Court Sends John Oliver, HBO Back To State Court To Fight Bob Murray

from the what-an-odd-footnote dept

Second Bob Murray post in a day? Second Bob Murray post in a day! It would appear that the whole ACLU amicus brief side show will remain a side show. The federal district court has sent the case back to state court where it originated. We had written about HBO moving the case to federal court and (correctly) predicted that Murray would likely try to have it sent back to state court, but (incorrectly) predicted that it wouldn't work.

Just as background: in many cases, defendants want these cases in federal court because of the general belief (and you can debate whether this is accurate or not) that federal court judges are more sophisticated in understanding legal issues than their state court counterparts. This can be a little unfair to state judges (and a little too nice to some federal judges), but the general rule of thumb is if you have a strong case, it's better to be in federal court. But, this case is moving back to state court over lack of "diversity." I'll leave it to lawyers to offer a more complete explanation of diversity, but the short layman's version is that it's basically about whether or not the parties are in different states. If they are, you can move to federal court. If they aren't, you're in state court. As we explained, HBO/John Oliver had tried to argue that Murray's inclusion of various West Virginia companies that he owned was a fraudulent attempt to avoid diversity rules, as those companies weren't really mentioned in Oliver's piece. Murray and Murray Energy are based in Ohio. Oliver and HBO are based in NY.

However, here the court finds that it was proper for Murray to include the various West Virginia coal mining companies he owns as plaintiffs.

The Plaintiff Corporations in question were, therefore, properly joined, and the case should be remanded to state court. First, Mr. Murray is the CEO and director of each of the Plaintiff Corporations and is listed as the controller of the mines owned by those corporations. Not only is Mr. Murray heavily interrelated with these corporations in a formal business sense, but a reasonable person who knows of Mr. Murray, especially in West Virginia or another coal state, would find it nearly impossible to separate Mr. Murray from his corporations and mines. With such a strong interrelationship between Mr. Murray and the Plaintiff Corporations, defamatory statements made about Mr. Murray in his professional capacity may be easily seen as negatively implicating the operation of his corporations.

The court admits that the statements by Oliver were about Murray himself, and not his companies, but says the two are so closely identified with one another that it doesn't matter for this purpose. Also some of the comments Oliver made, while about Murray, were specifically about actions at Murray-owned companies.

The allegedly defamatory statements made about Mr. Murray did refer to him in his professional capacity. First, the Crandall Canyon Statement refers to a collapse at a mine Mr. Murray chaired and operated regarding the cause of the collapse. Second, The Black Lung Statement refers to Mr. Murray in his professional capacity because his decisions regarding Black Lung regulation would be made as the chairman and operator of the mines. The alleged “character assassinations” of Mr. Murray, including the Geriatric Dr. Evil Statement, refer to Mr. Murray in his capacity as a private individual because they bear no relation to his professional conduct. However, because the interrelationship between Mr. Murray and the Plaintiff Corporations is so strong, it is possible that those comments may defame the corporations if it was determined that the comments discredited the way the Plaintiff Corporations were operated. The Crandall Canyon statement implies that the Plaintiff Corporations are run by a dishonest figure, while the Black Lung statement implies a lack of care for the safety of Mr. Murray’s employees. Even without the character statements, there would be sufficient cause for the Plaintiff Corporations to have a possible chance of success in a defamation action based on comments made about Mr. Murray

Random aside: for reasons that I do not understand, in the midst of the above paragraph the court adds a footnote explaining Dr. Evil in much greater details than seems necessary.

1 For those who might not be familiar, Dr. Evil, whose real name is Douglas Evil Powers, gained notoriety as the villain of the Austin Powers film franchise. He is a parody of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a nemesis of James Bond. Along with his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, a colorful supporting entourage, and a plethora of secret lairs, Dr. Evil made several attempts at taking over the world, before ultimately finding redemption by the end of the final film.

First: SPOILER ALERT. And second, I mean, sure. That's a decent summary (and I must admit I don't remember Dr. Evil even having a real name, but it's been a while since I've seen the films), but I'm not sure why this footnote is necessary in a straightforward decision to remand. Almost feels like the judge wanted to get in something oddly humorous in such a weird case.

But back to the meat of the ruling. The court says that since the statements could defame the companies in West Virginia and (whoops...) HBO and those West Virginia coal companies are incorporated in Delaware, there's no diversity jurisdiction to move the case to federal court:

Defendants’ primary contention is that the Plaintiff Corporations were not properly joined because the defamatory statements were not of and concerning the corporations, giving the corporations no possibility of asserting a right to relief. As discussed herein, this Court finds that defamatory statements made about an executive of a business may be sufficient to defame his business where the statement was made about the individual in his professional capacity and reflects negatively on the operation of the business. Therefore, the Plaintiff Corporations may have been defamed by statements made about Mr. Murray, giving them a possibility of success in this action as set forth by Ashworth, 395 F.Supp.2d at 403. Because the Plaintiff Corporations have this possibility of success, they were properly joined. This joinder destroys the diversity jurisdiction, which would have allowed a removal to this Court because the Plaintiff Corporations and Home Box Office, Inc. are all incorporated in Delaware. Therefore, this action should be remanded to state court.

All in all, a pretty straightforward decision on remanding -- and, of course, it makes no statement on the merits (or lack thereof) of the actual defamation claims. This is probably not a big deal in the overall case, as Oliver/HBO's argument is much, much stronger when it comes to whether or not his statements were defamatory (as the ACLU so nicely explained in their now-irrelevant amicus brief), but it is at least something of a setback for Oliver and HBO. And, in case you're wondering, the 4th Circuit (where this is) does not tend to allow remand orders like this to be appealed. So they're likely stuck in state court. That's a bit of a hassle for Oliver/HBO, and a bigger annoyance for reporters like myself who do have access to federal court records while state court records in West Virginia are (annoyingly) not so easy to access.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 3:41pm

    "The court admits that the statements by Oliver were about Murray himself, and not his companies, but says the two are so closely identified with one another that it doesn't matter for this purpose."

