injury and death (for the ideas). We appreciate debate, fair debate, open debate, public debate, we see it as fundamentally American, more than any other culture of country. We started the American debate here, in Massachusetts, and we continue to debate after hundreds of years of practice.

                    If you really want to understand the Techdirt flavor of debate, just type in "shit" in the search box at the top of this page, and take a look at the results. That is the level of debate that is allowed on Techdirt. "Shit" is common not just in replies to articles, but in the article, even the name of the article itself. We wrestled with this issue hundreds of years ago, and determined that using "shit" in a debate has very, very few legitimate reasons.

                    About whether Techdirt and Michael Masnick have actually stepped over the line from tasteless and risky to illegal, it's quite possible that we will all see that debate play out in court. Things are much more fair in court. Judges tend to not take any shit at all. So, it will be a chance for Michael Masnick to sharpen up his other debate points. I wouldn't count him out, he's experienced, motivated, clever and has good legal counsel. He might win the debate, hard to tell, law is a tricky thing. But at least the court "field of battle" is more fair than this one, with much less shit tolerated.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 11:04pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                    Which... was a pun made by commenting users and not actually done so in the article, and has no influence on the topic in question that the company chose to pursue easily confused trademarks of dubious legitimacy?

                    If making jokes on company names to air grievances is grounds for the complete obliteration of a website you need to start looking into 4chan and Facebook.

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

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                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 1:24am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                      My point was that Techdirt engages in the defamation of company after company, this is just a recent example. The "pun" that results in "shityard" in place of "ShipYard" is just nasty and ugly and not worthy of preservation. Providing this type of foul-mouthed "pun" as a service in return for money is just not right, not American, and not worth defending. IMHO, if it all disappeared tomorrow, all the defamation promoted by Techdirt, the world would be a better place.

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 2:36am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                        A few points:

                        1. The recent example you bring up doesn't cut the mustard. Techdirt didn't make the pun; a user submitted it as a comment.

                        2. No money changes hands. Have you paid Techdirt to view and post here?

                        3. Why focus on Techdirt? If the goal is to discourage what you consider "foul-mouthed" there are plenty of websites that permit and encourage nastier commentary. Hell, one of the main points that detractors usually bring up is how Techdirt's Alexa rankings have been falling - so not only is Techdirt not even close to significantly defamatory, its significance is constantly dropping if the detractors' statistics are to be believed. Why focus on a website whose presence and significance is so small to the point that it doesn't matter in the long run?

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

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                          identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 3:48am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                          1. You don't know and I don't who submitted the "shityard" and "shithead" comments. It could well have been a Techdirt employee on behalf of Techdirt. Even if it wasn't, Techdirt is still morally responsible for promoting it.

                          2. You don't know and I don't know who pays for Techdirt articles. I would assume it would not be ShipYard, who appears to be so reputable and respectable that they refused to ship perfectly good beer (>$1M) just because it did not meet their "taste" quality control standards. A wild guess - their opposition in court engaged Techdirt for some defamatory publicity. Or maybe Techdirt did the first one for free in the hope of future business. Who knows, Techdirt will never say.

                          3. The "over the top" T-Shirts about "I invented Email" and such just seem beyond bad taste. This site seems to be committed to making a mockery of a man running for the US Senate, even today. That just doesn't seem right to me. It feels like rhetorical terrorism is acceptable here, from blaming the "corrupt" government (both British and US) to the "perfectly designed to fail" characterization of copyright and patent law. The un-American character of this site seems worth debating, IMHO. So, now and then, I add my opinion as a community service. You have your opinion, I have mine.

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

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 4:33am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                            So have some investigation done instead of shutting down the site. By that logic Facebook would've been shut down a long time ago because someone posted commentary someone else found hurtful.

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

                          • icon
                            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Jun 2017 @ 5:05am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                            If you truly believe Techdirt has accepted money in exchange for the publication and promotion of articles such as the one you mentioned, do one thing for us:

                            Prove it.

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

                          • identicon
                            Cowardly Lion, 16 Jun 2017 @ 6:58am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                            Sure you have your opinion; doesn't mean to say it's right though. Take this gem:

                            "This site seems to be committed to making a mockery of a man running for the US Senate, even today."

                            No. This site does NOT seem to be committed to this. Techdirt's output on Ayyadurai is probably 0.01% of it's output. That's NOT being committed. Also, what the hell difference does it make that he's running for the US Senate? Are you trying to suggest that would-be US Senators deserve special snowflake privileges? For stating that he invented eMail when he clearly didn't this arrogant tosser deserves to be mocked.

                            Anyone who could potentially vote for him needs to know where he stands on fake news. We're all getting a little bit tired of all these lies, alternate facts, and bullshit.

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

                            • identicon
                              Thad, 16 Jun 2017 @ 7:43am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                              That and every single one of the articles Techdirt is being sued for predate Ayyadurai's run for Senate.

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

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                                identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:10am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                                And Mike is raising money to defend himself with "I Invented Email" T-Shirts. No relationship to Shiva, right? You guys are all obsessed with him, especially you. Let it go, let the courts decide, and shut up about it. You would look better.

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

                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:24am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                                  Said the jackass.

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

                                • identicon
                                  Thad, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:43am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                                  You guys are all obsessed with him, especially you. Let it go, let the courts decide, and shut up about it. You would look better.

                                  I've got a suggestion: print that statement out, and then read it into a mirror. Then you will have, for the first time ever, made an insightful and self-aware observation.

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

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                                    identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 10:02am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                                    When my son was about 5, he used to say "I know you are but what am I?" when arguing with his sisters. That's about the equivalent of your deep insight, right? Get over the EMail guy, you all just look like vengeful children. If anything, it weakens your case and makes you look petty and stupid.

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

                                    • identicon
                                      Thad, 16 Jun 2017 @ 10:18am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                                      Yeah, good point; I'm obsessed with Shiva Ayyadurai. I always show up in every thread about him and make sure I get the first post. I bring him up, constantly, in threads that have nothing to do with him, or with the lawsuit. When Techdirt doesn't talk about the suit for a few days, I start writing comments in other threads asking why nobody is talking about it. I've even written Shiva Ayyadurai/Melania Trump fan fiction.

                                      No, wait, I haven't done any of those things. But man, wouldn't it be fucking embarrassing if I had?

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

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                                        identicon
                                        Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 10:19am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                                        You do fine embarrassing yourself without any help from anyone.

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

                                        • identicon
                                          Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 5:28pm

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                                          Want the court to read all of the embarrassing things you've written, Hamilton? It's not as hard as you think, despite you not leaving a moniker behind. Anything that mentions Melania Trump, Shiva Ayyadurai, Massachusetts, Alexander Hamilton, etc in a simpering, ingratiating manner can be tied to you. And yet selling T-shirts and talking about the case you're in to defend yourself is, to you, embarrassing and obsessed behavior.

                                          Yeah... because being concerned about the court case you're in and doing something about it is being "obsessed". And only if you're the defendant, apparently. But not the plaintiff screaming at Ars Technica about how Vint Cerf doesn't know anything, for some reason that doesn't count.

                                          Still waiting on that list of thousands of inventors and companies "getting hurt" by a website that My_Name_Here considers insignificant. Has he written any love letters to you lately?

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

                                          • identicon
                                            Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 6:59pm

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                                            No, he hasn't, but you understand his malady, right? I think maybe he's sitting to close to his monitor and induced Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) that produces a form of Verbal paraphasia. Perhaps it's some other cause, but his symptoms are clear - he substitutes sexual words for agreement and concordance. That is, when he agrees with someone, he means to say "yeah, that's right, I agree with you" but instead something sexual pops out. He doesn't mean any harm, really, he seems like a nice fellow with good intentions, just a small medical problem. You guys are all to hard on him. Where is that famous leftist tolerance?

                                            And yes, I've read everything I've written. I have a whole file cabinet, actually, with each of my posts and each and every response, all categorized, summarized, analyzed and reported in charts, graphs and legal conclusions. Thanks for asking.

