Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Didn’t

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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:44 am

Case 1:17-cv-10011-FDS Document 1 Filed 01/04/17

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

SHIVA AYYADURAI, an individual,
Plaintiff,
v.
FLOOR64, INC., a California corporation d/b/a TECHDIRT; MICHAEL DAVID MASNICK, an individual; LEIGH BEADON, an individual; and DOES 1-20,
Defendants.

CASE NO.

COMPLAINT

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai (“Dr. Ayyadurai” or “Plaintiff”), by and through his undersigned attorneys, sues Defendants Floor64, Inc. d/b/a Techdirt, Michael David Masnick, Leigh Beadon, and DOES 1-20 (collectively, “Defendants”), and respectfully makes the following allegations.

SUMMARY OF THE CASE

1. Dr. Ayyadurai is a world-renowned scientist, inventor, lecturer, philanthropist and entrepreneur. In 1978, Dr. Ayyadurai invented email: the electronic mail system as we know it today. On November 15, 2011, TIME magazine published an article titled “The Man Who Invented Email,” which outlines the backstory of email and Dr. Ayyadurai’s invention. In June 2012, Wired magazine reported: “Email … the electronic version of the interoffice, interorganizational mail system, the email we all experience today, was invented in 1978 by [Dr. Ayyadurai] … The facts are indisputable.” In July 2015, CBS reported on The Henry Ford Innovation Nation, hosted by Mo Rocca: “Next time your fingers hit the keyboard to write a quick email, you might want to say, thank you to Shiva Ayyadurai…. he is credited with inventing email …. in the late 1970s.” Several other testimonials from prominent experts in the technology industry are set forth in paragraphs 22 through 33 below.

2. Dr. Ayyadurai holds four degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, an M.S. in Visual Studies, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering. Dr. Ayyadurai has been recognized internationally for his developments in early social media portals, email management technologies, and contributions to medicine and biology. He has been a speaker at numerous international forums, where he has discussed email, science, medicine and technology, among other topics. Dr. Ayyadurai operates his own research and education center: the International Center for Integrative Systems in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also serves as Chairman & CEO of CytoSolve, Inc.

3. Since at least 2014, Defendants have engaged in an ongoing campaign to damage Dr. Ayyadurai’s personal and professional reputation and career by publishing no less than fourteen (14) false and highly defamatory articles about Dr. Ayyadurai on their website at http://www.techdirt.com (collectively, the “Techdirt Articles”). The Techdirt Articles falsely state, among other things, that Dr. Ayyadurai is a “fraud,” “liar” and a “fake.”

4. Defendants’ false and defamatory statements have caused substantial damage to Dr. Ayyadurai’s personal and professional reputation and career. As a result of Defendants’ defamation, Dr. Ayyadurai has been publicly humiliated, lost business contracts and received a slew of scorn, ridicule and criticism relating to Defendants’ false accusations and statements. Defendants’ wrongful acts, which have been repeated, have left Dr. Ayyadurai with no alternative but to file this lawsuit. Dr. Ayyadurai seeks an award of no less than Fifteen Million Dollars ($15,000,000) in compensatory damages, plus an additional amount in punitive damages.


THE PARTIES

5. Plaintiff is a resident and domiciliary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, County of Middlesex.

6. Upon information and belief, Defendant Floor64, Inc. d/b/a Techdirt (“Techdirt”) is a California corporation with its principal place of business located in Redwood City, California.

7. Upon information and belief, Defendant Michael David Masnick (“Masnick”) is an individual, domiciled in the San Carlos, California. At all relevant times, Masnick was an editor, Founder and CEO of Techdirt.

8. Upon information and belief, Defendant Leigh Beadon (“Beadon”) is an individual, domiciled in Toronto, Canada. At all relevant times, Beadon was a writer at Techdirt.

9. Upon information and belief, Defendants, and each of them, were and are the agents, licensees, employees, partners, joint-venturers, co-conspirators, owners, principals, and employers of the remaining Defendants and each of them are, and at all times mentioned herein were, acting within the course and scope of that agency, license, partnership, employment, conspiracy, ownership, or joint venture. Upon further information and belief, the acts and conduct herein alleged of each of the Defendants were known to, authorized by, and/or ratified by the other Defendants, and each of them.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

10. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendants because they have minimum contacts with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

11. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) because there is complete diversity of the parties to this action and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

12. Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2), in that a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred here.

FACTS RELEVANT TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION

DR. SHIVA AYYADURAI’S INVENTION OF EMAIL


13. In or about 1978, while working as a Research Fellow at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Dr. Ayyadurai created email: a computer program that created an electronic version of a paper-based interoffice mail system, which allowed mail to be sent electronically and consisted of the Inbox, Outbox, Drafts, Folders, Memo, Attachments, Carbon Copies, Blind Carbon Copies) (i.e., “To:,” “From:,” “Date:,” “Subject:,” “Body:,” “Cc:,” “Bcc:”), Return Receipt, Address Book, Groups, Forward, Compose, Edit, Reply, Delete, Archive, Sort, Bulk Distribution, etc. These features are now a familiar part of modern email systems.

14. Dr. Ayyadurai invented email to manage the complexity of interoffice communications, and also to reduce the use of paper documents. Dr. Ayyadurai designed email to be accessible to ordinary people with little or no computer experience, at a time when computers were mainly used by highly-trained technical people.

15. Dr. Ayyadurai wrote nearly 50,000 lines of computer code to implement the features of email.

16. Dr. Ayyadurai named his computer program “email”. He was the first person to create this term, because he was inventing the “electronic” (or “e”) version of the interoffice paper-based “mail” system. His naming of “email” also arose out of the limited parameters of the programming language and operating system, which limited program names to all capital letters and a five-character limit: thus, his selection of the letters “E” “M” “A” “I” “L.”

17. At the time of Dr. Ayyadurai’s invention of email, software inventions could not be protected through software patents. It was not until 1994 that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that computer programs were patentable as the equivalent of a “digital machine.” However, the Computer Software Act of 1980 allowed software inventions to be protected to a certain extent, by copyright. Therefore, in or about 1981, Dr. Ayyadurai registered his invention with the U.S. Copyright Office. On August 30, 1982, Dr. Ayyadurai was legally recognized by the United States government as the inventor of email through the issuance of the first U.S. Copyright registration for “Email,” “Computer Program for Electronic Mail System,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A. With that U.S. Copyright of the system, the word “email” entered the English language. [1]

18. In summary, Dr. Ayyadurai was the first to convert the paper-based interoffice mail system (inbox, outbox, folders, attachments, etc.) to its electronic version; the first to call it “email;” and received the first U.S. Copyright for email that legally recognized Dr. Ayyadurai as the inventor of email, and caused the word “email” to enter the English language. These facts are verified by several academic papers on the history of email, including, What is Email? And, Who Invented It? By Leslie P. Michelson, Ph.D. (a true and correct copy of relevant excerpts are attached hereto as Exhibit B), Invention of Email in Newark, NJ (1978): The First Email System by Leslie P. Michelson, Ph.D., Robert Field, Deborah J. Nightingale, Sen Song, Ph.D., M. Feuerman, and Richard Corson, M.D. (a true and correct copy of relevant excerpts are attached hereto as Exhibit C), and Origin of Email & Misuses of the Term “Email” by Deborah J. Nightingale, Sen Song, Ph.D., Leslie P. Michelson, PhD., and Robert Field (a true and correct copy of relevant excerpts are attached hereto as Exhibit D).

19. On or about November 15, 2011, TIME magazine published an article titled “The Man Who Invented Email,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit E, which outlines the history of email and Dr. Ayyadurai’s invention. The article states that “email—as we currently know it—was born” when Dr. Ayyadurai created it, replicating an interoffice mail system at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey. The article states that “the original system was set up for doctors to communicate electronically using the [physical] template they were already used to” and the interface “hasn’t changed all that much” in becoming the email system we know and use today. The TIME article also states that in “1981, Shiva [Ayyadurai] took honors at the Westinghouse Science Awards for his ‘High Reliability, Network-Wide, Electronic Mail System’” and in 1993 he “won a White House competition for developing a system to automatically analyze and sort email messages.”

20. In June 2012, Wired magazine reported that: “Email … the electronic version of the interoffice, inter-organizational mail system, the email we all experience today … was invented in 1978 by [Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai] … The facts are indisputable.” A true and correct copy of the June 2012 Wired magazine article is attached hereto as Exhibit F.

21. In July 2015, CBS reported on The Henry Ford Innovation Nation, hosted by Mo Rocca: “Next time your fingers hit the keyboard to write a quick email, you might want to say, thank you to Shiva Ayyadurai.... he is credited with inventing email…. in the late 1970s.”

22. Leslie P. Michelson, Ph.D., Director of the High Performance Computing Center at Rutgers University, has stated: “The facts are black and white on this. There is no gray area. The ARPANET didn’t invent email. Ray Tomlinson didn’t invent email. And, neither did the so-called ‘internet pioneers’ of the 1960s and 1970s. Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai’s journey reveals a larger truth that should be evident by now: innovation can happen anywhere, anytime, by anyone.”

23. Stephen Y. Chow, a prominent intellectual property attorney and partner of Burns and Levinson, LLP, Elected Member of the American Law Institute, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Uniform Law Commission, and Adjunct Professor at Suffolk University Law School, has stated: “In August 1982, the U.S. Copyright Office of the Library of Congress registered Shiva Ayyadurai’s email code and user’s manual. According to its records, these were the first works registered under the title, ‘Email,’ preceding the next such registration by two years.
Dr. Ayyadurai’s registrations and deposits showed to the world his reduction to practice of his email system. These registrations were remarkable for an eighteen-year old student, involving non-trivial procedures under a Copyright Act only recently open to protecting software. Protecting software creations by copyright was the common wisdom of the day. Had the patenting path for software been considered possible in 1982 generally and particularly by the MIT community, I have little doubt that Dr. Ayyadurai would have pursued it.”

24. Shekhar Shastri, a leading innovation expert, Head of Innovation Lab at Sun Financial, and East Coast Co-Chair of TiECON, has stated: “What’s wonderful about the facts of the invention of email at a small medical college in Newark, NJ in 1978 is that this was not just an idea—but represented the end-to-end process of innovation from original conception, understanding the customer, building a solution that was customer-focused, that others of the time thought impossible, and the actual delivery, servicing, and ongoing maintenance to meet customer needs. This is innovation. This is what is remarkable about the invention of email by a 14-year-old Shiva Ayyadurai”.