    I'm fine with this, as long as Murray is charged criminally for any misconduct done by his companies, rather than paying civil penalties for killing miners. You shouldn't be able to have it both ways.

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  • icon
    deadspatula (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 3:46pm

    West Virginia =/= New York

    Am I missing something? How does a case filed in West Virgina, about a defendant in New York, not automatically have diversity?

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 4:33pm

      Re: West Virginia =/= New York

      Both HBO and the West Virginia coal companies are incorporated in Delaware. Any other state and it might make a difference. But a Delaware Corporation means "generic corporate-friendly haven, like Panama, Liberia, Mars or Mordor."

      You don't even have to be a US citizen or resident to incorporate in Delaware. There's at least one case where a Canadian company sued Canada under NAFTA's ISDS rules by first creating a Delaware Corporation.

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

      • icon
        deadspatula (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 8:06pm

        Re: Re: West Virginia =/= New York

        So diversity doesn't exist in Delaware. It still exists in West Virginia.

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        • identicon
          Anomalous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 7:10am

          Re: Re: Re: West Virginia =/= New York

          "So diversity doesn't exist in Delaware. It still exists in West Virginia."

          Not so much - too many first cousins marrying each other narrows the gene pool, and weakens the mind.

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        • icon
          IAmNotYourLawyer (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 8:20am

          Re: Re: Re: West Virginia =/= New York

          You're conflating jurisdiction and venue. Jurisdiction is about authority; venue is about geography.

          For the federal courts to accept the case, they need to have jurisdiction- does the court have authority to hear the case. HBO's claim was that the federal courts have jurisdiction due to diversity of the parties- that the plaintiffs resided in different states from the defendants. The diversity analysis doesn't depend on the a location of the court making the determination- the analysis for a court in Delaware, or WV (or AZ, or TX, etc.) would be the same. In theory, all of the district courts across the US have jurisdiction or none of them do (in practice, different courts could reason and rule differently of course).

          Venue is a matter of whether, geographically, the court is the best to hold the case (and if the court doesn't have jurisdiction, then venue is irrelevant). Venue has various rules, and I don't think HBO challenged venue. A court can have jurisdiction but not be the proper venue (e.g., if the parties were diverse and HBO tried to remove this case to a federal court in NM).

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      • icon
        Craig Welch (profile), 18 Aug 2017 @ 4:31am

        Re: Re: West Virginia =/= New York

        "There's at least one case where a Canadian company sued Canada under NAFTA's ISDS rules by first creating a Delaware Corporation."

        Which case was that?

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  • identicon
    DOlz, 10 Aug 2017 @ 3:53pm

    "This joinder destroys the diversity jurisdiction, which would have allowed a removal to this Court because the Plaintiff Corporations and Home Box Office, Inc. are all incorporated in Delaware. Therefore, this action should be remanded to state court.”

    If they are all incorporated in Delaware then why is this trial in West Virginia?

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    • icon
      IAmNotYourLawyer (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:30pm

      Re:

      People and entities are not solely subject to the jurisdiction of their resident state (e.g., I travel out of state and get into a car accident), and the plaintiffs can choose to file in whatever they think will be the most favorable venue- one strategic advantage.

      Some (or all) of the plaintiff corporations have their principal place of business in WV. HBO (and Oliver's show) has systematic and continuous contact with WV. I don't think there's a jurisdiction issue for WV courts.

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  • identicon
    Whoever, 10 Aug 2017 @ 4:44pm

    Gawker, anyone?

    Isn't this how Thiel bankrupted Gawker? By getting the case in front of a sympathetic Florida state court?

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    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 5:18pm

      Re: Gawker, anyone?

      I think HBO is in better shape to defend itself than Gawker. The issue isn't even nearly as bad - while people could honestly argue what Gawker did with Hogan was bad, NO ONE will vote against Oliver.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 9:07pm

        Re: Re: Gawker, anyone?

        A judge who wants to stay on the local billionaires side might be inclined one way or another. Far less likely on the federal level. I am not familiar with West Virginia state court, but can't help but picture Dukes of Hazzard type setups. The state seems to be stuck in the early 1900's in many ways so nothing would surprise me.

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  • icon
    Russ Gilbert (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 6:40pm

    Citizens United?

    Hang on, are corporations people or aren't they?

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

  • icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 6:55pm

    Oh Snap

    It appears this case isn't going as forecast by the Techdirt soothsayers. The remand back to state court is a solid win for Murray and a pretty substantial loss for HBO, as they can't fight the case in their preferred setting.

    The ACLU thing is also interesting. My guess is that there will be plenty of legal wrangling, but it does appear that there may be some truth to the idea that the ACLU filed the brief in part because of the fund raising the Oliver did for them as a result of this case. Failing to disclose that in the brief seems to be a little more than an oversight.

    I still don't think Murray is going to get a big win here, but so far it appears to be 2-0 for Murray.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 6:56pm

    All over except formalities, then.

    A West Virginia jury will vote to hang British serf John Oliver, just on looks.

    The judge will have to remind they don't have that option and send them back.

    The "fix" is in for Murray on this; easily done by keeping it in state court -- and all the better for being entirely legal. That was their strategy in picking WV, and now have huge home turf advantage. It's just near certain that the fine folk of WV will vote for Big Coal against furrin weenie and the liberal drug addicts of HBO.

    You already admit to incorrect predicting. Even if "the law" were clear as you say, you're not familiar with ordinary people on the jury, who'll be prejudiced (rightly so in my view) starting at sight of Oliver and fancy city attorneys; they'll be enraged upon learning how a local boy is being attacked; they'll hear JUST hear the vulgar words, then go on to refute your and ACLU notions that anyone has a right to say them. -- Not being stupid, HBO will settle out of court. Bet ya half a peach it's before trial starts.

    This is not the case you were looking for to giggle over. Out of good will, I suggest you drop it, as will only depress you from here.

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

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:00pm

      Re: All over except formalities, then. A West Virginia jury will vote to hang British serf John Oliver, just on looks.

