Shocker: DOJ's Computer Crimes And Intellectual Property Section Supports Security Researchers DMCA Exemptions

from the say-what-now? dept

Well here's a surprise for you. The DOJ's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) has weighed in to support DMCA 1201 exemptions proposed by computer security researchers. This is... flabbergasting.

In case you don't know, Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is the "anti-circumvention" part of the law. It's the part of the law that makes it infringement to get around any "technological measure" to lock down copyright covered material, even if breaking those locks has nothing whatsoever to do with copyright infringement. It's a horrible law that has created all sorts of negative consequences, including costly and ridiculous lawsuits about things having nothing to do with copyright -- including garage door openers and printer ink cartridges. In fact, Congress knew the law was dumb from the beginning, but rather than dump it entirely as it should have done, a really silly "safety valve" was added in the form of the "triennial review" process.

The triennial review is a process that happens every three years (obviously, per the name), in which anyone can basically beg the Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress to create exemptions for cracking DRM for the next three years (an exemption -- stupidly -- only lasts those three years, meaning people have to keep reapplying). Over the years, this has resulted in lots of silliness, including the famous decision by the Librarian of Congress to not renew an exemption to unlock mobile phones a few years back. Many of the exemption requests come from security researchers who want to be able to crack systems without being accused of copyright infringement -- which happens more frequently than you might think.

Historically, law enforcement has often been against these exemptions, because (in general) they often appear to dislike the fact that security researchers find security flaws. This is, of course, silly, but many like to take a "blame the messenger" approach to security research. That's why this new comment from the DOJ's CCIPS is so... unexpected.

Many of the changes sought in the petition appear likely to promote productive cybersecurity research, and CCIPS supports them, subject to the limitations discussed below.

Incredibly, CCIPS even points out that those who are opposed to these cybersecurity research exemptions are misunderstanding the purpose of 1201, and that it should only be used to stop activity that impacts copyright directly. This is the kind of thing we've been arguing for years, but many companies and government agencies have argued that because 1201 helps them, no exemptions should be granted. But here, the DOJ explains that's not how it works:

Some comments opposing removal of any existing limitation on the security research exemption suggest, implicitly or explicitly, that the DMCA’s security research exemption itself poses a danger merely because it fails to prohibit a type of research to which the commenter objects. However, the purpose of the DMCA is to provide legal protection for technological protection measures, ultimately to protect the exclusive rights protected by copyright. As critically important as the integrity of voting machines or the safety of motorized land vehicles are the American public, the DMCA was not created to protect either interest, and is ill-suited to do so. To the extent such devices now contain copyrighted works protected by technological protection measures, the DMCA serves to protect those embedded works. However, the DMCA is not the sole nor even the primary legal protection preventing malicious tampering with such devices, or otherwise defining the contours of appropriate research. The fact that malicious tampering with certain devices or works could cause serious harm is reason to maintain legal prohibitions against such tampering, but not necessarily to try to mirror all such legal prohibitions within the DMCA’s exemptions.

There's a lot more in the comment, but... I'm actually impressed. Of course, the letter does note that part of the reason it wants this exemption is to enable security researchers to figure out how to crack into encrypted phones, but that's actually a reasonable position for the DOJ to take. Far better than seeking to backdoor encryption. Finding flaws is fair game.

All in all, this is a welcome development, having the DOJ's CCIPS recognize that security research is useful, and that it shouldn't be blocked by nonsense copyright anti-circumvention rules.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 11 Jul 2018 @ 7:49am

    So now Mike is a Big Surveillance and government shill defending the DOJ eh? /s

    Don't be mistaken, it's just a small hiccup of sanity, they'll be back to trumpeting (this was intended) bad stuff pretty fast.

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

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 11 Jul 2018 @ 8:05am

    However, the purpose of the DMCA is to provide legal protection for technological protection measures, ultimately to protect the exclusive rights protected by copyright.

    And this is why it needs to be repealed. There is no such exclusive right that necessitates DRM. (There's a reason it's called copy-right and not usage-right.) Here we have the DOJ mistakenly claiming that DRM protects copyright, but also together with it, the very interesting statement that the DMCA provides legal protection for DRM.