25. Desh Deshpande, Ph.D., Life Member of the MIT Corporation, Founder and Former Chairman of Sycamore Networks, Co-Chairman of U.S. President Barack Obama’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Founder of the Deshpande Foundation for Innovation, has stated: “We at the Deshpande Foundation find Shiva [Ayyadurai] … an inspiration to all young innovators. His invention of email symbolizes and expresses what parents around the world want their children to embrace—that innovation has no boundaries and human potential has no limits.”

26. Robert Field, Senior IS&T Programmer, has stated: “It was remarkable that Shiva [Ayyadurai] built such a large system with the limited resources that he had available…. Just from the shear point of view of being able to do that with any program was a monumental achievement, forgetting aside the innovativeness of what he was actually creating. That was an act of real perseverance.”

27. Deborah J. Nightingale, Retired Professor of Engineering Systems Division & Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, Former Director of the MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center, and Member of the National Academy of Engineering, has stated: “Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai is the inventor of email. There is no controversy here, except the one fabricated by these ‘internet pioneers’ to confuse journalists. Real journalists and scholars, without vested interests and prejudices, now need to set the record straight.”

28. Sen Song, Ph.D., Professor of Computational Systems Biology for Biomedical Engineering and the Center for Brain-like Computation at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and Former Visiting Research Scientist for Microsoft Research, Asia, has stated: “I’ve known Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai since his Ph.D. research at MIT. He is one of the brightest scientists I’ve ever met…. What he accomplished, as a 14-year-old in 1978, with all the technological constraints, is simply amazing and sheer genius. It’s time that the entire world recognizes the real origin of email.”

29. Larry Weber, Chairman & CEO of Racepoint Global, Founder of Weber Shandwick, Co-Founder of the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX), and Executive Committee Member of The U.S. Council on Competitiveness, has stated: “For nearly fifteen years before the Web took off in 1993, people were using email on local area networks and wide area networks, independent of the Internet. Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai invented email in that business office environment to address a business need among ordinary people…. He is the world’s leading expert on email, from its birth to today.”

30. Arvind Gupta, Co-Founder of the Digital India Foundation, has stated: “Shiva Ayyadurai is the father of email. For far too long we have all been led to believe that communication’s greatest innovations came out of defense research, inspired by the needs of war. Email was created in a place of light and cooperation and it is important for people across the world to understand and appreciate this.… That’s how email, as we know it, came to be.”

31. Robert Condon, Retired Captain & Staff of Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet for the United States Navy, and Former Senior Analyst for Booz Allen and Hamilton, Inc., has stated: “As early as 1972, I used naval messaging between ships and shore stations to transmit and receive electronic text messages using HF/UHF. This was how electronic communications took place in the Navy at the time, and this was via an electronic teletype. Later as a postgraduate officer in the United States Navy during 1978-1979, I sent text messages between computers on an intranet. Regardless, these rudimentary messaging systems required complex commands to construct, send and receive a message. None of these systems were email—the system, we all know today, or what Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai created in 1978.”


32. Rudolph Tanzi, one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award Recipient, Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology, Vice-Chair, MGH Neurology (Research), Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease at Harvard Medical School, has stated: “As a scientist who discovered and characterized many of the known Alzheimer’s disease genes including the first one, I am honored to partner with Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai towards finding a cure for Alzheimer’s using his latest invention CytoSolve. CytoSolve, like his invention of email, is a powerful systems platform for cooperation. Dr. Ayyadurai deserves the utmost honor and respect, as we would give any of the world’s great innovators. He invented email as a kid, was recognized by MIT for that and other innovations, received many accolades, and created jobs for thousands of Americans, and more. He didn’t make a penny for inventing email. Those who are now defaming him, thinking by screaming louder they can erase the historical facts of his inventing email, should be ashamed. These individuals have little to no history of innovation, discovery or really creating anything, themselves. This victory provides us with an opportunity to see through their irrational behavior, wherever they originate from, and recognize that Dr. Ayyadurai is a modern day Da Vinci. His life’s work speaks for itself.”

33. Gerald E. Walker, Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai’s Honor and Advanced Placement High School Chemistry Teacher, New Jersey State Teacher of the Year, and Ret. Principal of Livingston High School, has stated: “I remember vividly my conversations with Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai in the early stages of his initiative in 1978 when he was working hard on the creation and development of email. Knowing the basic concept of what he was creating and the fact that it was so innovative, I and another teacher in our science department recommended that he apply for the Westinghouse Talent Search Award for high school students. Email was to be the electronic version of interoffice mail systems. I specifically remember us looking at our school district’s Interoffice Mail Envelope and thinking about Dr. Ayyadurai having told me that all the intricacies of this labor intensive system with its creation, delivery, receipt and distribution aspects would one day not be necessary. He had an objective/goal to replace it and other things with his invention. He worked diligently at both his school work and the creation of what we now know as email. Shiva was obviously very successful at both.”

DEFENDANTS’ FALSE AND DEFAMATORY STATEMENTS ABOUT DR. SHIVA AYYADURAI

34. On or about September 2, 2014, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Why Is Huffington Post Running A Multi-Part Series To Promote The Lies Of A Guy Who Pretended to Invent Email?”, a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit G (the “September 2, 2014 Article”). This article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. The headline: “Why Is Huffington Post Running A Multi-Part Series To Promote The Lies Of A Guy Who Pretended to Invent Email?”

b. “… [Dr. Ayyadurai’s] continued false insistence that he invented email is reaching really questionable levels.”

c. Dr. Ayyadurai is perpetuating a “fake story” with respect to his claims of invention of email.

d. Dr. Ayyadurai and his friends “totally misrepresent” a technical report relating to computer messaging.

e. “[Dr.] Ayyadurai has built up his entire reputation around the (entirely false) claim that he ‘invented’ email.”

f. “[Dr. Ayyadurai] misrepresents what a copyright registration means.”

g. “But [Dr. Ayyadurai is] simply not telling the truth when he claims to have invented email.”

35. On or about September 3, 2014, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Huffington Post Doubles Down, Has MIT Professor Spread Blatant Falsehoods About Creation Of Email,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit H (the “September 3, 2014 Article”). This article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. “[The Huffington Post article] is nothing more than a PR campaign for a liar.”

b. “[The Huffington Post article] just repeats the same false claims (using nearly identical language) as Ayyadurai and his friends in their original posts.”

c. “… Ayyadurai is using one of the oldest trolling tricks in the book, in pretending that everything that he is actually doing is actually being done nefariously against him.” [Emphasis in original]

d. “Instead, the only one whose entire ‘identity’ is built off a fake claim to have invented email is…Dr. Ayyadurai.”

e. “The only fabricated controversy is by [Dr. Ayyadurai].”

f. “[Dr. Ayyadurai] claims that those of us debunking his bogus claim refused to look at the primary documents”.

g. “There is no controversy other than the one that [Dr. Ayyadurai is] manufacturing.”

h. “The question is whether or not Huffington Post will recognize that it’s being used as part of an effort to drum up a faux controversy over something that is blatantly untrue.”

36. On or about September 4, 2014, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Huffington Post Finally Responds, Stands By Its Completely Bogus, Totally Debunked ‘History of Email’ Series,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit I (the “September 4, 2014 Article”). This article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. “Not only do Ayyadurai and his friends totally misrepresent reality, they fraudulently make claims that are easily debunked.”

b. “. . . [Dr. Ayyadurai’s and his friends’] two biggest claims are (1) that the ‘US government officially recognized Ayyadurai as the inventor of email’ in 1982 and (2) that a leading analysis of electronic messaging in 1977, by Dave Crocker at RAND, claims that a full interoffice email system is ‘impossible.’ Both of these claims are absolutely false.” [Emphasis in original]

c. “. . . [T]he first [claim] relies on blatantly misleading people about what a copyright is and what Ayyadurai copyrighted.”

d. “… [T]he fact that [Dr. Ayyadurai] and his friends continue to pretend that a copyright is something it is not is farcical.”

e. “[Dr. Ayyadurai and his friends] are relying on the ignorance of reporters and the public about what a copyright is.”

f. “[Dr. Ayyadurai and his friends] deliberately misrepresent what Crocker said by taking two separate sentences, from different pages in the report, removing the context around them, and mashing them together to pretend they say something they do not.”

Since the system is to be used for communication which is exemplified in older and heavily-exercised technology, it is assumed that users have an extensive conceptual model of the communication domain. It is further assumed that a system which performs in ways which deviate from that model will be viewed as "idiosyncratic" and impeding the efforts of the user. Problems occurring during this sort of interaction can be expected to be as irritating as having a pen which leaks or a typewriter with keys that jam. Therefore, a major design goal for MS is to provide an integrated set of necessary and sufficient functions which conform to the target user's cognitive model of a regular office-memo system. At this stage, no attempt is being made to emulate a full-scale inter-organization mail system....

The level of the MS project effort has also had a major effect upon the system's design. To construct a fully-detailed and monolithic message processing environment requires a much larger effort than has been possible with MS. In addition, the fact that the system is intended for use in various organizational contexts and by users of differing expertise makes it almost impossible to build a system which responds to users' needs. Consequently, important segments of a full message environment have received little or no attention and decisions have been made with the expectation that other Unix capabilities will be used to augment MS. For example, MS has fairly primitive data-base management (i.e., filing and cataloging) facilities and message folders have been implemented in a way which allows them to be modified by programs, such as text editors, which access them directly, rather than through the message system.

-- Framework and Functions of the "MS" Personal Message System: A Report prepared for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, by David H. Crocker


g. “Computer historian Thomas Haigh has been tracking Ayyadurai’s lies and misrepresentations for years, and alerts us to the fact that Ayyadurai’s story has notably changed over the years, revealing additional misrepresentations and attempts to change history.” [Emphasis in original]

h. “… Ayyadurai has conveniently tried to rewrite his own history to counter the debunkings.” [Emphasis in original]

i. “So Ayyadurai changed the story, and pretended that he was both challenged and wrote his ‘50,000 lines of code’ and got it all working in 1978.”

j. “. . . Ayyadurai and his friends are now trying to rewrite history . . .”

k. “[The Huffington Post article] is merely a repeating of Ayyadurai’s lies.”

l. “We’re curious if Ayyadurai would like to try to present any evidence that a giant defense contractor is paying us off to (1) explain basic copyright law and (2) point to the actual 1977 paper that Ayyadurai himself totally misrepresents.” [Emphasis in original]

37. On or about September 5, 2014, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Huffington Post And The View From Bogustan: Standing Behind Blatantly False Claims Isn’t Journalism,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit J (the “September 5, 2014 Article”). This article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. The headline that Dr. Ayyadurai’s claims with respect to invention of email are “blatantly false claims”.

b. “The key arguments in [Dr. Ayyadurai’s] claim are obviously false, and prey on (1) a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of copyright law and (2) an almost fraudulent misquoting of Dave Crocker…”

c. “… [The Huffington Post] won’t retract and renounce this series [about Dr. Ayyadurai] as a PR campaign for a series of blatantly fraudulent claims . . .”

d. “. . . HuffPo Live . . . picked up on the completely bogus campaign and did a whole fawning interview with Ayyadurai, never once presenting the evidence that he’s fraudulently misrepresenting basic facts.”

e. “. . . HuffPo and HuffPo Live are . . . actually actively promoting a lie.” [Emphasis in original]

f. “. . . Huffington Post is actively claiming that a clearly false story is true.”