      6 tries just now seems to confirm as did the 6 tries prior today that there's a length limit on subject line. More hidden manipulation by Techdirt.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:15pm

        Re: Re: All over except formalities, then. A West Virginia jury will vote to hang British serf John Oliver, just on looks.

        Oh look the spammer got caught by the spam filter. Good job TD IT staff.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:39pm

        Re: Re: All over except formalities, then. A West Virginia jury will vote to hang British serf John Oliver, just on looks.

        It's hilarious how you lack the self-awareness to understand spam being blocked by a spam filter.

        But no, it's definitely a vast conspiracy to block certain length titles so that you specifically cannot post your rambling nonsense that is wrong about literally everything.

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

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: All over except formalities, then. A West Virginia jury will vote to hang British serf John Oliver, just on looks.

          Those whom computers wish to destroy they first make mad.

          In this case not even with a spam filter, but with a length limit on subject line. Which he claims is targeting him personally.

          I picture him activating a Siri, Cortana or Alexa device. And within days being reduced to screaming accusations at it until the police are called.

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:40pm

      Re: All over except formalities, then.

      Murray has filed over a dozen defamation lawsuits against journalists and newspapers, none of which reached judgment in his favor.

      Now his barratry target isn't some small local paper with little resources; it's HBO. And HBO's lawyers vetted the piece before it went to air. A number of legal experts have weighed in on the case, but I've yet to see one who thinks Oliver will lose.

      Don't hold your breath for the biased judge and jury you're dreaming of. Again, this isn't a local journalist he's suing. The judge knows the whole world is watching. He'll be extra-careful to be impartial, which can only work for Oliver.

      Meanwhile "Big Coal" ain't so big any more, and it's losing relevance quickly. But first it's pissing off the locals by switching to mountaintop removal mining. Between that and Oliver standing up for the miners - again, "Eat shit, Bob" originated with his own employees - I wouldn't count on a jury being biased towards a coal magnate. As noted above, there's dozen local journalists and newspapers that just might not give him favorable press.

      Still, if your little fantasy gets you through the day, enjoy.

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

      • icon
        MyNameHere (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:55pm

        Re: Re: All over except formalities, then.

        "Murray has filed over a dozen defamation lawsuits against journalists and newspapers, none of which reached judgment in his favor."

        You have to be careful here. Many of the cases never make it to a final judgement, they seem equally split between pre-trial dismissals and out of court settlements. There aren't that many instances where the case ran completely to conclusion on it's merits.

        Let's just say both sides have a lot of money and a lot of time on their hands, but don't be shocked if you see some sort of settlement to resolve the issue. Putting it in front of a jury in WV would not be the best thing for HBO at this point, the judge may play impartial but the jury is less predictable.

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        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 8:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: All over except formalities, then.

          True, such cases are often won by outspending the victim. But this is HBO, not some blogger. They have deep pockets, and approved kicking the ant's nest ahead of time.

          Your last claim doesn't work either. As noted above, putting it in front of a jury in WV would not be the best thing for Bob at this point. The judge will likely be impartial (which is bad for Bob), but the jury may be hostile.

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

          • icon
            MyNameHere (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 11:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: All over except formalities, then.

            I don't think it's "outspend" as much as willing to make the other side spend more than the settlement would cost. Big corporations tend to shy away from it, especially publicly traded companies such as TWX. There is a point where "tell Oliver to say no more" and giving Bob a couple of million is way cheaper than fighting it out and hoping that a jury likes your arguments and isn't turned off by the british dude.

            I have little doubt that Bob Murray will pay to see this one go all the way to the river. HBO may be willing to fold and take the loss to avoid making it worse.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 11:21pm

              'Easy prey here'

              I have little doubt that Bob Murray will pay to see this one go all the way to the river. HBO may be willing to fold and take the loss to avoid making it worse.

              Paying out would make it worse though, as it would be the equivalent of dumping a bucket of blood into shark infested waters. If they fold simply to avoid paying more this time it would all but guarantee that others that the show has covered would see that and decide that it was in fact worth their time and money to sue, whether to score an easy payout or to shut him up.

              Duck out with a settlement offer here and they might as well shut down the show entirely, and I don't imagine HBO would consider that an acceptable cost.

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

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 12:30am

                Re: 'Easy prey here'

                Yes, in this case, you might be right. I have my own theory about Mike's case with Shiva though, and I'd like your opinion, you seem like a thoughtful guy. My theory is that case, unlike this one, will be settled more quickly. The reason being that Mike and Shiva are younger men. Mike has a $15M target publicly painted on his back now, no self-respecting American lady would invest in him until after that is resolved. Shiva, on the other hand, is appearing on a lot of national TV and radio, and getting a lot of positive attention from American ladies. Mike has pretty much ruled out Thailand as a vacation spot because of his criticisms of the Thai royal family. Russian ladies are way too rough for Mike. South America is too dangerous. So, as his options to avoid sexual starvation run out, I think he'll settle. Anyone would, right? What do you think?

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:02am

                  Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

                  I fail to see what women have to do with Shiva Ayyadurai suing someone over factual reporting and legally protected opinions, but you do you, son.

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

                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:06am

                  Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

                  ... and now you've sunk to 'the case will be settled because having a lawsuit against you makes it difficult to attract female company, and that would be enough justification for me to cave so surely he will too.'

                  Could you get any more ridiculous? Perhaps 'the lawsuit makes it difficult to pick a shirt in the morning or decide which cereal to eat, and this is so terrible Mike will be rushing to settle the case so he can go back to easily making decision regarding his wardrobe and breakfast choices'?

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

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:17am

                    Re: Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

                    I'm not sure I could be more ridiculous, but since you asked so nicely, I'll give it a go. One of the first things you learn when actually engaged in a lawsuit is that you own nothing except by the permission of the government. And the government means Judges, who can take anything and everything from you at any time, including your liberty. When engaged in a public legal battle, you literally have no sure future. It takes a toll on how people see you. Especially ladies. We live in a capitalist society (at least we Americans do) and having no sure financial future makes you very unattractive, risky, and to be avoided. That's just life, and a good reason to avoid having big public legal battles with well funded adversaries. Which is one reason why most people are a whole lot more careful than Mike is. Just for that reason, to preserve their financial future, and their appearance as a suitable mate to the opposite sex. Does that seem ridiculous to you?