    Why? Because of what DRM fundamentally is: hacking your computer and turning it against you, making it do things you do not want it to do. If it didn't specifically have the DMCA legitimizing it, it would be as illegal as any other form of computer hacking, and here we have the DOJ coming right out and admitting it.

    Well, that's what needs to happen. It's more critical today than ever, in a world of data breaches and private surveillance, with malware abounding and bad actors like Facebook spying on you through your mobile device, that computer owners be able to assert their right of ownership over their own property. As long as DRM is treated as legitimate, we can't do that, and as long as the DMCA remains on the books, DRM remains legitimate.

    The DMCA must die.

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2018 @ 9:41am

      Re: Actlually, DMCA slows pirates from doing what they want:

      hacking your computer and turning it against you, making it do things you do not want it to do.

      Just like laws try to prevent alcoholics from hopping into high-powered vehicles and menacing every other person in proximity. -- You should in all instances FIRST blame those acting outside the law, especially when it's stealing content, which is entirely non-necessary. Copyright recognizes exclusive rights of ownership, abstract property rights in the intellectual realm.

      You stop far short of the attacks on privacy and persons. Google, for instance, tries to use my computer against me to get every bit of data possible and then track me all over the net. -- And then gives NSA "direct access" to the collated data, according to Snowden.

      And of course, any weakening of DMCA will be cheered here because helps pirates, ALWAYS a central goal here.

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      • icon
        Gary (profile), 11 Jul 2018 @ 9:54am

        Re: Re: Actlually, DMCA trollspirates

        DMCA also prevents tractor owners from repairing their own engines. DRM goes against the absolute ownership of property.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2018 @ 10:28am

        Re: Re: Actlually, DMCA slows pirates from doing what they want:

        And just how do car manufacturers prevent their cars being driven when the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs?

        DRM is a preemptive measure to try and stop piracy, and hurts those who obey the law more than those who do-not.

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

        • icon
          Mason Wheeler (profile), 11 Jul 2018 @ 11:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Actlually, DMCA slows pirates from doing what they want:

          To paraphrase Captain America, every time someone tries to stop a piracy before it starts, innocent people get hurt. Every time.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jul 2018 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re:

        The central goal of weakening or altering the DMCA, by most anyone with their skin in the game, is to loosen copyright restrictions for the benefit of the public. Most people don’t have the money or the time to fight huge legal battles with megacorps/the government over things like Fair Use and incidental-but-not-intentional copyright infringement. A better DMCA would balance the rights of the copyright holders with the liberties of the general public so that one does not necessarily override the other while remaining fair to both. The notice-and-takedown system changing to notice-and-counternotice would be a good start.

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

      • identicon
        I.T. Guy, 11 Jul 2018 @ 10:32am

        Re: Re: Actlually, DMCA slows pirates from doing what they want:

        "Just like laws try to prevent alcoholics from hopping into high-powered vehicles"
        Really? I don't remember any particular law mentioning HP statistics. Can you cite sources or are you just being emotional and dramatic?

        "You should in all instances FIRST blame those acting outside the law"
        Well we do Mr. Straw man.

        "Google, for instance"
        Dont use google. Next.

        "And then gives NSA "direct access" to the collated data"
        Still uses AT&T. Next.

        "And of course, any weakening of DMCA will be cheered here because helps pirates"

        What is and isn't in the DMCA, "pirates" could care less about. They go along doing what they do unhampered by these means. So exactly... How does this in any way help "Pirates?"

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2018 @ 11:36am

      Re:

      (There's a reason it's called copy-right and not usage-right.)

      Even that is a misnomer. It's not a right; the temporary monopoly is a privilege granted with some (dubious) expectation of public benefit in return.

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

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2018 @ 9:33am

    Hell, you don't believe that DMCA should block outright theft!

    So why should we be impressed with your view of DOJ's practical exemptions? Just show that you have rabidly fixated WRONG ideas. Says more about you than DOJ.

    And that you run this non-surprise as a "shocker" in the key slot shows that your stock of pieces is low and your editorial judgment is lousy.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2018 @ 9:34am

      Re: Hell, you don't believe that DMCA should block outright theft!