38. On or about September 8, 2014, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Huffington Post Finally Removes Most Articles About Fake Email Inventor; Meanwhile, Ayyadurai Threatens To Sue His Critics,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit K (the “September 8, 2014 Article”). This article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. The headline which refers to Dr. Ayyadurai as “Fake Email Inventor”.

b. “… Huffington Post [allowed] Shiva Ayyadurai and his friends to post an entirely bogus ‘history of email’ series, all designed to make it look like Ayyadurai himself had invented email - - a claim he’s been making for a few years, despite it being entirely false, based on totally misrepresenting a number of things, including what copyright means,misquoting a 1977 research paper and playing ‘no true scotsman’ over what is a ‘true’ email system.”

Image
-- We Will Not Be Chilled: Mike's Vodka, by Tara Carreon


c. “… [The Huffington Post] allowed the series [on Dr. Ayyadurai] to go on with more false claims, and then told me it had ‘added a clarification’ that didn’t clarify anything, but was a statement written by Ayyadurai, repeating the false claims.”

d. “[The Huffington Post] admit[s] that [the series on Dr. Ayyadurai] was a ‘blogger-generated series,’ which is an attempt to distance the fake series, put together by Shiva Ayyadurai himself with PR guru Larry Weber, from Huffington Post’s journalistic ‘news’ side.”

e. “Ayyadurai and Weber had been banking on the fact that most people don’t realize that the blogging side of HuffPo has no editorial controls to pretend that the series had some sort of journalistic credibility. They appear to be promoting the fake articles everywhere…”


f. “There’s no controversy at all. Ayyadurai is simply making false claims …”

g. “. . . ‘[G]oing to the people’ is great, but historically [Dr. Ayyadurai has] done that with clearly bogus claims - - such as misquoting Dave Crocker’s 1977 research and pretending that his 1982 copyright on his EMAIL software is the equivalent of a patent for the concept of email.”

39. On or about September 9, 2014, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Fact Checking Is Dead: Mainstream Media Goes Nuts Repeating Debunked Claims By The Fake ‘Inventor of Email’,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit L (the “September 9, 2014 Article”). This article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. The headline which refers to Dr. Ayyadurai as the “Fake Inventor of Email”.

b. “Ayyadurai has built up quite a reputation around this false claim, even though it's been debunked over and over and over again.”

c. “Ayyadurai keeps coming back, often moving the goalposts and changing his definitions, but still ultimately flat out lying in pretending to have ‘invented’ email.” [Emphasis in original]

d. “Ayyadurai, however, has cleverly used misleading (to downright false) claims to make what appears on its face to be a credible story, fooling a number of gullible reporters.”

e. “… [M]any people [are] wondering if the whole HuffPo series [about Dr. Ayyadurai] was ramped up prior to [Ayyadurai’s] ‘wedding’ to get the mainstream press to roll with the bogus claim.

f. “Ayyadurai has been trying to make this lie [regarding the invention of email] stick for years … ”

g. “… [T]he mainstream press is repeating [Dr. Ayyadurai’s] bogus claims as facts.”

h. “UPI has an article that doesn’t mention Ayyadurai’s false claims in the text of the article, but does falsely call him ‘email creator’ in the headline …”

i. “Headline and Global News ‘reporter’ Dina Exil repeatedly calls Ayyadurai the inventor of email and also claims he ‘is known for being the first person to invent email,’ except none of that is true. He’s known for pretending that.”

j. “… Ayyadurai has been focused on using any and all press mentions as ‘evidence’ in his bogus campaign to declare himself the inventor of email…”

k. “… [W]e have ‘trusted’ media like ABC and CBS repeating [Dr. Ayyadurai’s] totally false claims…”

l. “…Ayyadurai will continue to press his bogus claims again and again and again.”

40. On or about September 25, 2014, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Another Story Of A ‘Fake’ Brilliant Inventor? Is ‘Scorpion Walter O’Brien’ A Real Computer Security Genius?”, a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit M (the “September 25, 2014 Article”). This article contains false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. The headline which refers to Dr. Ayyadurai as “A ‘Fake’ Brilliant Inventor”.

41. On or about March 8, 2016, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Guy Who Pretends He Invented Email Whines At Every Journalist For Writing Obit Of Guy Who Actually Helped Create Email,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit N (the “March 8, 2016 Article”). This article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. The headline which refers to Dr. Ayyadurai as the “Guy Who Pretends He Invented Email.”

b. “… [Dr. Ayyadurai is] a guy who’s basically staked his entire life on the misleading to false claim that he ‘invented’ email.”

c. “Every couple of years [Dr. Ayyadurai] pops up again as he’s able to fool some reporters into believing him.”

d. “In 2012, [Dr. Ayyadurai] fooled the Washington Post and, astoundingly, the Smithsonian.”

e. “Ayyadurai also totally misrepresents what copyright is, and insists that his copyright is just like a patent, because you couldn’t patent software back then.”

f. “… Weber, Chomsky and Ayyadurai could spin this bizarre and totally made up story of a big American defense contractor wanting to rewrite history to write out someone with ‘brown skin.’”

g. “… [W]hen some point out that he’s lying, Ayyadurai yells at them that they’re repeating ‘racist lies,’…”

42. On or about May 11, 2016, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Guy Who Didn’t Invent Email Sues Gawker For Pointing Out He Didn’t Invent Email,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit O (the “May 11, 2016 Article”). This article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. “[Dr. Ayyadurai] somehow got an entire series into the Huffington Post, which was clearly created as a PR exercise in trying to rewrite history.”

b. “The mainstream press repeated [Dr. Ayyadurai’s] bogus claims about inventing email after he married a TV star.”

c. “[Dr. Ayyadurai’s lawsuit against Gawker] lays out Ayyadurai’s highly misleading version of history, insisting again that getting the copyright on a program called EMAIL is the equivalent of ‘inventing’ email. He continues to conflate patent and copyright law and misleadingly claim that because you couldn’t get a patent on software at the time, a copyright is basically the same thing.”

43. On or about September 12, 2016, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Univision Execs Have No Backbone: Pull A Bunch Of Gawker Stories Over Legal Disputes.” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit P (the “September 12, 2016 Article”). This article contains false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. “We’ve discussed Ayyadurai and his bogus claims many times…”

44. On or about November 2, 2016, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Ridiculous: Nick Denton Settles Remaining Charles Harder Lawsuits, Agrees To Delete Perfectly True Stories,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit Q (the “November 2, 2016 Article”). This article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. “… [Dr. Ayyadurai] has staked his entire identity on the outright false claim that he invented email.”

b. “Ayyadurai is … obsessed with his false claim of creating email…”

c. “[Dr. Ayyadurai is] blatantly misrepresenting history for his own personal aggrandizing.” [Emphasis in original]

45. On or about November 3, 2016, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Here’s The Truth: Shiva Ayyadurai Didn’t Invent Email,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit R (the “November 3, 2016 Article”). This article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. “… Shiva Ayyadurai’s claim that he invented email is complete bullshit. It’s not true. Not even remotely.”

b. Dr. Ayyadurai is “hoping to confuse people who don’t understand the difference between a copyright and a patent.”

c. “Ayyadurai has spent many years falsely claiming to have invented email…” [Emphasis in original]

d. “… Ayyadurai has put out a self-congratulatory press release claiming that the settlement supports his blatantly false claims …”

e. “[Dr. Ayyadurai’s settlement with Gawker] is a victory for trying to rewrite history and smear the actual truth.”


46. On or about November 6, 2016, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Beadon with the headline: “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit S (the “November 6, 2016 Article”). This article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. “… Ayyadurai’s bogus, lying, totally false claims.”

b. Characterizing Dr. Ayyadurai as a “fraudster.”

c. “Ayyadurai is particularly annoying because of his bogus claims of racism …”

d. “Ayyadurai’s claims are annoying and absolutely false …

e. “Ayyadurai is a liar. He is a fraud. He is a charlatan.”

47. On or about November 7, 2016, Defendants published on their website, Techdirt.com, an article authored by Defendant Masnick with the headline: “Actual Creators Of Email Not At All Happy The Fake Creator Of Email Got Paid For His Bogus Claim,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit T (the “November 7, 2016 Article”). This article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the article was printed and published, or had reckless disregard for the truth, including, among others:

a. The headline which refers to Dr. Ayyadurai as “The Fake Creator Of Email [who] Got Paid For His Bogus Claim”.

b. “…Shiva Ayyadurai, a guy who didn’t invent email but has built his entire reputation on the false claim that he did, was able to cash in on the settlement agreed to by Nick Denton to end all of the Charles Harder-related lawsuits against Gawker.”

c. “Ayyadurai did not invent email by any stretch of the imagination, but likes to go around falsely claiming he did, and smearing those who actually did the work.”

d. “[Dr. Ayyadurai’s settlement with Gawker is] a victory for the opposite of truth and shows how abusing the legal system can get you paid out…”

e. “…Ayyadurai took some comments from Crocker so out of context to be borderline fraudulent.”

f. “Meanwhile, it appears that throughout all of this, Ayyadurai continues to fool people.”

g. “Either way, as long as Ayyadurai continues to falsely hold himself out as the inventor of email, when he is not, people should continue to call out that his claims are simply false.”

48. The forgoing false statements of fact were made by Defendants with the knowledge that they were false and likely to harm Dr. Ayyadurai’s personal and professional reputation and business. The false and libelous statements in the above Techdirt Articles had the foreseeable effect of severely harming Dr. Ayyadurai’s personal and professional reputation and business.

49. Defendants’ false statements in the Techdirt Articles have had the effect of so severely discrediting Dr. Ayyadurai—based on the above false statements, including that he is a “fraud,” that Dr. Ayyadurai’s career has been and continues to be severely damaged. As a direct result of Defendants’ publication of the false and defamatory statements about Dr. Ayyadurai, Dr. Ayyadurai lost contracts and renewals, lost opportunities for investment in his emerging companies, suffered substantial personal and professional reputational harm and suffered substantial harm to his career, business and income.

