Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Didn’t

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Part 1 of 2

Origin of Email & Misuses of the Term “Email”
by Deborah J. Nightingale, Sen Song, Leslie P. Michelson, Robert Field

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[Abstract: The origin of email, the system as we all know and use today, begins in 1978 when a 14-year-old Research Fellow, V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, working at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), located in Newark, New Jersey, invented the first electronic system to replicate the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system consisting of Inbox, Outbox, Folders, Memo, Attachment, Address Book, etc. Ayyadurai named this system “email,” a term he was the first to create, because he was inventing the “electronic” or “e” version of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based “mail” system. Moreover, the specific naming of email arose for idiosyncratic reasons since FORTRAN IV, the programming language used to create his invention, required all variable and program names to be in upper case and a maximum of six characters, while the Hewlett Packard RTE-IVB operating system, on which the software executed, had a five-character limit for program names. These constraints motivated the selection of “E,” “M,” “A,” “I,” and “L.” Prior to 1978, neither the term “email,” in any variation, upper case, lower case, mixed case, with or without the dash, nor did the software application “email” exist. After Ayyadurai’s invention, the term “email” was misused, primarily by members of the ARPANET community and Raytheon/BBN, to refer to their developments in rudimentary methods for exchanging text messages, done prior to 1978, as “email.” Such developments, while important in their own right, were not email, the system of interlocking parts intended to emulate the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system -- the email we all experience today.]

Contents:

• 1 Introduction (Deborah J. Nighingale, Sen Song, Leslie P. Michelson, Robert Field)
• 2 The Invention of Email in Newark, NJ (1978)
• 3 V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai: The Inventor of Email
• 4 Email Is Not the Simple Exchange of Text Messages
• 5 Historical Revisionism of Email’s Origin
• 6 Misuses of the Term “Email”
o 6.1 Misuse #1: “Email” was created on the ARPANET
o 6.2 Misuse #2: Ray Tomlinson Invented “Email” and Sent the First “Email” Message
o 6.3 Misuse #3: The Use of the “@” Symbol Equals the Invention of “Email”
o 6.4 Misuse #4: RFCs Demonstrate “Email” Existed Prior To 1978
o 6.5 Misuse #5: Programs For Exchanging Messages Were “Email”
o 6.6 Misuse #6: Mail On CTSS Developed In 1960's Was “Email”
o 6.7 Misuse #7: In 2012, the Term “Email” Now Needs To Be Defined 6.8 Misuse #8: “Email” Is Not An Invention, But VisiCalc Is An Invention
o 6.9 Misuse #9: Dec And Wang Created “Email”
o 6.10 Misuse #10: Laurel Was “Email”
o 6.11 Misuse #11: The Term “Email” Belongs To Compuserve
o 6.12 Misuse #12: “Email” Has No Single Inventor
• 7 References

Chapter 1: Introduction

“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.” (Garling, 2012)
-- Professor Noam Chomsky, MIT, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics


What is email? Email is actually a system --- a system of interlocking parts intended to emulate the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system consisting of the Inbox, Outbox, Drafts, Folders, Memo, Attachment, Address Book, etc., the now-familiar components of every email system (Pearl, 1993; Ramey, 1993; Markus, 1994; Tsuei, 2003), made accessible and easy-to-use for ordinary people with little to no computer experience to manage the complex and myriad functions necessary for office communications mediated through the model of the interoffice memorandum (Yates & Orlikowski, 1992; Foster, 1994; Holmes, 1995; Morrisett, 1996).

Image Image Image
(a) (b) (c)
Fig. 1. The interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system was managed by office workers who on their desktop (a) used a typewriter, an Inbox to receive mail, an Outbox for outgoing mail, a Drafts box for work in progress, file Folders for storage, etc. to compose and manage the (b) the Memorandum (memo), consisting of the “To:,” “From:,” “Cc:,” “Bcc:,” “Date:,” “Subject:,” the Body, and Attachments, which were placed in an Inter-Office Mail envelope (c) for distribution and delivery across offices and organizations.

The interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system, as shown in Figure 1, consisted of the office worker, who created the Memorandum or the memo (“To:,” “From:,” “Cc:,” “Bcc:,” “Date:,” “Subject:,” the Body, and Attachments), and used the interoffice mail envelope to transport the memo to a desired location. Transport of the envelope was done by workers who delivered it by foot, by automobile, and, at times, by an interconnected system of pneumatic tubes, as shown in Figure 2. This paper-based mail system, primarily used during the 1900s, and still used today in some organizations, was the central system of interoffice and inter-organizational paper-based communications from business owners to prime ministers and presidents.

Image Image
(a) (b)
Fig. 2. Office workers (a) were critical to the functioning of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system; at times, an interconnected system of pneumatic tubes (b) were used to transport mail across offices and organizations.

In 1978, V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, a 14-year-old prodigy, who was accepted into a special program in computer science at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences in New York University (NYU) (Mullish, 1978), was hired by Dr. Leslie P. Michelson, initially as a research scholar and later as a Research Fellow, at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), located in Newark, New Jersey (Michelson, 2012). Michelson challenged Ayyadurai to create a software application, which would be full-scale electronic version (or emulation) to support all functions of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system (Aamoth, 2012; Nanos, 2013; Gopalakrishnan, 2014), Table 1.

Prior to 1978, experts in the ARPANET community had concluded it “impossible” to invent such a full-scale electronic emulation of the interoffice, interorganizational paper-based mail system, as documented in the RAND Report published on December 1977 by Mr. David Crocker, a leading member of the ARPANET community (Crocker, 1977; Nightingale, 2014). Mr. Crocker unequivocally conveyed both the ARPANET researchers’ lack of interest as well as their conclusion to the impossibility of creating such a system in the introductory sections of the Report, which defined the limits and scope of the ARPANET’s then-current work in electronic messaging:

"At this time, no attempt is being made to emulate a full-scale, inter-organizational mail system [p.4]…. 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 [p.7].” (Crocker, 1977)
-- Mr. David Crocker ARPANET Researcher, December 1977


In the 1970s, access to and use of computers were nearly exclusive to highly trained technical personnel such as systems analysts, programmers, scientists and engineers. More importantly, at the time, human interaction with computers required significant technical training that demanded the end user to have knowledge of computer programming languages and cryptic computer codes, making the use of the computer inaccessible to an ordinary person. In this context, one can understand why the idea of an ordinary office worker, a “secretary,” primarily a woman, who was relegated to a typewriter at an office desk, and who likely had never even seen a computer, interacting with one, was thought inconceivable. In addition to overcoming such sociological barriers, “to build a system” that not only incorporated the myriad technological functions of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system, as listed in Table 1, but also was designed easy-to-use for “users of differing expertise” from the secretary to the highly trained technical personnel was considered monumental, as reflected in Mr. Crocker’s statement.

Chapter 2: The Invention of Email in Newark, NJ (1978)

The 14-year-old Ayyadurai, however, did not think it impossible to create such a system. He took on Michelson’s challenge (“Livingston Student”, 1980; Michelson, Bodow, Brezenhoff & Field, 2013), and did “attempt” to create such a system, and did do the “impossible,” when he became the first to conceive, design and invent the first software application that replicated myriad functions, as itemized in Table 1, of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system (McLeod & Bender, 1982) so it could be of “use in various organizational contexts” and by “users of differing expertise” ranging from secretaries, office workers, students, doctors, who had never experienced a computer keyboard or terminal, to highly trained technical personnel such as systems analysts, programmers, scientists and engineers, i.e. end users (Cheney & Lyons, 1980; Michelson, et al., 2015).

Ayyadurai named his invention “email” (Smithsonian National Museum of American History [NMAH], 2012; Ayyadurai, 1982a; Ayyadurai, 1982b), a term he was the first to create in 1978, as verified by its first use in naming the main subroutine of his program (Smithsonian National Museum of American History [NMAH], 2012; Ayyadurai, 1982a; Ayyadurai, 1982b), as shown in Figure 3. The non-existence of the term “email,” prior to Ayyadurai’s creation of this term in 1978, is further substantiated by two eminent dictionaries the Oxford English Dictionary (“E-Mail Origin”, 1980) and the Merriam Webster Dictionary (“E-mail; First Known Use”, 1982) by their reference to the dates of origin of the term “email” and its variations, as being after 1978, in 1980 and 1982, respectively.

Image
Fig. 3. The naming of “email” (c. 1978). (Smithsonian National Museum of American History [NMAH], 2012; Ayyadurai, 1982a; Ayyadurai, 1982b)

Ayyadurai named the system “email” because he was inventing the “electronic” or “e” version of the interoffice “mail” system. Moreover, the specific naming of “email” arose from idiosyncratic reasons since the FORTRAN IV programming language, used to build the software, required all variable and program names to be in upper case and a maximum of six characters, while the Hewlett Packard RTE-IVB operating system, on which the software executed, had a five-character limit for program names. These constraints motivated the selection of “E,” “M,” “A,” “I,” and “L.

Chapter 3: V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai: The Inventor of Email

On August 30, 1982, the United States government awarded Ayyadurai the first U.S. Copyright for “Email,” “Computer Program for Electronic Mail System” (Ayyadurai, 1982a), officially recognizing Ayyadurai as the inventor of email --- the system of interlocking parts designed to electronically emulate and expand the functionality of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system.

Image
Fig. 4. The U.S. Government Copyright Issuance for “Email” in 1982, Officially Recognizing Ayyadurai as the Inventor of Email. (Ayyadurai, 1982a).

At time of the invention of email in 1978, there existed no legal methods to protect software inventions. In fact, software patents were non-existent, and questionable at best, since the patentability of software itself was unclear and not recognized by the United States Supreme Court (Flewellen, 1980; Moran and James, 1980). However, in 1980, the United States Copyright Act of 1976 was amended to include software inventions. This resulted in the United States Computer Software Act of 1980 (Crews, 1987; Lemley, et. al., 2006).

In 1981, Ayyadurai, per the compliance requirements of the new Computer Software Act of 1980, applied for legal protection of his invention. In 1982, he received such protection from the United States government, which formalized in government records his being the inventor of email. In addition to being awarded the Copyright for the software “Email,” Ayyadurai was also awarded another Copyright for the software users manual, “Email User’s Manual,” “Operating Manual for Electronic Mail System Program” (Ayyadurai, 1982b). The user’s manual provided the office workers at UMDNJ a detailed guide on how to use email.

Ayyadurai’s distinction as the inventor of email, therefore, emerges from: 1) He being the first to conceive, design and invent the electronic version of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system, containing all the features we experience today in every email program, which experts of the ARPANET community had deemed “impossible”; 2) His creating the term “email” in 1978 to name this invention; and, 3) His receiving formal legal protection and recognition by the United States government as the inventor of email.

The 14-year-old Indian immigrant’s invention, moreover, was likely the world’s first end user software application that made the computer accessible and meaningful to the lives of ordinary people. Ayyadurai’s invention was revolutionary not only for the technological and design challenges that it overcame but also for the sociological and elitist barriers that it broke by enabling ordinary office workers, primarily woman, to move from the typewriter and paper to the terminal and keyboard, where email became their gateway to the brave new world of computing and digital communications.

What is even more compelling is the prescience of the young teenage inventor as to the relevance of his own invention, and its potential to humankind. In 1981, he submitted an essay on his invention for an awards entry to the Thomas Alva Edison/Max McGraw Foundation to be considered for a scholarship to support his attending university (Ayyadurai, 1981). The concluding paragraph in Ayyadurai’s essay reveals that prescience:

“[Email]’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.” (Ayyadurai, 1981)
-- V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai in 1981, Livingston High School Thomas Alva Edison/Max McGraw Awards Application


His invention did not go unnoticed and began to receive public recognition starting as early as 1980. On October 30, 1980, for example, a feature article, with the headline “Livingston Student Designs Electronic Mail System,” appeared in the West Essex Tribune, which described his development efforts while a high school student involved in a special independent study program setup by a pioneering Livingston High School educator, Ms. Stella Oleksiak (“Livingston Student”, 1980).

On January 21, 1981, the prestigious Westinghouse Science Talent Search Awards, today known as the Intel Science Talent Search Awards, honored his invention by awarding him the prestigious Westinghouse Science Talent Search Honors Group Award (Westinghouse, 1981).

On September 2, 1981, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the most eminent science and technology institute in the world, also found it important to mention and recognize the invention. On that day, Ayyadurai was attending MIT’s incoming freshman student orientation for the Class of 1985. The front page of the MIT Tech Talk, the official newspaper of the MIT faculty and administration, highlighted achievements of only 3 of the 1,041 students entering the MIT Class of 1985. Ayyadurai was one of them. The article shared his invention of email (Miller, 1981).

Chapter 4: Email Is Not the Simple Exchange of Text Messages

After Ayyadurai’s invention, the term “email” began to be used to refer to methods for the simple exchange of text messages, done prior to 1978. However, email is not simply a method for the rudimentary exchange of text messages (Ngwenyama & Lee, 1997), as some have erroneously documented (Marold & Larsen, 1997), and one which continues to appear even on popular websites such as Wikipedia, which define “email” as “a method of exchanging digital messages” (“Email”, n.d., para 1)

In the 1970s and early 1980s, developing such methods for the simple exchange of text messages was the focus of early workers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and its ARPANET research community, Raytheon/Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), and MIT, in order to support military battlefield communications (Kuo, 1979; Lyons, 1980; Postel, Sunshine & Cohen, 1981). The aim of their efforts was to develop methods for the reliable communication of simple text messages from one location to another (Cerf, 1979; Malgieri, 1981).

The invention of email by Ayyadurai at UMDNJ in Newark, New Jersey, in contrast, was not motivated to create such simple point-to-point exchange of text messages for supporting battlefield communications, but rather to create a system to manage the complex functions of day-to-day civilian office communications where the interoffice memo was the primary medium of formal business communications in the office environment (Yates, 1989; Gains, 1999; Orlikowski & Yates, 1994).

The military had little interest in creating a system for managing the interoffice memorandum on the battlefield. This was far beyond their scope of work as the ARPANET was neither designed nor intent on creating email (Patel, 2003). The ARPANET researchers were not being funded by the military to make the lives of ordinary office workers easy. Even as late as 1985, seven years after the invention of email by Ayyadurai in Newark, NJ, the ARPANET’s official brochure, ARPANET Information Brochure (Dennett, Feinler & Perillo, 1985), Figure 5a, makes no mention whatsoever either about “email” or “electronic mail” as evidenced by the lack of existence of any entries in its Index, Figure 5b, starting with “e,” for “email” to be found anywhere in the Index of this brochure.

Image Image
(a) (b)
Fig. 5. The ARPANET’s ARPANET Information Brochure cover page (a), and the Index on page 45 (b), which makes no mention or use of “email.”

Chapter 5: Historical Revisionism of Email’s Origin

The historical revisionism to re-define the term “email” as the simple exchange of text messages took place after Ayyadurai’s invention so as to misappropriate credit specifically to DARPA, the ARPANET researchers, MIT and Raytheon/ BBN. Following Ayyadurai’s invention of email, Raytheon/BBN, a multibillion dollar defense contractor, created its entire brand image as the “inventor of email,” to provide itself a competitive advantage in the lucrative cyber-security market (Raytheon/BBN. (n.d.). The ARPANET community, including personnel such as Mr. Crocker, now misuse the term “email” to perpetuate the claim that the ARPANET created “email” to perpetuate a false narrative that all great innovations, such as email, only emerge in a “collaboration”(Crocker, 2012) from the realms of the military-industrial-academic complex (Leydesdorff & Etzkowitz, 1996; Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff, 2000; Carayannis & Campbell, 2011).

The misuses of the term “email” not only attempts to misappropriate credit when the ARPANET community had no intention to create email as they had thought it “impossible,” but also attempts to confuse journalists by equating “email” to be the simple exchanges of text messages so as to obfuscate email’s true origin, away from the monumental achievement of a 14-year-old boy, working in Newark, New Jersey, in 1978. This manuscript itemizes and exposes these misuses, many of which are deliberately perpetuated by a cabal of “historians,” who promote this false narrative as their allegiance, in spite of the overwhelming and overt facts, is to the larger narrative that great innovations, such as email, can only emerge from the military-industrial-academic complex (‘SIGCIS Blog’, 2012).

The facts are that in 1978, at UMDNJ in Newark, New Jersey, there was no ARPANET, and the invention of email did not depend on any infrastructure or technology created by the ARPANET. The challenge to invent email required Ayyadurai to go far beyond just creating a simple means to exchange text messages. He used a computer network that was already present at UMDNJ and independent of the ARPANET. The challenge demanded him to invent an entire communications platform consisting of a sophisticated database and workflow systems architecture, while implementing the myriad features for enabling interoffice, interorganizational paper-based mail communications (Smith, 2011; Gopalakrishnan, 2014) necessary for office workers to move from the world of the typewriter to the realm of the keyboard and computer terminal, delivered through an easy-to-use interface. Ayyadurai’s work was focused on digitizing the entire “system” of interoffice communications rather than just the mere transport of messages reliably from point-to-point (Westinghouse, 1981; Field, 2014).

The components used by Ayyadurai to build email, furthermore, were not based on any tools or technologies built by DARPA or the ARPANET community. The tools used by Ayyadurai to build email were: 1) computer hardware, 2) an operating system, 3) terminals and keyboard, 4) a network, 5) a programming language, and 6) a database system (Michelson, 2012; Field, 2014). These components already existed at UMDNJ in 1978, and none of them were developed by the ARPANET. Erroneous claims promulgated by some “historians,” and copy and pasted in tabloid journals and blogs have asserted that the components used by Ayyadurai to invent email at UMDNJ had been created previously by the ARPANET (Biddle, 2012; Aguilar, 2012). This is simply not true, but is duplicitous, and serves to perpetuate the false and revisionist history, going back to the 1970s, when Raytheon/BBN attempted to [take] credit for having “invented everything,” as noted by the Mr. M.A. Padlipsky, a computer scientist and contemporary of Mr. Crocker, who was also a prolific ARPANET contributor and author of more than 20 RFC specifications.


Mr. Padlipsky, in a famous essay, shared how Raytheon/BBN was habitual in performing such historical revisionism to take credit “…for having invented everything…” (Padlipsky, 2000):

“[T]he[Raytheon/]BBN guys - who always seemed to get to write the histories and hence always seemed to have claimed to have invented everything, anyway, perhaps because BBN was the only "for-profit" to furnish key members of the original Network Working Group.”
-- Mr. M.A. Padlipsky, ARPANET Researcher


Ayyadurai, as a 14-year-old boy working in Newark, New Jersey, in contrast, sought neither fame nor fortune for his invention of email. His efforts were done independent of the ARPANET or Internet, and ran on its own private network known as the Laboratory Computer Network (LCN), which had been earlier implemented to connect the four campuses of UMDNJ (Michelson, 2014). Email did not need to “transport messages,” but provided a novel database-driven mechanism to share the interoffice memorandum across relevant users and organizational hierarchies, long before Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) was made available in 1982 (Postel, 1982a) and which was four years after email’s invention at UMDNJ in 1978.

Therefore, the triangle of DARPA (including the ARPANET community), Raytheon/ BBN and MIT, simply put, cannot take credit for email’s invention. They were solving a different, important, but much easier problem, from Ayyadurai’s mission to create email, the first full-scale electronic emulation of the entire interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system. An objective review of these facts that email’s history begins from the civilian interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail communication system at UMDNJ in 1978 and not from the military or its developments prior to 1978 provides a much larger historical lesson that innovation can occur anytime, anyplace by anybody, outside of big universities, military and large corporations (Aamoth, 2013; Garling, 2012; Rocca, 2015).

Chapter 6: Misuses of the Term “Email”

So email as a system is not simply exchanging messages among computers, even if a person at one end types a message to a human recipient. Sending text messages alone is what today we call Texting, SMS, Chat or Twitter. Standard histories of the Internet are full of claims that certain individuals (and teams) in the ARPANET environment in the 1970s and 1980s ‘invented email’. For example, the ‘@’ sign, early programs for sending and receiving messages, and technical specifications known as RFCs, have been claimed to be ‘email’. But as some claimants have admitted, none of these innovations were intended as a system of interlocking parts - Inbox, Memo, Outbox, Folders, Address Book, etc. - the email system used today by billions of people worldwide.