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

                                            • identicon
                                              Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 7:34pm

                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                                              Going by a search of everything typed under his nickname... no, it seems he is single-mindedly obsessed with the destruction of this site and anything to entertain such a fantasy.

                                              As for your assumption of my political and ideological alignments, I observe that you accept his vulgarity but not that of other posters.

                                              Good to hear that your complaints are categorized and organized, because everyone else is still waiting on that list of people and companies ruined which you claim exists.

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

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                                                identicon
                                                Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 7:39pm

                                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                                                Well, here's a suggestion, since you asked so nicely. Go to the video that Michael Masnick just posted, and look under the comments. There is a list RIGHT THERE of people and companies that have been injured by Techdirt and Michael Masnick. There are a LOT more, they just don't come here, for obvious, well documented reasons. Which was the entire point of my posting at all, from the beginning.

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

                                                • identicon
                                                  Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:31pm

                                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                                                  Three people as of writing... is really not significant. Janice Duffy's case is well documented, and she exhibits many of the characteristics that you yourself use to describe Masnick as obsessed. (Again, apparently to you only one side gets to be involved intimately in a case and not get called obsessed, hell knows why.)

                                                  Ray Gordon expresses his dislike - and is otherwise not involved in the case, really.

                                                  Richard Bennett mostly complains on this website about support for net neutrality. Nothing about getting ruined; in fact even he thinks the lawsuit is stupid.

                                                  Patrick Zarrelli - looks to be doing extremely well, so again, no evidence of "injury" or "ruination".

                                                  Your supposed "list" doesn't even merit half a drop in a bucket.

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

                                          • identicon
                                            Thad, 17 Jun 2017 @ 11:58am

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

                                            And the funny thing is, if he wanted people to stop flagging his posts, all he'd have to do is quit announcing "Hey guys, I'm that obnoxious guy you keep flagging!" every single time he shows up. He's anonymous. All he has to do is quit announcing who he is and we won't know who he is.

                                            Course, to do so, he'd have to quit talking about Shiva Ayyadurai, and I've seen no evidence to indicate that he has anything else to talk about.

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

                                      • icon
                                        firebird2110 (profile), 24 Jun 2017 @ 12:55am

                                        Re:^18 You brought this on yourself

                                        This comment was so funny I finally registered on the site so I could post my appreciation!

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

                                    • icon
                                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Jun 2017 @ 11:03am

                                      Sad thing is...

                                      You just admitted that you are no smarter than a five-year-old.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 9:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

          It's also possible that it's the only website that the nice men in white coats will still let you visit.

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

        • identicon
          Pixelation, 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:02am

          Re: Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

          "I consider it a public service on behalf of America, Americans, American Inventors, and (potentially) American Senators. Just doing my part to preserve and protect American values."

          That's hilarious! Did you have "Hail to the Chief" playing in the background when you wrote that comment?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 9:03pm

        Re: Re: You brought this on yourself

        Stockholm complex???

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jun 2017 @ 9:58pm

    Psrt of the problem...

    I think a real issue in all of this is that Mike is trying to fall back on the old "i was only expressing my opinion" play. I have seen and read that same answer a number of times before over the life of Techdirt.

    This is the same man who links to his opinions with text like "we have already shown" or "we told you about", two phrases that suggest fact and not opinion.

    The level of mockery of Shiva is over the top. Tshirts? Really?

    I dont like Shiva and i don't agree with his claims. I also know that it's not up to me to prove then right or wrong. There is no benefit.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Jun 2017 @ 4:44am

      A simple reminder

      Mockery, insults, and statements such as “we have already shown” and “we told you about” are all protected speech.

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

    • identicon
      Talmyr, 16 Jun 2017 @ 7:13am

      Re: Psrt of the problem...

      You know, I remember a certain reality TV star loud-mouthing off about the sitting President, calling him a liar and making up quiet nasty stories about him.

      Not only did the President just mostly ignore this (except when he provided some proof that shut the liar up for a while) but he ended up with the liar admitting the lies weren't true.

      Now of course, the (serial) liar is up to his neck in FBI investigations.

      Which party is Shiva emulating and joining?

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 16 Jun 2017 @ 7:45am

      Re: Psrt of the problem...

      I think a real issue in all of this is that Mike is trying to fall back on the old "i was only expressing my opinion" play. I have seen and read that same answer a number of times before over the life of Techdirt.

      This is the same man who links to his opinions with text like "we have already shown" or "we told you about", two phrases that suggest fact and not opinion.

      So?

      Unless you can point to an example of Masnick either stating false facts or implying false facts about Ayyadurai, the defamation suit is bogus.

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

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      identicon
      My_Name_Here, 16 Jun 2017 @ 1:41pm

      Re: Psrt of the problem...

      I would go further than your point. The website to collect cash to pay for this mess is I support Journalism. Now, Journalism and opinion are two very different things. Journalists sometimes do both (called editorials) but generally a personal blog isn't the same as being a journalist. Journalists are concerned with facts and information, opinion writers are concerned with expressing an opinion.

      The website should be I Support Opinion Blogs. That would be way more honest and accurate.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 7:29am

    How chilling can the lawsuit be when you post countless articles about it, promote the lawsuit to ask for donations, speak at conferences about it and post a video of said speech?

    Not exactly what I would consider causing a chilling effect.

    Just saying.

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 16 Jun 2017 @ 7:47am

      Re:

      Well, for starters, if he has to consult a lawyer before each and every one of those things, that's pretty expensive and inconvenient.

      Second, every minute he spends on the suit is a minute he's not spending on something else, like writing articles for the site.

      Third, it's not just about chilling Masnick's speech; Ayyadurai's purpose here is to make everybody too scared to criticize him, for fear of legal action.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 7:46pm

        Re: Re:

        Doesn't wash.

        You can disagree with Shiva with denigrating him insulting him and calling him s liar.

        I know for a fact he created the first email system he had ever seen. I also know this happened long before we had worldwide computer networks.

        There was likely a fair number of similar cases around the world, i know at least 1 as a fact. But it does not take away ftom Shiva claiming to have invented email at least in his country.

        Sre i can disagree without baiting him onto a lawsuit.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:16pm

          'No, that's not true' does not equal 'baiting him into a lawsuit'

          If his claim amounted to 'I created an email program' then he wouldn't be getting any flack, because that does seem to be the case. He did indeed create an email program, possibly entirely on his own, which as far as it goes is an impressive feat.

          However when he claims that he created email, even going so far as to insult people who worked on what would become the email system that people use today by claiming that that wasn't really true email and that only his version counts then it's not an 'insult' to point out that he's wrong. It's not 'baiting him into a lawsuit' to point out evidence of email development that took place years before his version came out that undercuts his claims.

          If pointing out when someone is wrong is 'baiting them into a lawsuit' then you are setting the bar absurdly low, such that massive amounts of speech is likely to be chilled as people hesitate to question and protest against what they see as bogus claims for fear of being sued into the ground for doing so.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:56pm

            Re: 'No, that's not true' does not equal 'baiting him into a lawsuit'

            Pointing out that he may not be right is opinion and there is no discussion required it's fine and legal.

            Making fun of him, insulting him, calling him a liar and so on starts to cross the line.

            Best way to describe it is this: how many Techdirt readers previously had no opinion about the guy but now think he is a liar? Even eith a win over gawker and a (WEAK) copyright, people's opinions have been formed here based on what Mike has said and done.

            Lets just say I think there is just enough meat on the bone that a dismissal up front isn't the most likely outcome. At that point a settlement becomes a better option for both parties rathen than each spending millions and years of appeals to get it cleared up.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 16 Jun 2017 @ 10:43pm

              Re: Re: 'No, that's not true' does not equal 'baiting him into a lawsuit'

              Making fun of him, insulting him, calling him a liar and so on starts to cross the line.

              As far as polite conversation goes, perhaps, though absurd claims and/or actions can earn the one saying/making them mockery and insults in turn, and I don't see a problem with that. If for example a public figure has a habit of filing legal charges against those that compare them to a certain fictional movie character then they deserve all the mockery they get for such thin-skin and thuggish behavior.