50. As a result of Defendants’ wrongful actions, anyone who searches Dr. Ayyadurai on Google or other search engines will see Defendants’ false and libelous stories about him in the first page of search results across the world. As a result, anyone who would otherwise have hired or partnered with Dr. Ayyadurai likely will decline, and have declined, to do so, believing Defendants’ false and libelous statements about him to be true. 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 contributions, and discrediting his other ongoing scientific contributions unrelated to email technology. Defendants’ actions foreseeably caused such results.


51. Defendants are guilty of intentional misconduct. Defendants had actual knowledge of the wrongfulness of the conduct described herein and the high probability that injury or damage to Plaintiff would result and, despite that knowledge, intentionally pursued that course of conduct, resulting in substantial injury and damage to Dr. Ayyadurai. For example, after Dr. Ayyadurai obtained a settlement from Gawker Media, LLC for similar false and libelous statements about him, Defendants did not remove any of the false and libelous statements on Techdirt.com and continued to publish similar false and libelous statements about Dr. Ayyadurai, even though Defendants had actual notice of this settlement as evidenced by the November 7, 2016 Article.

52. Defendants’ conduct was so reckless or wanting in care that it constituted a conscious disregard or indifference to Dr. Ayyadurai’s rights.

53. Defendants’ actions described herein also have had the foreseeable effect of causing severe emotional distress to Dr. Ayyadurai, and did cause him to suffer severe emotional distress.

54. Dr. Ayyadurai requests herein all available legal and equitable remedies, to the maximum extent permissible by law, including without limitation, compensatory damages in an amount not less than Fifteen Million Dollars ($15,000,000) and punitive damages.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

Libel

(Against All Defendants)


55. Plaintiff hereby repeats and realleges each and every allegation set forth in paragraphs 1 through 54 of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.

56. As described herein, the September 4, 2014 Article, the September 5, 2014 Article, and the November 6, 2016 Article arise to the level of defamation per se, in that they falsely state that Dr. Ayyadurai is “a fraud,” “fraudulently misrepresenting facts,” “fraudulently making claims,” making “blatantly fraudulent claims,” and a “fraudster,” thus falsely accusing Dr. Ayyadurai of a crime and causing prejudice to his personal and professional reputation and business.

57. As described in paragraphs 34 through 47 of this Complaint, the fourteen Techdirt Articles published by Defendants contain numerous additional false and statements of fact regarding Dr. Ayyadurai.

58. These false statements wrongly accuse Dr. Ayyadurai of having made statements and acted in a manner that would subject him to hatred, distrust, contempt, aversion, ridicule and disgrace in the minds of a substantial number in the community, and were calculated to harm his social and business relationships, and did harm his social and business relationships.

59. The statements made intentionally, purposefully and with actual malice by Defendants were false and no applicable privilege or authorization protecting the statements can attach to them.


60. Plaintiff has been seriously damaged as a direct and proximate cause of the falsity of the statements made by Defendants in an amount to be determined at trial. The false statements attribute conduct, characteristics and conditions incompatible with the proper exercise of Plaintiff’s business and duties as an inventor, scientist and entrepreneur. Because the statements were widely disseminated on the Internet, they were also likely and intended to hold the Plaintiff up to ridicule and to damage his social and business relationships.

61. The above-quoted published statements constitute egregious conduct constituting moral turpitude. As such, in addition to compensatory damages and/or presumed damages, Plaintiff demands punitive damages relating to Defendants’ making of the above-quoted defamatory statements, in an amount to be determined at trial.

Moral Turpitude: A phrase used in Criminal Law to describe conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals. Crimes involving moral turpitude have an inherent quality of baseness, vileness, or depravity with respect to a person's duty to another or to society in general. Examples include rape, forgery, Robbery, and solicitation by prostitutes. Many jurisdictions impose penalties, such as deportation of Aliens and disbarment of attorneys, following convictions of crimes involving moral turpitude. West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Moral Turpitude: gross violation of standards of moral conduct,vileness, such that an act involving moral turpitude was intentionally evil, making the act a crime. The existence of moral turpitude can bring a more severe criminal charge or penalty for a criminal defendant.
Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill.


SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION

Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage

(Against All Defendants)


62. Plaintiff hereby repeats and realleges each and every allegation set forth in paragraphs 1 through 61 of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.

63. Defendants knew that Plaintiff, being a scientist, inventor, business owner, and entrepreneur, had business relationships that were ongoing during the time of Defendants’ publication of the fourteen Techdirt Articles, and had a reasonable expectation of entering into valid business relationships with additional individuals and entities, including with companies and universities, which would have been completed had it not been for Defendants’ wrongful acts.

64. Defendants acted solely out of malice and/or used dishonest, unfair or improper means to interfere with Plaintiff’s actual and prospective business relationships, before they defamed him.

65. Defendants, through the misconduct alleged herein, intended to harm Plaintiff by intentionally and unjustifiably interfering with his actual and prospective business relationships.

66. Defendants have seriously damaged Plaintiff’s actual and prospective business relationships as a direct and proximate cause of these acts.

67. The above-described conduct is egregious and constitutes moral turpitude. As such, in addition to compensatory damages and/or presumed damages, Plaintiff demands punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial.

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

(Against All Defendants)


68. Plaintiff hereby repeats and realleges each and every allegation set forth in paragraphs 1 through 67 of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.

69. Defendants intentionally wrote the fourteen Techdirt Articles to humiliate, defame, and embarrass Dr. Ayyadurai.

70. Defendants’ posting of the Techdirt Articles was extreme and outrageous in that the contents falsely accuse him of being a fraud and lying about his professional accomplishments and career.

71. Dr. Ayyadurai has suffered severe emotional distress as a result of the content written in the Techdirt Articles, and the ramifications the false content has had on his personal life and professional reputation have been immense.

72. The above-described conduct is egregious and constitutes moral turpitude. As such, in addition to compensatory damages and/or presumed damages, Plaintiff demands punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial.

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff demands a trial by jury.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Shiva Ayyadurai respectfully requests:

1. An award of damages to Plaintiff in an amount to be determined at trial, but in all events not less than Fifteen Million Dollars ($15,000,000);

2. An award of punitive damages to Plaintiff in an amount to be determined at trial;

3. An order requiring Defendants to make a public retraction of the false statements;

4. An order granting preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to prevent Defendants from making further defamatory statements about Plaintiff; and

5. An award of such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

Dated: January 4, 2017 Respectfully submitted,

CORNELL DOLAN, P.C.
By: ______________________
Timothy Cornell
BBO # 654412
One International Place, Suite 1400
Boston, Massachusetts 02110
Tel: (617) 535-7763
Fax: (617) 535-7721
tcornell@cornelldolan.com

HARDER MIRELL & ABRAMS LLP
By: _______________________
Charles J. Harder
(Pro Hac Vice application to be filed)
132 S. Rodeo Drive, Fourth Floor
Beverly Hills, California 90212
Tel: (424) 203-1600
Fax: (424) 203-1601
charder@hmafirm.com
Counsel for Plaintiff

_______________

Notes:

1 The Online Etymology Dictionary lists “email” as entering the language in 1982, when Dr. Ayyadurai’s Copyright was registered. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=e-mail
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:56 am

Shiva “I invented e-mail” Ayyadurai’s legal threats chill free speech
by boingboing bbs
January 27, 2017

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Shiva Ayyadurai sues people who publicly disagree with his contentious claim to have invented "e-mail". With legal muscle from Charles Harder, the lawyer vindictive billionaire Peter Theil paid millions to crush Gawker, Ayyadurai is suing the outspoken policy and tech website Techdirt for $15 million. Now Harder has sent legal threat letters to suppress posts on the Diaspora platform by Techrights blogger Roy Schestowitz.

There has been a noticeable chilling effect. Boing Boing hasn't written about this latest suit at all, nor has Ken White of Popehat (he may be on the legal defense team). ArsTechnica wrote one of the driest, most lawyered up seeming articles I've ever read on the recent threat letter. And Gizmodo reports that Peter Theil won't say if he's paying for the lawsuit against Techdirt.

Peter Theil's initial backing, and the specter of future involvement, are a game changer to our First Amendment rights. When a billionaire backs other people's questionable defamation lawsuits to the point that he can destroy multi-million dollar media companies, as he did to Gawker, the rest of us are all in trouble because our legal system is massively tilted in favor of those with deep pockets. If the media and individuals don't have the practical right to freely debate the questionable claims of people like Shiva Ayyadurai, then we all lose - well, all of us who aren't well financed defamation bullies.

Does anyone in here who's heard of these suits not feel chilled by Ayyadurai's threats? Anyone not self-censoring what they are willing to write about him?
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:57 am

Techdirt's First Amendment Fight For Its Life
by Mike Masnick
January 11, 2017

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


As you may have heard, last week we were sued for $15 million by Shiva Ayyadurai, who claims to have invented email. We have written, at great length, about his claims and our opinion — backed up by detailed and thorough evidence — that email existed long before Ayyadurai created any software. We believe the legal claims in the lawsuit are meritless, and we intend to fight them and to win.

There is a larger point here. Defamation claims like this can force independent media companies to capitulate and shut down due to mounting legal costs. Ayyadurai's attorney, Charles Harder, has already shown that this model can lead to exactly that result. His efforts helped put a much larger and much more well-resourced company than Techdirt completely out of business.

So, in our view, this is not a fight about who invented email. This is a fight about whether or not our legal system will silence independent publications for publishing opinions that public figures do not like.

And here's the thing: this fight could very well be the end of Techdirt, even if we are completely on the right side of the law.

Image
Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Advise to Consult Popehat, by Tara Carreon


Whether or not you agree with us on our opinions about various things, I hope that you can recognize the importance of what's at stake here. Our First Amendment is designed to enable a free and open press — a press that can investigate and dig, a press that can challenge and expose. And if prominent individuals can make use of a crippling legal process to silence that effort, or even to create chilling effects among others, we become a weaker nation and a weaker people because of it.

Fascist movements have commonly held social Darwinist views of nations, races, and societies. They argue that nations and races must purge themselves of socially and biologically weak or degenerate people, while simultaneously promoting the creation of strong people, in order to survive in a world defined by perpetual national and racial conflict.

-- Fascism, by Wikipedia


We are a truly small and independent media company. We do not have many resources. We intend to fight this baseless lawsuit because of the principles at stake, but we have no illusions about the costs. It will take a toll on us, even if we win. It will be a distraction, no matter what happens. It already has been — which may well have been part of Ayyadurai's intent.

I am beyond thankful to the many of you who have reached out and offered to help in all sorts of ways. It is heartening to know so many people care about Techdirt. At some point soon, we may set up a dedicated legal defense fund. But, in the meantime, any support you can provide us will help — whether it's just alerting people to this situation and the danger of trying to stifle a free press through meritless lawsuits, or it's supporting Techdirt directly (or, if you have a company, advertising with us). As always, you can support us directly as a Friend of Techdirt, or check out some of the other perks you can get in our Insider program. You can also support us via Patreon.