      You're not even coherent.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2018 @ 10:06am

      Re:

      This coming from the cunt who thinks that the DMCA should be used to hide criminal records.

      You brought this on yourself by cheering on copyright's overstepping, even on things that other laws adequately cover.

      You made your bed with shit and now you're angry because nobody else wants to lie in it.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jul 2018 @ 10:22am

      Re:

      Hell, you don't believe that DMCA should block outright theft!

      1. Copying is not theft.
      2. Show me a single instance of actual theft that the DMCA has ever stopped.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2018 @ 1:05pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, the DMCA has probably chilled theft of iPhones, due to cracking equipment not being readily available.

        Of course, you can't prove a negative, but there's a pretty strong correlation here.

        That said: this could have easily been accomplished through something other than the DMCA.

        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 Jul 2018 @ 7:56am

        Re: Re:

        Copying is of course theft. Consider for an example, an ancient map that was created after huge investment in capital and (perhaps) lives. An accurate map, that no one else has yet created. After my investment has cost me my time, my money and perhaps even the lives of my family or compatriots, you want to copy the results of my work for free. I don’t think so. There is historical precedent going back hundreds of years to protect, for example, maps. And by inference, movies, books, audio, all of it. Of course copying is theft. Only a revisionist idiot would insist otherwise. Not that I’m calling you a revisionist idiot, Steven Teeny Stones. I have a different name for you altogether.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2018 @ 1:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Copying is of course theft."
          No, it is not.

          --------------------
          "Consider for an example, an ancient map that was created after huge investment in capital and (perhaps) lives. An accurate map, that no one else has yet created. After my investment has cost me my time, my money and perhaps even the lives of my family or compatriots, you want to copy the results of my work for free. "
          ---------------------

          If you want to pursue such a project, it's up to you to figure out how make money on it. Nothing has been taken from you. Just like any other business venture, if you can't figure out how to make money with it, don't do it. Creating criminal penalties to ensure you succeed is not the government's job.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2018 @ 7:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I like your argument.

          "Copying is theft!"

          "Here is a random story about something being copied."

          "Of course copying is theft!"

          It's so persuasive.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2018 @ 7:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Actually the whole map analogy was explained to me by David Nimmer at Irell Manella (a really smart guy - look him up). He gave me an example of people putting phoney labels in maps for the purpose of identifying illegal copies, very clever stuff and holds up well in court. My point is that there is a long history of copying being theft. It has been and continues to be theft for a very long period of history. Look it up. :)

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

  • icon
    Tim R (profile), 11 Jul 2018 @ 9:38am

    And I'm sure the person responsible for these views has been summarily sacked.

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

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 11 Jul 2018 @ 9:45am

    "Many of the exemption requests come from security researchers who want to be able to crack systems without being accused of copyright infringement -- which happens more frequently than you might think."

    The accusation of Copyright is just the means to an end. Mostly used in what appears to be punishment rather than any protection of copyright.

    Wonder how long John T. Lynch will be employed after this.

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

  • identicon
    David, 11 Jul 2018 @ 9:49am

    So now I can take over systems and sell exploits?

    I mean, that's sort of like how the "research" exception for whaling is being handled. Basically you call yourself a researcher and do business as previously. Ok, there might be some government license involved, but with one of the most corrupt governments in the history of the U.S., that's just a question of money.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2018 @ 10:46am

    The title of this article confused me for a bit until I realized that the "Shocker" part wasn't being sarcastic. Not sure I've ever seen the word "shocker" used in a non-sarcastic fashion before...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2018 @ 12:11pm

    Don't be impressed. The DOJ also decides who qualifies as a legitimate security researcher. What they have done here is really nothing more than set people up for selective prosecution.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 11 Jul 2018 @ 12:30pm

    What happened before this was

    Adopted??

    Really, was Copy protection REALLY a downhill battle??
    NOT for the consumer..Who hardly even knew he could remove that Catalytic converter himself.
    And EVEN today, Cracked software is only running about 1-5%..