              Going past that however, the first two simply aren't illegal, and the third can be a statement of opinion or more, depending on how specific you want to get, with 'just' opinion considered protected speech and a stronger statement likewise perfectly legal so long as it's backed by supporting evidence.

              Best way to describe it is this: how many Techdirt readers previously had no opinion about the guy but now think he is a liar? Even eith a win over gawker and a (WEAK) copyright, people's opinions have been formed here based on what Mike has said and done.

              I'd quibble over the use of the word 'win' in 'win over gawker' as I don't consider a 'win by default' a 'win' in any real sense, but as far as people's opinions beings formed based upon what Mike/TD has said, I don't see a problem there, as it's not like Mike/TD has some way to control the minds of those that visit here(unless my jokes about them finding a code to make people read articles are more spot on than I'd thought at the time...)

              Mike/TD presented what was happening/had happened, backed it up by supporting evidence and citations, and shared his opinions on it all. In turn the readers read what was presented, examined the evidence/citations, considered Mike's opinions and statements and formed their own opinions on the matter. If this resulted in some or even many people coming out of the process thinking Shiva wasn't being honest in his claims and/or thinking poorly of him then that's hardly Mike's 'fault' beyond the fact that he informed them of something that they didn't know about before.

              Lets just say I think there is just enough meat on the bone that a dismissal up front isn't the most likely outcome.

              Whereas I see this as a pretty blatant SLAPP suit, such that dismissal up front is not only perfectly justified it should also be accompanied by an order for Shiva and his team to pay Mike/TD's legal fees as well, as a bit of incentive not to try this kind of stunt again.

              At that point a settlement becomes a better option for both parties rathen than each spending millions and years of appeals to get it cleared up.

              I'm pretty sure the 'better option' went out the window the minute Shiva went from complaining about Mike/TD saying 'mean' things about him and challenging his claims to filing a lawsuit attempting to shut TD down and/or bankrupt it. Given that, I don't see either side willing to back down, as it would harm their positions too much to do so.

              Mike's not going to cave as doing so would cause massive damage to free speech and essentially throw a bucket of blood into shark infested waters, telling all and sundry that if Mike/TD says something 'mean' about them they can force him to remove it simply by suing, and Shiva's not going to back down as doing so would undermine his claims even more and make it even harder to convince people that his version of history is the correct one.

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                Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 11:39pm

                Re: Re: Re: 'No, that's not true' does not equal 'baiting him into a lawsuit'

                The risk is that Mike ends up as a Thomas or a tenenbsum, who stood in court and lost. That risk however small is enough to make the process less desirable.

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                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 17 Jun 2017 @ 12:25am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: 'No, that's not true' does not equal 'baiting him into a lawsuit'

                  It's a risk, sure(though so long as Mike's team can keep the suit focused on the actual claims I'd argue not a big one), but the alternative seems to be quite a bit worse. 'Don't post anything that someone with enough money to burn might object to, lest they bury you under legal fees whether what you said is protected speech or not'.

                  The entire point of a SLAPP suit is to punish someone for something they said and/or silence them, caving in just gives the one making the threat what they want, and makes it clear to others that you're a target.

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                    My_Name_Here, 17 Jun 2017 @ 10:09pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'No, that's not true' does not equal 'baiting him into a lawsuit'

                    We all know what happened with both Thomas and Tenebaum, they got legal advice from guys who has interesting theories about how to argue such a case, and both of them lost handily.

                    Mike himself has some interest theories about free speech and what is and isn't covered by the 1st amendment. As an example, he has on more than one occasion expressed support for the idea that copyright violated the first amendment. We know that angle got shot down when one of this previous heros tried to argue it in court.

                    My fear for Mike is that the legal team he has assembled (or seemingly assembled themselves) may end up going down a legal fox hole to try to prove something bigger than "this is a bad lawsuit", and in doing so will leave themselves open to lose because they failed to properly address the meat of the suit.

                    I also think that the courts will take a dim view of the attitude and tone that has come with Mike expressing his opinion, and for that matter how the opinion was expressed. I think the I Support Journalism site is a mistake, as it attempts to paint Techdirt as a journalistic site, when Mike then turns and claims it's only his opinion - a blog. I Support Bloggers or I Support Mike would have been a better site. It does potentially add the question of "is this journalism at all?" into the debate, and that too may not be good for the Floor64 crew.

                    It's important to remember these things: Shiva did invest AN email, he does have a copyight on AN email, and his email is likely the first he ever saw and possibly the first in his country. Oh, and he has a win against Gawker for pretty much saying the same things as Mike has said, and they also redacted and removed the posts in question - full settlement in his favor. It's pretty easy for a court to conclude that the plaintiff's claims are at least plausible, which means the court has merit.

                    If Mike's team spends the time on the facts, brings in experts, builds a proper history of email to work from, then they may have a hope to knock down the claims. However, that will be a fairly expensive endeavor.


                    Already I can say without a doubt that Techdirt as a site has suffered greatly with Mike being less and less active on the site and seemingly more tied up with legal issues and other problems away from the site. It use to be that Mike was 90% of the posts on the site, now it's more like 25% and on many days only 1 or 2 posts. Karl Bode copypastas his same basic post twice a day on average now!

                    Sadly, I think that Mike and Techdirt are going to argue the case to the absolute end, quite possibly on the wrong issues, with the goal of creating precedent. Pushing this all the way to SCOTUS seems quite possible, it would require some nice early round losses to push it up a few levels of jurisdiction, all the while bleeding both sides dry of any cash they may have.

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 10:58am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'No, that's not true' does not equal 'baiting him into a lawsuit'

                      My fear for Mike is that the legal team he has assembled (or seemingly assembled themselves) may end up going down a legal fox hole to try to prove something bigger than "this is a bad lawsuit", and in doing so will leave themselves open to lose because they failed to properly address the meat of the suit.

                      This is a bad lawsuit precisely because the meat of the suit has no actual meat. The centre of Shiva Ayyadurai’s complaint rests on a statement of fact (“I am the inventor of email”) that he cannot support unless he gets to decide what “email” means. The rest of his complaint asks the court to silence protected speech because it hurt his feelings. Techdirt should fight this as far and as long as they can because a win for Shiva on the merits of his complaint—which has no actual merit—would chill the speech of anyone else who would dare claim tha Shiva is not “the inventor of email”.

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                      • identicon
                        My_Name_Here, 19 Jun 2017 @ 5:59pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'No, that's not true' does not equal 'baiting him into a lawsuit'

                        You reach a dead end again. Mike is saying the guy is a liar, but the guy did in fact invent "an" EMAIL, the first he had ever seen, and certainly well back in the day when there wasn't abundant computer communication world wide.

                        Did he invent all email? I don't think so. I think that there were a lot of different people who got to the same place around the same time, because mail is what I consider a natural app - it's something you naturally want to do. But I am wise enough to admit I don't know specifically who actually is the creator of email, the 1970s had a lot of players who were not corrected and didn't know each other.

                        It's interesting. Techdirt has often featured stories about parallel creation, where two or more parties end up creating the same or nearly the same thing at the same time. The push is that both of them are creators, both of them are the originators. I think Shiva is exactly in that situation. He isn't likely THE inventor of email, but he is almost certainly one of them. It's hard to tell what all happened 50 years ago. There is plenty of overlap between stand alone mainframes, apranet, various hobbiest dial ups, school computer systems, and the like. Can we really discount anything from that era at this point?

                        Free speech is wonderful - but just like Shiva, Mike doesn't get to re-write history to suit his narrative either. The all American "we invented the internet and everything on it" story doesn't wash when faced with the reality of parallel development.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 6:47pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'No, that's not true' does not equal 'baiting him into a lawsuit'

                          This coming from the guy who believes "fair use" is a "novel legal theory".

                          Watching you curry favor with Shiva is an indication of the lengths you go to demonstrate your love-hate affair with Techdirt - pretty extreme. "Sure, Shiva probably didn't invent email as we know it, but if I fudge the details enough, I get to say 'Fuck you, Masnick', so go Team Shiva!"