If freedom of expression and the press is to actually mean something, it needs to be protected, not stomped on with baseless lawsuits that silence independent voices and opinions.

Messrs. Carvin and Dick assert that this decision is catastrophic for public debate because their client was simply "questioning" Dr. Mann's work and "voicing one's opinion."

To the contrary, NRO's efforts to characterize its false accusations of fraud as some sort of contribution to public debate ignores the fundamental difference between genuine opinion and knowing or reckless falsehoods. Protected opinion has its limits; fake news doesn't qualify. This has been the law for decades, and in a delightfully ironic twist the court repeatedly cited a 1976 defamation case successfully pursued on this very ground by none other than William F. Buckley -- the founder of National Review. The Buckley decision drew the sharp distinction between protected opinion and knowing falsehoods. The Mann v. NRO decision does nothing different; the First Amendment remains alive and well and undisturbed.

-- Facts, Falsehoods and the First Amendment. The First Amendment sky is not falling as a result of Michael Mann’s case to proceed against the National Review Online. by John B. Williams
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:07 am

Legal Threats By Charles Harder & Shiva Ayyadurai Targeting More Speech
by Mike Masnick
January 26, 2017

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Let's say right upfront: if you are unaware, Shiva Ayyadurai is currently suing Techdirt for our posts concerning Ayyaduria's claims to have invented email. Ayyadurai's lawyer in this matter is Charles Harder, the lawyer who filed multiple lawsuits against Gawker, and is credited by many with forcing that company into bankruptcy and fire sale.

Now Harder, on behalf of Ayyadurai, has sent a demand letter to try to have social media comments posted in response to the lawsuit against us taken down. We are writing about this -- despite the lawsuit against us -- because we believe it is important and we do not intend to have our own speech chilled. This is also why we believe it is so important to have a federal anti-SLAPP law in place, because the chance to chill speech with threats or actual litigation is not a hypothetical problem. It is very, very real.

Harder's letter is to Diaspora, and it demands that certain posts by Roy Schestowitz be removed (which appears to have happened). Schestowitz is the guy behind the Techrights blog, which frequently covers issues related to things like free v. proprietary software and software patents. Harder's letter to Diaspora claims that Schestowitz's posts are defamatory, violate Diaspora's terms of service, and "constitute harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress."

Harder Mirell & Abrams
132 S. RODEO DRIVE, FOURTH FLOOR
BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90212
424.203.1600 - http://WWW.HMAFIRM.COM

January 24, 2017

CONFIDENTIAL / COPYRIGHT PROTECTED
NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR DISSEMINATION

VIA E-MAIL
Diaspora*
support@zauberstuhl.de
support@diasp.org

Re: Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai - Demand for Removal of Diaspora* Posts

Dear Diaspora*:

This law firm is litigation counsel for Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai. We write in connection with the numerous libelous statements in three Diaspora* and Joindiaspora* (collectively referred to as "Diaspora" or "you") posts published by Diaspora user "Dr. Roy Schestowitz (__) ("Mr. Schestowitz) located at the URLs:


Dr. Roy Schestowitz @schestowitz
Ayyadurai is pure evil. Charlatan who lied, paid to spread his Big Lie, when media debunked his lies and sued and got money out of it. Fraud
4:38 AM - 7 Nov 2016

Dr. Roy Schestowitz ‏@schestowitz
"Ayyadurai’s settlement with Gawker Media represents a victory for a" pathetic #liar and #fraud
7 Nov 2016

Dr. Roy Schestowitz ‏@schestowitz
#trump should hire the liar, Shiva Ayyadurai
Feb 7

Dr. Roy Schestowitz ‏@schestowitz
Deepak Chopra, a charlatan and a liar (some would say fraud), turns out to be connected to Shiva Ayyadurai. Para 2:
Feb 5

Dr. Roy Schestowitz ‏@schestowitz
If You Repeatedly Make False Claims, Then Expect Criticism, Shiva Ayyadurai http://schestowitz.com/Weblog/archives/ ... se-claims/
Jan 28

Dr. Roy Schestowitz ‏@schestowitz
Anyone out there who received threatening legal letters from Shiva Ayyadurai (including social network platforms)? Please get in touch...
Jan 25

Dr. Roy Schestowitz ‏@schestowitz
Social [Control] Media is now being censored by Shiva Ayyadurai
By means of legal threats on the face of it (still investigating)...
Jan 25

Dr. Roy Schestowitz ‏@schestowitz
I can't seem to find some of my tweets about Shiva Ayyadurai. Did he threaten #twitter like he threatened #JoinDiaspora?
cc @techdirt
Jan 24

Dr. Roy Schestowitz ‏@schestowitz
Here's The Truth: Shiva Ayyadurai Didn't Invent Email https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20161 ... mail.shtml … charlatan and liar
5 Nov 2016

Dr. Roy Schestowitz ‏@schestowitz
"Ayyadurai also threatened to sue us for calling out his false claims, but there's been no lawsuit yet." https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160 ... mail.shtml … #email
8 Mar 2016


Harder's letter makes the questionable claim that Diaspora itself is liable for Schestowitz's statements. There is tremendous caselaw on Section 230 of the CDA holding that a website cannot be held liable for speech made by users, so it's odd that Harder would argue otherwise, stating that the posts "qualify under the law to establish liability against you."

The Posts Constitute Harassment and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

The falsity of the Posts significantly damages Dr. Ayyadurai's persona and public image. Moreover, through the Posts, Mr. Schestowitz seeks to incite a wave of harassment against Dr. Ayyaudrai. Mr. Schestowitz has used Diaspora as a platform to wrongfully and unlawfully harm Dr. Ayyadurai's personal and professional reputation, which he has worked so hard, for decades, to achieve.

The Posts also constitute intentional infliction of emotional distress, and qualify under the law to establish liability against you. Remedies include monetary damages, punitive damages, and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief.


One of the key reasons Section 230 of the CDA exists is to protect the freedom of expression of users, so that websites aren't pressured via legal threats to take down speech over fear of liability. That's why it grants full immunity. It is surprising that an attorney as established as Harder would overlook this. Elsewhere in the letter, he references Massachusetts law as applying, so it's not as though he's suggesting that some other jurisdiction outside the US applies. So, since Section 230 clearly applies, why would Charles Harder tell Diaspora that it is liable for these statements?

Separately, Harder's letter concludes with the following statement:

This letter and its contents are confidential, protected by copyright law, and not authorized for publication or dissemination.

This letter and its contents are confidential, protected by copyright law, and not authorized for publication or dissemination.

We look forward to your immediate response to this letter.

Very truly yours,

CHARLES J. HARDER Of
HARDER MIRELL & ABRAMS LLP

cc: Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai (via email)


We have seen similar statements on legal letters in the past and they have generally been considered meaningless, at best. On the question of confidentiality/authorization for publication, that's not how it works. The recipient of such a letter has no obligation to not disseminate it or to ask for authorization without any prior agreement along those lines. You can't magically declare something confidential and ban anyone from sharing it. Furthermore, this is especially true when dealing with legal threat letters. While many lawyers put such language into these letters to try to scare recipients (and avoid a Streisand Effect over the attempt to silence speech), they serve no purpose other than intimidation.

But the worst thing about your letter is the end: "Please be aware that this letter is copyrighted by our law firm, and you are not authorized to republish this in any manner. Use of this letter in a posting, in full or in part, will subject you to further legal causes of action." Such a posting would be fair use. Moreover, inquiry by my colleague Greg Beck produced the interesting information that the copyright in the letter has not been registered. Sadly, according to what you told him, you have been successful in this intimidation because none of your cease and desist letters has ever been posted.

There is always a first time. We are posting the letter on the Public Citizen web site (the letter can be found at http://www.citizen.org/documents/directbuycd.pdf) so the public can assess our differences by comparing your contentions with our responses. By this letter, we are inviting you to test the validity of your theory that the writer of a cease and desist letter can avoid public scrutiny by threatening to file a copyright law suit if his letter is disclosed publicly on the Internet.

-- Letter from Paul Levy to Donald Morris Dated October 5, 2007


Separately, claims of copyright in takedown or cease & desist letters, while they do show up occasionally, are also generally considered to be overstatements of the law. First off, there are questions raised about whether or not general cease & desist threat letters have enough creativity to get any kind of copyright, but, more importantly, even if there were copyright on such a letter it would be a clear and obvious fair use case to be able to share them and distribute them publicly, as part of an effort to discuss how one has been threatened with questionable legal arguments.

Either way, we believe that this fits a pattern of using legal threats and litigation to silence criticism of public figures. In an era when speaking truth to power is so important, we believe such actions need to be given attention, and need to be called out. We also think they demonstrate why we need much stronger anti-SLAPP laws, at both the state and federal level to protect people's right to speak out about public issues. If you agree, please call your elected representatives and ask them to support strong anti-SLAPP protections, like those found in the SPEAK FREE Act of 2015.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:56 am

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WHOM THE GODS WOULD DESTROY, THEY FIRST ADVISE TO CONSULT POPEHAT
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:50 am

The Man Who Invented Email
By Doug Aamoth
techland.time.com
Nov. 15, 2011

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


If you’re reading this, you’re online and, as such, you probably have an email account. But have you ever wondered about the origins of email? It’s not exactly a cut-and-dried case, as various forms of electronic messaging have been around since the humble telegraph.

I had the opportunity to sit down with V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, who holds the first copyright for “EMAIL”—a system he began building in 1978 at just 14 years of age. It was modeled after the communication system being used at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey. His task: replicate the University’s traditional mail system electronically.

And with that, email—as we currently know it—was born.

In 1981, Shiva took honors at the Westinghouse Science Awards for his “High Reliability, Network-Wide, Electronic Mail System” and attended MIT later that fall. The copyright for the term EMAIL was granted to Shiva in 1982, after which he won a White House competition for developing a system to automatically analyze and sort email messages. That technology eventually became the basis for EchoMail, a service used by several large businesses.

Here’s the interview:

Q. What’s the backstory of email? How did it all come together?

Shiva: It was purely out of the love of doing it. I was given this opportunity to just program, and this was in 1978 when you couldn’t get a programming job, per se—it was very, very early. I look back on that scene: Here’s a 14-year-old living in New Jersey, and the National Science Foundation put out a call saying they needed to educate the youth on computer programming.

There was a very interesting and visionary computer professor at NYU called Henry Mullish, who was at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, a very, very prestigious institute. So Henry basically said, “Okay, let’s get 40 high school students in an immersion program trained on seven different programming languages.” And I was one of those 40 selected.