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

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:18am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

                      Yes.

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

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                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:28am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

                        Well, OK, that's your opinion, maybe you're right. The last time I saw Mike in front of a camera, he looked a lot worse than Shiva looked in front of a camera. If I had to guess, one of them is getting laid and one is not. Don't mean to be rude, I'm just saying, it appears to me that way. Young men are predictable, that's pretty much historical fact, ask any lady, ask Cleopatra or Mata Hari or any lady, really. Big decisions in life usually are about tiny little places.

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

                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:41am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

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

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:52am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

                            See, this is how you know Hamilton's an idiot.

                            He spends thread after thread bitching about how PaulT and other users are using "girlish" arguments, and now here he mocks young men for being predictable. There's no winning with this lunatic who rigs the game as he pleases.

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

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                              identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 2:21am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

                              See, now that's just not nice. Calling me an idiot does not advance any counter argument to my point. You could say that Mike was already somewhat adjusted to not getting laid, given his manner, his education and his looks, that would be a fair point. Or you could say you (or Stephen) were sleeping with Mike and knew for certain he was happy and satisfied, that would be both somewhat expected and believable. But just to label me an idiot and not advance an argument is just uncalled for.

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

                              • icon
                                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 2:44am

                                “Advance an argument”

                                And what argument do you have, sir, that counters Techdirt’s factual reporting on and legally protected opinions of Shiva Ayyadurai?

                                Because you haven’t ever actually argued the “disputed” facts on their merits. You have only ever made disingenuous attempts to deflect from those facts. All of this crap about Hamilton’s ghost, American inventors, Donald Trump, and now the sex life of Mike Masnick—which says a lot, considering how you were once so adamantly offended by references to oral and anal sex—has never actually advanced any sort of “argument” or discussion on the subject of Shiva Ayyadurai’s lawsuit against Techdirt.

                                And I understand the tactic—far more than you think. You want to wear us down with all this inane bullshit, to make us weary of having to argue with you and point out how all of your posts are just pointless jabbering about whatever you can think of, until we finally agree with you on a given point. Once you get that one point of agreement, you can start chipping away at the rest. Everything you say here is driven by one goal: To make us question whether Shiva Ayyadurai is actually right to sue Techdirt. But you will not get that satisfaction from me, sir.

                                Shiva Ayyadurai has never once offered any evidence that proves wrong the factual claims at the heart of this matter. In every interview in which he is pressed on his claims, he changes the definitions of words and phrases so that he can still claim to be what he is—“the inventor of email”—without worrying about those pesky facts getting in the way. His lawsuit against Techdirt has no merit because his factual claims have no merit unless he gets to decide under what circumstances his claims will be judged.

                                I have no doubt that you will reply to this with some sort of ranting screed about something wholly unrelated to the points raised here. Go ahead. But since I suspect you are either Shiva Ayyadurai or someone who does this trolling on his behalf, I have but a simple three-word message to relay:

                                Eat shit, Shiva.

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

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                                  identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 3:18am

                                  Re: “Advance an argument”

                                  OK, Stephen, sorry if I upset you. But come on, some of the arguments about Shiva are just ridiculous, right? Like the statement "I invented Email" cannot be accurate because he did not file a patent. That's just silly, right? I've seen it made here on Techdirt. Not a good argument. Lots of things that are invented are not patented. Exactly what did he mean by "Email"? A reasonable interpretation is to go back to when it happened, and when he registered his copyright, and consider what EMail meant at that moment. Right? So he has an arguable position. How long can he keep the argument up? Up to him, seems like, maybe he likes to be the center of attention. Maybe all the grief poured out of the hearts of people like you are just fuel for the fire. But to dismiss any merits surrounding his case is just not fair, is it? His case is arguable. You have your opinion, but even you could accept someone coming to a different conclusion, right?

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

                                  • identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 4:47am

                                    Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                    Come on. That he got a copyright on the term email does not mean that he invented email (easily a decade of prior art). Yes, he got a copyright, that and with a couple of $ you can get a coffee at Starbucks, and it does not pertain. Is it arguable? No, not really. Although he likes to change "facts" to suit his desires, he is not the inventor of email, he is the inventor/author of a program that he called email.

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

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                                      identicon
                                      Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 4:53am

                                      Re: Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                      Well, that's real progress from the Techdirt Community, isn't it? That's great. We all agree that Shiva is the inventor/author of a program he called EMail. That goes a long way toward settling this whole matter. Very helpful. If you limit yourself to that meaning, then the term "I invented EMail", when uttered by Shiva, is factually true, right? That is, if you assume that "invented" (past tense) refers to that time, and EMail refers to his program. True statement after all, right? Hard to see another way, right?

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

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                                        identicon
                                        Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 5:24am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                        I think there is just one more piece to this puzzle before the whole picture will be clear. And, it's not that hard, I'll bet a lot of you know the answer and could state it clearly. If you consider the statement above ("I invented EMail"),obviously many of you believe it is not true. But, when considered as shown above, that is, at a specific time and with a specific meaning of Email, it is true. So, when is it not true? Different time, different meaning of Email? I think if we can lay out when the statement is true, and when the statement is not true, and be specific about it, we will have done the Judge's job and he can use our conclusion to resolve the whole thing. So, simple question - how do you defined "invented" and/or "Email" such that the statement "I invented Email", when uttered by Shiva, is not true?

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                                          PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 5:41am

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                          "So, simple question - how do you defined "invented" and/or "Email" such that the statement "I invented Email", when uttered by Shiva, is not true?"

                                          By using historical evidence and the actual definitions of the words you're using. Shiva implemented email in a program he called "email." He did not invent email.