                          Try writing love letters to Hamilton next time for the lulz.

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                        • icon
                          The Wanderer (profile), 20 Jun 2017 @ 4:20am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'No, that's not true' does not equal 'baiting him into a lawsuit'

                          The problem with the "parallel creation"/"both of them are the originators" line of argument is that, from what I read, Shiva is explicitly arguing that everything else/earlier(/independent, possibly?) which people call E-mail is not E-mail, and that what he created is the first thing which qualifies.

                          He's claiming exclusivity in the role, in other words, which is exactly the reverse of what parallel creation is about.

                          If he claimed that he independently devised something which reflects more of the features of a modern E-mail system than the widely established electronic mail systems of the time, that would be one thing; it might be a more reasonable position, and (particularly the "independently" part) might very well be deserving of respect on its own.

                          But that does not appear to be even close to what he is actually claiming in practice.

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                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jun 2017 @ 9:07pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'No, that's not true' does not equal 'baiting him into a lawsuit'

                          Mike is saying the guy is a liar, but the guy did in fact invent "an" EMAIL, the first he had ever seen

                          And if that was all Shiva Ayyadurai ever claimed to have done, nobody would have an issue with him. (Mostly because nobody would care all that much about his accomplishment, what with it being an isolated anomaly.) But he claims to be “the inventor of email”—the man who, according to him, invented the very email system that we all know, use, and sometimes even despise.

                          To make that claim, he either ignores the work that preceded his program’s creation or dismisses it as “not real email”. He cannot show that his work influenced the actual development of email, so he instead changes the definition of “email” to make sure his program becomes the only one that fits said definition.

                          Nothing Shiva Ayyadurai ever did influenced the development of email as we know it today. His work exists in isolation from the development of the standards and protocols that would become the backbone of email. If he says he is the sole exclusive creator of a system that was in development before he ever wrote a line of code, he deserves to have that claim challenged and criticized.

                          And no one who offers that criticism should be sued because they did so.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      The chilling effect has more to do with other people than with Mike Masnick. If he were to lose this lawsuit, it would send a message to anyone else who writes about Shiva Ayyadurai: “Agree with and present only his claims and his version of history, no matter how much actual facts and records contradict him, or else you will be the next Mike Masnick.”

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:21am

        Re: Re:

        And I agree 100%, IMO it is a stupid lawsuit by a stupid person who wants to become the Internets Kim Kardashian.

        That is the problem with our system. Mike shouldn't have to hire lawyers, he should be able to walk into a court and lay out his case and a judge (or jury) should decide justice. Why should it cost money?

        Our justice system is fucked, it doesn't search for justice, it doesn't seek justice, it seeks to continue the system.

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        • identicon
          Thad, 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, we've kinda got that, in that there are public defenders for criminal cases, but civil suits are a different matter.

          And even if he could get a public defender, there are still other issues, like jurisdiction (Ayyadurai sued in his home state of Massachusetts; Masnick and Floor64 are based in California) and the various problems with public defenders (generally, they're overworked and understaffed and simply unable to provide quality defense in many, many cases).

          There are a lot of things that need to be fixed here. A federal anti-SLAPP law would go a long way toward correcting the problem. SCOTUS has also recently narrowed the jurisdiction rules for patent suits, and maybe that will have some long-term application to other kinds of venue-shopping.

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        • identicon
          My_Name_Here, 16 Jun 2017 @ 1:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          ACtually Mike is free to to exactly that. He could write up his own paperwork, he could submit them to the courts.

          There is a chance in all of that paperwork of course that a mistake is made, a statement is made, or an error creeps in which either negates the effort or turns the case against him. Considering the stakes (millions of dollars, the blog) a good lawyer is way cheaper. That Mike is getting legal help apparently for nothing or next to nothing is key.

          The justice system is very formal and very much about touching all the right bases. An amateur might pull it off, but not often.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 6:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Damn, how many TOR IP addresses do you have to use? Four unique pings on this IP address alone; are you that addicted to a website you hate so much?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 10:16am

      Re:

      Well it's a good thing you aren't a judge. What with you being utterly wrong and all.

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    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:27pm

    A good summary of your video

    "This guys is the worst the internet has to offer. Literally just look at him. Mike Masnick's company name "Tech Dirt" matches their ethics. He's basically no better than "The Dirty" except he actually organizes SEO attacks agaisnt people and tries to weaponize the Streisand affect he says he named. However in the end, he loses every battle he starts and gets his company and family embarrassed in the process. Tech Dirt does no real research, contacts no one during reporting, and passes opinion as fact on a daily basis. They dont even answer the phone in their office or respond to emails. The guy cyber attacks people like a 13 year old child. All because his credibility and search results were destroyed years ago by his own poor corporate leadership and personal behavior. Give him a Google! Mike Masnick is the worst modern day America has to offer, a complete fraud and internet charlotin, a total snake oil salesman. The internet needs Masnick like a dog needs fleas. The fact he is being run off the internet is exactly what should be happening on the modern web. If he was a newspaper he would have been sued and shut down years ago, he has been hiding on the dark web because its new technology. The spot light he keeps putting on himself and his company is the exact light needed to kill the bacteria that is his website forever. Nice work Masnick, you're a real marketing genius!!!"

    This is the very first post you attracted with your video.

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      Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:48pm

      Re: A good summary of your video

      Michael Masnick, don't you think you have dragged this out long enough? If the Judge were incline to dismiss your case, he would have done so already. The Judge is being kind to you, Michael Masnick, and giving you time to reflect about the path you are on. Maybe you're on the wrong path, Mike, and you have a chance to get off that path right now. Just settle the case, don't you think that is what the Judge is telling you every hour and every day he delays? He's telling you, settle, things will only get worse if you don't. No one actually wants to hurt you, Mike, they just want you to change your ways a little. You can do it, Mike, and now is the time. The opportunity to work out a deal will never be better than it is right now.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:48pm

      Re: A good summary of your video

      You... might actually want to look up who Patrick Zarrelli is. He's not an inventor; just someone who thinks that " flooding the internet with positive reviews of your company" count as a job. Zarrelli then threatened to file criminal charges against Techdirt for criticizing his sillier antics. Which the Florida Bar then rejected.

      To be fair, I can see why he's got such a vested interest in supporting Shiva Ayyadurai, but this... is not quite the glowing example of "Aha! Got you, Masnick, bang to rights" you thought it would be. It's not much different from a gangbanger swearing revenge against the cop that arrested him.

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        Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 8:50pm

        Re: Re: A good summary of your video

        So pick another from a long list of injured parties - so what?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: A good summary of your video

          From the comments? You have Richard Bennett, who disagrees but doesn't actually believe a lawsuit against Masnick is warranted, and Janice Duffy, whose main gripe is Techdirt and other sites linked to other materials she didn't like. Which by itself isn't defamatory, and Duffy's subsequent retaliations only served to draw even more attention. (Again, I should point out the detractors' claim that Techdirt has failing Alexa rankings and significance... which means anyone specifically using Techdirt as a platform to criticize is not going to reach out to any significant audience.)

          That's not a list. I can literally use less than half my hand to point out everyone who's been "harmed" in those YouTube comments. This shouldn't be so hard for you to list people if they number in the thousands.

          Or would you like to list John Steele and Charles Carreon among those who were "hurt"?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:04pm

    F*ck that guy; keep fighting the good fight. :-)

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

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    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:07pm

    This is Techdirt Counter Intelligence at work, right? You hava a dossier on each and every individual who claims injury, and a list of talking points to first discredit the people and then the complaints, right? Great, good for you, you are a great Counter Intelligence officer and displaying your wares for all to see.

    Why does Free Speech blog that claims to publish Journalism need Counter Intelligence at all? What is it defending? Certainly not free speech, given the censorship. What IS the agenda? That's the mystery.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:28pm

      Re:

      Nope, no supposed "counter intelligence" conspiracy as you claim. Just a reader having discourse (that is what you wanted, isn't it?), looking at your claims and researching the information for himself.