Henry did this interesting thing: He basically taught us all these old programming languages—COBOL, SNOBOL, PL/I—for eight weeks, from June until the end of the summer. So I finished up, and my mom was working at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, which is in Newark—my parents had just come from India five years before and my mom was a mathematician. She introduced me to this guy Les Michelson, who was your typical mad scientist—he had worked at Brookhaven National Labs as a particle physicist.

He was given a room to put his first computer in and start the lab for computer science, which was one computer and one HP mainframe. And Les said, “Hey, would you like to create an electronic mail system?” So I said, “Yeah,” and I was just nodding my head, thinking he meant sending electricity through paper, because this guy’s a particle physicist.

I came back the next day and he said, “Look, I want you to go observe how people send out mail.” Basically, each doctor had an office and the secretary typed the word “memorandum” followed by the “to:”, the “from:”, the subject line, the body, and then any carbon copies or attachments. And Michelson said, “Your job is to convert that into an electronic format. Nobody’s done that before.”


These guys I was working with were in their 50’s and 60’s, and they treated me as an equal. And I think that was a fascinating thing: Here’s a 14-year-old working among 60-year-olds, and it was like there was no difference. That’s why I think innovation takes place in America. In countries like India or China, a Steve Jobs will never come around. The fundamentals aren’t there—there’s this feudal hierarchy. So just in retrospect, I look back and these guys let me into this very collegial atmosphere.

Q. So the original system was set up for doctors to communicate electronically using the template they were already used to.

Shiva: Yeah. The way the University of Medicine and Dentistry was set up was that they had three locations—Newark, Piscataway, and New Brunswick. Within each building, they had those old tubes where you’d put the container in and it’d get shot around to the right place. And I just observed how these guys sent mail out. It was fascinating. The secretary would write something, she’d put the carbon copy—literally a carbon copy—in the container and send it out.

So in order to create a real email system, you needed a relational database and you needed to make it really easy. Even today, if you read a Forrester report, I think 15 or 16 percent of doctors still don’t use e-mail. We had to make a simple user interface: inbox, outbox, folders—those were literally replicas of how these guys communicated using physical mail.

And that’s what I ended up doing in ’78 and ’79. We did one of the early demos and wrote the user manual—all this stuff: training, tutorials—and a lot of it was the cultural piece. How do you get people to convert? Would the doctors use it or would the assistants use it?

I was planning on dropping out of high school because I was just very bored, and one of my teachers urged me not to drop out, telling me about this thing called the Westinghouse Science Contest—I think they call it the Intel Science Awards now. He told me I should apply for it, and the application was “a High Reliability, Network-Wide, Electronic Mail System.”

And so I ended up winning one of the honors awards out of that. It’s only then that I started realizing what the significance was. But when I really noticed it was when I came to MIT in 1981 and on the front page of the paper, they described three students out of the incoming class of a thousand, saying that one of the students designed the first electronic mail system.

Then later, I think it was ’81 or ’82, the RFC protocol was changed to add the “from:”, the “cc:”—those things. So that was an afterthought. But when I refer to electronic mail, it’s literally the conversion of this paper mail into electronic mail. And people still don’t get that definition, so that’s why there’s this confusion. They think it was text messaging, so Facebook or any of these other platforms are going to replace it, right?


Q. Ray Tomlinson is often credited as the inventor of email. Is he credited correctly, in your opinion, or should he be credited for something else?

Shiva: I think that’s the thing that’s sort of resulted in this confusion. Since ’94, people have always said something’s going to kill e-mail—and the latest was text messaging, right? Ray and Tom Van Vleck really did text messaging. In fact, in one of Tom’s early communications he says his boss wouldn’t let him do electronic letters internally, which is actually the mail piece of it. So they were more focused from a messaging standpoint: How do you get a message from point A to point B to manipulate another machine at that more core level?

“The idea of sending ‘letters’ using [the Compatible Time-Sharing System] was resisted by management, as a waste of resources.”
-- Van Vleck, 2001


Q. Where did blind carbon copying come from? Was it a function the doctors were using?

Shiva: Yes, they used to call it “BCC”. Michelson would do this. If he wanted to spread a message, he would “CC” it. If he wanted to let his boss know but he didn’t want other people to know because of certain office politics, he would “BCC” it.


Q. So those functions were in place.

Shiva: Yes, those things were present in the actual office mail systems. That’s what I did. That was “electronic mail,” with the emphasis on the word “mail”—it should really be lowercase E.

Q. It sounds like the system we use today hasn’t changed all that much.

Shiva: Exactly, because the fundamentals of the system came from interoffice mail, which went through decades and decades of development. There’s still the “to:”, the “from:”, the “cc:”, the subject line, the body and the attachments. Attachments were originally called enclosures, because in the physical mail system they’d type “encl.” followed by the enclosure.


Q. Are there parts of email you think could be improved now?

Shiva: I think one of the interesting areas is going to be—and Google+ is sort of doing this—verification of who you are. That security piece. Email marketing firms and some of the large non-profits have set up this thing called Sender ID, so they’ve done it at the IP level—at the server level.

And for video, I think there’s going to be ways that when you produce your email, you’ll be able to produce videos easier. Those are just links and attachments now.

But email, I think, is a mainstay because it’s still a part of that old interoffice mail communication. It has certain properties that are very different than what you do with Twitter or those kinds of media. It’s almost like there’s a kind of operating system of electronic messaging, and above that are these apps. Email is a fundamental application. Twitter is an application because of the way the medium is used for that.

So how is electronic mail going to change? It’s going to really find what it was originally for: business communications, letters—those kinds of things. And then I think you’re going to see this segmentation: quick messaging, colloquial messaging—that’ll be done through text messaging and those kinds of things.


Q. What are your thoughts about the future of email as it pertains to the U.S. Postal Service?

Shiva: In 1997, after I’d started EchoMail, I met with the Postal Service because I could clearly see that the Postal Service needed to be involved in email because there was this whole trust issue.

When we used to go to large companies, they were getting inbound email that they needed to manage—especially on the outbound side. There’s the whole thing with sender verification and spam, and the Postal Service had this huge opportunity right there. I’ve always felt that, even today, the Postal Service has a huge opportunity.

One example is that on the inbound side, many small businesses and mid-market businesses still get inbound email. And even if it’s a low amount of email, if you don’t respond, there’s an 85 percent chance that you could lose your customer. And many of them don’t know how to do it.

If you think about what the Postal Service fundamentally does, those guys are trained to get mail and sort mail—there’s trust verification. The Postal Service could offer at least level-one or level-two support, where a company could say, “Sort my email for me and put it into the right buckets.” Because that’s what most people deal with—the sales leads, the junk, and those kinds of things. Some of it can be automated, but there’s other areas where you can do that sort of semi-automatic piece. And what’s happened in the U.S. now is that companies put in an infrastructure like EchoMail, which does that sorting, and then they have humans that do the second-level review. And most of those humans are overseas.

So companies essentially set up internal email post offices to do that function, and I think that’s a function the Postal Service could offer because you have that trust. It’s a very interesting security issue. You currently have people 10,000 miles away handling all sorts of very, very serious and personal information.

And on the outbound side, the Postal Service now wants to implement this thing called eMailbox, which would take your physical address and associate it with an email address to get all your bills and everything.
I like the concept, particularly if you look at email from a legal standpoint. In the U.K. now, you can serve someone through email thanks to a recent court ruling. So I think it opens up all these other things that are sort of in this gray area, since email is currently not associated with a physical address.

Q. Yeah, I currently scan most of my mail just because I want an electronic version of it. It’d be nice to have that done right at the post office level so if I went on vacation, for instance, I wouldn’t have to worry about my mailbox filling up.

Shiva: So that service—they should have done that back in ’97. When I met with them, the goal was, “Well, we’re a $50 billion company. Yeah, email’s there but it’s not that interesting.”

But I think it comes down to that issue that people don’t understand what electronic mail is. It’s this electrification of letters—it’s not just messaging.


Q. Do you think email is killing the Postal Service?

Shiva: There are various factors in the postal system. It’s a large organization and they have some of these policy issues, right? But I think, fundamentally, when you look at the Postal Service, it was literally set up at the time of the inception of the United States. It’s that old—it’s very aligned to democracy. But if you look at Benjamin Franklin, the guy’s an amazing innovator. He set up the logistics of how this thing would work—the different services, the delivery times—the guy was phenomenal.

Fast-forward to 1997 and you see this explosive growth in email. And what do these guys do? They basically didn’t do anything innovative. They basically sort of made tweaks. And even now after this whole eMailbox thing was proposed, their stance is, “Well maybe we should look into it in the future.” So there’s this fundamental lack of commitment to innovation.

It’s a large organization still making revenue. The fact is that because that revenue’s dropping and because email volume’s grown—I think by 60 percent or so—the volume of billing has been taken over by email. So what used to be bills, 60 to 70 percent is now email.

And I think segment by segment, that’s going to occur. So I think that if the Postal Service doesn’t get on board quickly and start offering some of these electronic services, their solution is going to be the standard financial application—lay people off and close branches.


In fact, the former head of the union had written several memos saying the Postal Service should start using the electronic medium, but I think the management fundamentally still views itself as, “We’re Walmart. We’ve got 500,000 people. We have this core business. How do we tweak it with first-class mail?” Those kinds of issues. They’re starting to awaken a little bit, but I think that unless they take a fundamentally innovative approach, they’re going to have problems.

Q. What’s the solution?

Shiva: The solution right now is to lay off 100,000 people. But those 100,000 people—if you think about the mentality they’ve been trained in—have the discipline, by and large, where you could put them on an electronic frontend and have them do electronic services like email sorting.

And the number of companies in the U.S. that need that right now is desperate. There’s a Jupiter report saying 67 percent of companies still don’t manage their inbound mail well. And managing email isn’t an area where you can train people quickly.

The issue is that companies—even large companies—think of email as phone calls. There’s still this lack of understanding about what email is, so they’ll say, “I’m going to take some phone guys and have them answer email for me.” But it’s a different activity. Answering phones synchronously is very different than reading an email, sorting it, figuring out which bucket it goes in, and then responding.


So I think the Postal Service has this huge opportunity. They could use those 100,000 workers and it’s not that much training. U.S. companies do it in 90 days now. They get people who barely speak English, and they train them to sort and process email, and they charge on a per-unit basis. The Postal Service already has physical real estate. They could put terminals in there and offer those services to local businesses, and just brand it as “You have your email. We’ll process it for you and we’ll tell you what your sales leads are.”

Q. So the argument about not wanting the post office reading your email…

Shiva: Somebody’s already reading your email, in this instance. Who’s reading your email? You currently have temporary workers coming in and out. Mid-market companies are outsourcing to a call center, which outsources to the Philippines or India. You already have that going on.

