I really wish people would quit asking this, like it's some sort of "gotcha" moment. Techdirt writes about a lot of things, most of them related to tech, but not always. If it's a problem for you, find something else to read.
Seriously, do you people post comments at PopeHat.com and ask them what their articles have to do with the Catholic leader's headgear too?
Re: You seem to have forgotten something important...
On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons,
Citizens United did no such thing and I wish people would quit repeating this. Corporations have always enjoyed some of the same rights that individuals do, for example the right to own property and the right to enter into contracts. Some individual rights, like the right to vote or the right to marry, corporations will never have.
All Citizens did was to reinforce that groups of like-minded people have First Amendment rights as a group.
Here is how the Brennen Center for Justice puts it:
Citizens United did not grant corporations personhood. Corporations already had it. As lawyer David Gans has documented, despite the fact that the U.S. Constitution never mentions corporations, corporate personhood has been slithering around American law for a very long time. The first big leap in corporate personhood from mere property rights to more expansive rights was a claim that the Equal Protection Clause applied to corporations. Source
What he did get a copyright on was the computer code for a program named "EMAIL".
Microsoft holds copyrights and registered trademarks on a lot of software named "Windows", but that doesn't mean Microsoft invented the windows-style GUI at all. Microsoft borrowed the concept from other existing operating systems at the time.
I quickly read through the complaint. I still don't understand what you are referring to as "childish personal attacks" myself, but whatever.
I did find this bit amusing though:
These statements also resulted in a wave of efforts by others to discredit Dr. Ayyadurai and erase him from the history of electronic communications, attacks on Wikipedia that remove reference to his contribution,...
So Techdirt's articles created a "wave of efforts by others to discredit Dr. Ayyadurai". Of course, none of that was caused by Ayyadurai's own actions, right? Techdirt's influence on the greater internet is simply amazing!
And this part: "attacks on Wikipedia that remove reference to his contribution" is really good too. Techdirt has somehow brainwashed all the independent editors at Wikipedia, instead of them simply fact-checking entries like they always do. Funny stuff.
The same constitutional rights that protect techdirt's first amendment claim are also the same constitutional rights that can penalize sites like techdirt from running articles without backing up its information.
What the heck are you talking about here? The Constitution doesn't penalize, it enumerates the unalienable rights of the people and defines how the government is to be kept from infringing those rights.
Far too often I see techdirt running articles that are first posted by other sites, quoting the same quotes that those other sites are quoting from.
This is why I have policies set in place on my site that prevent registered members from posting messages without any sources or research.
Umm, yeah. This isn't a news site, it's an opinion blog. Kind of hard to give an opinion on something without giving background first.
Unfortunately, techdirt could lose just from the attrition of this lawsuit.
Well yeah. As Mike stated in the article, this lawsuit might bankrupt them. What is your point?
While I regret the undue financial burden and distraction this will pose to Techdirt and it's staff, I also applaud your decision to fight and look forward to the discovery process which will place Ayyadurai's claims under a legal microscope.
Don't know about anyone else, but I'm going to side with the opinions and definitions of actual internet pioneers and respected computer historians, as opposed to someone with delusions of grandeur who is just looking for a bit of fame or some anonymous commentator on a website.
It's the same with word definitions, I tend to go with the definitions that are universally accepted so everyone else understands what I am saying, as opposed making up my own definitions in order to win an argument.
If you don't remember Mike saying Shiva lied, you should read the complaint and go back over Mike's posts.
I just did, and you are correct, Mike did point out some of Ayyadurai's falsehoods directly. I'm still not sure how you equate that to a personal attack though. It's attacking the falsehoods, not the person.
The dozen-plus posts where Mike attacks Shiva personally
Once again, can you point to an example of Mike attacking Ayyadurai personally? Mike has countered Ayyadurai's claims, but I didn't see any personal attacks in what I read.
So is it true that Shiva actually lied, as Mike claims?
I don't recall Mike actually claiming Ayyadurai lied, per se, but that he has exaggerated his claims that a copyright on a particular piece of software equates to inventing a entire concept like email. Especially when it's pointed out that most of email's features were implemented and standardized prior to Ayyadurai's copyright.
Re: You guys are looking at this from the wrong angle.
*At no point are ANY Geek Squad employees actually under contract or hire by the FBI. Therefore, Geek Squad members have ZERO obligation to protect your 4th amendment rights.*
Wrong. One of the legal determinations the courts use to figure out whether someone is an "agent" or "actor" for the government is whether a reward is offered.
>In determining whether a private party acted as an "instrument or agent" of the government, we consider several factors, including whether the government knew of and acquiesced in the intrusive conduct; whether the private party's purpose in conducting the search was to assist law enforcement; **and whether the government requested the action or offered the private actor a reward.** [United States v. Crowley, 285 F.3d 553 (7th Cir. 2002)](https://casetext.com/case/us-v-crowley-7) Emphasis mine.
Someone finally decided to stand up to Mike's personal attacks and insults
What personal attacks and/or insults are you referring to? I've read the articles concerning Ayyadurai and all I recall seeing is Ayyadurai's claims being rebuffed with the truth.
Funny how not word about it here on Tech Dirt! Cat got your tongue, Mike?
Nothing funny or usual about it at all. If Mike has indeed been served with a lawsuit on this, then I'm sure he will want to have anything written about it be vetted by a lawyer or two and possibly, under the advice of his lawyers, not say anything at all about it.