      From the impression you gave it appeared that there was a vast collection of individuals and companies who hate Masnick's guts and the fact that he exists because he's such a scumbag. Giving you the benefit of doubt I entertained your claim by checking out the commentary listed as you indicated - and it turns out that the "list" isn't what it's cracked up to be. If this list of maligned people is so long and legitimate, surely there's more than three of them.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:31pm

        Re: Re:

        Shirley there is.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:48pm

        Re: Re:

        If, and that's a big if. Yet, despite supposed thousands of people who think Masnick is a vicious deviant that needs to be removed from Internet society it's strange that he can't even list a name. The names he can list don't stand up to scrutiny after plugging those names through a search engine.

        This benefit of the doubt readers are giving him is a joke. Think about it. If an inventor or corporation can be effectively, instantly destroyed by a site its opponents readily dismiss as unimportant, that's pathetic. At that point it seems that they're just vultures circling over what they hope is a corpse, an easy mark, to blame for their failure.

        Notice how after your example of Zarrelli is explained, he skips it and moves on. Shiva's attack dog isn't interested in facts of discussion. If you hadn't pointed it out he'd be only too happy to include a "reputation manager" among the ranks of "American inventors" unhappy that a site nobody's heard of is critiquing them.

        Until he shows some meat on the bones of his "list", i.e. names and details of court cases, safe to say you can assume that this "list" isn't anything more than bluff and myth. Wouldn't be the first time someone tried to scare users of this site with big imaginary numbers; David Lowery's pet, hurricane head, has been threatening the site with thousands of "artist friends", aka the "sleeping giant", for years. And even David Lowery is speaking out in defense of Techdirt's existence.

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          Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 11:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I am "Shiva's attack dog"? Really? Hallucinate much?

          Just a simple observation - Mike posts a heart wrenching video about the personal toll that his first lawsuit is taking on him, and that generates a response from multiple people that take the opportunity to express their grievances about Mike. Does that tell you anything at all? Even I felt bad for Mike after watching him.

          How the heck can you argue that Mike and Techdirt have not harmed people, when you have this evidence staring you in the face? By employing your Counter Intelligence dossier to systematically discredit each and every person and argument, one by one? Really?

          Methinks she doth protest too much.

          If you were actually Mike's friend and supporter, you would be helping him get out of this mess, rather than imagining that I am "Shiva's attack dog". Really, what a lunatic you show yourself to be.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Jun 2017 @ 4:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            How the heck can you argue that Mike and Techdirt have not harmed people, when you have this evidence staring you in the face?

            The list of names you have provided can literally be counted on one hand and the supposed “harm” done to them is insignificant, especially in comparison to the harm Shiva Ayyadurai wants to inflict upon Mike Masnick and Techdirt.

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    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:11pm

    From one human to another

    Mike, I actually did feel bad for you when watching you speak in your video. I understand the pressure you are under, everyone has a "first time" for lawsuits, and it is plainly written on your face. I was the same, the first time. When I realized that everything I owned and everything I could possibly own in the future was actually under control of the court system and the government, it was a personal shock. I had a big lawsuit too, that I thought unjustified, but it really was hard on me emotionally, it cost me my personal relationship, for example. I won, but wow, it cost me.

    So, one human to another, Mike, it's time to be creative. I don't think you have something worth winning here. Your adversary is just too strong, and the hoped for outcome has not come to pass. Open your mind to some new ideas, and recover your normal life and normal way of thinking and waking up every day. I'm just saying, Mike, it's obviously taking a toll on you, maybe it's really not worth it.

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      Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:30pm

      Re: From one human to another

      Mike, here is a concrete suggestion to consider:

      Make sure you have a good set of information that you are working with.

      If you have not done so already, ask your attorney to powwow with their attorney and product a settlement document. Just give your attorney general instructions to get you the best deal possible, but set a time limit, I would suggest one day, that will keep everybody focused.

      Then just read it, non judgmentally. You will understand more, and nothing can hurt you. You don't have to give up anything (just a few attorney hours), but you can see exactly what your opponent actually wants. No one will know, it's all really confidential and can't be used against you, very strict rules about that.

      So, my suggestion is just use your creative power to create this document, and don't pre-judge what you will see. Then take a look at it, and think about it. And then BANG maybe something will hit you, and you may well see a way to resolve the whole thing that's not so bad at all.

      Just saying, Mike, you should use all the tools at your disposal, and this is one of them, and it's safe to use. Creating a settlement document will help you move towards resolution. And in the end, what's what everyone wants, especially you.

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        Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 9:46pm

        Re: Re: From one human to another

        Sorry, I should have said this the first time more clearly: tell your attorney you want an executable settlement agreement, with their signatures on it. It is a reasonable request that they will comply with, they will look insincere about their grievance if they do not. Then just look at it. So, (a) limit the time and attorney fees, ask them to do it in a short period, maybe 1 day and (b) create an executable document with their signatures behind it.

        Then, you don't have to do anything for a while, just meditate on it. It won't cost you much, it won't take long, it won't hurt you, but it will move everyone, including you, towards resolution.

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          Anonymous Coward, 16 Jun 2017 @ 10:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: From one human to another

          When considering this dispute, Mike, think of it as paper. The original filing documents and all the responses so far are paper. The settlement document is paper. Once the filing is made, there becomes a black hole in the legal universe that can only be filled with the paper of a settlement document or court verdict.

          Given your adversary, I don't think there will be any alterative to either settling or litigating, which will eventually result in a lot more paper that you have to pay for. So, your focus should be on creating the settlement document that you can live with, given the circumstances, and avoid creating and paying for the other paper, it is immaterial. I don't think you have an ideal worth protecting more than your own money and peace of mind and ability to plan your future without a lawsuit hanging over you.

          Again, concrete suggest to help you resolve your dilemma: focus on the settlement document, the paper itself. Bring it into existence sooner rather than later. Then shape it to your needs. But get on it, Mike, it's your path to resolve your quandary. Make it appear in front of you, just wish for it.

          In all sincerity.

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            Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2017 @ 3:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: From one human to another

            Ok, I'm feeling a little long winded, but nobody popped up to trash me, so maybe my advice is being well taken. I would just like to add to my suggestions that you consider the calculus of your current situation, from a bargaining power point of view. Right now no one knows what the Judge is going to say, only that he hasn't said it yet. So, the settlement offer from the other side has to calculate this risk, and offer a discounted settlement offer based on that risk. That discount will either evaporate if the case is not dismissed, or will evaporate when the case is taken into appeal. You have a discount right now, it's a good time to see the offer.

            I once had the opportunity to chat with a fellow that fought his case all the way to the Supreme Court, and then lost in a spectacular way. I asked him what he learned from the experience. I was expecting something profound, but he said "sometimes you've just gotta tell people that they're right".

            That wouldn't cost you a thing, Mike, and may really help move you towards putting the whole thing behind you. True story, famous case, and I think it applies here.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Jun 2017 @ 5:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: From one human to another

              “sometimes you’ve just gotta tell people that they’re right”

              I would rather die in a gutter, penniless and naked and starving, than tell a liar that his lies are the truth. I would prefer to have my hands and legs cut off and my eyes gouged from my head than to destroy my own reputation for the sake of someone else’s ego. I would choose to suffer a torturous, agonizing, debilitating amount of pain across the next fifty years if a pain-free life meant telling someone who spreads falsehoods that they are the most honest person in the world.

              How many lives will you ruin for your truth, Shiva?

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    My_Name_Here, 17 Jun 2017 @ 1:34am

    Audio Only

    Having seen Mike give presentations before (he never knew I was in the audience!), I know how he works. He uses plenty of fast appearing slides, short view times, etc. This presentation is no different.

    There is a method to the madness, but not what you think. See, the human mind is pretty good at multiplexing, but listening and seeing things are the same time generally keeps our minds occupied enough that we cannot actually think about what we are seeing and hearing, we end up just sort of swallowing it whole. It makes for an interesting presentation because you don't have time to reflect or consider the views, you just take them in.