I don’t want to be jingoistic, but this economy has problems. Why are we laying off 100,000 people? It’s absolutely insane, when these people are trained in processing mail. You can move them to the email platform. There’s a huge need.

Q. Same basic sorting process.

Shiva: Same basic sorting process. If Franklin was around, he would have done email. The protocols that he had to put in place—he had to set up individual nodes, set up delivery times, there’s a security issue and there’s the issue of how fast you respond.

This is all the stuff companies face. Companies have service levels now. If you send an email, the company should respond within four hours. Most companies don’t respond within two days. It’s perfect for the Postal Service. It’s a mind-shift for them to think, “Why are we sorting other people’s electronic mail?” But it’s basically taking a trusted service and moving it online.

And I did a calculation: I think they could easily generate $6 billion in revenue. To process an email usually costs around $2 to $3—that’s what outside companies charge now for a small volume of messages once you work in all the overhead. Obviously if you can do more volume, it costs less, and the Postal Service can do it for less because they have so many people. It’s just a killer service that’s waiting there.

Q. What’s the end result? Certain mail gets put in certain folders?

Shiva: Certain folders and you can choose certain responses. You can have your email sorted into various buckets, or you can have the response selected and ready to go. So they could offer two levels of service. One is that they’d prepare a response that you could approve. The other is that if you trust them, they could just send the response out.

If it’s someone asking a billing question that could be handled without intervention: great. Otherwise it could be escalated. This is being done right now by call centers. I don’t believe there’s enough security there—I’ve been in enough of them. They have a 70 percent turnover rate in call centers. I don’t think the Postal Service has that high of a turnover rate.

Similarly, the Postal Service already does a lot of direct marketing. So they could own the direct marketing channel, too, and do more of the verification piece.

Q. So the big issue is getting the Postal Service on board with services like this.

Shiva: Yeah, I think the Postal Service still has an opportunity but the issue is what’s going to incentivize them to do it. I think there’s a lot of thrust to just cut jobs and follow this very mundane economic approach versus being innovative. It’s pretty sad when you really think about the number of people they have trained just sitting there.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:58 am

Who Invented Email? Just Ask … Noam Chomsky
by Caleb Garling
June 16, 2012

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


WHO INVENTED EMAIL? That’s a question sure to spark some debate. And where there’s debate, the appearance of Noam Chomsky should come as no surprise.

This week, Chomsky — the professor emeritus of linguistics and philosophy at MIT who’s known as much for his criticism of US foreign policy and capitalism as much as his academic work — unexpectedly joined the debate over the origins of email, putting his weight behind V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, a man who claims he invented email as in 1978 at the age of 14 while working at a medical and dentistry university in New Jersey.

Today, Ayyadurai is a lecturer at MIT, and he once studied with Chomsky. But Chomsky says he backs Ayyadurai’s claims for reasons of, yes, semantics.

“Email, upper case, lower case, any case, is the electronic version of the interoffice, inter-organizational mail system, the email we all experience today — and email was invented in 1978 by a 14-year-old working in Newark, NJ. The facts are indisputable,” reads a statement from Chomsky that fired across the internet in a press release from Ayyadurai.


Yes, by 1978, people were already sending electronic messages across computer networks, but Ayyadurai says he was the first person to build a software program called “email” — and that he was the first to structure electronic communications in a way that mirrored methods traditionally used to move paper mail through an office, setting up electronic “inboxes” and “outboxes” and “address books.”

In February, after some documentation supporting Ayyadurai’s claims was accepted by the Smithsonian, The Washington Post ran a long profile of the MIT lecturer, describing him as the father of email. But after many objected to his claims, the paper published a mammoth correction, casting considerable doubt over Ayyadurai’s place in the history of email.

Some trace email all the way back to the mid-’60s and MIT’s Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS). Originally, CTSS let users remotely log into a single MIT computer and store files to discs where they could be accessed by others, and then in 1961, Tom Van Vleck developed a “mail” command that let users send electronic messages to other users of the system.

But some argue that this wasn’t really email because the messages never left a single machine, that they didn’t really go across a network. They say true email arrived several years later on the ARPAnet, the research network funded by the US Department of Defense that would eventually give rise to the internet. In 1971, a man named Ray Tomlinson built a messaging system atop the ARPAnet that sent electronic messages between machines.

“There seems to be little disagreement over who wrote what, and approximately when,” Van Vleck tells Wired. “The argument is over what to call things.”


Chomsky joined the argument on Tuesday. “What continue[s] to be deplorable are the childish tantrums of industry insiders who now believe that by creating confusion on the case of ’email,’ they can distract attention from the facts,” his statement continues.

Chomsky’s argument is that Ayyadurai received a formal copyright registration on his email program in 1982, and that in 1977, David Crocker — who worked on the ARPAnet and has criticized Ayyadurai’s claims — wrote that “no attempt is being made to emulate a full-scale, inter-organizational mail system.”

“Given the term email was not used prior to 1978, and there was no intention to emulate ‘… a full-scale, inter-organizational mail system,” as late as December 1977, there is no controversy here, except the one created by industry insiders, who have a vested interest,” Chomsky says.


Reached by, yes, email, Chomsky confirms that he is putting his weight behind Ayyadurai’s claims. “What I found out seemed to confirm his story,” Chomsky tells Wired. “I read his documentation, the counterarguments, his responses, and his position seemed to me plausible.”

Image
Proof, VA Shiva Ayyadurai says, of his invention of email. Photo: http://www.inventorofemail.com

But the debate will no doubt continue.

Ayyadurai says that his invention was quite different than anything that came before — that email is the electronic version of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system. He carefully emphasizes that last word. The predecessors to his creation, he contends, were less organized, much simpler messaging systems. His system, he says, was the first to use the concepts that we recognize in modern tools like Outlook and Gmail.

Speaking with Wired, he points out that you could call the telegraph a form of email as well.

In addition to soliciting the backing of Chomsky, Ayyadurai has enlisted the help of his old boss the University of Medical and Dentistry of New Jersey, Leslie Michelson, and he has set up a website to support his claims: http://www.inventorofemail.com.

Why is he fighting so hard to stake his claim? “I want to be clear,” Ayyadurai tells Wired. “The intention of my sharing the facts was not about getting name and money for the invention of email, but to share what I thought was an inspiring message that even something as grand as email, could get created under the right conditions. What was unfortunate was the reaction.”

Additional reporting by Robert McMillan
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:00 am

Inventor Of Email, Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, Sues Gawker Media
Harder Mirell & Abrams LLP
May 10, 2016

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai filed suit today in the U.S. District Court in Boston, Massachusetts against Gawker Media LLC, its writer Sam Biddle, its editor John Cook, and its founder/CEO Nick Denton.

Dr. Ayyadurai is a world-renowned scientist, inventor, philanthropist and entrepreneur. He holds four degrees from MIT, including a Ph.D.

In 1978, Dr. Ayyadurai invented email: the electronic mail system as we know it today. In 1982, the United States Copyright Office granted Dr. Ayyadurai the first U.S. Copyright for "email," in which his authorship included that he "created and wrote entire text of the computer program." At that time, copyright law was the only way to protect software inventions because it was not until 1994 that the U.S. Courts ruled that computer programs were patentable as the equivalent of a "digital machine."

On November 15, 2011, TIME magazine published an article titled "The Man Who Invented Email," which profiled Dr. Ayyadurai and his invention. In June 2012, Wired magazine reported that "the email we all experience today, was invented in 1978 by [Dr. Ayyadurai] .... The facts are indisputable." In July 2015, CBS reported: "Next time your fingers hit the keyboard to write a quick email, you might want to say, thank you to Shiva Ayyadurai .... Because he is credited with inventing email ... in the late 1970s."

Gawker Media, LLC published on two of its blog sites (Gawker and Gizmodo) in 2012-2014, several false and defamatory statements about Dr. Ayyadurai, including calling him a "fraud," a "liar" and a "fake." These demonstrably false statements have caused long term harm to Dr. Ayyadurai's personal and professional reputation and career. Dr. Ayyadurai seeks a prominent retraction, apology, and damages.

Dr. Ayyadurai currently serves as Chairman & CEO of CytoSolve, Inc., a company revolutionizing health through its breakthrough technology, which eliminates the need for animal testing. Recently, CytoSolve discovered a multi-combination drug for pancreatic cancer, receiving FDA allowance to clinical trials, and has uncovered safety assessment issues concerning GMOs.

Dr. Ayyadurai is represented by attorneys Charles Harder of Harder Mirell & Abrams LLP in Los Angeles, California and Timothy Cornell of Cornell Dolan, PC in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:20 am

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WE WILL NOT BE CHILLED!
MIKE'S VODKA [Mike Masnick of TechDirt]
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:06 am

The Boy Who Invented Email
Honoring the Spirit of Innovation on The Anniversary of Email
by Lawrence E. Weber

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


The First Article in The History of Email Series

In 1978, a 14-year-old boy invented email.

He created a computer program, which he named “email”, that replicated all the functions of the interoffice mail system: Inbox, Outbox, Folders, Memo, Attachments, Address Book, etc., the now familiar parts of every email system.

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Picture of 14-year-old V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai shown with "email" computer program code, from 1978, in the background.

On August 30, 1982, the US government officially recognized V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai as the inventor of email by awarding him the first US Copyright for “Email”, “Computer Program for Electronic Mail System,” for his 1978 invention. This was awarded at a time when Copyright was the only way to protect software inventions.

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Official US Copyright Notice for “Email” Issued on August 30, 1982, now, in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History (NMAH).

Email, however, emerged from somewhat unlikely circumstances. Email wasn’t created, with a massive research budget, in big institutions like the ARPANET, MIT or the military. Such institutions had thought it “impossible” to create such a system, believing it far too complex.

Shiva was given something that big institutions, however, may have found hard to provide: an ecosystem of loving parents, a wonderful mentor, dedicated teachers and a collegial environment where he was treated as an equal though his colleagues were 20 to 40 years older.


In that ecosystem, Shiva thrived, and the world got email.

An Ecosystem of Love, Caring and Community

That ecosystem of love, caring and community allowed his creativity to blossom. History shows that such ecosystems are ultimately the source from which innovations can continually emerge in a healthy and sustainable manner.

When Shiva was accepted to a special program at New York University (NYU) to study computer science, for example, his mother and a neighbor took turns driving him at 5 AM to Newark’s Penn Station, from where Shiva took the train to NYU.

After finishing the NYU program, another family friend, Martin Feuerman took the initiative to introduce Shiva to Dr. Leslie P. Michelson, then Director of the Laboratory Computer Network (LCN) at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Shiva’s talent, passion and commitment immediately impressed Dr. Michelson, and he offered Shiva a position as a Research Scholar, and gave him a challenge: to convert the old system of paper-based mail communications used at UMDNJ to an electronic one.