                                          Very simple, unless your reputation and income are dependant on the lie. But, it's not our fault Shiva has achieved nothing else in his life to fall back on since he wrote that program.

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                                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 5:55am

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                          I think if we can lay out when the statement is true, and when the statement is not true, and be specific about it, we will have done the Judge's job and he can use our conclusion to resolve the whole thing.

                                          His claim holds true only under the following interpretation: “Shiva Ayyadurai once wrote and copyrighted a program he named ‘EMAIL’.” That is a factual statement which we can verify. But that fact does not entitle him to the broader interpretation of his claim—that he alone invented email as we know it today—because it does not disaffirm any other historical fact surrounding the development of email.

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                                        PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 5:39am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                        "We all agree that Shiva is the inventor/author of a program he called EMail"

                                        Yes, and if that was all that the fraudster was claiming, there would be no discussion. Unfortunately, his political campaign and speaking career is dependant on the lie that he invented email itself, not just a program bearing that name.

                                        "That is, if you assume that "invented" (past tense) refers to that time, and EMail refers to his program."

                                        Nobody "invents" a program. A program is an implementation, not an invention. Outlook didn't reinvent email, it re-implemented email. Shiva did not invent email, he re-implemented existing standard in a program he unimaginatively named "email". Similarly, if I were to write a program called "word processor" and somehow got a copyright, I would only be telling the truth if I told people I wrote that program. I would be a liar if I said that I invented the word processor.

                                        So, yes, if you redefine words then Shiva is telling the truth. By standard definitions, he is not. Thus, he is correctly labelled a fraud and a liar.

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                                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 5:44am

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                          Ok, got it, I see your point, very good. Can you please just define the words "invented" or "EMail" exactly, please? What exactly is the definition of these words such that the statements uttered by Shiva were false?

                                          Just write it down this way:

                                          Invented means ....
                                          Emails means ....

                                          And then, Shiva is a liar and a fraud (with those definitions)

                                          If you can do that, then we will all be on the same page, finally. That would be good, right?

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                                            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 6:03am

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                            What exactly is the definition of these words such that the statements uttered by Shiva were false?

                                            The Oxford English Dictionary defines the verb “invent” as follows: “Create or design (something that has not existed before); be the originator of.” Under that definition, Shiva’s claim of being “the inventor of email” must be interpreted as meaning he was the sole creator of electronic mail as either a concept or a working program.

                                            The OED defines the noun “email” as follows: “Messages distributed by electronic means from one computer user to one or more recipients via a network.” Under that definition, Shiva’s claim of being “the inventor of email” must be interpreted as meaning he created either the concept for or the first known working version of an electronic messaging system.

                                            He did not invent electronic messaging as a working program, nor was he the first person to have the idea of electronic mail. He has never offered any evidence to disaffirm those facts.

                                            For that matter, neither have you.

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                                            PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 6:06am

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                            "What exactly is the definition of these words such that the statements uttered by Shiva were false?"

                                            Good news! There is no need for me to do that because during the evolution of the English language it was discovered that it is very good for standard definitions for words to be collated. Building upon the work performed by Samuel Johnson in the 18th century, books have been published with the name "dictionary" which provide such a reference. There's no need to come up with any definition myself, you can just pick up one of those dictionaries and see for yourself what each word means in the standard agreed upon parlance of today!

                                            For the purposes of this conversation, however it's worth noting one thing - Samuel Johnson did not invent the dictionary. Many other dictionaries existed, his simply became a standard reference at the time due to the way he implemented it.

                                            He wrote the dictionary, he implemented the dictionary, he did not invent the dictionary. He would be lying if he had said that he invented the dictionary, he would be a fraud if he were attempting to leverage that lie for profit and political office.

                                            I hope this makes sense to your confused mind.

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                                              Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 6:22am

                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                              Well, thank you for your efforts, but it still seems a little too complex to me. We agree he did invent a program, or we don't agree he invented a program? I think it might be a little hard to use the dictionary for an invention, right, a dictionary presupposes existing words, right, and would be a little surprising to look up and find a new invention in a dictionary, right? That's a bit contradictory. I still think we could fit everything into a 2x2 matrix. No one disputes the word "I", that means Shiva, right? So that leaves "invented" and "Email". In the line where Shiva is stating a fact correctly, "invented" (past tense) means when he filed his copyright, and EMail means his program. What does Invented mean on the other line, and what does EMail mean? If we can do a side by side comparison of truth/fraud, then the whole thing will be more clear, I am sure about that. Agree?

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                                                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 6:29am

                                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                                Once again, you attempt to gaslight via deflection and distraction. You offer nothing that disaffirms the factual arguments made in prior comments. All you can resort to is the same kind of “moving the goalposts” tactics as Shiva himself; all that does is hide how you have no actual argument based on actual evidence and facts.

                                                Unless and until you can disaffirm the facts around the broadest possible interpretation of Shiva Ayyadurai’s “I am the inventor of email” claim, please: Eat shit, sir.

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                                                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 6:42am

                                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                                  With respect, Stephen, I believe you are mistaking a patent issue in front of the USPTO with a defamation issue. In front of the USPTO, patent claims need to be considered from the broadest possible interpretation. To defame someone, you just need to publicly state something that you knew was not true, or with a reckless disregard for the truth, and to cause some harm, which no one disputes. So, since we agree that there is at least some truth to Shiva saying "I invented EMail", I would say calling him a fraud and a liar for saying so means you are saying something you know is not true, or at least you acknowledge is not true in some circumstances. Think of the listener, Stephen, not of yourself. What does someone hear when you say Shiva didn't invent email, and is a fraud? Are they even aware of your definition of EMail, which you can't even state? Isn't it reckless to not consider that from another view, he's telling the truth? Shouldn't you mention that when you speak about Shiva in public?

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                                                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 6:51am

                                                    Now you’ve pissed me off.

                                                    So, since we agree that there is at least some truth to Shiva saying "I invented EMail", I would say calling him a fraud and a liar for saying so means you are saying something you know is not true, or at least you acknowledge is not true in some circumstances.