    If you go back and just listen to the presentation, you will find that same sound as the dull podcasts. Without the visuals, the speech is in fact not all the impressive.

    The choking up and almost crying adds to it, but honestly, it shows someone who isn't very confident in what he is saying, rather it comes off to me as a schoolboy who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and it trying desperately to explain to his parents why he shouldn't be punished.

    There is also a total lack of conviction in the position. Rather than confidently claiming to beat this, the tone instead is more like "I am really scared I am going to lose my ass". This doesn't line up well at all with the the bravado that has been shown here over the years.

    So turn off the visuals (scroll it off the screen if you have to) and just listen to the talk, and try to form your own opinion. Once you get to actually thinking about what is being said instead of just swallowing it whole, you will discover a whole different take on things.

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  • identicon
    Sick of hearing from Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2017 @ 3:30pm

    What happens if a certain Anonymous Coward loses his defamation case? Will he quietly fade away? Not likely, he desperately wants to be remembered in history as the creator of "EMAIL". He can't stand the idea that he's like the rest of the ordinary people. His inferiority complex drives him. I can picture him inserting himself into conversations and trying to bring it around to, "I invented EMAIL so bask in my reflected genius and praise me." All Anonymous Coward has proved here is that he has a very thin skin and can't stand criticism of any kind.

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      Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2017 @ 7:00pm

      Re:

      I would just ask, do you think you are actually helping Mike by continuing to defame someone else with your imaginary scenarios? Did you see Mike's face in the video? He's been hurt, he didn't understand, prior to this lawsuit, how terrible lawsuits really are. It's really obvious.

      So, if you want to go on and on about your hatred and condemnation, go ahead, it's a free country. What a wrong-minded way to treat Mike, though, really. He needs some help and support with the difficult hand he has been dealt.

      He's the one actually taking the personal risk on behalf of all you nasty posters, he's the one who will pay the price with his personal assets. I think you would all do better to simply let this whole Email thing go, let it go, quick stoking the fire. Mike is the one getting burnt while you all stoke the flames higher. He's the one at real risk.

      How about we all support Mike in getting out of this mess. Just call it a mis-step, that he didn't know how terrible the consequences were, but now it's plain and obvious to all who watch the video that he understands how dire the consequences are.

      For what is Mike taking all this heat? To support you idiots that fantasize about Evil Email guys? Let it go, this is the real world, Mike is getting pummeled, let it go. Who actually cares besides you mentally deranged idiots, anyway?

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Jun 2017 @ 7:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Shiva Ayyadurai’s program did not innovate, further the development of, or popularize any of the protocols and standards that became the email system as the world today knows it. He has offered no tangible evidence that contradicts those facts. Why should anyone shut up and let him rewrite history?

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          Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2017 @ 7:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Just like magic, speak of mentally deranged idiots, and one shows up.

          Tell you what, you step in front of the lawsuit and personally indemnify Mike for any potential harm that may come to him. Will you do that?

          Not likely - you will just continue your lunatic rants for all to witness. What a coward you are, to fuel a fight that you're not even in. You are a pathetic weakling without a smattering of courage or integrity. Stand behind your words, coward. Back them up with something more than a fake name.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Jun 2017 @ 7:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So, hey, let’s try that again.

            Shiva Ayyadurai’s program did not innovate, further the development of, or popularize any of the protocols and standards that became the email system as the world today knows it. He has offered no tangible evidence that contradicts those facts. Why should anyone shut up and let him rewrite history?

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              Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2017 @ 7:56pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              In case you read this, Mike,I think you have a clear path out of this mess. Test my theory about a settlement agreement that you could live with. Don't let the idiot lunatics ruin your life. Get back in charge of your own life and your own blog. These guys would (and will) burn you alive gleefully to further their own deranged cause. You owe them nothing, and nothing you do will placate them anyway. While the deranged idiots dance around the flames, you are the one getting burned. Walk away, let them drool their idiocy on themselves.

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Jun 2017 @ 8:10pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You still have not answered the question at hand.

                Why should people refuse to challenge or criticize Shiva Ayyadurai’s claims? Why should anyone shut up and let him rewrite history?

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                • identicon
                  Sick of hearing from Anonymous coward, 17 Jun 2017 @ 8:37pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Stephen, don't expect an answer he'll be too busy using the last remaining weapons he has, vitriol and vileness, to attack anyone who dares to take him to task. It will be interesting to see what he has to say in reply although it won't be anything constructive just more viciousness.

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      • identicon
        Sick of hearing from Anonymous coward, 17 Jun 2017 @ 8:03pm

        Re: Re:

        You have a talent for twisting words to your point of view. Thin skin showing again? Would like everyone to just accept the "inventor of EMAILS" claim and go about our lives even when knowing that it's a crock? You seem to be completely unable to let it go and just can't stop with the nasty comments.

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          Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2017 @ 8:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I thought my last several comments were not nasty at all, I was actually moved by Mike's speech and felt bad for him. I remember my first time, it was unbelievably hard. I was never the same again. Really, no kidding. An actual lawsuit rearranges everything you thought you knew about the world. You have nothing, you own nothing, you have no future, except at the whim of a judge. True statement.

          Simple example: at breakfast this morning, I was talking to my wife about having a baby in the future, planning for it, considering it, that kind of thing. You understand me, right, I was imagining a future with another child, kind of a magical conversation about being creative and wondering what good thing will come.

          When you are actually in a lawsuit, especially one that names you personally, you can't have that kind of conversation, it's almost impossible. Your future is in complete doubt, you don't actually know if you will be able to take care of yourself, let alone a wife and a baby. It affects everything in your life, veryone you know, every waking moment, you literally change in an irreversible way.

          When considered in the harsh light of this reality, who really cares about who invented Email, or exactly what that means, anyway? What higher cause are you really serving? That you are right and someone else is wrong? Well, OK, that would be fine, if YOU were the one backing up the suit with YOUR money. If it's that important to you, fine, go prove your point using attorneys @ $1,000 per page. Create a whole lot of paper, have at it.

          Maybe Mike has a commitment to this cause, up to him if he does. My words only come in response to the look on his face and the tension in his voice. I don't think he was faking it, it looked real to me. It appears to be a huge personal toll on Mike, and for what? If his heart was really in it, I think he would have been able to breathe normally. I don't think his heart IS really in it, and having you guys stoke the fire of being "right" while you take NO RISK seems unfair to me.

          I never imagined myself defending Michael Masnick from his own blog, but here I am. I think you guys should think about helping Mike, and not your own agendas. Watch the video again. He needs actual help to recover his life.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Jun 2017 @ 8:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Why should he, or anyone else, stay silent and refuse to challenge or criticize Shiva Ayyadurai’s claims?

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            • identicon
              Sick of hearing from Anonymous coward, 17 Jun 2017 @ 11:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I told he would not answer your question except to go on the offense. He's the epitome of the Right Man, who must always win and can't stand the loss of face and so can only continue attacking even when he's worked himself into a corner. Look at his next two comments and his arguments get weaker, and to put it bluntly, weirder. Now it's becoming some sort of conspiracy. Things will only get stranger as he has to plumb the depths of the barrel to uphold his rapidly useless and pointless retorts.

              Lets leave him alone and he can back to finding other people to vent his spleen upon for daring to question his "superior intellect". Methinks he has worn out his welcome here.

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                Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2017 @ 11:59pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You know, I always took it as a given that the voices here on Techdirt were actually Mike Masnick's friends, or employees, or at least sympathizers. But the truth is, you don't actually feel any sympathy for him at all, do you? You're ready to go on ranting about my spleen while Mike swings in the wind, right?

                Like the "Deep State" there is a "Deep Left", and if you have to sacrifice Michael Masnick for your cause, no problem, right? Not a hint of concern for another human being who is publicly suffering, right? Even I have more empathy for him than you do.

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                • identicon
                  Sick of hearing from Anonymous coward, 18 Jun 2017 @ 12:25am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You sir, are beneath contempt! At least your one and only true friend, your reflection in the mirror, will agree you on every point you make.