Before Shiva could take on this challenge, he needed approval from his high school. A 14-year-old student traveling thirty miles to Newark, in the middle of school hours, was unprecedented.

But a dedicated teacher, Stella Oleksiak, became Shiva’s advocate. She negotiated with the principal and school administrators at Livingston High School, and convinced them that Shiva was responsible and given this opportunity, he would make an important contribution. The school’s administration acquiesced, and allowed Shiva to travel to Newark, during school hours, to start the project.

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Shiva with mentor Dr. Leslie P. Michelson (second from left) and Independent Study teacher Stella Oleksiak (third from left), who convinced school officials to amend rules so Shiva could work in Newark.

The Interoffice Mail System

Shiva began the project at UMDNJ by closely observing the system of operations for transporting mail. He observed how each secretary, using their typewriter, created the interoffice memorandum or “memo” with its “To:”, “From:”, “Subject:”, “Date:”, “Body:”, “Cc:”, “Bcc:” fields, and sometimes paper-clipped Attachments.

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An example of the Interoffice Memo.

The memo was then placed in an interdepartmental envelope. The interdepartmental envelope had a red string that one used to close the envelope. The name of the recipient was listed on the envelope’s cover. The envelope was then placed in a pneumatic tube container.

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Interdepartmental Envelope.

The pneumatic tube container was used to transport the “cargo” of the interoffice memo and any attachments, to its destination, across a complex system of pneumatic tubes that connected the offices.

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The interdepartmental mail envelope was placed in a pneumatic tube container for transport from office to office.

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Pneumatic tube system, similar to one at UMDNJ, used to transport interoffice mail across offices.

Shiva also observed that the desktop of each secretary, in addition to the typewriter, had an Inbox, Outbox, Drafts, Carbon Copy Paper, Folders, Address Book, Paper Clips (for attachments), etc., which they used each day to create and process incoming and outgoing mail.

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The typical desktop of a secretary that Shiva observed in 1970s at UMDNJ.

This complex system of office-to-office communications was the interoffice mail system. This system was not unique to UMDNJ but used in nearly every office including those of presidents and prime ministers.

Email is the Electronic Version of the Interoffice Mail System

Shiva conceived an electronic version of this system. He created a computer program of over 50,000 lines of code, which electronically replicated all the features of the interoffice mail system. Shiva then needed to name his computer program.

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First page of the computer program showing Shiva’s naming the program “email”, thus defining email to be the electronic interoffice mail system.

The FORTRAN programming language, the language in which Shiva coded his computer program, required all names to be in upper case and the operating system imposed a five-character limit on program names. Given these limitations, he created the word “EMAIL” to name his program, a term never used before in the English language.

At the time of email’s invention, the US government didn’t even have laws to protect the intellectual property rights of inventors of software programs. The Copyright Act of 1976 only protected music and literary works. In 1980, this Act was amended to protect software inventions.

Shiva submitted an application in 1981 to the US Copyright Office along with copies of his email computer code and the User’s Manual to the Library of Congress. By submitting his code and the manual, he made his work publicly available to all. It is therefore no coincidence that other email programs, one after the other, from Eudora, to Lotus Notes to Outlook, emerge after 1982, as the infographic shows.


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Infographic of the History of Email.

This is not to say that someone would not have created an electronic version of the interoffice mail system, perhaps even calling it something else, at some point in history; but the facts are that a 14-year-old boy, working in Newark, NJ, was the first to do it, the first to call it “email”, and the first to receive official recognition, for the invention, by the US government.

Prior to 1978, experts and electronic messaging researchers at big institutions, including members of the ARPANET team, thought it “impossible” to create such an electronic inter-organizational mail system. The seminal RAND report, written by David Crocker, a leading ARPANET electronic messaging researcher, makes this unequivocally clear.

Shiva Did What Others Thought Impossible

In December of 1977, Mr. Crocker wrote:

"At this time, no attempt is being made to emulate a full-scale, inter-organizational mail system. The fact that the system is intended for use in various organizational contexts and by users of differing expertise makes it almost impossible to build a system which responds to all users' needs."
— Crocker, David. Framework and Function of the "MS" Personal Message System. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, December 1977.


Since the system is to be used for communication which is exemplified in older and heavily-exercised technology, it is assumed that users have an extensive conceptual model of the communication domain. It is further assumed that a system which performs in ways which deviate from that model will be viewed as "idiosyncratic" and impeding the efforts of the user. Problems occurring during this sort of interaction can be expected to be as irritating as having a pen which leaks or a typewriter with keys that jam. Therefore, a major design goal for MS is to provide an integrated set of necessary and sufficient functions which conform to the target user's cognitive model of a regular office-memo system. At this stage, no attempt is being made to emulate a full-scale inter-organization mail system....

The level of the MS project effort has also had a major effect upon the system's design. To construct a fully-detailed and monolithic message processing environment requires a much larger effort than has been possible with MS. In addition, the fact that the system is intended for use in various organizational contexts and by users of differing expertise makes it almost impossible to build a system which responds to users' needs. Consequently, important segments of a full message environment have received little or no attention and decisions have been made with the expectation that other Unix capabilities will be used to augment MS. For example, MS has fairly primitive data-base management (i.e., filing and cataloging) facilities and message folders have been implemented in a way which allows them to be modified by programs, such as text editors, which access them directly, rather than through the message system.

-- Framework and Functions of the "MS" Personal Message System: A Report prepared for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, by David H. Crocker


This report was written just a few months before Shiva began his project at UMDNJ.

The big institutions such as the ARPANET, MIT and the military had decided not to even attempt to create an electronic replica of the interoffice mail system. They chose to focus on the simple exchange of text messages between devices, dating back to the lineage of the Morse Code telegraph of the 1800s. Their efforts were the precursors to what we know today as Texting, Chat, and Twitter, the simple exchange of short messages, but certainly not email.

Shiva, however, had a singular focus to create a “full-scale inter-organizational mail system” in order to make the lives of office workers easier. He took into consideration human factors: the system had to be easy-to-use. He created a simple user interface so secretaries, doctors, students, and staff could easily migrate from the typewriter to the keyboard. His system did not need the Internet or ARPANET, but ran on the Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN), already in place at UMDNJ.

In 1981, Shiva received a Westinghouse Science Talent Search Honors Award, known as the “Baby Nobels” for his invention.
In his Westinghouse application, the young teenager had a remarkable prescience on the future of email. He wrote in the conclusion of his application:

“One day, electronic mail, like Edison’s bulb, may also permeate and pervade our lives. It’s practical applications are unlimited. Not only is mail sent electronically, as many telexes and teletypes are capable of doing, but it offers a computational service that automates a secretary’s or file clerk’s work of writing a memorandum, document or letter, editing, filing, and retrieving. If electronic mail systems become a reality, they will surely create different patterns of communication, attitudes, and styles. Volumes of written work, for example, shall become obsolete.”
-- V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, 1981


The 14-year-old boy’s predictions on email all have come true.

Shiva’s example demonstrates that we cannot underestimate the creativity and wisdom of our young people. Nearly 25% of the world’s population is less than the age of 14, and about 50% are below the age of 25.

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Excerpt from Westinghouse Science Awards Application, Shiva predicting the future of email. Click on image to download a PDF of the Shiva's Westinghouse Science Awards application.

The World Needs More "Shiva's" and "Philo's"

Jim Clifton of the Gallup Organization, in his book the Jobs War, has concluded that the world needs to create 3.2 billion new jobs within the next 10 years. The current models of innovation rely on massive amounts of capital flowing to a few centers of innovation in major cities, big companies, large universities and the military. However, according to Clifton, these current models for innovation will only create 1.4 billion new jobs.

There is a 1.8 billion new job deficit! Where will these jobs come from?

The recent uprisings across the world may likely be attributed to youth feeling distressed and having little hope for jobs and a future where they can flourish. The journey of that 14-year-old boy working in Newark, NJ reveals an inspiring and alternate model for innovation.

Such models may appear as some brilliant exception, because media simply neither highlight nor report accurately such examples, as a rule.

Philo Farnsworth, for example, conceived TV, also as a 14-year-old child, in 1930, working in his home laboratory, in the small farming town of Franklin, Idaho. Like Shiva, Philo had that same ecosystem of loving parents, a wonderful mentor, and a supportive community.

However, it took many decades for the world to even know this fact, and that too, long after he died. Vested interests, for many decades, reacted and worked hard to hide the facts of Philo being the inventor of television; and such vested interests, also reacted in a similar manner, after news of the Smithsonian’s acquisition of Shiva’s code, papers and artifacts, on February 16, 2012, documenting his invention of email.


Is it so hard for us to believe that brilliant innovations such as email and television can emerge in healthy and sustainable ecosystems beyond the bastions of big universities, large companies and the military?

Modern media has an incredible opportunity to share such facts in a timely manner based on reviewing primary sources, and moving beyond simply accepting the word of “experts”, and the propensity to copy and paste from Wikipedia. Factual reporting of other “Shiva’s” and “Philo’s” is more than just good journalism, but one that can give hope to the emerging 3.5 billion young people, below the age of 25 who deserve accurate narratives on the infinite possibilities for creativity and innovation.

We welcome you to the History of Email Series, and invite you to celebrate the Anniversary of Email, August 30th, and unleash the spirit of innovation!

About Lawrence E. Weber

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Larry Weber is the Chairman & CEO of Racepoint Global (http://www.racepointglobal.com), an advanced marketing services agency, world-renowned expert in media and best-selling author. Passionate about the convergence of technology and communications, he is a frequent public speaker on the future of marketing, the social web and building communities online. Larry enjoys helping global brands and emerging companies harness social media strategies to enhance brand reputation, create and extend partnerships, and increase demand generation. He founded one of the industry's first interactive marketing agencies, Thunderhouse, and has worked with world-class clients including ARM, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Cook Medical, General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, and many more.

Larry serves on a number of Boards of corporations, non-profit organizations and academic institutions. He is the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX),the world's largest Internet marketing association. Larry has authored four business and marketing books, including The Provocateur: How a New Generation of Leaders Are Building Communities, Not Just Companies (Random House/Crown Business, 2002), business bestseller Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business (Wiley & Sons, 2007, with a second edition in 2009), Sticks & Stones: How Digital Business Reputations Are Created Over Time...And Lost in a Click (Wiley & Sons, 2009), and Everywhere: Comprehensive Digital Business Strategy for the Social Media Era (Wiley & Sons, 2011). Larry's newest book, The Digital Marketer: Ten New Skills You Must Learn to Stay Relevant and Customer-Centric, is due out in Spring 2014.
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