    Circumvention is another BIG word..it can mean those that HACK the game, but NOT crack it..Those that use Other programs to insert DATA while playing games, to give them advantage.

    With this Law you have NO RIGHTS to change that Computer that controls your car. To make it better, faster, Anything, EXCEPT the piece of garbage it is..

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2018 @ 4:13am

    The twists and turns of the legal system

    I never cease to be amazed by the legal process and the various players, especially the whole Techdirt/Email guy thing. Even this article took many unexpected turns. Does anyone have an opinion about Mike’s current situation with the appeals court? The approach Harder took was also unexpected. He basically says it doesn’t matter who invented Email - it matters that Techdirt called him a liar, a fraud, a charlatan and such and ignored a mountain of evidence to the contrary. Where does the Techdirt audience think the burden of responsibility falls for such things, on the writer of the article to substantiate his choice of terms, or on the recipient of the accusations? It seems to me saying “nya nya you can’t prove you invented Email” is a weak excuse for using such derogatory terms for another individual, especially one in an independent business with a long reputation. Any interesting opinions out there? It certainly would “cool down” Internet tonality if people were held liable for the labels that they applied to others. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing, maybe it’s a good thing. So much trash gets published, I think we could all do with less.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 3:21am

      Re: The twists and turns of the legal system

      “nya nya you can’t prove you invented Email” was not a weak excuse. It was the court's decision, given that the accuracy of Masnick's "insults" was the entire point of the defamation claim. Since Shiva's claim to invention could not be satisfactorily determined, neither Shiva nor Masnick, in the eyes of the court, could be stated as definitively right or wrong.

      Of course, we wouldn't have got to this point had Shiva not gone on his personal crusade. Shiva could have continued to peddle the idea that he was the sole inventor of email to unsuspecting fans. But thanks to this lawsuit people get to see the true face of Shiva, Harder, and the whackjob who dreams of magical fairy tiger spirits. Way to go, genius!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 4:19am

        Re: Re: The twists and turns of the legal system

        You are my new favorite friend. “Insults”, did you say? Accusing someone of lacking integrity and specifically describing them as dishonest are not only insults - they are damaging. Provably so. Clearly Mike was not absolutely sure if he was right or wrong, nor should anyone else be. There are persuasive arguments on both sides. Debate is one thing, impugning someone’s integrity (especially those in business) is quite another. You and your other Techdirt authors could have voiced your opinion without the defamation. Instead, you defamed him, clearly. In fact, I understand that Trump chose Kavanaugh specifically because he feels the same way (just kidding). But seriously, Trump is soon to get YET ANOTHER SCOTUS pick, and you seriously want to engage in this stupid argument? What do you think the end-result will be? This is a chess game, and Harder is so far ahead of you guys that it seems almost unfair. Not unfair (Harder is playing within the rules, after all, and you are not) but almost unfair. Because you’re so stupid. Oh well. Everything will become clear in time. TIme never diminishes the truth, but always utterly destroys dishonesty.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 8:42am

          Re: Re: Re: The twists and turns of the legal system

          But seriously, Trump is soon to get YET ANOTHER SCOTUS pick, and you seriously want to engage in this stupid argument?

          The sun is rising tomorrow YET AGAIN, and you seriously want to engage in this stupid argument? Hey, I can draw imaginary parallels between unrelated events too!

          The courts decided that based on the "evidence" Shiva chose to present in court they could not definitively say that Shiva did or did not "invent email". Which means Masnick did not definitively defame. How sad for your fantasies. Maybe you should write several consecutive replies to yourself of horrible Melania/Shiva fanfiction. It worked so well the last time.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 3:12am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The twists and turns of the legal system

            Imaginary parallels between unrelated events? Do you think SCOTUS is “unrelated” to the law? SCOTUS defines the law. Or do you live in an alternative universe?

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

            • identicon
              nona, 18 Jul 2018 @ 6:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The twists and turns of the legal system

              while i understand that you are trying to point to hypothetical defamation law suits getting to the supreme court, and possible negative outcomes. i may also live in an alternate reality.

              as i understand it congress defines the law and scotus's job is to interpret the law. not that i think either one necessarily does their job as advertised.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2018 @ 4:23am

    Maybe no one can fully agree on what email is and is not, but all reasonable people know what a liar and a fraud is. If you’re gonna say it, be ready to prove it.