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                    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2017 @ 1:08am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    You forgot "deplorable". I'm a deplorable, no kidding. Trump supporter, Melania fan club member. Friend of Mad Dog. The whole deal, all in. MAGA. God Bless America. All of that, double, then double again.

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Jun 2017 @ 7:06am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Question: Why should anyone stay silent and refuse to challenge or criticize Shiva Ayyadurai’s claims?

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    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2017 @ 9:41pm

    Well, Stephen T. Stone, even you have a heart with at least a little compassion, right? Would you agree with this? Mike is in a tough spot, and having a hard time dealing with it. If he WERE to back down from his position, no one would hold it against him, right? Everyone who was a real friend or supporter before would remain a friend and supporter, right? Up to Mike how he handles this situation, right, and no one would hold it against him no matter what he decides, right?

    Or do you expect him to sacrifice himself like a martyr in the name of your cause (whatever that might be)?

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Jun 2017 @ 6:36am

      Re:

      If he WERE to back down from his position, no one would hold it against him, right?

      We would understand that yes, Mike had to back down for financial reasons. Our scorn would fall upon Shiva Ayyadurai because he filed a lawsuit intended to first bankrupt Mike into silence, then serve as a warning to all other critics that Shiva will come for them if they dare question his facts, his truth, his version of history where he alone invented the email system that we use today despite all the evidence that says otherwise.

      Shiva wants to leverage the power of the government into silencing protected speech just so he can raise himself higher than everyone else and kick people like Mike into the gutter. Only Shiva would deserve our scorn for going as far as bankrupting a prominent critic just to keep his claims unchallenged and his self-image intact.

      That is the American Dream, right—that his words matter more because he has the money to make everyone else shut up, even if their speech is protected by the First Amendment?

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        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2017 @ 7:10am

        Re: Re:

        You know you sound like a madman, right? Shiva Shiva Shiva on your brain.

        Mike runs a risky business. Every business carries some risk. I've had people sue me, I don't take it personally anymore. I think about it in the beginning of a venture now, just as Mike said in his video. He called it a "chilling effect", I call it "growing up" and living in the real world.

        In America, if you have about $200k (or a great case), you can "bring an adult to the rooom" in form of a judge to settle a dispute. That's our system, for better or worse, we are married to it as Americans, and not ready for a divorce. Is it fair, is it right, is it perfect? It's the best system in the world, bar none, warts and all.

        Your idiot rant saying you "would prefer to have my hands and legs cut off and my eyes gouged from my head than to destroy my own reputation for the sake of someone else’s ego" assumes you have a reputation to destroy, which you don't. The man you keep speaking about, Shiva, does have a real reputation and can, and has, backed it up. You would serve yourself and this blog better to remember that and STFU.

        Shiva = Real Reputation as an Inventor, Entrepreneur and as a Potential US Senator
        Stephen T. Stone = Reputation as a raving lunatic anonymous coward in disguise

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Jun 2017 @ 7:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Shiva, does have a real reputation and can, and has, backed it up.

          Except, no, he cannot. I have not seen anyone present tangible and verifiable evidence that contradicts these five facts:

          1. The ARPANET messaging system was in development before Shiva Ayyadurai wrote a single line of code for his program.
          2. The terms “electronic mail” and “email” had been used by various publications before Ayyadurai ever named his program.
          3. No one who developed the ARPANET messaging systems, including the standards that now govern modern email, saw Ayyadurai’s program.
          4. Ayyadurai’s program had no effect upon the development of the three major protocols that now form the backbone of email.
          5. Ayyadurai’s program had no effect upon the mainstream adoption of modern email.

          I have seen plenty of evidence, however, that backs up those five claims.

          Ayyadurai’s claims rely on his definitions of certain terms and functions of email—including the portmanteau “email” itself—and he constantly changes those definitions when challenged on them so that no one can claim he is “wrong”. In his recent interview with Ars Technica, he resorts to that tactic numerous times when pressed on his claims. People in the “real world” refer to what he does as “moving the goalposts”, which is a universally frowned-upon debate tactic.

          His reputation exists so long as he can kick people down into the gutter while he sits atop a golden throne of lies. If he has a problem with people pointing out the facts that contradict his claims, he must back up his claims with evidence and avoid moving the goalposts. If he hates that people are pointing out how he wants to cudgel his critics into submission by winning this lawsuit, he must prove that he does not want his critics bankrupted and sent into the streets to die like a sick dog in a gutter.

          Shiva has done more damage to whatever reputation he has built for himself than any critic ever could. No one forced him to file a lawsuit over protected speech or lash out at anyone who dares to contradict his claims. Those are all unforced errors, and they are all on him.

          …oh, and one more thing:

          Stephen T. Stone = Reputation as a raving lunatic anonymous coward in disguise

          While I am just a lone jackoff within the grand sea of men that is humanity, I do not come here as a coward. If Shiva wants to sue me for unloading my criticism all over him, he can nut up and serve me the papers through Twitter. Maybe he does not have the testicular fortitude to do that himself, but if he does, I am not hard to find.

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            Shiva Ayyadurai, 18 Jun 2017 @ 7:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Well that sounds fair, how do I find you?

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Jun 2017 @ 7:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Pretty sure the Search function still works on Twitter; how about using that, champ.

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                Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2017 @ 8:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You're asking me to "Tweet" you, "Champ"? Are you a Champion Tweeter? I'm only an average Tweeter, in fact, I'm more or a chirper.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Jun 2017 @ 8:13am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  If Shiva has the balls to sue any of his critics for daring to speak their minds, he can sue me. If he wants to find me, he can contact me on Twitter; I am not difficult to find there.

                  Of course, by doing so, he would be committing two other unforced errors:

                  1. Divulging his identity as an anonymous Techdirt troll
                  2. Implicitly admitting that his legal crusade against Techdirt and Mike Masnick is little more than an attempt to silence the speech of all his critics

                  But if his reputation is worth so much to him, he can reach out to me.

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                  Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2017 @ 8:18am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Ok, maybe I'm behind the times, I haven't been in a lawsuit for a while. You can't really serve papers on Twitter, can you? I mean, you can try to mail them (in some states), but in most cases you want to hand deliver them, right? The world hasn't changed that much, has it? Serve papers on Twitter? I don't think so.

                  How about we meet for a cup of coffee, Stephen - would that be OK? And if you could leave your home address and phone number, that would help me fill in the forms, thanks. Employer information might be nice as well, paystubs, and any bank accounts you would care to list in advance would be a big help. Credit report, mortgage history, deeds and titles in your name, standard things, tax returns if it's not too much to ask, thanks again.

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                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Jun 2017 @ 8:19am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    If Shiva wants that information, he can contact me via Twitter.

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                      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2017 @ 10:06pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Stephen T. Stone, did you understand the point I was trying to make? All you stone throwers (from a distance) look cowardly in front of Mike, and Mike looks shaken. You hide behind your fake names and fake Tweets and lob your insults from an anonymous position, what a coward you are, you make Mike (and I don't even like Mike) look like a hero. His real name is behind his position, and he is in front of a judge who could strip from him of all his worldly possessions, even his liberty, just by speaking. That reality will straighten you up in a hurry, trust me. Are you going to say again that you are really read to stand behind your position in front of a judge in a court of law? No you're not. Respect your betters, which in this case, even includes Michael Masnick.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2017 @ 11:11pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Whined Hamilton the supposedly American inventor, who apparently invented something that's allegedly in widespread American use, got into a lawsuit, got harmed by Mike Masnick, supports Shiva like a Beatles groupie, and still won't show his list of thousands of people aside from the three "examples" represented by YouTube comments (which apparently in his universe count for more than tweets despite YouTube comments being notoriously toxic)... who still won't tell anyone who he is, what he invented, or how Techdirt has harmed him, aside from pleas to authority.

                        If a lack of a real name is enough to rescind someone's entitlement from being taken seriously, you've more than earned it. (That and the need for you to respond to yourself, and demand engagement when everyone else is away from a keyboard or typepad... because responding to yourself, apparently, does not count as "obsessive" behavior, but talking about a case you are involved in is being "obsessed". Somehow.)