                                                    Shiva Ayyadurai intends his claim to be considered in the broadest possible interpretation, which is “I am the sole inventor of email as we know it today”. If he did not, he would qualify his claim to make it more accurate: “I wrote a program called ‘EMAIL’ on my own when I was a teenager.” But not only does he make his claim with the intent of broad interpretation, he continually re-defines and re-classifies words and definitions and interpretations thereof until his claim can be considered “truthful”. To wit:

                                                    As we persisted in asking what was somehow un-e-mail-like about older 1970s technologies, like the Xerox Alto—Ayyadurai grew more agitated.

                                                    “Let’s stop right there,” he said. “Let’s stop. They didn’t call it ‘e-mail.’ You see, you guys want to separate the term. That’s wrong, okay? That’s wrong. This is what’s been going on, Joe, for four fucking years.

                                                    “According to Wikipedia, e-mail is the exchange of digital messages,” he continued. "Right? Is that a right definition? It is a fucking wrong definition! E-mail is not the exchange of digital messages. That would make Facebook e-mail, it would make every fucking thing e-mail! If you want to talk to the expert—which is me—there are three types of messaging. There’s short messaging, which goes back all the way to the smoke signal. Okay? There’s community messaging, and there’s formal messaging.”

                                                    So if someone was sending a text document electronically, we asked, from one person to another, on a networked computer—why didn’t that count as e-mail?

                                                    “Did they call it ‘e-mail’?” he said. “No. I defined e-mail! And you guys have got to give me that credit.”

                                                    See what he does there? He keeps trying to change what “email” means to suit his definition, all so he can ensure that his claim of being “the inventor of email” holds true.

                                                    He cannot disaffirm any facts that contradict his claim, so he tries to redefine reality in a way that makes those facts meaningless. You do the same damn thing.

                                                    You are fooling no one except yourself. Either offer an actual substantive argument or do everyone a favor and eat shit, sir.

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                                                      Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 7:01am

                                                      Re: Now you’ve pissed me off.

                                                      Well, Stephen, I can respect your opinion, maybe you could find a way to respect mine. We are arguing about the meaning of words, right? Slippery things, words, just ask any trained attorney. Don't you think Shiva actually deserves exactly what he asked for, a little credit and a little respect? We all deserve a little, right, Stephen, even when we disagree? We can still give each other a little credit and a little respect. If you really insist that Shiva deserves no credit and no respect, that just doesn't seem right to me. And I'm an influential person in these parts. Really. Let's be friends.

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                                                        Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 8:23am

                                                        Re: Re: Now you’ve pissed me off.

                                                        I will say Shiva was a talented teenager. Fairly impressive to write a program like that back then. However, he only took concepts from previous programmers and put them all together. Still impressive and I respect that. However, instead of clarifying what he meant when his claim was contested, he chose to sue. That can only mean one thing, he is trying to make it seem like he truly invented the main stream email which he did not. He will attempt to win not by facts but by making the lawsuit as expensive as possible. If he did it by facts, it would be an open and shut case.

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                                                        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 8:53am

                                                        Re: Re: Now you’ve pissed me off.

                                                        I can respect your opinion, maybe you could find a way to respect mine.

                                                        I’ll respect your opinion—such as it is—when you can prove it is a genuine opinion, rather than a deliberate attempt at being obtuse for the sake of trolling/gaslighting me. Show me why you believe his claims. Show me what evidence makes his argument the factually correct one. If you cannot show your work, shut the hell up.

                                                        We are arguing about the meaning of words, right?

                                                        You are arguing about the meaning of words in a deliberate attempt at being obtuse enough to distract from the subject at hand. I am giving you definitions of several words, potential interpretations of those words used together, and how they affect both your “argument” and Shiva’s.

                                                        In other words: I am showing my work; you are showing your ass.

                                                        Don't you think Shiva actually deserves exactly what he asked for, a little credit and a little respect?

                                                        He deserves whatever credit and respect he can get for his decades-old isolated development of a networked messaging system which had no discernible effect upon the development of email as we know and use it today. Nothing more, nothing less.

                                                        If you really insist that Shiva deserves no credit and no respect, that just doesn't seem right to me.

                                                        Shiva Ayyadurai deserves no credit for “inventing” email as we know it, despite his claims to the contrary. He deserves no respect for trying to sue people who truthfully report on his claims as factually incorrect and call him a liar for knowingly restating those incorrect claims in spite of the evidence. He deserves scorn for trying to usurp the achievements of multiple people for his lone self. He deserves mockery for every attempt he makes to defend himself without disaffirming any of the historical facts that contradict his claims.

                                                        Let's be friends.

                                                        Eat shit, sir.

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                                                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 8:26pm

                                                          Re: Re: Re: Now you’ve pissed me off.

                                                          OK, Stephen, I see I have not persuaded you of anything. I accept my failure, and I respect your opinion, which I clearly have not changed. Can I pose one final question to you, Stephen? Could you accept the premise that everyone has an opinion, and pretty much everyone's opinion is formed by their life experience. They might think something is like this or like that, but may have never experienced it, and might be completely wrong. People are limited in their experience, right, but they formulate every opinion based on nothing else. So, sometimes on a particular issue, different people form different opinions. That's a fair statement, right?

                                                          So in this case, for example, if you and I wanted to settle this debate, we could have a contest, right? We could take OTHER people, who don't have a dog in this fight, and you could try to convince them of your point of view, and I could try to convince them of mine, right? I'm not saying that you and I are going to do that (I don't care that much) but the process is fair, right? What do you think? It's kind of a metaphor for a jury trial, which though flawed, is often the closest thing to the truth available.

                                                          If you'd like to say the legal system is flawed, and attorneys should all be sunk to the bottom of the sea, I would agree (as long as it was all of them). But the concept is a fair way to settle a disagreement, right? Let two people argue their case in a small public setting, and ask OTHERS who prevails. Fair, right? What do you think?

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                                                            Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 11:08pm

                                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Now you’ve pissed me off.

