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Court tells Shiva Ayyadurai he did not invent email

by on07 September 2017

Techdirt wins case

Shiva Ayyadurai, the Trump supporter with a race-baiting campaign hashtag, claim that he invented email has been thrown out of a court.

Ayyadurai claimed that Techdirt had defamed him by pointing out that he didn’t really invent email and sued. However a Massachusetts judge threw the case out saying it was baseless and “rejected Ayyadurai’s request to file an amended complaint”.

Ayyadurai has sought credit for electronic mail, at times by muffling competing, fact-based narratives through frivolous lawsuits. We said that thanks to his deep pockets he was close to re-writing technology history and was proof that the US legal system favoured those with deep pockets and bloody mindedness.  His latest attempt aimed at getting Techdirt founder Mike Masnick over a 2014 blog post entitled “Why Is Huffington Post Running A Multi-Part Series To Promote The Lies Of A Guy Who Pretended To Invent Email?”

He wanted $15 million in punitive damages which was targeted at bankrupting the site a move which worked against Gawker which paid him $750,000 to go away.

However it seems that when he actually gets to court Ayyadurai has got unstuck. Judge Frank Dennis Saylor IV dismissed the suit for “failure to state a claim” on Ayyadurai’s part. Everyone but Ayyadurai points to technologist Ray Tomlinson as the inventor of email.

Techdirt won the suit but Judge Sayer refused to toss out the case on anti-SLAPP grounds, which would have allowed Techdirt to recover legal fees so it is still out of pocket.

Writing in his bog Masnick applauded the decision, calling it a “a big win for the First Amendment and free speech”. Gizmodo has reached out for comment from Ayyadurai and will update if its story if it hears back. 

Ayyadura is taking on Elizabeth Warren in the election next year. He does not appear to have much to say about his rival other than the fact she is a “fake Indian” and he is a real one. But she never claimed to have invented email and threatened to shut down technology magazines who disagreed with his rather strange claim.

Last modified on 07 September 2017
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