    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 Jul 2018 @ 8:09am

    The difference between a conservative and a liberal

    So here is one thing that I think is really unfair: When liberals call conservatives liars and frauds, it hurts their (conservatives) actual feelings. When anyone calls a liberal a liar and/or a fraud, they immediately become more popular and their self esteem increases, mainly because they have been noticed. In the liberal world, being noticed is more important than anything, hence the notorious simulation of the beheading of POTUS, Madonna saying she wants to blow up the White House, etc., and on and on. It’s just not fair. One man’s pain is another man’s pleasure. Mike, for example, he pretty lives for those posts that get hidden. He demonstrates his power to censor in front of all his liberal friends, and he feels great about it, while simultaneously using the first amendment to justify his rampant defamation of so many while he simultaneously publicly censors his critics. It’s just not fair.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2018 @ 7:06pm

      Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

      Uh huh.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2018 @ 11:06pm

        Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

        Of course, feeling are one thing, business prospects are quite another. When someone loses money because of what people unfairly write about them, even you would agree redress is reasonable, don’t you think? I will reply for you in case you’re shy: “uh-huh”

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 3:10am

          Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

          Samefagging from multiple IP addresses is not going to fool anyone, Hamilton.

          Shiva was able to fund himself, for a time, a heavily charged political campaign in which he encouraged his audience to exact physical violence on his political opponents. If you're that concerned about Shiva, don't be. His self-celebratory empire isn't going anywhere anytime soon. But you already knew that, don't you think?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 3:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

            Ok, I’m game for a debate - answer me this, oh liberal genius. Did you and your Techdirt cohorts actually say that “Shiva” was dishonest and without integrity? Could you just confirm that for me, please?

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

            • icon
              Toom1275 (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 7:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

              It's Shiva's numerous deliberate lies and malicious actions that say that he's dishonest and without integrity.

              We're merely pointing that fact out.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 7:41am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

                If you wouldn’t mind, could you please explain how you know that “Shiva” told deliberate lies and took malicious actions and is dishonest and without integrity? Is it just your word or Mike’s word on the issue, or can you back it with “actual” evidence?

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

                • icon
                  Toom1275 (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 7:58am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

                  A few lies:
                  * his whole "I invented email" schtick (all factual evidence weighs against that claim)
                  * His claim that those like Techdirt defamed him (Defamation law itself and all facts weigh against the claim)

                  One malicious action:
                  Filing a vexatious lawsuit against innocent-of-wronging-him targets with the intent of causing harm to his victims.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 7:36pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

                    “Weights against that claim” would indicate that there are (at least) two sides to the story - which means it is NOT A FACT that he lied. This would be for a jury to decide (that’s their job).,

                    “Techdirt defamed him” - wow that’s rich - even I would agree that Techdirt defamed him, and I’m totally unbiased.

                    A “vexatious lawsuit”? Seriously.

                    Your argument is completely circular - he’s a liar because he says that I unfairly called him a liar.

                    The truth of the matter is that there is a mountain of evidence that he is not a liar, or a charlatan, or at all untruthful.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 9:11pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

                      Uh-huh. Just like the "thousands of innovators" you claimed were hurt by Techdirt, and when asked to show a list all you could show was Janice Duffy.

                      Considering you harangued this website for months - a website that you personally think of as insignificant with a non-existent readership - calling yourself "unbiased" is laughable, Hamilton.

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

                    • icon
                      Toom1275 (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 10:15pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

                      If you want facts, read Techdirt's coverage and its copious linked sources. Since you're an obvious troll you're not worth researching for, but here's a sampling from memory:

                      His claim: That he alone invented the email system withall its major features we all use today

                      Fact: he wrote a program titled Email (I'm calling it Smail here for short)

                      Fact: Email as an in-use system existed before Smail

                      Fact: Whenever Shiva changes his story to include new "unique" core features Smail had, those features are also found to have existed in email before Smail existed, in some cases preceeding Smail by at least a decade.