                                                            So, forgive me for responding to my own comment, please, but I just wanted to embellish my point. Once, when I was a younger man I visited the northern part of Thailand. They have chickens there, usually, living in the yard. Any small leftover from meals is just thrown in yard, where the chickens gobble them up. Later, people gobble up the chickens, it's all very efficient. The ones who understand this trade off the best is the chickens. They accept people who throw food, but get closer, and they run for their lives, literally and enthusiastically.

                                                            Except the fighting chickens, usually related to the running chickens, but the fighting chickens get a loving bath every day from their owner. Approach a fighting chicken, and he expects love and attention from a human. Even the same humans who eat the other chickens.

                                                            Get it? Difference experiences, same chickens, same blood line, atmosphere, same people around them, but the fighting chickens assume people love them, and the other know full well people want to eat them. Each adapts their behavior accordingly. Amazing, no?

                                                            So, ask the chickens about the nature of the people around them, and you will get very different answers. Just like if you ask people about Shiva, it depends a lot on who you are asking and what their experience is. If you ask Mike about Shiva, he will say he is a liar and a fraud. If you ask me, I will say he's an accomplished member of society, and Mike is a liar and a fraud. Different points of view, right? That's fair, right?

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                                                              Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2017 @ 5:10pm

                                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Now you’ve pissed me off.

                                                              Nope, not forgiven. Nice try.

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                                                              PaulT (profile), 14 Aug 2017 @ 12:28am

                                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Now you’ve pissed me off.

                                                              You know, your rambling story about chickens doesn't change one simple fact - Shiva did not invent email. If you're offended by people pointing this out, perhaps you should have a word with your lover and tell him to stop trying to rob the credit from people who did things before he did.

                                                              "If you ask Mike about Shiva, he will say he is a liar and a fraud."

                                                              ...and he will back (and has backed) those claims up with documented, verifiably true evidence. No number of chicken analogies or other nonsense will change the fact that this is true.

                                                              "If you ask me, I will say he's an accomplished member of society, and Mike is a liar and a fraud."

                                                              Then, I will ask you both for the same level of documented, verifiably true evidence against Mike as he has supplied against Shiva. In addition, the evidence that you have that the evidence provided of Shiva's nature as a fraud and liar is not correct. You're merely being held to the same standard, why are you afraid to provide evidence?

                                                              "Different points of view, right? That's fair, right?"

                                                              No. This isn't an argument about opinion, this is about documented reality. The truth shows that Shiva is lying when he says he invented email, and so is attempting to defraud people when he uses that to gain power and money.

                                                              This is not a question of whether Michael Fassbinder is the world's greatest modern actor - an argument that can go on forever and never be resolved as it's a subjective fact. This is an argument about whether or not the sea is wet - it doesn't matter how much you argue against the facts, it's there fore everyone to see.

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                                                PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 6:55am

                                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                                "Well, thank you for your efforts, but it still seems a little too complex to me."

                                                Strange. Your usage of words suggest you're not illiterate or unable to understand common definitions. I must therefore conclude that you're being deliberately obtuse and have no interest in a simple reality - when Shiva claims that he "invented email", if he's referring to anything other than a single implementation of a pre-existing concept, he's lying.

                                                Since you have no interest in reality, it's not any worth continuing the conversation. It's nearly the end of the work week, the sun is shining and a productive weekend awaits. I hope you spend that time equally well, rather than arguing semantics over the words of a proven fraud and liar.

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                                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 5:42am

                                    Re: Re: “Advance an argument”

                                    Exactly what did he mean by "Email"?

                                    That depends on how deep you dig into his claim. Question the veracity of his broadest claim—“I am the inventor of email”—and he will whittle away at the definition of words and phrases until “email” means exactly what he needs it to mean for that claim to hold true.

                                    Shiva Ayyadurai invented a program he called “email” while isolated from the work being done by ARPANET. Ayyadurai has a copyright on his program. These two facts are not in dispute; no one has ever said otherwise. What is in dispute, however, is the veracity of his claim to be the sole “inventor of email”. This is because:

                                    • his work did not receive any recognition outside of the school where he implemented it,
                                    • his work did not have any effect whatsoever on the development of the major email protocols,
                                    • his work was predated by the development of ARPANET’s messaging system, which was the actual basis for email as we know it today, and
                                    • he was not the first person to use the “email” portmanteau and the phrase “electronic mail”, nor was he the first person to have that idea.

                                    For Shiva’s claim to hold true, he has to answer for those facts. He has to prove that his program was the actual, honest-to-God basis for all modern email. He cannot do that; he will never be able to do that.

                                    he has an arguable position

                                    Like I said: Shiva has an arguable position so long as he gets to decide the circumstances under which his claim will be judged. But he does not get to define reality for everyone else to suit his needs. He cannot escape the facts of ARPANET, the prior usage of “email” and “electronic mail”, and his lack of any influence of the development on email past the creation of his program.

                                    But to dismiss any merits surrounding his case is just not fair, is it?

                                    His case has no merits. Neither he nor you have offered any evidence that disaffirms the factual claims made against him. I know you will not; your modus operandi is to gaslight via distraction and deflection. Shiva, however, has no such excuse—especially if this suit reaches the trial phase.

                                    You have your opinion, but even you could accept someone coming to a different conclusion, right?

                                    These facts have yet to be disaffirmed:

                                    • The development of ARPANET’s messaging system pre-dates Shiva’s program.
                                    • His program was created in isolation from ARPANET.
                                    • His program was possibly never seen outside of the school in which he developed it and the copyright office that approved his copyright submission.
                                    • Neither he nor his program contributed to any development of the email system we know and use today, either before or after the creation of his program.

                                    If anyone can look at the unabridged history of the development of email and still believe he had any role in thinking up/creating/implementing/popularizing email as we know it today, they are as lost and delusional as Shiva Ayyadurai himself.

                                    To make a long post short (too late): Eat shit, Shiva.