These standard histories have misused the term “email” - which today is understood to be a system of interdependent features - to apply to other forms of electronic communications. Those developments aimed to solve various problems, but were not intended to substitute for the interoffice paper mail system. On February 16, 2012, nearly 35 years after Ayyadurai’s invention of email, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History (NMAH) acquired his papers, artifacts and computer code, documenting his invention in 1978 at UMDNJ. The Smithsonian acquisition led to a vocal minority unleashing disinformation to deny email’s origin in spite of the technical and legal documentation of facts.

These attacks were unwarranted and unfortunate and, as subsequent research revealed, the attacks were motivated by industry insiders intent on protecting the vested interests of Raytheon/BBN, a multi-billion dollar company, which, during the period after Ayyadurai’s invention of email in 1978, had built its entire brand on the falsehood that it had “invented email.” Some detractors went so far as to confuse the public by stating that upper case “EMAIL,” was different than lower case “email,” to misappropriate credit away from Ayyadurai.


The eminent linguist Professor Noam Chomsky, during the heated controversy in 2012, responded by stating (Garling, 2012):

“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….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.”
-- Professor Noam Chomsky, MIT, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics


These vested interests included a coterie of “historians,” who instigated the harsh vitriol against Ayyadurai in order to deliberately discredit and character assassinate Ayyadurai to distract media and press from the indisputable facts of email’s origin, by spreading disinformation and false claims about email’s origin. Twelve of these false claims, originally itemized, investigated and exposed as disinformation by Drs. Nightingale and Song (Nightingale and Song, 2012) have now been compiled and updated in the Supplementary Materials of this manuscript, to demonstrate how misuses of the term “email” were used to disseminate fiction versus fact on the origin of email. These claims include:

1. “Email” was created on the ARPANET.
2. Ray Tomlinson invented “email” and sent the first “email” message.
3. The use of the “@” symbol equals the invention of “email.
4. RFCs demonstrate “email” existed prior to 1978.
5. Programs for exchanging messages were “email”.
6. Mail On CTSS developed in 1960's was “email”.
7. In 2012, the term “email” now needs to be defined.
8. “Email” is not an invention, but VisiCalc is an invention.
9. Dec and Wang created “email”.
10. Laurel was “email”.
11. The term “email” belongs to Compuserve.
12. “Email” has no single inventor.

The addendum elaborates on each instance and explains why they are misuses of the term “email” by providing references to primary sources that definitively expose that what is referred to as “email,” in such uses, was not email but rudimentary methods for text messaging. The research across hundreds of primary sources concerning these false claims shows that each of these innovations, while very important in the evolution of the Internet, were single functions and never email --- the system of interlocked components intended to emulate the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system.

6.1 Misuse #1: “Email” was created on the ARPANET

The statement:

“Under ARPANET several major innovations occurred: email (or electronic mail), the ability to send simple messages to another person across the network,” (Bellis, 2012)


misuses the term “email,” since the invention referenced as “email,” and attributed to the ARPANET, in the above statement is command-line protocols for transferring text messages, not email --- a system of interlocking parts designed to be fullscale emulation of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system.

Early workers of the ARPANET community, such as Mr. David Crocker, in the field of electronic messaging, admitted, with great and direct clarity, that the ARPANET community, had no intention to create a full-scale electronic version of the interoffice or inter-organizational paper-based mail system. This is expressed in the following two statements of Mr. Crocker, published in December of 1977, months before Ayyadurai began his work in inventing email.

“At this time, no attempt is being made to emulate a full-scale, inter-organizational mail system. p.4” (Crocker, 1977)

“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 all users’ needs. p.7” (Crocker, 1977)


Moreover, other electronic messaging workers of that same time, such as Tom Van Vleck, affiliated with the ARPANET community, also admitted that their superiors, at the time of their work in electronic messaging, in the early 1970s, made it clear that they were not allowed to work on creating an electronic system to replicate “letters” e.g. the interoffice paper mail system, since it was considered a waste of time, as expressed in this statement:

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


Mr. Van Vleck, one of the vocal detractors to the news of Ayyadurai’s invention of email in March 2012, after the Washington Post’s news of the February 16, 2012 Smithsonian’s acquisition of Ayyadurai’s documents, went to the extent of revising his own Multicians.Org history of email website, in March of 2012, which had remained unchanged for many years, by inserting the word “initially” to the sentence referenced above to read:

“The idea of initially sending ‘letters’ using [the Compatible Time-Sharing System] was resisted by management, as a waste of resources.” (Nightingale and Song, 2014b)


This revisionism was done deliberately to give the false impression that somehow, he was allowed, back in his time, by his “management” to implement the “letter”, or interoffice memo, afterwards following an “initial” resistance. Mr. Van Vleck made this revision to his website after the authors of this manuscript’s research team discovered and published Mr. Van Vleck’s original comment that he was not allowed to work on “letters.”

By revising his own website, after our exposure of his lack of intent to invent anything close to email, Mr. Van Vleck was performing historical revisionism on his own material. The research team was fortunate, at the time, to capture in screenshots as shown in Figure 6, which documents this revisionism. Mr. Van Vleck’s historical revisionism was done retroactively to substantiate that he was allowed to work on an electronic system for “letters” so as to take credit for the invention of “email.”

BEFORE (a)

Note: Van Vleck clearly states that CTSS management resisted allowing him to create a system for sending "letters" e.g. To, From, Cc, Bcc, etc, but would allow him to create a system for sending/receiving, requests, e.g. text messages.

Here is the Original Text

"The Idea of sending 'letters' using CTSS was resisted by management, as a waste of resources. However, CTSS Operations did need a facility to inform users when a request to retrieve a file from tape had been completed, and we proposed MAIL as a solution for this need."

AFTER (b)

Note: Now, "initially" added -- subtle but a BIG difference.

Here is the Revised Text

"The Idea of sending 'letters' using CTSS was initially resisted by management, as a waste of resources. However, CTSS Operations did need a facility to inform users when a request to retrieve a file from tape had been completed, and we proposed MAIL as a solution for this need."

Fig. 6. Blatant example of historical revisionism conducted by Mr. Tom Van Vleck after hearing of Smithsonian’s acquisition of documents validating Ayyadurai’s invention of email at UMDNJ. Before the Smithsonian news of February 16, 2012, Mr. Van Vleck’s website had the content as shown in (a). After the Smithsonian news (c. March 2012), Mr. Van Vleck changed the content to as shown in (b). (Nightingale and Song, 2014b).

This was not the only instance of this kind of revisionism that Mr. Van Vleck deliberately performed. On another part of his website, again after the Smithsonian’s acquisition on February 16, 2012, Mr. Van Vleck revised his own published timeline of the history of email where in that timeline Mr. Van Vleck inserts that he invented email in 1965, as shown in Figure 7A and Figure 7B below (Nightingale and Song, 2014b)

BEFORE (a)

1971 Ray Tomlinson develops an email application for over the ARPAN ... message had been received Tomlinson chose the "@" sign for email ...
1970 - Monty Python Spam Skit airs
1960s Email developed for time share computers (individuals could me ...
1890s, USPS declared it illegal to deliver paper messages through pneu ...

AFTER (b)

1971 Ray Tomlinson develops an email application for over the ARPAN ... received Tomlinson chose the "@" sign for email addresses.
1970 - Monty Python Spam Skit airs
1965 Noel Morris and Tom Van Vleck invent email
1960s Email developed for time share computers (individuals could me ...
1890s, USPS declared it illegal to deliver paper messages through pneu ...

Fig. 7. Another blatant example of historical revisionism conducted by Mr. Tom Van Vleck after hearing of Smithsonian’s acquisition of documents validating Ayyadurai’s invention of email at UMDNJ. Before the Smithsonian news of February 16, 2012, Mr. Van Vleck’s website had the history of email timeline as shown in (a). After the Smithsonian news (c. March 2012), Mr. Van Vleck changed the content to as shown in (b). (Nightingale and Song, 2014b)

6.2 Misuse #2: Ray Tomlinson Invented “Email” and Sent the First “Email” Message

The statements such as these:

“Ray Tomlinson invented email in 1971.” ("Ask.com - What's Your Question?", 2012)

“Ray Tomlinson sent the first email.” ("A Brief History of Email in the Federal Government.", 2012)

“Ray Tomlinson is credited with inventing email in 1972. Like many of the Internet inventors, Tomlinson worked for Bolt Beranek and Newman as an ARPANET contractor.” ("History of Internet/Email.", 2012)


misuse the term “email,” since Mr. Ray Tomlinson did not invent email --- the system of interlocking parts which is the full-scale emulation of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system.

The invention referenced in these statement(s) and attributed to Tomlinson is the simple exchange of text messages between computers. Tomlinson simply modified a pre-existing program called SNDMSG, which he did not write, but made some minor modifications to, in order to enable the exchange of simple text messages across computers.

SNDMSG required a set of cryptic and highly technical computer codes to instruct the computer to transfer a message from one computer to another. Only trained technical personnel, such as computer scientists and technicians, not end users, such as a secretary or office worker with minimal to no computer knowledge, could use such a method.
Tomlinson updated this previously existing SNDMSG command program to transmit text strings over a network connection. SNDMSG was not a system of interlocking parts designed for laypersons to manage routine office communications; thus, it was not designed to replicate the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system.

As primary references show, SNDMSG was not only not email but also was just a very rudimentary form of text messaging (Vittal, 1981):

“The very simple systems (SNDMSG, RD, and READMAIL) did not integrate the reading and creation functions, had different user interfaces, and did not provide sufficient functionality for simple message processing.” (Vittal, 1981)


Moreover, Tomlinson, to his own admission, said his work was a “no-brainer” and was merely a minor contribution (Tomlinson, 2012):

“I was making improvements to the local inter-user mail program called SNDMSG. The idea occurred to me that CPYNET could append material to a mailbox file just as readily as SNDMSG could. SNDMSG could easily incorporate the code from CPYNET and direct messages through a network connection to remote mailboxes in addition to appending messages to local mailbox files. The missing piece was that the experimental CPYNET protocol had no provision for appending to a file; it could just send and receive files. Adding the missing piece was a no-brainer—just a minor addition to the protocol.” (Tomlinson, 2012).


Tomlinson’s work was in no manner comparable to the enterprise-class system that Ayyadurai developed at UMDNJ, that was a complete end user application consisting of 50,000 lines of code, built from the ground up, to create email --- the full-scale emulation of the entire interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system in 1978.

What is also alarming, in this context, is that Michael Padlipsky's famous essay, originally linked on Van Vleck’s site, in which Padlipsky exposed Tomlinson’s conflated claim as being the “inventor of email,” (Padlipsky, 2000):

“I don't believe Ray Tomlinson invented ‘e-mail.’ And not because of the quibble that we called it netmail originally, though that does offer an excuse to observe that I personally find the term ‘e-mail’ awfully cutesy, and references to ‘sending an e-mail’ syntactic slime. Nor because of the semi-quibble that ‘mail’ had been around intra-Host on several of the Host operating systems since well before anybody realized they were Hosts, though that one has a great deal of abstract ‘historical’ appeal. No, it's because I have a completely clear memory that Ray wasn't even at the FTP meeting where we decided to add mail to the protocol.” (Padlipsky, 2000)


was deleted and removed by Van Vleck (Nightingale & Song 2014b), after the Smithsonian event. Van Vleck’s website used to link to Padlipsky’s article prior to the Smithsonian event.

Prior to the Smithsonian event, Van Vleck also questioned the claim that Tomlinson was the “inventor of email,”; however, after the Smithsonian event, Van Vleck, who by all indications had close and collegial relationships with members of the ARPANET community who were threatened by Ayyadurai’s facts exposing their false claims, changed his sardonic position of Mr. Tomlinson being the “inventor of email,” fell in line with the revised propaganda of Raytheon/BBN, after the Smithsonian event, to deem Tomlinson as the inventor of “network email,” a new term crafted to bequeath credit to the ARPANET community in the face of the mounting facts, following Ayyadurai’s documentation of inventing email in 1978.

6.3 Misuse #3: The Use of the “@” Symbol Equals the Invention of “Email”

The statement:

“When [Tomlinson] is remembered at all, it is as the man who picked ‘@’ as the locator symbol in electronic addresses. In truth though, he is the inventor of e-mail, the application that launched the digital information revolution. And yet the breakthrough he made was such a simple evolutionary step that hardly anyone noticed it till later.” (“The Invention of Email,” 1998)


misuses the term “email” since it implies that Ray Tomlinson’s use of the “@” symbol is equivalent to inventing email -- the system of interlocking parts which is the full-scale emulation of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system.

The “@” symbol is used to separate the user name from the domain name. The invention referenced in the above statement is the use of the “@” symbol to distinguish two computers when sending a text message. The “@” symbol is not a necessary component of email -- the system of interlocking parts. In some cases “-at” was used (Van Vleck, 2012), or the “.” symbol as in the first email system developed by Ayyadurai.

“Because the ‘@’ was a line kill character in Multics, sending mail from Multics to other hosts used the control argument -at instead.” (Van Vleck, 2012)


Some have mistakenly characterized the “@” symbol as something very unique, “underused” and novel. As a point of fact, the “@” symbol was the linekill character on Multics, (Pogran, 2012), another early timesharing system, and created a character conflict for those Multics users trying to use Tomlinson's SNDMSG.

As Kenneth Pogran recalled:

“Do folks remember that ‘@’ was the Multics line-kill character? We were opposed to Ray Tomlinson's famous (or is it infamous?) selection of @ as the character that separated the user name from the host name…. Early versions … allowed the use of space-a-t-space (i.e., ‘at’) in place of the ‘@’ to accommodate Multics (and the mail composition software I wrote used the syntax -at on the command line)” (Pogran, 2012).

“Early versions of ARPANET email specs allowed the use of space-a-t-space (i.e., " at ") in place of the ‘@’ to accommodate Multics and the mail composition software I wrote used the syntax -at on the command line to begin composing an email….” (Pogran, 2012)


The “@” symbol was “underused” only to the extent that it interfered with some users' host environments. Equating of the “@” symbol with the invention of email was a result of the branding and marketing effort of Raytheon/BBN as obvious on their web site in 2012. After the Smithsonian’s acquisition of Ayyadurai’s documents, which began to expose the false claims of Raytheon/BBN (Padlipsky, 2000), Raytheon/BBN escalated their PR and marketing efforts as documented on the history of email section on http://www.inventorofemail.com. Raytheon/BBN, in fact, cleverly juxtaposed the “@” symbol with Tomlinson as their brand mascot, with the false claim that he “invented email”.

6.4 Misuse #4: RFCs Demonstrate “Email” Existed Prior To 1978

The statement:

“…email underpinnings were further cemented in 1977's RFC 733, a foundational document of what became the Internet itself.” (Biddle 2012)


misuses the term “email” since Requests for Comments (RFCs) were simply written documentation, not a computer program, nor software, nor email ---- the system of interlocking parts which is the full-scale emulation of the interoffice, interorganizational paper-based mail system.

RFCs were literally meeting notes following meetings by electronic messaging researchers. RFCs, such as RFC 733, were written documentation not a computer program or code or system.
Moreover, statements such as, and others like it:

“In 1977 these features and others went from best practices to a binding standard in RFC 733.” (Biddle, 2012)


are hyperboles and conflation of RFCs.

Mr. Sam Biddle, neither a computer scientist nor a software developer, who wrote the statement referenced above, in an article in Gizmodo referencing Ayyadurai as an “asshole” and “dick,” is known for his puerile, sensationalist, and yellow journalism. For example, a few weeks after writing this outrageous article on Ayyadurai, Biddle wrote an article about a virtual Internet dog name “Boo,” which had died. It was later found out that “Boo” had not died. Anderson Cooper, a CNN journalist, later exposed Mr. Biddle’s quality of journalism on his TV news show “The Ridiculist.”

What is unfortunate is that even scholarly “historians,” like Mr. Thomas Haigh, a leader of the SIGCIS group, and others either purposely wanting to deny the facts of email’s origin from 1978 at UMDNJ, or unconsciously cutting and copying the Gizmodo article, believing Biddle’s sensationalistic article to be the truth, continue to use Biddle’s article as a primary and scholarly source reference to deny email’s invention by Ayyadurai in Newark, New Jersey. Such tabloid articles are referenced as the primary source on Wikipedia and some major media to attempt to perpetuate false assertions that RFCs are email, and predate Ayyadurai’s invention.

Specifically, RFC 733, for example, is a document that was drafted in November 1977, and was simply, at best, a specification attempting to provide a standardization of messaging protocols and interfaces. RFC 733 should not be conflated as “email underpinnings” (Biddle, 2012) and equated as email --- the electronic system of interlocking parts emulating the interoffice, inter-organizational paperbased mail system created by Ayyadurai at UMDNJ in 1978.The RFC 733 is explicitly described as:

"This specification is intended strictly as a definition of what is to be passed between hosts on the ARPANET. It is NOT intended to dictate either features which systems on the Network are expected to support, or user interfaces to message creating or reading programs."


RFC 733 did not even dictate which features of the interoffice, interorganizational paper-based mail process would be included, such as the basic components of the user interfaces for message creation and reading. Moreover, RFC 733 attempted to define a standard that was never even fully accepted nor implemented. (Crocker et al., 1977).

“Some of RFC #733's features failed to gain adequate acceptance.” (Crocker et al., 1977)


The very term “RFC” means “Request for Comments” and were typically lists, notes and at best specifications (Shicker, 1981) on what could be in the future, but were neither computer code nor software application, such as email, the system and software application developed by Ayyadurai.

“Prospective users, system designers, and service offering companies often compile lists of potential services [of electronic mail systems]… Nobody claims that these lists are complete, and most often it is admitted freely that these lists represent a first cut synthesis of services offered by other communication facilities. Unfortunately, these lists mostly convey just a number of buzz-words which everybody interprets in his own fashion.” (Shicker, 1981)


In summary, RFCs only proposed an interface for message format and transmission, but said little about feature sets of individual electronic messaging or mail systems. The RFCs’ authors, by their own admission, clearly state this was not their intention. RFCs were the definition of command-line terminology, at best, but certainly not email --- the system of interlocking parts intended to emulate the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system.

6.5 Misuse #5: Programs For Exchanging Messages Were “Email”

The statement:

“By the mid-1970s, other user-oriented e-mail programs arrived on the scene. Two of the more popular examples were ‘Hermes’ at Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, now BBN—a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon — and ‘Laurel,’ which was in use at Xerox PARC.” (Crocker, 2012)


misuses the term “email” since programs like Hermes and Laurel were not email - -- the system of interlocking parts which is the full-scale emulation of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system. Laurel was really, in fact, a single component, front-end for the independent, lower-level Grapevine messaging platform (Schroeder, 1984).

“A client program of Grapevine generally obtains services through code…. The primary clients of Grapevine are various mail interface programs, of which Laurel is most widely used.” (Schroeder, 1984)


Though Laurel was beginning to incorporate some elements of the interlocked parts such as folders and the inbox, it was still like nearly all messaging systems of the period: heavily dependent on external system resources, and not designed as a system of interlocking parts to be a full-scale emulation of the interoffice, interorganizational paper-based mail system.

Furthermore, internal Xerox documentation (Schroeder, 1984), such as:

“…the Grapevine system was first made available to a limited number of clients during 1980.” (Birrel, 1980)


shows that independent Grapevine component was still being prototyped with five dedicated servers in 1981, well after Ayyadurai’s invention of email (from 1978) which had been in use in routine communications at UMDNJ for several years by 1980. No word of Laurel or Grapevine, moreover, is publicly available until 1982 (Tesler, 2012). Larry Tesler, who worked at Xerox during 1973 to 1980 on the internal development of Laurel, acknowledges that he himself did not

“… know what if any email systems based on unofficial internet standards were implemented before 1979.” (Tesler 2012)


Tesler, however, was aware that Laurel was still under development in 1979 (Tesler, 2012), when the Xerox work would be published in the Communications of the ACM (Schroeder, 1984, Birrell, 1980).