                      Determination: that Shiva "invented" any features of email never before seen is false

                      Determination: that Shiva may at least have a claim of coining the name "Email" is plausible

                      Fact: Smail resided on a single corporate mainframe, and could not deliver messages to other systems

                      Determination: That's a messaging system, but nowhere close on capability to the real email either then or now

                      Fact: Smail spawned no descendents; nobody but his priginal client adopted it

                      Determination: It's therefore impossible for it to be the same email ubiquitous today

                      Fact: Ayyadurai's claims have less than zero factual support

                      Detefinition: Those claims are lies

                      Determination Ayyadurai tells lies

                      Definition: He's a liar

                      Fact: MIT gave him a position for a while, based on his fraudulent "inventor of email" reputation.

                      Determination: The motivations for Shiva's lying are money and prestige

                      Umless I misremembered a detail, then the above facts are as so, and the determinations are, obviously, logically formed out of those facts. The determinations, though accurate, are nonetheless opinion, and cannot be considered true or false.

                      -

                      -

                      By law, defamation requires:

                      *Harm to plaintiff

                      *Caused by making an untrue claim of fact

                      *That the author knew to be false

                      *That, if made against a public figure, were made with the intent to harm.

                      If any of the above conditions fail, then it's not defamation.

                      At best it can be argued that the writings of Techdirt and others can kinda/sorta fall under only the first condition (like any lowdown scum, there's held the fallacious belief that it's the "snitch" that's at fault for one's being caught, rather than the natural consequence of one's own actions)

                      Not a single proven- untrue fact was written about Ayyadurai by any of his victims. (Notably, Ayyadurai himself in his lawsuit did not contest that any facts victims wrote were false, rather he bizarrely tried to make the impossible-by-definition claim that opinions were false.)

                      Opinions and conclusions based on disclosed true facts, no matter one's own opinion on how strongly or weakly those opinions are supported by those facts, cannot be defamation, ever, so no amount of whinging and butthurt about mean nasty language carries any weight in a defamation claim.

                      Techdirt's sources for its information were (and afaik still are) of good and reliable reputation, and there was/is no indication that the information was/is flawed in any way, so even if they had been lying in their info on Shiva that Techdirt incorporated into its writings, there would have been absolutely no reason for Techdirt to have believed so, so a defamation claim fails here too.

                      Finally, Ayyadurai's feeble attempts to claim that he was somehow not a public figure despite deliberately seeking out the limelight of the undeserved fame of inventing email naturallu fail. And no honest person has or could claim that any of Ayyadurai's critics had any core motivation other than to set the record straight in the face of an onslaught of lies. One Charlatan's revisionist history placing himself at the center of everything is a deep insult to the work of those who, unlike Ayyadurai, actually did contribute to email. Even though this final hurdle to clear is moot after the others, it's still too high of a one to pass for the plaintiff.

                      Not only did the defamation claim fail, it could not possibly succeed as a matter of law. Because of that, there is also nothing at all for a jury to need to decide.

                      -

                      As for the vexatious nature of his lawsuit -

                      Legal proceedings started with malice and without good case. Vexatious litigation is meant to bother, embarrass, or cause legal expenses to the defendant. A plaintiff who starts such litigation either knows or should reasonably know that no legal basis for the lawsuit exists. -Cornell Law

                      Ayyadurai's own statements say that his goal with this was to silence Techdirt if not by winning then by bleeding it dry from legal expense - an eminently malicious goal that coupled with the lawsuit's complete lack of any supporting fact, law, or merit means it fits the definition of "Vexatious" quite snugly.

                      -

                      I expect this to be my final reply, as I've already given your bullshit far more time than it's worth. You haven't yet shown good faith here, so I don't expect you to start now. There are more entertaining trolls I can needle elsewhere.

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 10:23pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

                        Hmm. Less than zero factual support. Is that your educated legal opinion? On the other hand, 1) email was the name of a copyrighted and registered program and 2) he invented it. So his claim is literally true and he is not a liar at all. If you are not a liar, and someone publicly asserts you are, and you lose business, bingo, redress your grievances in court with a claim of defamation. Seems just.