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                                Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 9:19am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

                                Oh the arguement, which he won by the way, is you're an idiot.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 7:18am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

                          I believe, good sir, you are incorrect. Evidence suggests Shiva is the less popular one with the ladies.

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:19am

                  Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

                  "What do you think?"

                  I think it's great that your American mental institutions are allowing you to communicate with the outside world while they repair your obviously damaged sanity. I just wish they'd let you use more than one site.

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                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 7:42am

                  Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

                  Oh Hamilton just admit you lust for Shivas cock. Stop beating around the bush and come out of the closet.

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                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 7:48am

                  Re: Re: 'Easy prey here'

                  I know it hurts that Melenia Trump got a restraint order against you. But buck up Hamilton, Shivas still single.

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              PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: All over except formalities, then.

              "HBO may be willing to fold and take the loss to avoid making it worse."

              "Making it worse" is exactly what settling this case would do. Luckily, HBO aren't a short-sighted as you, so we'll this this through to the end.

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                MyNameHere (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:37am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: All over except formalities, then.

                I wish I had your certainty. Searching Google find plenty of examples of Time Warner settling lawsuits, and often for insanely huge amounts. While the freedom of speech issue is special and nice, they do run a bottom line business.

                Going all the way to judgement risk making case law that goes against you as well. HBO may have been willing to take on the lawsuit to start with, but over time they may find it less enjoyable if the it looks like there is even a small chance of a judgement against them.

                While you may feel Oliver's spiel was all protected speech, there are a significant number of points for the jury to grab onto and decide "this was over the line". HBO may not want to be in a position to take that risk.

                HBO is part of Time Warner. Time Warner is a public company that has to answer to shareholders and speedy resolution of a legal case is almost always best for executives who work on a quarterly basis.

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:53am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: All over except formalities, then.

                  "Searching Google find plenty of examples of Time Warner settling lawsuits, and often for insanely huge amounts."

                  On what types of issues? What ramifications would the suit have long term if settled? Are the issues even remotely similar to the one at hand here?

                  I did do a quick search just to humour you. The first few results - settlement with shareholders, settlement with Tolkien estate over licencing to gambling sites, settlement over alleged accountancy fraud.

                  These are very different types of issues to the one at hand.

                  "While the freedom of speech issue is special and nice, they do run a bottom line business."

                  ....one that is partly dependant on the free speech issue, hence this lawsuit in the first place

                  "Time Warner is a public company that has to answer to shareholders and speedy resolution of a legal case is almost always best for executives who work on a quarterly basis."

                  Well, I do hope that they don't do the usual thing of placing a quarterly profit over long-term strategy and damage themselves in the long term. It's true that this is a possibility, but it would be the wrong move for anyone who can think past the current quarter.

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                  • identicon
                    Thad, 11 Aug 2017 @ 10:02am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: All over except formalities, then.

                    Well, I do hope that they don't do the usual thing of placing a quarterly profit over long-term strategy and damage themselves in the long term. It's true that this is a possibility, but it would be the wrong move for anyone who can think past the current quarter.

                    I don't think that it's even that. This is free advertising for John Oliver's show -- which could prove useful well before the ending of this quarter. Say, come August 28 when people quit signing up to watch Game of Thrones.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 7:44am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: All over except formalities, then.

                  I for one, can't wait for your apology when this turns out in Olivers favour. Because if you don't it will never be forgotten here. See: your undying support for Prenda. How's that going by the way?

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

                  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                    icon
                    MyNameHere (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 1:49pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: All over except formalities, then.

                    Why would I apologize? Did I do something that offends you, by having the balls to have an opinion?

                    That's nothing to apologize for.

                    Now, those who flag my comments because they don't agree, they should apologize. Nothing in my comments is rude or insulting - you just don't agree.

                    Perhaps it's time for Techdirt to be enlightend and remove the flag comment option. It's being abused in a truly massive way.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 7:01am

      Re: All over except formalities, then.

      A West Virginia jury will vote to hang British serf John Oliver, just on looks.

      So then at least you're admitting that West Virginia is nothing more than a kangaroo court, devoid of any sense of justice.

      Just more good old boys protecting a good old boy.

      That's why when it comes to the plight of the coal miners, I say, they can all eat shit - which will be fairly accurate when the welfare runs out.

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

  • icon
    frank87 (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 4:44am

    move the court to a tax haven...

    The blessing of tax havens: al companies meet there.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 5:19am

    The only ones I see profiting from this are the lawyers. Which in this case may not be a ad thing.

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

    • identicon
      Michael, 11 Aug 2017 @ 9:59am

      Re:

      And, of course, John Oliver and HBO.

      This is the kind of thing he talks about. His fans are interested in this. Every bit of news about it is an ad for his show. While being sued is horrific, this is one instance in which they might actually be ok with it.

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

      • identicon
        Thad, 11 Aug 2017 @ 10:14am

        Re: Re:

        Al Franken has claimed that his response, when Fox News threatened to sue him for using the phrase "Fair and Balanced" in the title of one of his books, was "Please sue me."

        Not only did the lawsuit help make Franken's book a bestseller, but given how close his election in 2008 was, there's a legitimate case to be made that it helped him become a US Senator.

        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, 12 Aug 2017 @ 2:35am

    Mike and Dr. Evil

    Did you get the "Mr. Biggelsworth" reference? That's the cat that Melania was holding when Shiva was simultaneously swearing in (to the Presidency) and swearing to (Malania) his undying devotion. Do you still not get it, Mike? We're all plotting against you, and putting the "Dr. Evil" references into court cases just to mock you. It's a conspiracy from top to bottom. Don't you get it?

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

  • icon
    Dave W (profile), 14 Aug 2017 @ 4:45am

    Last Week tonight Special

    When this is all over and John Oliver does this inevitable show about it i would like to see the following guests:

    - Mr Nutterbutter
    - Mike Myers as Dr Evil
    - Jamie Lynn Crofts of the ACLU
    - Mike Masnick (to raise the issue of SLAPP)

    I'd also like to see Bob Murray invited, but when he doesn't show, his position taken by a tub of lard instead.

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


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