Hermes was similar. It was not a system of interlocked parts and not something user-friendly that an ordinary office worker could use. Users had to learn about twenty commands to use it
(Vallee, 1984):

“In systems like SEND MESSAGE and its successors, such as HERMES, ON-TYME, and COMET, there is no provision for immediate response. A message is sent into a mailbox for later access by the recipient. No automatic filing is provided: any searching of message files requires users to write their own search programs, and to flag those messages they want to retain or erase. The burden is placed on users to manage their own files, and a fairly detailed understanding of programming and file structures is required. Both senders and receivers must learn about 20 commands, and if they misuse them they can jeopardize the entire data structure. Some messages may even be lost in the process.” (Vallee, 1984)


Another program, PLATO, which was an invention for computer-assisted instruction, which some reference as “email,” also is best understood from Vallee’s comments, which also help to place in context PLATO relative to Ayyadurai’s invention (Vallee, 1984). In 1979, all known messaging systems were itemized in RFC 808 by the leading researchers who worked at the big universities, large companies and for the military (Postel, 1982b):

“Dave Farber gave a bit of history of mail systems listing names of all the systems that anybody had ever heard of (see Appendix A)…. It was noted that most of the mail systems were not formal projects (in the sense of explicitly sponsored research), but things that ‘just happened’.” (Postel, 1982b)


Note, Laurel and PLATO do not appear on this list in Postel’s “Appendix A” as late as 1982.

For a review of individual systems of the period, it is best to look at the 1979 RFC (‘IETF Tools’, 2012), which contains a listing of the names of all the computer mail systems anybody had ever heard of, at the time. The vast majority of the systems, itemized in this list, such as MSG, MS, SNDMSG, RD, and HERMES, all share a common ancestry, and inherit features (and deficiencies) from this heritage. John Vittal tried to distinguish the features and qualities of his MSG message system relative to its antecedents (Vittal, 1981):

MSG started from a set of primitive message processing operations. Several of the commands listed above were not implemented in the initial version of MSG:

Creation: Answer and Forward
Motion: Move
File operations: Write
Marking: Mark and Unmark
User-interface and Profile: Koncise, Verbose, and Zap profile
Miscellaneous: Print date and Comment

It became clear, even before MSG was first publicly released, that the operations of Put and Delete were so commonly used together that a combining operation (Move) should be included in the functionality of the system. This was the first major modification.

COMPARISON WITH OTHER SYSTEMS

Many of the other CBMSs of the time have already been alluded to. The very simple systems (SNDMSG, RD and READMAIL) did not integrate the reading and creation functions, had different user-interfaces, and did not provide sufficient functionality for simple message processing.

On the other hand, two systems came very close to MSG. BANANARD gained acceptance, but seemed to not have the right functionality. The user-interface seemed to be a little too verbose for experienced users. However, it is important to note that some users still prefer to use BANANARD. These tend to be users who view mail rather than respond to it.


In Vittal's conclusion, he was careful to stress the limitations of MSG as a general communications tool:

However good MSG is, it is not perfect. Its major drawback is that it does not have a directly integrated message creation facility with the same style of user-interface as the rest of MSG. The result is that users are forced to use two separate interfaces for a single conceptual process -- dealing with mail. In addition, the decision to use SNDMSG limits users because it has no way to edit various fields of the message after a specific field has been completely specified, especially address lists.


Vittal states,

“Its major drawback is that it does not have a directly integrated message creation facility….” (Vittal, 1981)


MSG was at best a rudimentary text messaging client. It was lightweight messaging system, designed to aid users of the TENEX operating system. It served its purpose well, but was crippled by a limited feature set, and was not email --- the system of interlocked parts intended to emulate the interoffice, interlocked paperbased mail system.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:12 pm

Part 2 of 2

6.6 Misuse #6: Mail On CTSS Developed In 1960's Was “Email”

The statement:

“Electronic mail, or email, was introduced at MIT in 1965 and was widely discussed in the press during the 1970s. Tens of thousands of users were swapping messages by 1980.” (Crisman et al., 2012)


misuses the term “email” since the reference to CTSS MAIL, the method referenced and attributed to MIT, was an early text messaging system, not a version of email --- the system of interlocking parts which is the full-scale emulation of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system. This invention refers to the MAIL command on MIT’s CTSS timesharing system. The basic usage of MAIL, as documented in CTSS Programming Staff Note # 39 (Crisman et al., 2012), is below:

The MAIL Command

A new command should be written to allow a user to send a private message to another user which may be delivered at the receiver's convenience. This will be useful for the system to notify a user that some or all of his files have been backed-up. It will also be useful for users to send authors any criticisms.

MAIL LETTER FILE USER1 USER2 USER3 .... MAIL 'ME'

LETTER FILE is the name of a BCD file which contains the message to be sent.

USERn is the designation of the user who is to receive the message. USERn may be a programmer's name or programmer number or the problem-programmer number. It may also be just the problem number if the message is to go to all users of the same problem number.

MAIL ME is the command given by the receiver when he wants the mail to be printed. The files will be left in permanent mode and should be deleted by the receiver at his convenience.

The MAIL command will create or append to the front of a file called MAIL BOX. System messages to the user will be placed in a file called URGENT MAIL. The LOGIN command will notify the user if he has either kind of mail. MAIL ME will always print URGENT MAIL before MAIL BOX.


This invention, MAIL, was not a system of interlocked parts emulating the interoffice, inter-organizational paper mail system. MAIL allowed a CTSS user to transmit a file, written in a third-party editor, and encoded in binary-decimal format (BCD), to other CTSS users.

The delivered message would be appended to the front of a file in the recipient’s directory that represented the aggregate of all received messages. This flatfile message storage placed strict constraints on the capacity of MAIL, and required users to traverse and review all messages one-by-one; search and sort mechanisms were not available. Corruption to the MAIL BOX file could result in the loss of a user’s messages. From the CTSS Programmer’s Guide, Section AH.9.05, (Crisman, 1965):

BOX'. Because of the appending feature of the MAILing process, the command 'DELETE MAIL BOX' should be issued after a message has been PRINTed, to avoid having to run through previous messages to get to the latest one.)


The design choices in MAIL—lack of search and sort facilities, need for an external editor, dependence on CTSS-specific user IDs, and flat-file message storage— put strict constraints on the use and capacity of the command. This was not email --- the system of interlocking parts, created to emulate the interoffice, interorganizational paper-based mail system. MAIL was well-suited to the low-volume transmission of informal (i.e. unformatted) messages, at best, like text messaging of today.

The creator of MAIL admitted this fact:

“The proposed uses [of MAIL],” wrote Tom Van Vleck, “were communication from ‘the system’ to users, informing them that files had been backed up, communication to the authors of commands with criticisms, and communication from command authors to the CTSS manual editor.” (Crisman, 1965)


The limited feature set of MAIL would be carried over to its progeny (SNDMSG, MSG, HERMES), creating headaches for even the most sophisticated technical staffers (Vallee, 1984):

In systems like SEND MESSAGE and its successors, such as HERMES, ON-TYME, and COMET, there is no provision for immediate response. A message is sent into a mailbox for later access by the recipient. No automatic filing is provided: Any searching of message files requires users to write their own search programs, and to flag those messages they want to retain or erase. The burden is placed on users to manage their own files, and a fairly detailed understanding of programming and file structures is required. Both senders and receivers must learn about 20 commands, and if they misuse them they can jeopardize the entire data structure. Some messages may even be lost in the process. These drawbacks are compensated for by the fact that the cost per message is very low.


Those who promoted MAIL as "email," when the term "email" did not even exist in 1965, are misusing the term "email" to refer to a command-driven program that transferred BCD-encoded text files, written in an external editor, among timesharing system users, to be reviewed serially in a flat-file.

One would be hard-pressed to draw a historical straight line from MAIL to today’s email systems. MAIL was not "email,” but a text messaging command line system, at best, and perhaps the predecessor to early forms of online discussion boards.


6.7 Misuse #7: In 2012, the Term “Email” Now Needs To Be Defined

This statement (made following news of Ayyadurai's invention of email in 2012, after the Smithsonian’s acquisition of Ayyadurai’s work):

“… we need a more specific definition that captures the essence of computer based electronic mail as it actually emerged. Here is one that was developed in discussion with email pioneers Ray Tomlinson, Tom Van Vleck and Dave Crocker:

‘Electronic mail is a service provided by computer programs to send unstructured textual messages of about the same length as paper letters from the account of one user to recipients' personal electronic mailboxes, where they are stored for later retrieval.’ ” (‘SIGCIS Blog’, 2012)


serves to misuse and confuse the term email --- the system of interlocking parts which is the full-scale emulation of the interoffice, inter-organizational paperbased mail system, since they conflate the term “electronic mail” with “email” by referencing Ray Tomlinson, Tom Van Vleck and David Crocker as “email pioneers.” Neither Tomlinson nor Van Vleck nor Crocker invented email --- the system of interlocking parts intended to emulate the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system, which specifically Crocker had as of December 1977 concluded “impossible” to build.

Moreover, this attempt to provide a “specific definition” by Mr. Haigh in 2012, 34 years after email was precisely defined in 1978 by Ayyadurai, as the electronic version of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system, is historical revisionism. Mr. Haigh leads SIGCIS, which is a group of computer “historians” that denies the invention of email in 1978 at UMDNJ, in spite of the clear facts. Their disinformation and historical revisionism is based on equating “electronic messaging” with “email.” These “historians” had already written “email history,” prior to Smithsonian’s acquisition of Ayyadurai’s artifacts on February 16, 2012.

The fact is “email” was already clearly defined in 1978 as the electronic interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system, and formally recognized in 1982 by the issuance of the U.S. government’s issuance of the first Copyright for “Email” to Ayyadurai. Such an attempt to provide a revisionist definition of “email” by industry insiders, in 2012, served one purpose, to allow them: Tomlinson, Van Vleck and Crocker, who worked with the early messaging systems SNDMSG, MAIL and MS, respectively, to retroactively define their work as “email” so as to ensure their primacy to “email,” which they did not create, and had no intention of creating, while misappropriating credit from Ayyadurai.

The documentation of that period reveals that the term "email" did not exist prior to 1978. More importantly, the definition of the juxtaposed terms "electronic” and “mail," and a specification of its functions, was anything but clear-cut. In fact, prior to 1978, the term “electronic mail” and “electronic message” were used interchangeably to refer to the “electronification” of any type of text message, dating back to the telegraph of the 1800s.

Email, created by Ayyadurai in 1978, however, has a precise definition as the system of interlocking parts emulating the entire interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system. Prior to Ayyadurai's invention, the confusion about the term “electronic mail” existed:

As Gordon B. Thompson of Bell Northern Research wrote in 1981 (Thompson, 1981):

Electronic Mail Systems give me some major concern. The use of the word "mail" brings with it a lot of baggage, and most certainly people are going to get some surprises because of this. A conventional letter always presents itself to the reader in the same format as it had when it left the writer. In the electronic situation, unless rigid controls are exercised over the terminals allowed on the system, there is no guarantee that the recipient will see the same lay out at all. Designers tell us that the way text is presented can significantly alter the attitude the reader has towards printed text. In electronic mail this variable is left wide open!


Peter Schicker wrote of similar concerns of messaging service and feature lists (Schicker, 1981):

Users of such computer based mail systems are less intrigued by the various internal mechanisms and resource allocation strategies but require exact definitions of the facilities and services that these systems offer. Prospective users, system designers, and service offering companies often compile lists of potential services, e.g., like the list shown in appendix A. Nobody claims that these lists are complete and most often it is admitted freely that these lists represent a first cut synthesis of services offered by other communication facilities (e.g., postal service, telephone, telegraph, telex, etc.).

Unfortunately, these lists mostly convey just a number of buzz-words which everybody interprets in his own fashion. For example, a multitudiness of ...


Even normally well-defined terms like “memo” and “conferencing” took on confusing, often conflicting meanings (Vallee, 1984):

... sary obstacle. Much confusion still exists about the requirements for effective communications. One person calls "conferencing" what another calls "mail."


Or, as James Robinson wrote in the opening lines of his master’s thesis on a review of electronic mail, messaging systems (Robinson, 1983):

'Electronic Mail' is a term that means different things to different people. To one person, electronic mail may represent a technology as old as the telegraph, while to another, it may mean high-powered computers that relay digitized information. Part of the confusion about what electronic mail really is can be traced to how the term is defined. Usually, electronic mail is defined as any process ...


The term “email,” however, has had a clear definition based on Ayyadurai's invention of email, the electronic emulation of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system, which he explicitly named “email.”

Therefore, any attempt, in 2012 to redefine it, is clearly an attempt to inappropriately assign “the inventor of email” moniker to those who are not the inventors of email.

6.8 Misuse #8: “Email” Is Not An Invention, But VisiCalc Is An Invention

The statements (in reference to VisiCalc being an invention but email not being an invention since):

“To ‘invent’ something you have to devise some kind of new technology or capability that had not existed before. A computer program is not invented; it is ‘written’ or ‘developed.’ So, for example, it would make sense to say that Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston invented the spreadsheet when they wrote Visicalc. It wouldn’t make sense to say that Google invented the web browser when it developed Google Chrome, as many previous browsers existed, or even that it ‘invented the world’s first Google Chrome’ as that is a specific system rather than a technology.” (‘SIGCIS Blog’, 2012).


and,

“The system [created by Ayyadurai] will still be of interest to historians as a representative example of a low-budget, small scale electronic mail system constructed from off-the-shelf components, including the HP/1000’s communications, word processing, and database programs.” (‘SIGCIS Blog’, 2012)


demonstrate ignorance on the fact that “email” is a system just as VisiCalc is a system and is a deliberate attempt to denigrate the significant contribution of Ayyadurai, who invented "email,” the system, which is the electronic version of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system, consisting of the interlocked parts: Inbox, Outbox, Folders, Attachments, etc.

Like VisiCalc, which was an electronic metaphor of the accounting paperbased ledger system, EMAIL, the first email system, also created an electronic metaphor for the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system.

The accessibility of Ayyadurai’s invention of email was its essential attribute. It wasn’t a simple text messaging system inspired to support battlefield communications for soldiers, and usable only by highly trained technical personnel, with cryptic codes and commands. It embodied the definition of “email” as we define the word today. Along these lines, we should remember that Bill Gates, in the early years of Microsoft, stated that the company’s mission was to place a personal computer in every American home. Steven Jobs was determined to make a computer that could be bought in a box just like any other product. Consumers didn’t have to shop for components in various electronics stores. They didn’t have to do anything except plug the machine in and start using it. Microsoft and Apple were defined by the accessibility of their products.

Unquestionably, that was the real innovation on the part of Gates and Jobs. In just the same way, Ayyadurai’s 1978 application, EMAIL, invented email. It created something – a practical, user-friendly electronic communication system on the model of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system – that simply had never existed before, and one which experts of the time had thought “impossible.”

The absurdity of Haigh’s statements, therefore, is simply evidence of the bias of the SIGCIS “historians,” who in collusion with industry insiders, seek to misappropriate credit of Ayyadurai's invention of email. The assertion that email is not an invention, but that VisiCalc is an invention, assumes that the reader will acknowledge such illogic.

There is a clear analogy between the invention of EMAIL and the invention of VisiCalc. Bricklin’s title as the Father of the Modern Spreadsheet belies significant contributions to the field of data processing completed prior to the release of VisiCalc. It was the subject of Iveron and Brooks’s seminal Automatic Data Processing and a major research topic for industry and academia.

What Bricklin did was to create an integrated system for data processing, complete with a consistent user interface (UI) and a strong metaphor, which was targeted towards end users. Bricklin’s accomplishment wasn’t that he invented data processing, but that he integrated it and increased accessibility, just as Ayyadurai’s accomplishment wasn’t that he invented electronic messaging, but that he integrated and created a new electronic system for making the paper-based system of interoffice, inter-organizational communications accessible to ordinary office workers.

In the same way that Bricklin’s VisiCalc digitized the system of paper spreadsheets, Ayyadurai’s email digitized the interoffice, inter-organizational paperbased mail system. Both took well-defined social processes, and gave them the power of computation, freeing users from the drudgery of manual recalculation in the former case, or the delivery of physical interoffice memos in the latter case.


This puts both projects in stark contrast to the messaging systems of early timesharing architecture, which evolved to address the administrative and technical needs of mainframe users. As stated in RFC 808, most of these message systems “were not formal projects (in the sense of explicitly sponsored research), but things that ‘just happened,’” and Jacques Vallee wrote of these early systems (Vallee, 1984):

The human factors of communications are still largely ignored. As new companies get into the field, they hire the best programmers they can find to implement message systems. These programmers are often compiler writers or experts in operating systems and have had no experience in dealing with end users. They have operated in a completely different environment, where communications had a much narrower meaning. Some early successes have also had the unfortunate result of freezing the technical reality of the field for too long. Network mail on the ARPANET is a case in point. Introduced in the early 1970s, electronic mail systems have been very successful on the ARPANET, where they served a highly trained community of technical experts. When it came time to design new systems for wider communities, these same technical experts found it very difficult to be creative in ways that differed from what they had first learned.


The statement by the SIGCIS “historian,” part of the industry insider clique, has asserted, with reference to Ayyadurai's work that:

“The system will still be of interest to historians as a representative example of a low-budget, small scale electronic mail system constructed from off-the-shelf components, including the HP/1000’s communications, word processing, and database programs.” (‘SIGCIS Blog’, 2012).


is simply a false, unscholarly, and denigrating statement.

This statement reveals deliberate and reckless ignorance of the facts, which are accessible now at the Smithsonian. EMAIL, the first email system, was designed as an integrated system—it included all its own facilities for message handling, distribution, composition, archival, and user management. It was “small scale” only in the sense that it did not need the ARPANET, in contrast to systems like MAIL and MSG, which leveraged a host of facilities in the host environment. EMAIL the program and system, consisted of nearly 50,000 lines of FORTRAN IV code, unlike Van Vleck’s MAIL command, which comprised less than 300 lines of MAD, a high-level language on the CTSS (Crisman et al., 2012).

EMAIL was far from a "small-scale electronic mail system." EMAIL was a full-scale emulation of the entire interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system, with all the features we now experience in modern email programs and many features, which some email programs even in the late 1990's, did not have.


What also needs to be investigated, by likely an independent professional ethics body, is the biased, unscholarly, and defamatory attacks on Ayyadurai (‘SIGCIS Blog’, 2012), and the clear conflict of interest, as exemplified in the list of individuals in Mr. Haigh’s “Acknowledgements” section thanking those who helped him in denigrating Ayyadurai:

“Acknowledgements: Thanks to the dozens of people who sent me hundreds of messages after learning that I was working on a response for the Post. Many helped to read and shape earlier drafts. In no particular order: Evan Koblentz, Catherine Lathwell, Peter Meyer, Dave Walden, Debbie Deutsch, Marie Hicks, James Sumner, Ken Pogran, Tom Van Vleck, Dag Spicer, Mark Weber, JoAnne Yates, Murray Turoff, Al Kossow, Ramesh Subramanian, David Alan Grier, Paul McJones, Nathan Ensmenger, David Hemmendinger, Jeffrey Yost, David Moran, Peggy Kidwell, Debbie Douglas, Alex Bochannek, Bill McMillan, Len Shustek, Petri Paju, Elizabeth Finler, Dave Crocker, Ray Tomlinson, Pierre Mounier Kuhn, James P.G. Sterbenz, Ben Barker, Jim Cortada, and Craig Partridge.” (‘SIGCIS Blog’, 2012)


A significant cluster or coalition of the individuals listed in the Acknowledgements have a direct and indirect, and/or close affiliation to Raytheon/BBN, who claims they “invented email,” as evident on their website (Raytheon/BBN, n.d.), which brandishes the ‘@’ logo with its numerous press and marketing releases claiming that it is the home of the “inventor of email,” Mr. Ray Tomlinson.