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 10:56pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

                          Which Harder failed to substantiate, of course. There's also the point that the judge himself pointed out that based on the evidence that Harder and Shiva submitted, there was insufficient proof to determine whether Shiva did or did not invent email, defined as the father of all programs and clients modern email is based around. That's the definition that Shiva has leveraged to demand resources, money and attention from others, which the judge considered unsubstantiated.

                          As for the losing business bit, Shiva could afford his own political campaign. If you want to argue Shiva has been losing "business", I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

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

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:31pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

                            No one said Shiva was broke or stupid, only that he would have been richer without the defamation, which (I would guess) he could prove to a jury. Seriously, though, are you “for” people with credible claims (not foolproof claims, but credible claims) to be publicly called Liars and Charlatans and Frauds by people who silence their own critics? Or by anyone, for that matter. Is Free Speech really about being “free” to call people Frauds? I don’t think so. If you’re going to besmirch someone’s good reputation, that they built over years of hard work, you better be very sure of yourself. Techdirt is (IMHO) way out of bounds with their criticisms. Freedom of Speech is not the equivalent of Freedom to Defame and Injure.

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:47pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

                              And personally, I think the days for Techdirt and other like minded liberal propaganda sites are numbered. Think about it this way - Techdirt (and others) try to use the legal system to defend themselves, exclaiming repeatedly that they should be “protected” in their legal “safe space” of Free Speech, while they practice their rampant defamation. Well, what is the legal system? The legal system is whatever SCOTUS says it is. And what is SCOTUS? People. And who will those people be in the future? Trump people. Do you really think you are going to continue hide much longer in the skirts of the law without papa coming along and giving you a good spanking for your bad behavior? Time will tell us all the answer to that. Trust me, you will be better for it (in the end, though it will hurt for a while). :)

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

                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 12:21am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

                                Politicians, doctors, educators, advisers. All get called liars for one reason or another. If you're so thin-skinned you can't stand justified criticism Shiva probably should not have entered politics, especially not in such a way where the bulk of his campaign involved inciting violence towards his opponents.

                                And if the legal system is whatever SCOTUS says it is, that legal system handed Shiva a declaration that his "invention" cannot be proven. So you got what you wished for, Hamilton!

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

                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 12:27am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The difference between a conservative and a liberal

                                  Correct me if I am wrong, but I think SCOTUS has yet to hear the case. (My cousin Brett says he’s ready to rule right now though)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 10:01pm

    On your last point we can agree my friend. And my humor is superior to yours, by your own admission. :)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:05pm

    With respect, what is important is not the definition of email, it is the definition of liar.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 12:23am

      Re:

      Yeah, the definition over email isn't important! It's not like arguing over what email is or isn't has been the driving force behind Shiva's moneymaking empire or lawsuits or anything. It's not as though he foamed at the mouth at the mention of Vint Cerf - why would he be so bothered if Vint Cerf has a different definition of email?

      You're slipping, Kimosahbee.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 1:14am

        Re: Re:

        The driving force of his money making empire? You are delusional. That Email guy has both a great education (MIT if I remember), a long list of famous academics who personally endorse him (and know his long history as a scholar and a gentleman) and has dedicated his life to the service of others. That’s why he is wealthy, because OTHER PEOPLE value what he provides. That’s the essence of capitalism, and what we should all strive to achieve. SERVING OTHERS, and as a side-benefit, getting paid for it, is the heart of real capitalism. Defaming these people should be condemned, especially the disgusting type of defamation practiced historically by Techdirt.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 1:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "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!" - Shiva Ayyadurai, History by Lawsuit

          Right, it's not about the definition of email. Snore. This is the point where you start replying to yourself with angry masturbatory messages again, Hamilton.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 2:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Read the actual appeal, my misinformed friend. :)

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2018 @ 1:40am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Again, if being called a liar bothers you so much, it speaks volumes about your character. Politicians get called liar all the time, still get voted in, even when they inevitable renege on their campaign promises. If it bothers Shiva that much politics was a poor choice for him, more so considering the content of his campaigns. Scholars and gentlemen don't bully people with less cash.

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


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