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                      • icon
                        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 12:37am

                        This is why I hate insomnia.

                        Stephen T. Stone, did you understand the point I was trying to make?

                        …you were trying to make a point? 🤔

                        All you stone throwers (from a distance) look cowardly in front of Mike, and Mike looks shaken.

                        I imagine that being targeted for destruction by an individual with delusions of grandeur, a persecution complex, and enough money to make the courts indulge both of those things would shake anyone.

                        You hide behind your fake names and fake Tweets and lob your insults from an anonymous position, what a coward you are

                        Only cameras in movie theatres do more projecting than you.

                        you make Mike […] look like a hero

                        He is fighting a man who wants the courts to rule that lies are the truth and anyone who says otherwise should pay. Goddamn right, Mike is a hero.

                        His real name is behind his position

                        Mine is, too.

                        he is in front of a judge who could strip from him of all his worldly possessions, even his liberty, just by speaking

                        What does that tell you about the person who is on the other side, that he wants to strip Mike of his possessions and his freedom to speak his mind for calling out a lie?

                        Are you going to say again that you are really read to stand behind your position in front of a judge in a court of law?

                        Goddamn right, I am ready to stand in front of a judge and say “Shiva Ayyadurai is a liar”.

                        Respect your betters

                        Shiva Ayyadurai makes claims that he cannot possibly support, then tries to destroy people for pointing that out. If he is supposedly my “better”, I would rather respect a pile of horse shit.

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              Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2017 @ 7:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Shiva, in case you're reading this, could you please change your name to only have a single 'y'? I just hate to see a word (in this case a name) with two 'y's. It's just not right, it's hard for me to even try to pronounce your name when I see those two 'y's. Mike did it pretty well in the video, it just rolled of his tongue, but I can't do it. I dunno, I can try to open myself up to a new kind of word, but that's asking a lot. I have words and dictionaries in my blood (so to speak) and two 'y's is just wrong, sorry.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2017 @ 2:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You keep missing one very important thing. At the time of creation tge internet arpanet didn't make it to india or wherever.

            It is no different tgan russians claiming to have their own wright brothers. We can call bullshit but for them it is still a dact.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2017 @ 6:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If Hamilton was a North Korean, he'd believe that Kim Jong Il invented the hamburger and would sue McDonald's if they tried to tell him otherwise.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2017 @ 10:17pm

    Who are the giants behind the thumbs squeezing this pimple?

    I've watched Mike's video a few times now, and it sure looks sincere to me. Maybe he's faking, but I think maybe what he says rings true right to his bones. It sure looks that way.

    I'm trying to imagine what's going on, really, to explain the "taken hostage" look on his face. It's not what I expected at all.

    I understand that there is a giant on one side of the table, Charles Harder, the Grip Reaper of Defamators, with a history of Flawless Execution in the field of Legal Mortal Combat.

    What I can't believe is that it is Mike Masnick, alone, on the other side. I think there is a giant behind the scenes. You know, I wonder if Mike's publishing contracts with his sponsors don't allow him to just back down. Something is on that other side, right, something huge that is keeping Mike hostage.

    It must be that there are two giant thumbs at work here, and Mike and Techdirt are just the pimple. But who is behind the other thumb? It's a mystery.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 1:55pm

    Slumdog Narcissist

    I saw a term online previously that I think fits Mr. Ayyadurai perfectly.

    LIEN, a litigious, indignant, entitled narcissist.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2017 @ 2:24pm

    Just watched. Way to go Mike. Fighting through such an emotional moment must have been difficult, I'm very impressed.

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

  • identicon
    Dennis Laurion, 22 Jul 2017 @ 4:50am

    Minnesota SLAPP statute found unconstitutional

    Mike, I made a contribution and wish you well.

    I’ve lived the consumer side of this SLAPP topic.

    Minnesota First Amendment lawyer Marshall Tanick was earlier quoted in a Star Tribune newspaper article August 27, 2001. It said in part: “If a company sues, alleging simple business disparagement or perhaps defamation, its goal isn’t necessarily to win,” said Marshall Tanick, a First Amendment expert . . . “The strategy is to force the other person to incur huge legal expenses that will deter them and others from making such statements,” he said . . . “yet very few (cases) go all the way to trial and verdict,” Tanick said.

    I suspect that if Minnesota had a stronger SLAPP statute, more readily known by lawyers in 2010, I might not have been sued from 2010 through 2013 for criticizing the bedside manner of a Duluth doctor.

    Unlike other SLAPP statutes that protect any public interest speech, Minnesota's only protect(ed) speech aimed at government processes. I think opposing counsel was mindful of that when his suit on behalf of his plaintiff addressed only my Internet comments and not my letters to government bodies.

    A good SLAPP statute does not prevent an insulted doctor or plumber from getting his jury trial, but it does make his suit get scrutinized for validity more quickly - particularly in Minnesota, which maintains the quaint custom of hip pocket law suits. During four years of depositions, discovery, hearings, and motions, I never once spoke to a judge.

    My four years of association with the defamation process was a distressing war of financial attrition for my family. The plaintiff’s first contact with me was a letter that said in part that he had the means and motivation to pursue me. The suit cost me the equivalent of two year’s net income – the same as 48 of my car payments plus 48 of my house payments. My family members had to dip into retirement funds to help me.

    We were overwhelmed by my being sued after posting a consumer opinion, and we were shocked by the rapidity with which it happened. My mother and wife preferred no discussion, because they didn’t want to think about it. Conversation with my father only reminded him of his anger over this situation. My siblings and children didn’t often bring it up, because they didn’t know how to say anything helpful. I was demoralized by four calendar years of being called “Defendant Laurion” in public documents.

    While being sued for defamation I was called a passive aggressive, an oddball, a liar, a coward, a bully, a malicious person, a Boy Scout who did no good deed, and a zealot family member. I was said to have run a cottage industry vendetta, writing 19 letters, and posting 108 adverse Internet postings in person or through proxies.

    After receipt of a threat letter from opposing counsel on behalf of his client, I deleted my rate-your-doctor site postings and sent confirmation emails to opposing counsel. Not only was I sued, but I was denigrated as a liar in a demand letter to my insurance provider of 25 years, in spite of the fact that I didn't carry liability insurance.

    Since May of 2010, postings on the Internet by others included newspaper accounts of the lawsuit; readers’ remarks about the newspaper accounts; and blog opinion pieces written by doctors, lawyers, public relations professionals, patient advocates, and information technology experts. Dozens of websites by doctors, lawyers, patient advocates, medical students, law schools, consumer advocates, and free speech monitors posted opinions that a doctor or plumber shouldn’t sue the family of a customer for a bad rating. These authors never said they saw my deleted ratings – only the news coverage.

    Medical peer newsletters or magazines that interviewed the plaintiff did not approach me. Websites maintained by doctors for doctors or lawyers for lawyers often caused an inference that I was a zealot family member or somebody who had asked about my dad’s chances and then shot the messenger. Generally, however, those websites echoed other websites in advising public relations responses other than a lawsuit – for fear of creating the “Streisand Effect.” As a retired layman, I brought far less resources to the battle of financial attrition.

    I’ve learned that laws about slander and libel do not conform to one’s expectations. I’ve read that online complaints are safe “if you stick to the facts.” That’s exactly the wrong advice. I did not want to merely post my conclusions. I wanted to stick to my recollection of what I’d heard. I don’t like to read generalities like "I am upset," "I think the doctor did not treat my father well," "I think he was insensitive," "he did not spend enough time in my opinion." However, such generalities are excused as opinion, hyperbole, or angry utterances. I heard opposing counsel tell the Minnesota Supreme Court that if I had stuck to such generalities, they'd not have been considered defamatory. If one purports to say what happened, factual recitations can be litigated. The plaintiff must prove the facts are willfully misstated, but the defendant can go broke while waiting through the effort - they can "incur huge legal expenses that will deter them and others from making such statements.”

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


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