6.9 Misuse #9: Dec And Wang Created “Email”

The statement:

“By 1980, electronic mail systems aimed at the office environments were readily available from companies such as DEC, Wang, and IBM.” (‘SIGCIS Blog’, 2012)


conflates all forms of electronic communication, from telegraph services, to Telex or CBMS systems with the email --- the system of interlocked parts intended to emulate the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system. This conflation is confusing, and an attempt to equate the broad term “electronic mail,” dating back to the 1800s, with email, the system.

The offerings of “electronic mail” systems by private suppliers varied greatly, and were largely incompatible. Wang Laboratories, for example, had already been well established for its line of word processing equipment (Wang Systems Newsletter, 1979). When network facilities became readily available, it bolted on file transfer facilities to its machines, creating a line of “communicating word processors” (Trudell et al., 1984). This networking of word processors is not email --- the system of interlocked parts intended to emulate the interoffice, interorganizational paper-based mail system.

In 1980, there was tremendous pressure to innovate in the “office automation sector.” However, as addressed in James Robinson’s 1983 thesis, “An Overview of Electronic Mail Systems” (Robinson, 1983), these offerings were part of a larger defensive strategy:

“[Computer-based message systems] are sold to users who have an interest in implementing electronic mail on their current equipment. Not surprising therefore, many of the vendors in this grouping tend to be minicomputer manufacturers such as Data General and Prime. The reason for this is not so much that minicomputer manufacturers have a real interest in electronic mail, but rather have devised messaging systems in an attempt to prevent other firms from selling a system that would run on their hardware. Thus, this type of electronic mail system has evolved as part of a defensive strategy by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). An excellent example of a product by an OEM is Wang Laboratories Inc.’s Mailway” (Wang Systems Newsletter, 1979)


The "electronic mail" offerings by private industry in 1980 were not the system of interlocked parts emulating the entire interoffice, inter-organizational paperbased mail system. They were, at best, wildly unstable and inconsistent.

6.10 Misuse #10: Laurel Was “Email”

The statement:

"...the PARC email software, Laurel, ran on the user’s local computer, was operated with a mouse, and pulled messages from the PARC server to a personal hard drive for storage and filing." (‘SIGCIS Blog’, 2012)


is a misuse of the term email --- the system of interlocking parts which was the full-scale emulation of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system.

The invention, Laurel, was a mail user interface program for the Xerox Alto. It was a graphical front-end to a series of messaging programs akin to SNDMSG and MS (Schroeder et al., 1984). The use of mouse was an innovation of its host environment Alto, not of Laurel itself (Alto User Handbook, 1979). Laurel was capable of basic message composition, scanning and flat-file storage (through the use of its *.mail files). Like other file-flat approaches, mail management remained in the hands of users (ALTO World Newsletter, 1979).

The Laurel Manual, as it existed at Stanford in September 1980 (Stanford, 1980) provided a thorough explanation of what Laurel was, and what its capabilities were. Laurel was just a user interface, and not the system of interlocked parts to emulate the entire interoffice paper mail system.

Laurel was disconnected and relied on "Piping" other small programs which were loosely connected to each other.

Mention of MSG in the official Laurel documentation refers to the same command program discussed earlier, created and critiqued by John Vittal, and listed in RFC 808 as running on a TENEX operating system. Maxc referred to a Xerox-produced machine that emulated the facilities of PDP-10 TENEX-based systems. Its operation is well documented (Fiala et al., 1974). It follows that Laurel, as it existed in 1979 and 1980, fundamentally depended on MSG and Maxc, for message transmission. It was an Alto-based front-end for a more pedestrian MSG program. Ironically, the revealing kinship of Laurel and MSG is well described in the 1979 Whole ALTO World Newsletter (ALTO World Newsletter, 1979). The sentence, “Eventually, the services of Laurel will surpass those of MSG, but at present, the two are roughly equivalent in function,” should not be overlooked.

The “distributed message system” mentioned in the Laurel Manual would eventually be realized in Grapevine, tested on a limited number of clients in 1980, and not publicly documented (‘ACM Transactions on Computer systems’, 1984) until 1982, well after Ayyadurai’s invention of email was well established in a production environment. Larry Tesler, who was at Xerox throughout Laurel’s development, corroborates these points (Tesler, 2012).

A review of period documentation helps to put Laurel in perspective. It was, as of 1979 and 1980, an Alto-based graphical front-end for MSG. It stood on the foundations of the beautifully sophisticated Alto environment, and contributed Alto- specific operations like menu picking and Bravo-type editing, which were not available in other MSG environments.

However, Laurel 2.0 provided only a small subset of the features available in Ayyadurai’s EMAIL, lacking an attachment editor, relational database, administrator/ postmaster functionality, prioritization and search tools, among others. The Alto was a brilliant machine, the precursor to the Apple machines, and Laurel would evolve to become a worthy Alto application. However, as of 1980, Laurel was not the state-of-the–art technology. Readers are encouraged to read the Laurel Manual for details.

6.11 Misuse #11: The Term “Email” Belongs To Compuserve

The statement:

“For years CompuServe users could type “GO EMAIL’ to read their messages….” (Compuserve Information Service User’s Guide, 1983)


is a misdirection to attempt to convince readers that the term “email” existed prior to the invention of email --- the system of interlocked parts intended to emulate the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system.

The term “email” was created and coined by V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai in 1978 at UMDNJ. Those five characters E-M-A-I-L were juxtaposed together to name the main subroutine of the first email system. Ayyadurai coined the term email for the idiosyncratic reason that in 1978 FORTRAN IV only allowed for a six-character maximum variable and subroutine naming convention, and the RTE-IV operating system had a five-character limit for program names.

By 1980, Ayyadurai’s email system was in production use at UMDNJ. Needless to say, EMAIL, the program, and its user manual were already in distribution around the UMDNJ campus. Email was a CompuServe trademark in 1983, but that remains a moot point for discussions of primacy. CompuServe applied for an EMAIL trademark on June 27, 1983, an effort that it abandoned in August 1984, likely because of the prior arte of email dating back to Ayyadurai’s Copyright in 1982. However, for the sake of clarity and transparency, two instances of CompuServe’s 1983 EMAIL advertising are included below:

Image

This is called interactive video and is the future of the computer networks.

Both The Source and Compuserve (the two largest computer networks) are beginning to tap the wellspring of interactive video. Both began their services by offering electronic mail (called EMAIL on Compuserve and SMAIL on The Source), which meant you were no longer at the mercy of the Postal Service if your addressee was also hooked into the computer revolution.

Quick and easy-to-learn areas allow you to type in a message to anyone else on the network. And, your message is delivered in a few moments, or a couple of hours at most.

SIGs, or Special Interest Groups, is an area that has been pioneered by Compuserve, although The Source is now offering a "Participate" program that is similar. In a SIG, a person leaves a message about that group's interest, or he replied ...


Fig. 8. Taken from the August, 1983 Edition of Popular Mechanics Magazine, pg. 107.

Image

LAST NIGHT WE EXCHANGED LETTERS WITH MOM, THEN HAD A PARTY FOR ELEVEN PEOPLE IN NINE DIFFERENT STATES AND ONLY HAD TO WASH ONE GLASS ...

That's CompuServe, The Personal Communications Network For Every Computer Owner

And it doesn't matter what kind of computer you own. You'll use CompuServe's Electronic Mail system (we call it Email") to compose, edit and send letters to friends or business associates. The system delivers any number of messages to other users anywhere in North America.

CompuServe's multi-channel CB simulator brings distant friends together and gets new friendships started. You can even use a scrambler if you have a secret you don't want to share. Special interest groups meet regularly to trade information on hardware, software and hobbies from photography to cooking and you can sell, swap and post personal notices on the bulletin board.

There's all this and much more on the CompuServe Information Service. All you need is a computer, a modem, and CompuServe. CompuServe connects with almost any type or brand of personal computer or terminal and many communicating word processors. To receive an illustrated guide to CompuServe and learn how you can subscribe, contact or call:

CompuServe

Information Service Division, P.O. Box 20212 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd., Columbus, OH 43220
800-848-8990
In Ohio call 614-457-8650

An H&R Block Company

BYTE January 1983

Fig. 9. Taken from the January, 1983 Edition of Byte Magazine.

It’s important to note that CompuServe “popularized” the term ‘Email’ only to the extent that it triggered animosity and ridicule from system users; it was notoriously buggy and feature-light (Compuserve Information Service User’s Guide, 1983).

6.12 Misuse #12: “Email” Has No Single Inventor

The statement:

"Email has no single inventor. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of people who contributed to significant incremental ‘firsts’ in the development of email as we know it today. Theirs was a collective accomplishment, and theirs is a quiet pride (or at least was until recent press coverage provoked them). Email pioneer Ray Tomlinson has said of email’s invention that, ‘Any single development is stepping on the heels of the previous one and is so closely followed by the next that most advances are obscured. I think that few individuals will be remembered.’” (Crocker, 2012)


is a misuse of the term “email” --- the system of interlocking parts intended to be a full-scale emulation of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system. The individuals being referenced here as having been “email pioneers” and contributing the to the development of “email,” including Mr. Tomlinson, did not contribute to the development of email, but rudimentary systems for text messaging.

More importantly, this statement is an attempt to feign humility with a “collaborative spirit,” with the deliberate aim of isolating and dismissing Ayyadurai's singular and rightful position as the inventor of email. Ayyadurai did singularly create email, the system of interlocking parts emulating the entire interoffice, inter- organizational paper-based mail system.

The assertion that “email has no single inventor” and “email cannot be invented” are statements, which industry insiders began promoting after an article in the Washington Post appeared that “V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai honored as the inventor of email” (Kolawole, 2012).

For many decades, Raytheon's subsidiary, BBN, has been falsely promoting that it employs the "inventor of email," referring to Ray Tomlinson. Yet, prior to the ceremony to honor Ayyadurai's accomplishment and acquisition of the 50,000 lines of code, tapes, papers and artifacts documenting his invention, these insiders and the SIGCIS group did not expose or ever question the false statements attributing Mr. Tomlinson as “the inventor of email.”


Raytheon/BBN put a great deal of effort into their own branding as innovators, by claiming publicly that they are the “inventors of email.” This branding involves juxtaposing the “@” symbol with the face of Ray Tomlinson as the “inventor of email.” In fact, on Raytheon/BBN's home page, the word "innovation" is visually juxtaposed next to the @ logo, with Tomlinson's picture overlaid (Raytheon/BBN, n.d.).

After the Smithsonian ceremony of Ayyadurai’s invention, Raytheon/BBN sent press releases re-asserting that Tomlinson was the “inventor of email.” Concomitant with these efforts, as the timeline shows of attack on Ayyadurai (Abraham, 2014) industry insiders, supported by SIGCIS “historians,” Ray Tomlinson, BBN supporters, and ex-BBN employees continued to perpetuate a false history of email by discrediting Ayyadurai's invention as well as character assassinating him as an inventor and scientist. They used historical revisionism and confusion to redefine and misuse the term email. Through these efforts, they re-declared Tomlinson, and thereby the Raytheon/BBN brand, as the singular “inventor of email,” the “Godfather of email,” and the “King of email” (Hesse, 2012; Hicks, 2012).


One ex-BBNer, Dave Walden, though part of the Tomlinson coterie, acknowledged the following:

"Naturally this was discussed on the ex-BBN list. In my view, this "new guy" [Shiva Ayyadurai] has described something not quite like what the rest of us understand when we say ‘email.’" (‘SIGCIS Blog’, 2012)


Walden recognized the misuse of the term "email" as the transmission of text messages between terminals, as was the case with the early messaging systems such as MAIL. This text-message transmission can signify nearly all forms of digital communication—facsimiles, communicating word processors, online bulletin board systems, instant messaging clients, and formal communication.

However, email has a very clear meaning, as established by Ayyadurai in 1978: it is the electronic interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system.
It includes all the features one expects from paper mail systems: memo composition, editing, drafts, sorting, archival, forwarding, reply, registered mail, return receipt, prioritization, security, delivery retries, undeliverable notifications, group lists, bulk distribution, and managerial/administrative functions. It had to be fault-tolerant, familiar, and universal. By this definition, Ayyadurai’s invention is the only instance in which this level of integration was first achieved, the same level we all experience nearly every other email products such as Gmail, Hotmail and others.

_______________

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Nanos, J. (2013). ‘Return to Sender’, Boston Magazine, Boston, MA.

Nightingale, D.J. and S. Song (2012). "False Claims About Email." http://www.inventorofemail.com/. 2012. Web. 13 July 2015.

Nightingale, D.J. (2014a). ‘The Five Myths of Email’ Retrieved November 13, 2014, from http://www.historyofemail.com/the-five- ... -email.asp

Nightingale, D.J., and S. Song (2014b). "Revisionism of History by Tom Van VleckAfter the News of Ayyadurai's Invention of Email." The Inventor of Email. 2012. Web. 13 July 2015. http://www.inventorofemail.com/Historic ... -Vleck.asp.

Ngwenyama, O. and Lee, A. (1997). ‘Communication Richness in Electronic Mail: Critical Social Theory and the Contextuality of Meaning’, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 145-167.

Padlipsky, M.A. (2000). ‘And they argued all night…’ The ARPANET Source Book, http://tinyurl.com/83739l7, retrieved April 7, 2012. pp. 504-509.

Patel, N. V. (2003). ‘e-Commerce technology’, E-business Fundamentals, Routledge, New York, pp. 43-63.

Pearl, J. A. (1993). ‘The E-Mail Quandary’, Management Review, Vol. 82 No. 7, pp. 48-51.

Pogran, K. (2012). ARPANET contributor, http://www.multicians.org/mx-net.html, retrieved April 2012.

Postel, J. B., Sunshine, C. A., and Cohen, D. (1981). ‘The ARPA internet protocol’, Computer Networks, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 261-271.

Postel, J. B. (1982a). ‘SMTP-Simple Mail Transfer Protocol’, RFC 821.

Postel, J. B. (1982b). ‘Summary Of Computer Mail Services Meeting Held at BBN on 10 January 1979’, RFC 808. http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc808.

Ramey, C. (1993). ‘Emm: An Electronic Mail Management System for UNIX’, Masters Thesis Project Report, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH pp. 1-49. Retrieved October, 2012, from http://tiswww.case.edu/php/chet/info/emm.report.ps.

Robinson, J.G. (1983). Introduction. An Overview of Electronic Mail Systems. Cambridge, MA: The M.I.T. Press.

Rocca, M. (2015): “Inventor of Email”, CBS Dream Team - Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca, http://cbsdreamteam.com/the-henry-fords ... -of-email/.

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Schroeder, Michael D., Andrew Birrell, and Roger Needham (1984). "Experience with Grapevine: The Growth of a Distributed System." ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 2.1, 3-23.

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Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History (2012, February 16). Artifacts of Invention of Email from V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai’s 1978 Invention. Submitted to Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. 10th Street & Constitution Ave. NW, in Washington, D.C. 20560.

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Vallee, Jacques (1984). Computer Message Systems. New York: McGraw-Hill .

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Yates, J. (1989) ‘The Emergence of the Memo as a Managerial Genre’, Management Communication Quarterly, Vol. 2, pp. 485-510.

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_______________

Notes:

Deborah J. Nightingale
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
email: dnight@mit.edu

Sen Song
Tsinghua University, School of Medicine
Beijing, Haidian, China

Leslie P. Michelson, Robert Field
Rutgers University, High Performance Computing, Information Services & Technology
Newark, NJ 07103, USA
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:13 am

Smithsonian acquires documents from inventor of ‘EMAIL’ program
by Emi Kolawole
Washington Post
February 17, 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.


Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai as the inventor of electronic messaging. This version has been corrected. The previous, online version of this story also incorrectly cited Ayyadurai’s invention as containing, “The lines of code that produced the first ‘bcc,’ ‘cc,’ ‘to’ and ‘from’ fields.” These features were outlined in earlier documentation separate from Ayyadurai’s work. The original headline also erroneously implied that Ayyadurai had been “honored by [the] Smithsonian” as the “inventor of e-mail.” Dr. Ayyadurai was not honored for inventing electronic messaging. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History incorporated the paperwork documenting the creation of his program into their collection. A previous version also incorrectly stated that had Ayyadurai “pursued a patent, it could have significantly stunted the technology’s growth even as it had the potential to make him incredibly wealthy.” At the time, patents were not awarded for the creation of software.

***

Clarification: A number of readers have accurately pointed out that electronic messaging predates V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai’s work in 1978. However, Ayyadurai holds the copyright to the computer program called “EMAIL,” establishing him as the creator of the “computer program for [an] electronic mail system” with that name, according to the U.S. Copyright Office.

The Smithsonian has acquired the tapes, documentation, copyrights, and over 50,000 lines of code that chronicle the invention of “EMAIL,” a program created by V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai when he was a 14 year-old high-school student in New Jersey.

On Thursday, his name, his 1978 invention documentation and the associated copyright were entered in the Smithsonian permanent collection. The documentation will be archived in the National Museum of American History and put into an online exhibit. The documents will be scanned as soon as this week to be featured on a site under the Smithsonian.org domain. The date for the site launch has not yet been determined.

Ayyadurai's path to the Smithsonian started with a series of articles he wrote about the U.S. Postal Service's decline and his concern that the USPS was failing to innovate. His take: The Postal Service, carrying on the spirit of innovation which led to its creation, should have embraced e-mail years ago.

After a profile in Time magazine and a call from the Postal Service Inspector General asking for his ideas, Ayyadurai's alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, called to insist that it would be improper for the university to take the documentation of his work, and that it belonged in the Smithsonian. Conversations began, eventually leading to the Smithsonian's latest addition and the celebration Thursday.

Image
A screenshot of the code V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai developed that outlines his “EMAIL” program.

"My mom just passed away. So, it was unfortunate she wasn't there," said Ayyadurai during an interview at the Washington Post Thursday afternoon. "She represented for me a woman who came from very, very meager backgrounds — struggled to come here and then become a mathematician herself at a time when women weren't supposed to get an education and work at a university as a systems analyst.”

“I think,without my mom,” he continued, “I would not have, as a young person, been introduced to that environment and had the opportunity to work there."

Ayyadurai recounted how a family friend who had heard of MIT recommended that he apply. Reluctant, Ayyadurai filled out his application in pencil, with the family friend standing over his shoulder to make sure he finished.

"I didn't even know about MIT until two weeks before I applied," said Ayyadurai.

When he arrived he entered an environment still shadowed by racism. It was the beginning of the Reagan Administration, and the campus, like the rest of the nation, was still struggling to integrate. And there was another problem: "The people there didn't seem very happy," said Ayyadurai.

"I came in having developed this e-mail system, and when I went to my classes I was very bored. ... I, essentially, got involved in a lot of radical politics," he continued.

Coming from India, which, at the time, had a rigid caste system, he identified with the black and poor white students on campus.


"I was very intrigued by how do you change the system," said Ayyadurai, who balanced his time between the studying technology and studying politics. Changing that system, he continued, was more complex than developing an e-mail system.

A recommendation for the young inventor

When it comes to today's young people, particularly the 14-year-old eager to become an inventor, Ayyadurai recommends embarking on independent studies, and taking a break from school before heading to college.

"I, in fact, believe people should work before they even go to school," said Ayyadurai, a faculty lecturer at MIT in the Biological Engineering Division. "Many people don't even know why they're going to college."

But he's not against going to college entirely, rather he is a fan of a combination of experiential learning and rote discipline. After all, Ayyadurai is at the front lines when it comes to preparing America's youth for careers in science and technology.

He developed a class on traditional medicine and systems technology and another on systems visualization at MIT. The latter gives students who would otherwise not engage in the arts an opportunity to illustrate a complex concept. The course went from 6 to 32 and now 50 students, becoming one of the most popular classes on campus.

Based on his experience with the class, Ayyadurai recommends teaching the systems first and then bringing in the more complex, detailed math and science.

"The problems of today's world are not just learning how to build a computer better or writing a software program. A lot of that stuff is being outsourced," said Ayyadurai. "The big problems are large-scale systems." Think education, transportation and even relationships, he said.

"If we can teach students that the world is very complex and to understand that complexity you need to have a systems approach,” he continued, "I think that systems approach is what students want to learn."

The intellectual property debate

"I fundamentally do not believe in the patenting of software," said Ayyadurai. "It would be like Shakespeare patenting the tragic love story."

He admits that in his work as a venture capitalist he has had to go against his own belief. But, rather than patents, Ayyadurai prefers copyright, which allows others to innovate using the technology.


America, freedom and innovation

"We fail to recognize how much freedom we actually have here relative to these other countries," said Ayyadurai when asked what the United States gets wrong when it comes to moving its innovation economy forward.

"That awareness,” he continued, “is what needs to be developed for people."

India and China, two countries making significant strides in technology and innovation still lag behind the U.S., according to Ayyadurai, who says it's due to a lack of fundamental freedoms in those nations.

"We should not really have any types of jobs issues here," continued Ayyadurai, saying that the "basis of American democracy" is innovation.

"Innovation actually demands freedom, and freedom demands innovation," said Ayyadurai. "I don't think there's more money we need to throw at it."

Ayyadurai also has some recommendations for the presidential candidates when it comes to policy proposals that will accelerate rather than slow innovation growth.

"Small businesses, I believe, are the place where innovation really takes place," said Ayyadurai.

With venture capital moving away from mid- and small-tier businesses, those companies are in need of government assistance. "There's this whole strata of small businesses that needs tax credits, I think."


Are we overcommunicating?

"I think people are overcommunicating in the sense they have missed out on what is communication," said Ayyadurai. "A lot of time when people are texting, it's not the content — you don't need to text — but people are doing it just to connect with another human being, so a lot of the information is almost irrelevant."

"I think we're in this phase now in humanity where we have all these communication vehicles but we still are, as humans, trying to figure out how do we connect," he continued, "because that ritual mode of communication is removed from us."

Emi Kolawole is the editor-in-residence at Stanford University's d.school, where she works on media experimentation and design. Follow @emikolawole
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:21 am

Origins of e-mail: My mea culpa
by Patrick B. Pexton
Washington Post
March 1, 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.




Caw, caw, caw, crunch! That’s the sound of me eating crow. It’s not the most pleasant repast I’ve had — the feathers don’t go down so easy — but it is a necessary one.

I did a blog post this past Friday that was dismissive, snarky and wrongheaded, and had factual errors too. And I apologize to readers for it and I’ll try to repair some of the damage here.


My blog post was in response to e-mails that I, and Post Innovations editor Emi Kolawole, received denouncing her Feb. 17 story about a Massachusetts Institute of Technology instructor, who as a high school student in the late 1970s, developed, and later copyrighted, an electronic electronic messaging system. The story was headlined: “V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai: Inventor of e-mail honored by Smithsonian.”

I was upset at the harsh nature of some of these e-mails, and they came amid a heavy week of barbs and complaints about Post coverage — some of them merited, some of them not.

But sometimes people are upset because they have a legitimate beef, and then it’s my job to listen, and in this case I didn’t. I was too dismissive and came to the defense of Kolawole too quickly without doing enough checking myself.

These correspondents took such umbrage because they, in fact, do know a lot more about the origins of e-mail than I do, or Kolawole did, and they care deeply about the truth and who should get proper credit for such an important invention.
And they care that The Post gets it right. I do too.

So let’s begin.

In this narrative, I’m going to hedge in a few places because Kolawole is still doing some extensive fact checking on her original story, and yes, she should have done more of that prior to publication.

But I think it’s safe to say that although Ayyadurai is an interesting fellow, and that, as a teenager, he did develop an early electronic messaging system for about 100 users at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and obtained a 1982 copyright for its computer code — he named the program, all uppercase, “EMAIL” — he should not have been called “inventor of e-mail” in the headline.

As so many distinguished experts in this field wrote to tell me — I’ll name them below — Ayyadurai is not the inventor of electronic messaging between computers, what we have all come to call e-mail. Electronic messaging was developed by many hands over many years, and probably began in the early 1960s, possibly as early as 1961, on people using time-shared computers.

E-mail was developed alongside early versions of the Internet, and was driven by scientists, researchers and users of the ARPANET, the early computer network associated with the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency.
One of the first Internet Request for Comments — an early paper memo circulated broadcast e-mail [DELETE] to ARPANET users asking for input on a “mail box protocol” went out in July 1971. Subsequent RFCs became the guideposts and user manuals for the developing e-mail system. The standardization of fields within e-mail — the “To,” “From,” “CC,” “BCC” etc. — seem to have begun with RFC-680 in 1975.

Ayyadurai may have used some similar conventions in his program for the New Jersey university and its satellite campuses — he began working on his in 1978 — but most all of them were used earlier by scientists and researchers on the ARPANET. Ayyadurai’s program was later, smaller and localized.

Issues In NY Criminal Law--Vol. 3, #3
by Gary Muldoon
Copyright© 1999-2008 by Gary Muldoon

ISSUE: Sufficiency and weight of the evidence as issues on appeal

AMONG the issues that the defense may raise on appeal is the quality of the evidence adduced at trial. Two related but distinct issues may be raised:

1. that the trial evidence was legally insufficient; and

2. that the verdict of conviction was against the weight of the evidence.

Although the two standards of intermediate appellate review legal sufficiency and weight of evidence are related, each require a discrete analysis." People v Bleakley, 69 NY2d 490, 515 NYS2d 761 (1981).

SUFFICIENCY of evidence is expressly provided as a ground for appeal in the Criminal Procedure Law. "The kinds of determinations of reversal or modification deemed to be upon the law include, but are not limited to, the following: . . . (b) That evidence adduced at a trial resulting in a judgment was not legally sufficient to establish the defendant's guilt of an offense of which he was convicted..." CPL 470.15(4)(b). With sufficiency of the evidence, the intermediate appellate court "must determine whether there is any valid line of reasoning and permissible inferences which could lead a rational person to the conclusion reached by the jury on the basis of the evidence at trial and as a matter of law satisfy the proof and burden requirements for every element of the crime charged." Bleakley at 495 (citation omitted). The evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the people.

Preservation of error below is required to raise legal sufficiency on appeal. A perfunctory trial order of dismissal is not enough; the specific grounds of insufficiency must be stated. People v Gray, 86 NY2d 10, 629 NYS2d 173 (1995); People v Ferguson, 240 AD2d 510, 658 NYS2d 134 (2d Dept 1997).

THE Criminal Procedure Law also provides for an appeal directed to the weight of evidence. "The kinds of determinations of reversal or modification deemed to be on the facts include, but are not limited to, a determination that a verdict of conviction resulting in a judgment was, in whole or in part, against the weight of the evidence." CPL 470.15(5). With weight of the evidence, "the appellate court's dispositive analysis is not limited to that legal test. Even if all the elements and necessary findings are supported by some credible evidence, the court must examine the evidence further. If based on all the credible evidence a different finding would not have been unreasonable, then the appellate court must, like the trier of fact below, `weigh the relative probative force of conflicting testimony and relative strength of conflicting inferences that may be drawn from the testimony.'" People v Bleakley, supra; see People v Robinson, 139 AD2d 677, 527 NYS2d 307 (2d Dept 1988); Handling a Criminal Case in New York § 23:75.

IF the appellate court reverses on either weight or sufficiency grounds, the charge is dismissed, and the defendant may not be retried on it again. CPL 470.20(2),(5).

IN a CPL 330.30 motion, the issue of sufficiency of the evidence may be validly raised after trial, but weight of the evidence may not. See People v Carter, 63 NY2d 530, 483 NYS2d 654 (1984).

QUOTATION: "Almost all legal sentences, whether they appear in judges' opinions, written statutes, or ordinary bills of sale, have a way of reading as though as though they had been translated from the German by someone with a rather meager knowledge of English." -- Fred Rodell, Woe Unto You, Lawyers


As the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, to which Ayyadurai gave documents about his early work, wrote in a second press release about Ayyadurai, [DELETE] wrote in its press release about him, after the original Post story on him was published, “Many innovations are conceived independently in different settings. Historians who have documented the early history of electronic messaging have largely focused on the use of large networked computers, especially those linked to the ARPANET in the early 1970s. Ayyadurai’s story reveals a contrasting approach, focusing on communicating via linked computer terminals in an ordinary office situation. The system was localized, linking only three campuses rather than multiple large institutions. It was a small enterprise, rather than a big enterprise story.”

Was Ayyadurai “honored” by the Smithsonian? Well if the Smithsonian’s acceptance of the donation of his early paperwork and computer coding on his “EMAIL” program is an honor, then he can feel so honored. But The Post should not have implied that he was being honored because he was the inventor of e-mail.

And some other sentences within Kolawole’s story, and in my subsequent blog post, went too far as well: “The Smithsonian has acquired the tapes, documentation, copyrights, and over 50,000 lines of code that chronicle the invention of e-mail. The lines of code that produced the first “bcc,” “cc,” “to” and “from” fields were the brainchild of then-14-year-old inventor V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai.”

Yes, the Smithsonian has acquired Ayyadurai’s materials, but the story should probably have said something like those materials “chronicled the development of Ayyadurai’s e-mail system used by the university in New Jersey.”

Based upon the materials submitted to me by recognized experts in this field, Ayyadurai’s e-mail system was not the first to use the “To,” “From,” “Bcc,” and “CC,” codes, although Ayyadurai might dispute that. Certainly, calling them his “brainchild” seems to slight all the other early computer networkers who also used them.

Now, the other part of Kolawole’s story that technology experts objected to is the conclusion that she drew — based on her interviews with Ayyadurai — that he was selfless in seeking copyright of his “EMAIL” system.


These are the two offending sentences: “By pursuing a copyright on his e-mail work, Ayyadurai opened it up for use, but with credit. Had he pursued a patent, it could have significantly stunted the technology’s growth even as it had the potential to make him in­cred­ibly wealthy.”

The technologists don’t like this for two reasons.

First is the idea of copyright and patent, and intellectual property law. The experts who e-mailed me said that computer software was generally not patentable in the late 1970s and early 1980s but became so later. Ayyadurai could not have patented his EMAIL program at that time even if he wanted to, they say. And copyrighting his program didn’t really have an effect on the ARPANET one way or the other.

More important to the technologists is that, according to them and others, most of the early developers of e-mail and the Internet did it in the hopes of creating a new system of information sharing that would make communication within their fields easier and more networked for the benefit of everyone. They, by and large, didn’t get a plug nickel for doing this and weren’t after money, copyrights or patents in the first place. They just wanted to be able to communicate quickly and exchange documents with fellow researchers in the Pentagon and at universities.

Here’s what Jim Kane, an economist who has worked with lots of technology firms, told me: “Technologists primarily are driven and motivated by recognition from their professional peers much more than by financial rewards. I strongly suspect that among all the individuals who responded to the original article there is not one among them who has financially benefited from the creation of e-mail to any significant degree.

“They would place greater value on an award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or recognition from the National Academy of Engineering than any financial bonus from their respective companies or organizations. It’s what makes them who they are and in many ways how refreshingly honest they are to work with.

“Conversely, when they see someone making a claim for professional recognition that is inconsistent with common knowledge within that professional community their reaction is immediate and particularly strong. It’s a violation of their core principles. I believe this is very much the basis of the strong response Kolawole’s original article has generated.”

Image
There is no "I" in "Team," but there is a "You" in "Fuck You."


I agree with Kane, and the experts’ reaction isn’t far different from a journalist’s who feels that his or her scoop was ripped off by rivals. Been there.

Now for the mistakes in my blog post. Overall, the tone was dismissive and I got some things flat wrong. I was sloppy and trying to write it up hurriedly on a Friday afternoon with too little attention to detail. And I did it after spending six hours writing my Sunday ombudsman column.

This paragraph I wrote, for instance, is wrong in several regards:

“We do know that the guy who copyrighted the terms ‘email’ and ‘e-mail’ and who developed and copyrighted some of the computer code and underpinnings of the modern versions of e-mail that we all use is an instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology named V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai. And he did some of his e-mail work when he was 14, 15 and 16 years old, as a New Jersey high school student.”

The only thing we can say for sure about Ayyadurai is that he copyrighted a computer program called “EMAIL” that was used in New Jersey for a few years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. We cannot say that his code was part of the underpinnings of the modern versions of email that we all use. He did develop his program as a teenager.


Nor can we say, as I did later in the blog post that “you can also argue that as the copyright holder to ‘e-mail,’ that in a sense, he invented this thing that we all have come to call e-mail.” No, I don’t think we can say that.

I also said “I think Kolawole did her due diligence for the story.” No, I don’t think she did, and nor did I. This has been a great learning experience for Kolawole, and she has been diligent in trying to repair her mistakes since it happened. She is young, is carrying a lot of responsibility for someone her age, and one of her direct supervisors recently left The Post, but she is not making excuses to me. I’m not making any either. I just didn’t do my homework.

Image

... so you see, if you keep making the same mistakes over and over again, people will begin to think you're stupid.


Finally, I angered a lot of smart and well-meaning people with this paragraph:

“Why is it that scientists, academics, and some readers, think that journalists and newspapers should be like academic journals and peer review every sentence that appears in print? That has never been the standard at newspapers or magazines, and it never will be. They shouldn’t expect that.”

This was unfair on my part. If I had taken a couple of hours and really absorbed all of the e-mail complaints sent to me, and read through the Internet links sent to me by people who knew better than I about the origins of electronic messaging — and there are some great resources out there on this — I would have figured out that Ayyadurai was not the inventor of e-mail, and that Kolawole’s story needed some serious revision and correction. I apologize to the true inventors of e-mail for this mistake.

So how did this happen really, in a nutshell?

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai is a clever man, with MIT credentials, and a good sense of public relations plus a P.R. firm working with him. A press release by that P.R. firm got a young reporter/editor interested in his donation of his “EMAIL” documents to a well-respected D.C. institution, The Smithsonian’s Museum of American History. Kolawole’s interviews with Ayyadurai convinced her that he was interesting and worthy of a profile and online video interviews.

The ombudsman, me, after receiving complaints, talked to Kolawole twice about how she did the story, did some cursory research online and typed out a blog post that I now regret.

Going forward, here’s what The Post is doing. I’m doing this lengthy mea culpa to set the record straight. Kolawole has invited two experts, Thomas Haigh, a history of technology expert at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and Dave Crocker, one of the fathers of the Internet, to write their own pieces for The Post’s Innovations blog on the history of e-mail. And Ayyadurai is going to write his own piece on his early “EMAIL” program. Kolawole will also be revising her original piece to reflect the record accurately.

We hope that sets the record straight and gets The Post back to where it needs to be, on the side of truth and accuracy.




I want to thank these experts who helped me over the past week.

Geoff Carpenter, of FARGOS Development, who worked for IBM Research developing network management technologies for the Internet from 1988 to 1993.

SSCI President and CEO Dr. Jim Kane to lead discussion on strengthening industry-to-government collaboration at the Systems and Software Technology Conference in Salt Lake City.

Panelists: Dr. David F. McQueeney, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Federal

-- Systems and Software Consortium, Inc. (SSCI) to host first-ever 'Industry Panel' at SSTC in Salt Lake City, by Systems and Software Consortium, Inc.


• James A. Kane, the former CEO of the Systems and Software Consortium Inc., a group of federal contractors in the I.T. field, who started his career at the Internet pioneer, Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.

... industry insiders, loyal to Raytheon/BBN, a multi-billion dollar defense company, had created their entire brand, bearing the ‘@’ logo, based on claims of having “invented email”. This group unleashed a vicious public relations campaign. This campaign aimed to discredit email’s origins, intimidate journalists who did not parrot their claims, and assassinate Shiva’s character, while defending and promoting Raytheon/BBN’s brand as the “inventor of email” in the lucrative and competitive cyber-security market.

The leaders of these attacks included David Crocker, a member of the ARPAnet research community starting in 1972, and “historians” and “experts”, either former or current employees of Raytheon/BBN or close associates.

-- The First Email System, by Robert Field


• Peter Klosky, a software developer from Fairfax City, Va.

• Tom Moulton, an early user of the Electronic Information Exchange System

• Stuart Umpleby, a professor in the Department of Management, and director of the Research Program in Social and Organizational Learning in the School of Business at the George Washington University.

Dave Crocker, one of the fathers of the Internet and of e-mail, of Brandenburg InternetWorking.

Emun [DELETE] Emin Gun Sirer, associate professor of computer science at Cornell University.


And here are some links to documents tracing the history of e-mail, written by some of the early participants:

• The Technical Development of Internet Email by Craig Partridge

The History of Electronic Mail by Tom Van Vleck

Email history by Dave Crocker [DELETE] Bill Stewart
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:24 am

Return to Sender. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai — the MIT lecturer who invented e-mail — had spent years blasting the struggling United States Postal Service for its failure to embrace the revenue potential of his creation. So when he was recruited to help save the U.S. Mail earlier this year, Ayyadurai made headlines and was suddenly a star. That’s when the trouble started.
by Janelle Nanos
Boston Magazine
June 2012

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On a warm evening in the middle of march, V.A. Shiva Ayyudarai sat in the front row of a packed auditorium at the MIT media lab.

Dressed in a black blazer and T-shirt, Ayyadurai was on comfortable turf. He had four degrees from the Institute, lectured in two of its departments, and, at 48, had earned his place on a campus where success is measured in the number of businesses launched and millions earned.

Ayyadurai — known to everyone as Shiva — has been a Fulbright scholar, a Lemelson-MIT student prize nominee, and the entrepreneurial brains behind seven businesses, including EchoMail, a $200 million company that counted Nike, the U.S. Senate, and the Clinton White House as customers. But his greatest achievement came when he was just 14 and living with his immigrant parents in New Jersey. Back then, toiling away in his spare time, Shiva had invented e-mail, an accomplishment that would, in time, change the course of human communication — a fact not lost on Shiva, whose personal website is called inventorofemail.com.

For all his spectacular successes, Shiva was most proud of devising e-mail. Yet he’d been plagued for decades by a guilty sense that his invention had led to the unraveling of another great component of human — or at least American — communication: the United States Postal Service.

Evidence of consciousness of guilt does not ipso facto constitute substantial evidence. In a number of cases, the prosecution will rely on consciousness of guilt evidence as circumstantial proof of the defendant’s guilt. Absent more concrete evidence tying the defendant to the commission of the crime, such evidence may not be sufficient to sustain a conviction.

-- Standards of Review and Prejudice and How to Satisfy Them, by Jonathan Grossman and Dallas Sacher


Since as far back as 1997, Shiva had been trying to get the post office to imagine a world beyond merely delivering letters and packages, to embrace and profit from the growing business of e-mail. But for reasons he’d never understood, the U.S. Mail had been content to keep things as they were. Last fall, when the post office announced massive layoffs and service cuts in a desperate scramble to deal with its billions in debt, Shiva had had enough. “I think that if the Postal Service dies,” Shiva said at the time, “it will be the end of democracy as we know it.” He proposed that the post office create a new form of e-mail, one that was safe, private, and subject to the same federal regulations that protect the bills and junk mail that are delivered to our mailboxes. He was flummoxed by the agency’s ineptitude: “What the f*#@ was the #USPS management doing for 10 years?” he tweeted. “They should have owned EMAIL …. ” Caustic comments like these coming from the inventor of e-mail sparked the interest of the media, and soon Shiva was being quoted in Fast Company and Time magazines.

Then, in a breakthrough, the post office’s inspector general came calling, asking Shiva for his ideas on how they could enter the digital age. A few weeks later, the Smithsonian announced that it was accepting the documents from Shiva’s adolescent e-mail work into its archives, where they would be counted among other great inventions like the telegraph, the light bulb, and the artificial heart. While he was in DC to hand off his papers, the Washington Post recorded a video series with Shiva and published a fawning profile of him.

Now he was at the MIT Media Lab with a group of experts he’d assembled for a panel discussion on “The Future of the Post Office.” Among the participants was the Postal Service’s inspector general himself, David Williams. Thirty years after inventing e-mail, Shiva had now positioned himself to solve a national crisis. His moment had arrived. But he kept looking nervously around the room.

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai grew up in Newark, the brilliant son of Indian parents who’d moved to the United States from Bombay when he was seven. He says his journey to inventing e-mail began seven years later, when, in 1978, he learned the computer code ­FORTRAN IV at a summer course at New York University and soon lost interest in the day-to-day rigors of school, telling his parents that he didn’t feel challenged and might drop out. So one day his mother brought him to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where she was a data systems analyst, and asked a colleague whether there was anything her son could do.

That colleague, Les Michelson, had been working with computers to automate research in the hospital’s labs, and was looking for ways to apply the technology to the office setting. “I had this idea that we were going to take memoranda and automate them and eliminate paper,” he recalls. He invited Shiva to assist with the project. For the next two and a half years, Shiva spent his nights and weekends at the hospital, eventually taking over leadership of Michelson’s team. Using computers connected through a localized server, he created a tool that gave hospital employees a digital mailbox where they could exchange messages and attachments. He called the system EMAIL.

In 1981 Shiva, then 16 and applying for a Westinghouse Science Talent Search award, envisioned a future for his program: “When Thomas Alva Edison invented the light bulb, he never perceived that this invention would have such world-wide acceptance and acclaim; however, it has … ” he wrote. “One day, electronic mail, like Edison’s bulb, may also permeate and pervade our daily lives.” That September, he enrolled at MIT, where a cover story in Tech Talk noted his accomplishment and introduced him as one of the stars of the class of 1985.

Before his sophomore year, Shiva registered a copyright for his EMAIL program. He majored in electrical engineering and computer science (and also researched the Indian caste system while studying under Noam Chomsky). After graduation, he went on to earn dual masters and a doctorate from the Institute. He started EchoMail in 1995, and somewhere in the late ’90s he started calling himself “Dr. Email” in the company’s press releases.

In the middle of February, Shiva arrived in DC to hand over his e-mail documents to the Smithsonian. On February 17, the Post ran its glowing article about his work as a teenager and his plans for the post office. “Innovation actually demands freedom,” he told the paper, “and freedom demands innovation.” It wasn’t long, though, before serious questions were being raised about Shiva’s claims.

A few days after the Post article ran, Thomas Haigh received a disturbing e-mail from his wife. Haigh is a computer historian and assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee who also chairs the Special Interest Group on Computers, Information and Society — a sort of Internet cabal within the Society for the History of Technology. The e-mail linked to an online discussion about the Post piece. Furious, Haigh immediately fired off an e-mail to his colleagues.

“Did you know that email was invented in 1978 by a 14-year-old called V.A.Shiva Ayyadura [sic]?,” a sarcastic Haigh wrote. “The shocking news was broken recently by the Washington Post.” Haigh then laid out a point-by-point takedown of Shiva’s claims. E-mail was created in 1978? “Mail features became common on the timesharing computers of the late 1960s,” the professor scolded. “MIT is a strong contender for the first place where this happened.” He went on to note that the first computer-to-computer message exchange took place over the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or ARPANET—the Pentagon-funded underpinning of the modern Internet that enabled hundreds of computer programming students to access government-owned supercomputers from satellite sites across the country in the ’60s and ’70s. Citing Janet Abbate’s 1999 book Inventing the Internet, Haigh reminded the group that network mail was a “killer application” … in 1971.

Haigh lamented that the Post had been duped into believing that Shiva’s copyright for a program called “EMAIL” equated to the actual invention of e-mail. And he wasn’t the only skeptic. David Crocker, an early ARPANET user and the author of some of its most highly regarded messaging protocols, was forwarded the story by a friend, who warned: “This will ruin your day.” John Vittal, credited with creating the ARPANET’s MSG program, one of its most admired and heavily used messaging tools, was notified of the story by worked-up former colleagues. Meanwhile, Carnegie Mellon’s Dave Farber, who’s been called “one of the most influential nerds in the United States,” sent Haigh’s response to the article to his “Interesting People” listserv of heavy hitters, tagging it “worth reading.”

Tech blogs quickly picked up on the chatter. Techdirt, a digital water cooler for geeks, excerpted Haigh’s e-mail, and linked to Shiva’s Wikipedia page, where the site’s editors were fighting over how to identify him. Gizmodo summed the whole thing up tidily, running a picture of Shiva’s face with a one-word question plastered across it: “Imposter?”

Shiva’s chorus of doubters had been young men — a fraternity of sorts — when they’d started using the ARPANET, and now here was some interloper they’d never heard of taking credit for their work. And the more these geeks, who saw themselves as the true fathers of e-mail, dug into Shiva’s story, the more enraged they became.

They quickly discovered the Time magazine article, in which Shiva dismissed earlier ARPANET messaging systems as rudimentary “text messaging” programs. They found that on August 31, 2011, Shiva had edited Wikipedia’s e-mail entry to say that “the term ‘EMAIL’ was officially coined by V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, who received the first copyright for EMAIL in 1982.” From there they uncovered heated conversations involving Shiva and Wikipedia editors, who’d charged that Shiva’s edits were self-promotional, and thereby invalid. “Why are you blocking me??!” Shiva had asked the editors.

“This might come across as strange,” one editor replied, “but Wikipedia is not so much interested in ‘the truth,’ but what is verifiable.”

Haigh and his crowd wrote polite — though stern — missives to the Smithsonian and the Post explaining how their ARPANET work on e-mail predated Shiva’s. They littered the comments section of the Post and the Smithsonian websites with requests for corrections. The Smithsonian eventually backpedaled, issuing a clarification on February 24 stating that it had accepted Shiva’s EMAIL documentation not because he was the “inventor of email,” but because of his role in “computer education,” and of EMAIL’s use in “medical research.” That same day, Patrick Pexton, the Post’s ombudsman, shot off a blog post responding to the criticism the paper’s story was generating. “Who invented e-mail?” he wrote. “Crikey, I don’t know. Maybe Al Gore.” (It should be noted that if you’re attempting not to piss off a growing riot of computer scientists, this is probably not the best opening salvo.) Pexton defended the article, arguing that while journalists respect and value facts, they cannot subject all stories to the same scrutiny as academics under journal review.

Being dismissed by the ombudsman of a major newspaper served only to further enrage the geeks. “It totally energized our community,” David Crocker told me. Adds John Vittal: “There was a sense of anger at the reporter and the [Smithsonian] for allowing this nonsense to be promulgated. We wanted to get at the truth.” Haigh, for his part, penned a letter to the editor that eviscerated Pexton’s blog. “There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of people who could plausibly claim to have achieved some kind of significant incremental ‘first’ in the development of email,” he wrote. “On the other hand there are billions of people who clearly didn’t invent email …. Unfortunately for Pexton and the Washington Post, V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai is one of the billions …. ”

Pexton, suddenly realizing that he’d incited an Internet mob, published a follow-up blog post a few days later disavowing his earlier defense of the reporter’s work, apologizing for his own errors, and noting that, upon further investigation, Shiva “should not have been called ‘inventor of e-mail’ in the headline.” A lengthy and rather convoluted correction was added to the online version of the piece.

But the geeks still weren’t done. They e-mailed the faculty, staff, and trustees at MIT, where many of them had been during their ARPANET days. Why, they asked, was Shiva promoting himself on his website as the head of the MIT EMAIL Lab — which Shiva created to “invent innovative solutions for addressing challenges faced in the field of communication by today’s organizations”? Why, they demanded to know, was the Institute affiliating itself with someone of such questionable character? Within days, MIT told Shiva that it no longer wanted to be associated with the EMAIL Lab. Several MIT professors also gave off-the-record quotes to Gizmodo, calling Shiva an “asshole,” a “dick,” and a “loon.” The website also pointed out that Shiva had purchased more than 100 vanity URLs — DrEmail.com, EmailInventor.com, etc. — that redirected you to his personal website. Others noted he’d authored a book: The Internet Publicity Guide: How to Maximize Your Marketing and Promotion in Cyberspace.

It was crushing, humiliating stuff, but to the geeks, entirely warranted. “There is no inventor of e-mail,” Vittal says flatly. That may well be so, but Shiva is far from the first programmer to receive this kind of withering criticism. Computer pioneers are volatile, says Crocker, ARPANET’s protocol guru: “This is not a community that’s reticent with criticism.” Vittal, actually, knows that firsthand. Shortly after his MSG program began to be widely adopted by ARPANET users, he says, competing programmers scoffed at the notion that his work was anything revolutionary. They’d come down with a “case of NIH syndrome,” he explains. NIH? “Not invented here,” he says. In other words, “If I didn’t invent it, it doesn’t exist.”

Arbitrary and Capricious Law and Legal Definition
by definitions.uslegal.com
February 9, 2017

Arbitrary and Capricious means doing something according to one’s will or caprice and therefore conveying a notion of a tendency to abuse the possession of power.

In U.S this is one of the basic standards for review of appeals. Under the "arbitrary and capricious" standard, the finding of a lower court will not be disturbed unless it has no reasonable basis. When a judge makes a decision without reasonable grounds or adequate consideration of the circumstances, it is said to be arbitrary and capricious and can be invalidated by an appellate court on that ground. In other words there should be absence of a rational connection between the facts found and the choice made. There should be a clear error of judgment; an action not based upon consideration of relevant factors and so is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law or if it was taken without observance of procedure required by law. [Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. United States EPA, 966 F.2d 1292, 1297 (9th Cir. 1992)] There is, however, no set standard for what constitutes an arbitrary and capricious decision.

Example of a state statute defining arbitrary and capricious

Fla. Stat. § 120.57 (2009)

§ 120.57. Additional procedures for particular cases

(1) ADDITIONAL PROCEDURES APPLICABLE TO HEARINGS INVOLVING DISPUTED ISSUES OF MATERIAL FACT.

“***

d. Is not arbitrary or capricious. A rule is arbitrary if it is not supported by logic or the necessary facts; a rule is capricious if it is adopted without thought or reason or is irrational;


Ad hoc
by Wikipedia
February 9, 2016

Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning "for this". In English, it generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes (compare with a priori).

Common examples are ad hoc organizations, committees, and commissions created at the national or international level for a specific task. In other fields, the term could refer, for example, to a military unit created under special circumstances, a tailor-made suit, a handcrafted network protocol, or a purpose-specific equation.

Ad hoc can also mean makeshift solutions, shifting contexts to create new meanings, inadequate planning, or improvised events[1].

Networking

The term ad hoc networking typically refers to a system of network elements that combine to form a network requiring little or no planning.


Rape Culture
by Wikipedia
February 9, 2017



Effects on men

The term used to define what men undergo in a rape culture is "toxic masculinity". This is a gender stereotype burdening the men in society, depicting men as sexually driven, violent beings.[86]

A consequence of toxic masculinity is that most male rape victims would not come forward to the police or in a survey, out of feelings of shame. The male gender stereotype suggests that men should be tough enough to avoid rape, if raped by a man, or sexually driven enough to enjoy it, if raped by a woman. Men were less likely to report rape because they felt reporting it would undermine their masculinity. This was related to characteristics of submissiveness and weakness attributed to rape victims, opposite of gender stereotypes pertaining to men which focus on dominance and aggressiveness.[17][87][88] Like female victims, male victims also fear the stigmatization associated with rape. When they do report, they are often met with disbelief, dismissiveness or blame from police and other services.[88][89] In response to this, men are less likely than women to reveal the nature of the assault having been sexual or fail to mention any genital contact. They are also more likely to deny and hide how the attack affected them emotionally.[90] Male rape victims, in proportion to female victims, are more likely to be blamed for the incident because they are thought to be more capable of fighting back or getting away from their attacker.[88] Victims are also more likely to blame themselves for these same reasons.[89]

A study done by Michelle Davies and Samantha McCartney discusses why men are often blamed or stigmatized for their rape. They found that heterosexual men were more likely to blame the victim, show less empathy for the victim, deny or diminish the seriousness of the attack, and were more likely to believe rape myths than heterosexual women and homosexual men.[88] One reason for this is the societal pressure placed on men to be strong, tough, and assertive rather than passive, gentle and "feminine" as mentioned earlier.[17][87][88] Another cause for negative reaction toward male rape victims is linked to homophobia. Davies and McCartney and previous research has found a correlation between male victim blame and homophobia, since male rape involving a male rapist is (nonconsensual) sex between two men. The study also revealed that heterosexual men were more likely to be against the victim if the victim was perceived to be homosexual rather than heterosexual.[88] Homosexual men, similar to heterosexual women, were made to feel like they had "asked for it" based on their behavior.[89]

Men are more likely to believe myths about rape, dismiss the situation, or become assailants themselves because of the emphasis of what it means to be masculine in society.[17][37][87][88] Dianne Herman found that date rape was most likely to occur when a man had requested or initiated the date, the man paid for the date, the man drove, when drinking took place and when the couple found themselves alone. Because of the effort put into the date, men often felt entitled to some payment in the form of sexual gratification. When this did not happen, men felt it was more acceptable to rape. Herman claims that the American dating system emphasizes men as possessors of females, who can be seen as sexual objects ready to be "paid for."[37]

To dismantle rape culture would require the undoing of more than just the normalization and tolerance of sexual assault and rape. It would require addressing gender stereotypes in a patriarchal (male-dominated) society and relieving both genders from their pressures.[91] In a patriarchal society, men are expected to be dominant: strong, violent, sexual, and controlling. Women are expected to be submissive: weak, passive, decorative, and controllable. Men are socialized to believe they need to prove their masculinity by taking this control and dominating women. This is not only enforced by expectations of men to be dominant but also society's discouragement of men showing any emotions, vulnerability, or sensitivity.[37][87][88] Emma Watson, the UN Goodwill Ambassador for Women, said at the launch of HeForShe that enabling women to take control and be strong will allow men to relieve themselves of that responsibility, imposed on them by the toxic masculinity in a rape culture.[92]

This expectation is often traced back to cultural values of masculinity.[93] In the United States, for example, traditional concepts of masculinity are valued in men, considered to be based in the western frontier culture, as in America's ideal cowboy who uses violence and a tough persona to achieve respect. Jason Katz explores this concept in the widely acclaimed documentary "Tough Guise 2."[94] It analyzes the factors contributing to and the effects of gender violence. Part of American culture teaches boys that in order to be men, they must conform to this "box of masculinity," which perpetuates mantras such as: be tough, don't be emotional, don't be disrespected, be sexually aggressive, or take a hit. If a boy steps out of this box, especially in the tender years of puberty, he is shamed by peers as soft or weak, which teaches him that being feminine is wrong.[37]

Filmmaker Thomas Keith explained his thoughts on this with the his film The Bro Code: How Contemporary Culture Creates Sexist Men. Keith focuses on the sexual objectification of women that has occurred in America for decades. He states the American male culture teaches boys and men to dehumanize and disrespect women. Keith addresses several different forms of contemporary media, mainly focusing on movies and music videos that show womanizing as positive and acceptable behavior, pornography that glamorizes the brutalization of women, comedians who make jokes about rape and other forms of sexual assault, and a plethora of men's magazines, books, TV shows that portray their own archaic view of American masculinity and manhood. Keith posits that men's level of violence towards women has reached epidemic levels, and the media coverage and advertising suggest that it is not only normal, but it's cool, for boys and men to control and humiliate women.[95]


It’s early March, just days after the Internet has gone ballistic, when I meet Shiva for the first time. We’re in his office on the MIT campus and he’s eager to talk, exuding the patience of a teacher willing to explain things to a perplexed student. Wearing a black T-shirt under a dark-brown corduroy jacket, he’s in constant motion as we speak, using a whiteboard, drawing sketches on a pad, and pulling up articles on his laptop.

No matter what anyone says, he tells me, his EMAIL program was the first of its kind.

The ARPANET, he insists, was not created for the purpose of messaging. That much is agreed upon. In the 1998 bestseller Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet, Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon write that the “network was intended for resource-sharing, period.”

Most credit Ray Tomlinson of Cambridge-based BBN Technologies with being the first person, back in 1971, to send messages between computer terminals (he used the “@” sign to create an address). Dozens of others built upon Tomlinson’s work, devising their own methods of sharing notes on the network. Shiva describes those earlier systems—the MSGs, SNDMSGs, and other ARPANET programs—as merely “hacks,” or the equivalent of simply sending text messages back and forth. His system, on the other hand, was invented specifically for the office environment, with secretaries, not computer scientists, in mind. It was elegant, comprehensive, and easy to use. He argues that this whole controversy is an example of elitist, ivory-tower institutions wanting to control the story of innovation. Perhaps, but isn’t Shiva sitting at this very moment in an office in an ivory-tower institution, from which he’s received four degrees? He tells me that this whole thing is a “malevolent narrative” created to attack him for being different. His critics simply can’t accept that something remarkable could come out of a medical and dental school in New Jersey, never mind the fact that it was done by a teenager born in India. “When I claim I did it, and I can speak well, and I don’t look like a nerd, that’s seen as PR,” he says, his voice rising in anger. “That’s what’s interesting. And Ray Tomlinson is called humble. I’m sorry, but Ray Tomlinson didn’t create anything — he created the @ sign. He has to be humble.”

Shiva explains that he grew tired of being humble about his own role in creating e-mail after spending time in India in 2009 working for a government agency there that helped inventors launch companies. He quickly found the agency rife with corruption: Patents were stolen, innovation was stymied, and scientists toiled for years without ever getting credit for their work. So he wrote a 47-page memo, “CSIR-Tech: Path Forward,” and e-mailed it to some 4,000 scientists. The memo opened, bizarrely, with a poem dedicated to the agency’s scientists, who dream “to become next generation of innovators/That great India so sorely needs/To break from draconian past/And vainglorious visions/Seeking press and limelight of ‘I.’” From there, he described an organization with a “culture of sycophants” that was prone to “deflections and cover ups.”

Shiva says he was fired three days after sending out the document, and was kicked out of government housing and had his e-mail account turned off. His offense was violating an Indian law against sending “slanderous” e-mails.

His memo did become international news, but not for the reasons he’d hoped. Scientists decried his unprofessional conduct. Government officials claimed he’d demanded a tremendous salary. He tells me that threats were made against his life, forcing him to sneak out of the country by way of Nepal. His marriage dissolved in the months that followed. “I’ve been through a lot,” he says, his voice catching.

He may have been defeated in India, he tells me, but he’s not going quietly this time. “If they want a fight, they’re going to get a fight,” he says. “A freaking big fight.” He says he and Chomsky are preparing op-eds, which are scheduled to appear in the Post alongside counter-point pieces from Thomas Haigh and David Crocker. “They think they own the story line,” he says. “Now after this fight, I’m laying all claims to it … . We can bring in a thousand historians and they will prove in my favor.”

Over the next several weeks, I have conversations with several historians (though not thousands), all of whom are quick to point out that history is rife with stories of feuds between inventors (Alexander Graham Bell famously — some would say suspiciously — submitted the patent for a telephone on the very same day in 1876 as fellow inventor Elisha Gray). “This is an incredibly common story,” Deborah Douglas, the curator of science and technology at the MIT Museum, says of Shiva’s claims. “There is not a significant invention that has not been accompanied by virtually identical narratives of dissent and disagreement.”

Shiva dismisses this line of reasoning, directing me to the work of Tim Wu, who teaches copyright and communications law at the Columbia Law School. Wu’s book The Master Switch posits that the critical media inventions of recent centuries were the work of “lone inventors” and that “many revolutionary innovations start small, with outsiders, amateurs, and idealists in attics or garages.”

In Wu’s work, Shiva sees support for his claim to being the one true inventor of e-mail.
But while all the historians I spoke with were familiar with the history of messaging over ARPANET, none had heard of Shiva’s work prior to the controversy. When I ask whether Shiva could be the actual inventor, each of them can point to other programs that predate his system. For instance, Marc Weber, the founding curator of the Computer History Museum, tells me that “By modern standards, the number of people using electronic mail in 1978 was tiny, but the medium was getting mature.” By 1978, the year Shiva says he invented e-mail, the first spam message had already filtered through ARPANET channels, enraging the community. There were emoticons, mailing lists, and flame wars. “Nearly all of the features we’re familiar with today had appeared on one system or another over the previous dozen years,” Weber says. “I would not be surprised if, as a brilliant and motivated 14-year-old…he unknowingly reinvented many of the features of e-mail which had come before.”

Naturally, Shiva dismisses Weber’s opinion (and questions the depth of his knowledge). In fact, he claims Weber’s museum excluded him from its new e-mail history exhibit because he gave his papers to the Smithsonian instead. Throughout our many conversations, Shiva always pointed to his copyright in 1982 as the first time the phrase “e-mail” entered into the public domain: “If they were so brilliant or on top of it, why didn’t they call it e-mail?” he asks me one day. “They didn’t call it e-mail because it wasn’t e-mail.” (That too is debatable, as CompuServe was advertising a messaging program called Email as early as 1982.)

Shiva, in other words, is convinced that he fits the profile of Wu’s lone inventor. But does he? “Typically,” Wu tells me, “someone claims to have invented something before someone else, and their claim is to be the ‘actual’ inventor. In Shiva’s case, he claims that he invented something after it was invented, but just in a more profound way.”

Or, as Richard John, a communications historian at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, tells me, “If a bus had hit Shiva two years before he won the Westinghouse Prize, the history of e-mail would not have been changed a bit.”

It’s just moments before Shiva’s panel on “The Future of the Post Office” is about to begin at MIT, and he looks agitated. His brow is furrowed as he swivels his head, looking around the room. The truth is, I’m somewhat surprised, given all the controversy, that the Institute has gone forward with this event at all. Shiva’s detractors contacted several of the panelists, demanding that it be ­canceled to save the reputation of the school.

You can feel the tension in the room
as David Thorburn, director of MIT’s communications forum, steps to the podium.“I’ve received a number of thoughtful and sometimes not-so-thoughtful messages on e-mail in the past weeks from MIT alumni and others,” Thornburn says. “But today’s event is not about the history of e-mail, nor about Shiva himself. It’s about the future of the post office.”

Shiva walks up to the podium, thanks Thorburn, and reiterates his statement. “This is not about me,” he says. The session goes off without incident. Williams, the post office’s inspector general, is on the panel, and so is Columbia’s Richard John. No mention is made of the controversy, and when the video is posted online, David Thorburn’s opening comments have been edited out.

When I visit Shiva at his Belmont home one afternoon a few weeks later, the rooms are devoid of personal effects, save for a suitcase in the living room that his mother, who died this past January, left him. It’s stuffed with his papers, prizes, and awards. Shiva is quiet, and he picks at his plate of food as he looks out the huge plate-glass windows of his dining room.

His life has begun to unravel. MIT may have gone ahead with his panel, but since then his speaking engagements have been canceled, the funding for his EMAIL lab has evaporated, and his contract to lecture in MIT’s bioengineering department has been revoked. And those op-eds he and Chomsky wrote never ran in the Post.

Kolawole has invited two experts, Thomas Haigh, a history of technology expert at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and Dave Crocker, one of the fathers of the Internet, to write their own pieces for The Post’s Innovations blog on the history of e-mail. And Ayyadurai is going to write his own piece on his early “EMAIL” program. Kolawole will also be revising her original piece to reflect the record accurately.

We hope that sets the record straight and gets The Post back to where it needs to be, on the side of truth and accuracy.

-- Origins of e-mail: My mea culpa, by Patrick B. Pexton


Shiva says he’s angry at the media for succumbing to pressure from the geeks. He’s also angry at the MIT administration for failing to stand by him. He recently lashed out in an e-mail to William Uricchio, the director of MIT’s comparative media studies program: “My name is SHIT on the Internet. My institution simply let me get fucked, and walked away out of fear that their reputation was getting ruined by associating with a ‘fraud …. ’ You and other academics can have armchair discussions all day on the notion of ‘innovation’ versus ‘invention.’ There is no theory here — I created EMAIL. The facts are there.”

All is not lost for Shiva, though. The Postal Service has given Shiva a contract to continue sharing his ideas on e-mail management. But that’s done little to dampen his sense that he’s been wronged. So Shiva and his teaching assistant, Devon Sparks, have begun a quixotic quest to fight the institutional giants he says are attempting to “steal” his story. They’ve assembled a dossier of the attacks against him, and have examined every messaging program that existed prior to his own to demonstrate exactly how his system is unique. Shiva insists that Crocker, Haigh, and others have twisted the facts in an elaborate effort to make sure their version of history gets told. The way Shiva sees it, “Crocker is just a liar. They’re making stuff up on their websites.” Further evidence of the conspiracy came in late April, when the Internet Society announced that Ray Tomlinson was being inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for his e-mail work. Shiva insinuates to me that the Internet Society created the hall of fame to further discredit him. It wasn’t until just this February, he points out, that the URL internethalloffame.org was registered.

At press time, Shiva and his attorney, John Bradley, were preparing letters to send to his detractors. “People are trying to reinvent how the Internet and e-mail came to us. And we can’t reinvent history,” Bradley tells me. “Very shortly, people will be put on notice, and we will give them all a chance to retract what they said.”

I call up Shiva’s sister, Uma ­Dhanabalan, a doctor in Seattle. “I worry about him,” she tells me. But she believes him, and believes the rest of the world will one day realize the truth. “Shiva is the name of the lord of creation and destruction in the Hindu religion,” she says. “And Shiva” — her brother — “is truly the creator. He will fight for destruction if it means fighting for justice. And he will die in that fight for justice, at any cost.”
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:41 am

A Brief History of Email in the Federal Government. It’s been a busy 42 years for email, thanks in part to the government.
by Jimmy Daly
July 15, 2013

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.


Email wasn’t exactly invented. It evolved from a simple protocol for sending very small files into the core of professional and personal communication. Along the way, a few key individuals set the stage for the modern Internet. The government has a rich history of innovation in the technology space, and email is an important part of that timeline. Here are a few key moments in the government’s history of email.

1971: Ray Tomlinson sends the first email.

Working for MIT, Tomlinson is credited with sending the first exchange of text between two computers. No one truly understood the importance of what Tomlinson had done. “A colleague suggested that I not tell my boss what I had done because email wasn't in our statement of work,” he said in an interview posted on BBN Technologies.

1973: Email accounted for 75 percent of ARPANET traffic.

Well, that was fast. ARPANET was the first network to adopt TCP/IP protocol and is considered the main predecessor to the commercial Internet we know today. ARPANET research was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a branch of the Defense Department.

1978: The United States Post Office was this close.

The post office recognized early on that electronic communication was a threat to traditional mail. The agency began a program to compete with email as early as 1978. Known as E-COM, the program allowed users to send electronic mail to a post office branch. From there, it was printed and hand-delivered. In 1982, the Government Accountability Office predicted the incredible impact of email very accurately (PDF download):

It seems clear that two-thirds or more of the mainstream could be handled electronically, and that the volume of mail is likely to peak in the next 10 years and fall below today’s level sometime in the 1990’s.


The E-COM program operated from 1982 until its closure in 1985.

1984: Dot-gov and dot-mil become the standard.

As electronic communication become more popular and the Internet grew, it became evident that more top-level domains were needed:

While the initial domain name "ARPA" arises from the history of the development of this system and environment, in the future most of the top-level names will be very general categories like "government", "education", or "commercial". The motivation is to provide an organization name that is free of undesirable semantics.


In the early years, DARPA was the administrator of all top-level domains, but responsibility was spread out over time.

1988: Microsoft releases its first email client, Microsoft Mail.

1991: NASA sends the first email in space.

A Macintosh Portable was used to send the first email from space. Astronauts Shannon Lucid and James Adamson, aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, sent this message back to earth:

"Hello Earth ! Greetings from the STS-43 Crew. This is the first AppleLink from space. Having a GREAT time, wish you were here,... send cry, and CS! Have a nice day...... Haste la vista, baby,... we'll be back!"


Now, astronauts are moving beyond email. Chris Hadfield, for example, created a music video for YouTube while on the International Space Station.

2009: Barack Obama is the first President to use a BlackBerry.

Leading up to his inauguration, President Obama had to fight for his right to continue using his BlackBerry. His wish was granted, but his device was replaced with a more secure model, according to the New York Times:

“The president has a BlackBerry through a compromise that allows him to stay in touch with senior staff and a small group of personal friends,” said Robert Gibbs, his spokesman, “in a way that use will be limited and that the security is enhanced to ensure his ability to communicate.”

First, only a select circle of people will have his address, creating a true hierarchy for who makes the cut and who does not.

Second, anyone placed on the A-list to receive his e-mail address must first receive a briefing from the White House counsel’s office.

Third, messages from the president will be designed so they cannot be forwarded.


2010: The GSA is the first agency to move email to the cloud.

The General Services Administration led the way to the cloud by beginning a migration of 17,000 users. They chose Google Apps for Government, which costs about $5 per employee per month, resulting in a reduction of email operating costs by 50 percent and a projected savings of $15 million over five years.

Are there any important developments in the history of email that we missed? Let us know in the Comments section or on Twitter.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:59 am

Case 1:16-cv-10853-JCB Document 1 Filed 05/10/16

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

SHIVA AYYADURAI, an individual,
Plaintiff,
v.
GAWKER MEDIA, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; SAM BIDDLE, an individual, JOHN COOK, an individual, NICHOLAS GUIDO ANTHONY DENTON, an individual, and DOES 1-20,
Defendants.
 
CASE NO.

COMPLAINT

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, by and through his undersigned attorneys, sues Defendants Gawker Media, LLC, Sam Biddle, John Cook, Nicholas Guido Anthony Denton, 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.”

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 and technology, among other topics. Dr. Ayyadurai also operates his own research and education center: the International Center for Integrative Systems in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

3. In 2012, Defendants published two false and highly defamatory articles about Dr. Ayyadurai on their website at Gizmodo.com to discredit Dr. Ayyadurai’s invention. The articles falsely trace the origin of email and call Dr. Ayyadurai a liar, a “fraud” and responsible for “a misinformation campaign.” In 2014, Defendants again published a defamatory article about Dr. Ayyadurai, this time on their Gawker.com website, calling Dr. Ayyadurai a “fraud,” a “renowned liar,” and a “big fake,” among other things. These statements are all demonstrably false.

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 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 $35 million in damages.

THE PARTIES

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

6. Upon information and belief, Gawker Media, LLC (“Gawker”) is a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business located in New York City, New York.

7. Upon information and belief, defendant Sam Biddle (“Biddle”) is an individual, domiciled in the State of New York. At all relevant times, Biddle was a senior staff writer at Gawker.

8. Upon information and belief, defendant John Cook (“Cook”) is an individual, domiciled in the State of New York. At relevant times, Cook was an editor and writer at Gawker.

9. Upon information and belief, defendant Nicholas Guido Anthony Denton aka “Nick Denton” (“Denton”) is an individual, domiciled in the State of New York. At all relevant times, Denton was Founder and CEO of Gawker.

10. 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

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

12. 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.

13. Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), 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. AYYADURAI’S INVENTION OF EMAIL


14. In or about 1978, 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. Like the email we use today, Dr. Ayyadurai’s invention offered many features for users, such as, to send electronic mail messages to an “inbox,” save sent messages in an “outbox,” add “attachments,” and allow users to create an “address book” that included email addresses of multiple individuals.[

15. Dr. Ayyadurai invented email while working as a Research Fellow at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. His role there was to design an electronic system to mirror the features of the interoffice (or inter-organizational) paper mail system, which 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 the familiar parts of every modern email system.

16. The invention of email was made by Dr. Ayyadurai as an attempt to manage the complexity of interoffice communications, and also to reduce the use of paper documents. Dr. Ayyadurai designed email so it was accessible to ordinary people with little or no computer experience, at a time when mainly highly-trained technical people could use a computer.

17. Dr. Ayyadurai wrote nearly 50,000 lines of computer code to implement the features of the interoffice mail system into his computer program.

18. 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” and “L.”

19. 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 Copyright registration for “Email,” “Computer Program for Electronic Mail System.” With that U.S. Copyright of the system, the word “email” entered the English language.1


20. 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.

21. On or about November 15, 2011, TIME magazine published an article titled “The Man Who Invented Email,” 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 took honors at the Westinghouse Science Awards for his ‘High Reliability, Network-Wide, Electronic Mail System’” and that in 1982 he “won a White House competition for developing a system to automatically analyze and sort email messages.”

22. 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. Ayyadurai] …. The facts are indisputable.”

23. 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.”

GAWKER DEFENDANTS’ FALSE AND DEFAMATORY STATEMENTS ABOUT DR. AYYADURAI

24. On or about February 22, 2012, Defendants published on their website, Gizmodo.com, an article authored by Mario Aguilar with the headline: “The Inventor of Email Did Not Invent Email?” (the “February 2012 Article”), a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A. The February 2012 Article falsely states: “Ayyadurai is a fraud.”

25. On or about March 5, 2012, Defendants published on Gizmodo.com a lengthy story authored by Sam Biddle with the headline: “Corruption, Lies, and Death Threats: The Crazy Story of the Man Who Pretended to Invent Email” (the “March 2012 Article”), a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit B. The March 2012 Article contains multiple false statements of fact about Dr. Ayyadurai which Defendants knew to be false at the time the March 2012 Article was written and published.

26. The false statements of fact in the March 2012 Article include, among others:

a) Dr. Ayyadurai engaged in “tricks, falsehoods, and a misinformation campaign.”

b) Dr. Ayyadurai is engaged in “revisionism” with respect to his claims of invention of email.

27. On or about September 8, 2014, Defendants published on Gawker.com (another website owned and operated by Gawker) a story authored by Sam Biddle with the headline: “If Fran Drescher Read Gizmodo She Would Not Have Married This Fraud” (the “2014 Article”), a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit C. The story, from the outset in the title, falsely states that Dr. Ayyadurai is a “fraud,” and also states that he is a “renowned liar who pretends he invented email” and a “fake.”

28. 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 February 2012 Article and the March 2012 Article (together, the “2012 Articles”), along with those in the 2014 Article, had the foreseeable effect of severely harming Dr. Ayyadurai’s personal and professional reputation and business.

29. In or about 2009, Dr. Ayyadurai entered into a contract with MIT as a lecturer. His position automatically renewed annually. In or about 2012, Dr. Ayyadurai’s lectureship was rescinded for the 2012-2013 school year. This was the first time his contract did not renew after he had lectured at MIT for three years.

30. In or about 2012, Dr. Ayyadurai was asked by MIT professors not to speak about email at an MIT Communications Forum in March 2012, which Dr. Ayyadurai had organized.

31. In or around the time, Dr. Ayyadurai was running one of the most popular elective courses at MIT called Systems Visualization; was in the midst of garnering contracts for his research center; and was the Director of a new initiative at MIT. After Defendants posted the 2012 Articles, MIT disavowed its relationship with the MIT EMAIL LAB; cancelled Dr. Ayyadurai’s class and revoked its support for his new initiative; and funders disappeared and reneged on their contracts, citing the negative press and its impact on their brand through their affiliation with Dr. Ayyadurai.

32. On or about February 16, 2012, The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. had acquired documentation, including computer code and copyright information from Dr. Ayyadurai to profile his work in inventing email. The display was set to launch later in 2012, but was cancelled without explanation after Defendants’ publication of the 2012 Articles.

33. Dr. Ayyadurai lost numerous other opportunities in and after 2014, following Defendants’ publication of the 2014 Article.

34. Defendants knew that, by publishing the 2012 Articles and the 2014 Article, other media publications would publish similar stories, and repeat Defendants’ statements in the 2012 Articles and the 2014 Article. Numerous publications did in fact publish similar stories, citing to Defendants’ (false) statements in the 2012 Articles and the 2014 Article which called into question Dr. Ayyadurai’s invention and his overall character. These other publications included, among others: an October 17, 2013 article in Business Insider titled “Fran Drescher Is Dating The Guy Who Says He Invented Email”, and a March 5, 2012 article in The Verge titled “Exposing the self-proclaimed ‘inventor of email’”.

35. Prior to the publication of the 2012 Articles, Dr. Ayyadurai was an avid speaker at events around the world. With Defendants’ publication of the 2012 Articles and the 2014 Article, Dr. Ayyadurai has been deliberately attacked as an inventor and a scientist, and has lost numerous paid speaking engagements and lectureships. The articles also have negatively and significantly affected his ability to purse new opportunities and acquire investment for his new inventions—an important source of his livelihood as an inventor and entrepreneur.


GAWKER’S WRONGFUL CONDUCT GENERALLY

36. Plaintiff contends that actual malice is not required to be shown to prove the claims herein. However, in the event that actual malice were to be determined to be a requirement, the allegations in this Complaint, including the allegations below, demonstrate actual malice. Moreover, discovery has not yet commenced and Plaintiff expects to obtain through discovery additional evidence that would support actual malice.

37. Gawker is a company that routinely engages in wrongful conduct, and specifically, writes and publishes false and defamatory statements about people, invades people’s privacy and other rights, and publishes content that is irresponsible and that no other legitimate publication will publish.

38. Gawker has been sued multiple times for defamation, including currently in an action in New York State Court, by the Daily Mail newspaper, and in an action in California by an individual named Charles Johnson, for writing and publishing false and unsubstantiated rumors that Mr. Johnson had been involved in misconduct and criminal activity.

39. Gawker also has been sued repeatedly for invading the privacy of others. Gawker recently lost a case filed by Terry Bollea, professionally known as “Hulk Hogan,” for publishing an illegal, secretly recorded video showing the wrestler naked and having consensual sexual relations in a private bedroom. In March 2016, a Florida jury awarded Hulk Hogan $115 million in compensatory damages plus $15 million, $10 million and $100,000, respectively, in punitive damages against Gawker, Denton and former editor, A.J. Daulerio.

40. Gawker also was sued by, and paid a substantial settlement to, actress Rebecca Gayheart and her husband, actor Eric Dane, for publishing a stolen private video of them partially nude in a hot tub.

41. Gawker has also been sued for copyright infringement, including by Dr. Phil’s production company after Gawker planned to “steal,” and eventually aired, portions of an interview before it aired on Dr. Phil’s television show.

42. Gawker also published a video of a clearly intoxicated young woman engaged in sexual activity on the men’s bathroom floor of an Indiana sports bar (the footage was taken by another patron with his mobile phone). According to published reports, Gawker callously refused to remove the footage from its site for some time, despite repeated pleas from the woman and despite the fact that it was not clear if the sex was consensual or if the video was footage of a rape in progress.

43. Gawker paid a source for a photograph of what the source claimed was NFL quarterback Brett Favre’s penis. Gawker published the uncensored photo and reported that it showed Mr. Favre’s penis.

44. Gawker published photos of Duchess Kate Middleton’s bare breasts, captured by a paparazzi’s telephoto lens while she was sunbathing in a secluded, private location.

45. Gawker published complete, uncensored, and unedited videos of seven innocent individuals being beheaded by ISIS soldiers. The videos were distributed by ISIS for the purpose of terrorizing the Western world. On information and belief, Gawker was the only established media company to publish these videos in full and uncensored, showing the victims being beheaded. Gawker was criticized severely by the press and terrorism experts for furthering the terror campaign of ISIS, and showing a total lack of regard for the families of these victims.

46. Gawker hacked a promotional campaign sponsored by Coca-Cola, in which the company utilized the hashtag “#MakeItHappy.” The campaign was originally designed to allow people to type statements into a decoder, and the decoder converted the statements into positive, happy statements. Gawker’s hack caused the campaign to publish highly offensive statements from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Gawker was resoundingly criticized throughout the media for its actions.

47. Gawker attempted to publicly “out” a private male individual, who is a media executive at a rival publishing company, by publishing a story alleging that the executive had attempted to solicit a male porn star and prostitute. Gawker’s actions in publishing these allegations, including identifying the executive by name and the company he worked for, publishing the accusations of the gay porn star, and protecting the identity of the porn star “source,” were severely criticized throughout the media industry. As a result, multiple major advertisers began to pull their advertising from Gawker; Gawker then removed the story; and a few days later two senior executives at Gawker promptly resigned their positions. Following these events, several more executives and employees resigned or were terminated.

48. In the past year, seven of the nine most senior executives at Gawker and Gawker.com resigned: Chief Operating Officer Scott Kidder, Chief Strategy Officer Erin Pettigrew, Chief Technology Officer Tom Plunkett, Editorial Chief Tommy Craggs, President of Advertising Andrew Gorenstein, SVP of Global Sales and Partnerships Michael Kuntz and Editor-in-Chief of Gawker.com Max Reid. Of the original Executive Board from one year ago, only CEO/Founder Denton and General Counsel Heather Dietrick remain at the company. (Gawker had no CFO during this time.)

49. In November 2015, former Gawker staff writer, Dayna Evans, published an article titled: “On Gawker’s Problem With Women” (“the Evans Article”) in which Evans exposes gender inequalities within the company as well as an endemic of reporting failures and failures of journalistic ethics. The Evans Article states that the company’s reporting tactics “can lead to dismissiveness and insensitivity, harm and marginalization, often unforgettable and unforgivable damage.” The Evans Article further states that writers and editors at the company “are in fact REWARDED and admired for their recklessness and immaturity, a recklessness and immaturity, that, as you know, has gotten the company in heaps of trouble over the past couple of years.” The Evans Article goes on to state that the above assertions are true, “especially so at a place like Gawker, where bylines are associated with traffic and traffic is associated with success.”

SAM BIDDLE’S WRONGFUL CONDUCT GENERALLY

50. In or about 2010, Gawker and Denton hired Biddle as a writer for Gawker’s technology focused website, Gizmodo.com. Biddle was subsequently promoted to editor at Gawker.com.

51. Biddle’s professed goal is to destroy people’s reputations and lives on the Internet, under the banner of journalism. In 2010, Biddle wrote: “Is it petty to not share in the happiness of someone else’s success? Is it petty to wish—to beg, even, knuckles blistering, eyes bloodshot, beseeching each god—for their horrific downfall.” Biddle reinforced this philosophy in April 2014 when he stated that he would “like to have a 20-to-1 ratio of ruining people’s days versus making them” and that he writes the types of articles he does because “I like attention.”

52. In 2013, Biddle published at Gawker a tweet sent out by a private media executive which contained a joke made in bad taste. Biddle’s sharing of the tweet caused the executive to lose her job and be subject to widespread scorn and ridicule. Biddle admitted that his publication of the tweet caused “an incredibly disproportionate personal disaster” for the executive.

53. Also in 2013, Biddle wrote a post at Gawker that took the comments of a venture capitalist out of context and made implicit accusations of racism.

54. In March 2014, Biddle sanctioned an article by a junior writer which compared a dating website to WWII Comfort Women. The article received severe criticism throughout the national media.

55. In October 2014, during National Bullying Prevention Month, Biddle sent out distasteful tweets through his Twitter account that supported bullying, stating: “Nerds should be constantly shamed and degraded into submission” and that society should “Bring Back Bullying.” The tweets and fallout that ensued caused several companies to withdraw advertising from Gawker. Gawker executives admitted that Biddle’s tweets, and the lost advertisers that followed, cost Gawker at least $1 million in advertising revenue.

56. In late 2015, Biddle wrote an article about his use and abuse of narcotics, including his substantial consumption of benzodiazepines, anti-depressants and SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Biddle’s drug abuse was well-known at Gawker, including by Denton and Cook, and they nevertheless continued to employ Biddle, promote him, reward him, and assign him to write articles about people.

GAWKER’S PHILOSOPHY AND PRACTICES

57. Defendants have shown little interest in reporting the truth to the public, or investigating the facts underlying a story, or for that matter telling the truth to its readers. Defendants routinely make up lies about the subjects of their stories—Dr. Ayyadurai being one of many—with little or no regard to the substantial consequences that their false statements have on the subjects of their stories. The impact is serious and real. Defendants destroy personal and professional reputations and careers as a matter of routine.

58. In or about June 2009, Denton was interviewed by The Washington Post, and told the reporter: “We don't seek to do good. We may inadvertently do good. We may inadvertently commit journalism. [Spoken as if it were a crime.] That is not the institutional intention.” (emphasis added).


59. Gawker’s philosophy and practice is to publish false scandal, for the purpose of profit, knowing that false scandal drives readership, which in turn drives revenue, and without regard to the innocent subjects of their stories whose careers are destroyed in the process.

60. This is the situation here: Defendants’ false statements in the articles at issue had the effect of so severely discrediting Dr. Ayyadurai—based on the false statement that he is a “fraud”—that Dr. Ayyadurai’s career was severely damaged. As a direct result of Defendants’ publication of the false and defamatory statements about Dr. Ayyadurai, on information and belief, Dr. Ayyadurai has lost teaching positions at MIT, lost several paid speaking engagements at the time and in the future, lost an accolade and display dedicated to his invention at the Smithsonian Institute, 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.

61. According to Gawker.com and Gizmodo.com, more than 195,100 people have read the 2014 Article that Defendants wrote and published; more than 87,900 people have read the February 2012 Article that Defendants wrote and published; more than 215,100 people have read the March 2012 Article that Defendants wrote and published; and presumably all of those readers have spoken to others about the stories. Moreover, the 2014 Article embeds the March 2012 Article directly in the center of the 2014 Article, summarizes it, and includes a hyperlink to the March 2012 Article, with a prominent display of the title of the March 2012 article along with a photo of Dr. Ayyadurai, and urges readers to read it. The March 2012 Article embeds the February 2012 Article directly in its center and includes a hyperlink to the February 2012 Article. Further, when the 2012 Articles were embedded into the 2014 Article, they were directed to a different audience and readership: readers of Gawker.com, versus readers of Gizmodo.com. Therefore, in September 2014, Defendants republished the 2012 Articles, originally published on Gizmodo.com, by directing them to a new audience of Gawker.com readers and multiplying the damage done to Dr. Ayyadurai.

62. As a result of Defendants’ wrongful actions, anyone who searches Dr. Ayyadurai at Google or other search engine 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 such as Walter Isaacson’s book on Internet pioneers, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution; 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.

63. 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.

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

65. 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.

66. In 2014, Defendants continued their wrongful actions of 2012 when they published the defamatory 2014 Article about Dr. Ayyadurai, and linked Gawker.com readers to the March 2012 Article, which again linked to the February 2012 Article.

67. 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 Thirty-Five Million Dollars ($35,000,000), and punitive damages.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
Libel
(Against All Defendants Except Denton)


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. As described herein, the February 2012 Article arises to the level of defamation per se, in that it falsely states that “[Dr.] Ayyadurai is a fraud.”

70. As described herein, the March 2012 Article falsely alleges that:

a) Dr. Ayyadurai engaged in “semantic tricks, falsehoods, and a misinformation campaign.”

b) Dr. Ayyadurai is engaged in “revisionism” in his claim of invention of email.

71. As described herein, the 2014 Article arises to the level of defamation per se, by stating that Dr. Ayyadurai is a “fraud,” thus falsely accusing Dr. Ayyadurai of a crime and causing prejudice to his personal and professional reputation and business.

72. The 2014 Article also falsely states:

a) Dr. Ayyadurai is a “renowned liar” with respect to his statements that he invented email,

b) Dr. Ayyadurai is a “big fake,” and

c) Dr. Ayyadurai is engaged in “cyber-lies.”

73. 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.

74. 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.

75. 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.

76. 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.


SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage
(Against All Defendants Except Denton)


77. Plaintiff hereby repeats and realleges each and every allegation set forth in paragraphs 1 through 76 of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.

78. Defendants knew that Plaintiff, being an MIT professor/lecturer, scientist, inventor, business owner and entrepreneur, had business relationships that were ongoing during the time of Defendants’ publications, 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.

79. 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.

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

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

82. 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 Except Denton)


83. Plaintiff hereby repeats and realleges each and every allegation set forth in paragraphs 1 through 82 of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.

84. Defendants intentionally wrote the 2012 Articles and posted them to the Gizmodo.com website, and again intentionally wrote and published the 2014 Article to the Gawker.com website to humiliate, defame and embarrass Dr. Ayyadurai.

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

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

87. 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.

FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION
Negligent Hiring and Retention
(Against Denton and Cook)


88. Plaintiff hereby repeats and realleges each and every allegation set forth in paragraphs 1 through 87 of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.

89. At all times relevant to the allegations herein, Biddle was engaged in the abuse of multiple drugs including benzodiazepines, anti-depressants and SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), while employed at Gawker and particularly during the time that he wrote the 2014 Article.

90. At all relevant times, Denton and Cook knew or should have known of Biddle’s open and continuing abuse of such drugs, and the impact that it was having on his mental health, and the caustic and reckless articles that Biddle was writing about people as a result.

91. At all relevant times, Denton and Cook also knew or should have known that Biddle sought to libel and destroy the lives of the subjects of his reporting. In connection with Biddle’s reporting, Gawker and its executives, including Denton and Cook, received outcry and criticism about Biddle and his articles, while Biddle was employed with them.

92. Denton and Cook failed to take reasonable care in the hiring and/or retention of Biddle.

93. Denton and Cook placed Biddle in a position to cause foreseeable harm to others (including Dr. Ayyadurai) by placing Biddle and retaining him in the position of Senior Writer.

94. 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 Thirty-Five Million Dollars ($35,000,000);

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: May 10, 2016

Respectfully submitted,

CORNELL DOLAN, P.C.
By: /s/ Timothy Cornell
Timothy Cornell, BBO # 654412
One International Place, Suite 1400
Boston, MA 02110
Tel: (617) 535-7763
Fax: (617) 535-7721 tcornell@cornelldolan.com
 
HARDER MIRELL & ABRAMS LLP
By: /s/ Charles J. Harder
Charles J. Harder, Esq.
(Pro Hac Vice application to be filed)
132 S. Rodeo Drive, Suite 301
Beverly Hills, California 90212
Tel. (424) 203-1600
Email: CHarder@HMAfirm.com
Counsel for Plaintiff
 
_______________

Notes:

1 “Email” as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 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 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:54 am

Corruption, Lies, and Death Threats: The Crazy Story Of The Man Who Pretended To Invent Email
Sam Biddle
Gizmodo
Mar. 6, 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.


Image

Shiva Ayyadurai, is a shimmering intellectual. He holds four degrees from MIT (where he lectures), numerous patents, honors, and awards. He also says he invented email, and there's a global conspiracy against him.

Guess which one of these statements is true.

In 1978, a precocious 14-year-old from New Jersey invented email. You can see him doing it in the photo at the top right of your screen—the kid glued to his monitor. In that picture, he's busy showing off his creation—a way for office staff to message each other via computer. As he's happy to gab to the Washington Post, which recently ran a profile of him, Ayyadurai was a teen wonder who invented the electronic messaging system with which we all communicate, back in 1978.

Ayyadurai's collection of "historical documents" is now to be interred at the Smithsonian, the Post reported, laid gloriously on the pillar of American history alongside artifacts of Occidental Civilization such as Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet, Thomas Jefferson's Bible, and a 1903 Winton, "the first car driven across the United States." Ayyadurai is about to become more than just a gifted programmer and Professional Smart Man, but a historical figure. All of this leading up to a plum book deal with Norton, proclaiming his place in history as the upstart inventor of email itself.

But why have you never heard of him? Probably because there's precious little evidence that Ayyadurai came remotely close to inventing email, beyond a few misleading childhood documents and a US Copyright form of dubious weight. This was enough to convince the Washington Post and Smithsonian? Before you could even finish the Post's ode, Emi Kolawole, the reporter behind the piece, issued a stumbling correction:

A number of readers have accurately pointed out that electronic messaging predates V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai's work in 1978. However, Ayyadurai holds the copyright to the computer program called "email," establishing him as the creator of the "computer program for [an] electronic mail system" with that name, according to the U.S. Copyright Office.


Image
Shiva Ayyadurai shows plans for the electronic mail system that he designed to math teacher Irman Greenberg and Stella Olekslak, coordinator of the Independent Study program at Livingston High School.

Livingston Student Designs Electronic Mail System

On October 7, Irman Greenberg, math teacher, and Stella Oleksiak, Independent Study coordinator, along with Shiva Ayyadurai and his father visited the Computer Center at the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to observe the design and implementation of Ayyadurai's electronic mail system.

Ayyadurai, a senior at Livingston High School under the tutelage of Blair Krimmel, head of the math department and the Independent Study program, with the encouragement of Dr. Leslie Michelson, manager of the lab computer, created an electronic mail system with enough sophistication for immediate practical use at the college and commercial potential.

Since the eighth grade, Ayyadurai has proven that he could work mathematically far beyond the traditional classroom. During ninth grade he was bussed from Heritage to the high school where he passed the Alegebra I and II tests while studying geometry at the same time.

During the summer of 1978, he was accepted for the computer science program at New York University where he learned various computer languages such as Fortran, Basic, Cobol and Snobol, and was graduated with honors. As a consequence of his math background and his computer training, he began his work at CMDNJ.

During the same year, he was accepted for the Atlantic Regional Math League and competed in the Essex County League and the Iron Hills Conference. As a veteran member of ARML, he and the team placed seventh out of the 43 teams.

While studying Ptolemy's Theorem, Ayyadurai observed an entirely new geometric relationship in the field of vector geometry. This finding was published in the journal "The Mathematics Teacher," Fall 1980 issue. In April 1980, he won individual first place in the advanced math competition in the Essex County Math League.

He is continuing his Independent Study Program under Krimmel in the area of statistics.


Well, that's a rather different claim to fame entirely, isn't it? After we posted incredulously, Ayyadurai's PR rep was quick to rally us toward his cause—and the case was urgent. Not only was Ayyadurai desperate to set the record straight, but there was a tale of globalization and woe that explained the detractors. Ayyadurai wasn't being accused of lying about inventing email because [he] hadn't invented it; he was the victim of international character assassination. This goes all the way to the top.

In 2009, Ayyadurai worked for the Indian government, helping to run CSIR, a national R&D incubator tasked with finding homegrown patents and turning them into national high tech moneymakers. According to Ayyadurai, the center, with its billions of dollars to spend, was as corrupt as you'd imagine an R&D incubator in a developing country would be. Dissent was verboten, patents were plagiarized, and the few ideas of worth were rounded up [and] laid fallow. When someone tried to speak up, they were canned. Meanwhile, plush villas, fat salaries, and state-provided cars were doled out to scientists within the organization on the dime of the Indian people.

Ayyadurai couldn't sit idly by while this happened. He admonished his management in a letter he circulated within CSIR, calling for freedom of speech among colleagues. The Indian government clamped down immediately: He was banned from further communiques, promptly fired, evicted from his government housing, and urged to flee the country, lest his life and family be harmed. Phone calls of warning and threat were persistent, he says.

So Ayyadurai did flee, returning to MIT, where he's generally described by his colleagues as a nut and fraud—the terms "asshole," and "loon" were tossed around freely by professors who were happy to talk about their coworker but prefer to remain anonymous. "Don't know him, but [he] didn't invent email. If he claims to have done so he's a dick," said one MIT brain.


Ayyadurai is convinced the Indian government isn't through with him. He claims that it hired a team of "bloggers" and PR hatchet men to smear him across the internet. Target number one? His claim to be the father of email.

Image

On the phone, Ayyadurai comes off as kind, a man of nervous tact. But it also absolutely feels like trying to sell you something that's just not sticking—a sort of mainframe Willy Loman. At publications he's duped into letting him opine unfettered, he's email's inventor, through and through. He also owns dozens of immodest domains to that point—InventorOfEmail.com, DrEmail.com,EmailInventor.com—you get the point. No? Well Ayyadura has literally 100 more sites (103 in total) dedicated to making sure you do.

But press Ayyadurai, and he gets desperate, as his entire faux-fame rests upon semantic tricks, falsehoods, and a misinformation campaign.

Shiva Ayyadurai didn't invent email—he created "EMAIL," an electronic mail system implemented at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey. It's doubtful he realized it as a little teen, but laying claim to the name of a product that's the generic term for a universal technology gives you acres of weasel room. But creating a type of airplane named AIRPLANE doesn't make you Wilbur Wright.

The actual pioneers of email were breaking new ground more than a decade before Ayyadurai concocted his dental memo system. Electronic mail predates Ayyadurai's ability to spell, let alone code. Ray Tomlinson is best known for having sent the first text letter between two computers on ARPANET in '71—y'know, an email.
He also picked out the @ sign. A modest career. And despite Ayyadurai's insistence that, at the very least, he was the first to make use of the To/From/CC/BCC/etc fields we still use in Gmail today, this too is a personal fantasy. Tomlinson, who began working on early inter-computer messaging when Ayyadurai was a year old, explained to us how he became well-versed with these linchpins of modern email years before Ayyadurai drew them up on his own:

[We] had most of the headers needed to deliver the message (to:, cc:, etc.) as well as identifying the sender (from:) and when the message was sent (date:) and what the message was about. I chose the Latin word "re" meaning "about" for this. This apparently too obscure and was replaced with "subject:". However, "re:" is still use in the subject field to refer to the subject of the message to which the message is a reply. RFC 561 documents the headers as of 1973. Before that the standard was de facto. You could include any header you wanted in a message, but you had better use to:, cc:, etc. if you wanted the receiving program to understand.


These email underpinnings were further cemented in 1977's RFC 733, a foundational document of what became the internet itself—a full year before Ayyadurai's EMAIL project.

It was rough around the edges, but it was email. The work of Tomlinson and his peers was limited, but so too was the internet—and both exploded together. But ask Ayyadurai, and he dismisses it all—these messages weren't email, but "messages" and nothing more, relegated to some inferior class of communications that he compares to everyday "text messaging and morse code." It was all just sloppy streams of letters until he made EMAIL—and only then did the system behind Gmail, BlackBerry, and every computer on the planet see light.


6.4 Misuse #4: RFCs Demonstrate “Email” Existed Prior To 1978

The statement:

“… email underpinnings were further cemented in 1977's RFC 733, a foundational document of what became the Internet itself.” (Biddle 2012)


misuses the term “email” since Requests for Comments (RFCs) were simply written documentation, not a computer program, nor software, nor email ---- the system of interlocking parts which is the full-scale emulation of the interoffice, interorganizational paper-based mail system.

RFCs were literally meeting notes following meetings by electronic messaging researchers. RFCs, such as RFC 733, were written documentation not a computer program or code or system. Moreover, statements such as, and others like it:

“In 1977 these features and others went from best practices to a binding standard in RFC 733.” (Biddle, 2012)


are hyperboles and conflation of RFCs.

Mr. Sam Biddle, neither a computer scientist nor a software developer, who wrote the statement referenced above, in an article in Gizmodo referencing Ayyadurai as an “asshole” and “dick,” is known for his puerile, sensationalist, and yellow journalism. For example, a few weeks after writing this outrageous article on Ayyadurai, Biddle wrote an article about a virtual Internet dog name “Boo,” which had died. It was later found out that “Boo” had not died. Anderson Cooper, a CNN journalist, later exposed Mr. Biddle’s quality of journalism on his TV news show “The Ridiculist.”

What is unfortunate is that even scholarly “historians,” like Mr. Thomas Haigh, a leader of the SIGCIS group, and others either purposely wanting to deny the facts of email’s origin from 1978 at UMDNJ, or unconsciously cutting and copying the Gizmodo article, believing Biddle’s sensationalistic article to be the truth, continue to use Biddle’s article as a primary and scholarly source reference to deny email’s invention by Ayyadurai in Newark, New Jersey. Such tabloid articles are referenced as the primary source on Wikipedia and some major media to attempt to perpetuate false assertions that RFCs are email, and predate Ayyadurai’s invention.

Specifically, RFC 733, for example, is a document that was drafted in November 1977, and was simply, at best, a specification attempting to provide a standardization of messaging protocols and interfaces. RFC 733 should not be conflated as “email underpinnings” (Biddle, 2012) and equated as email --- the electronic system of interlocking parts emulating the interoffice, inter-organizational paperbased mail system created by Ayyadurai at UMDNJ in 1978.The RFC 733 is explicitly described as:

"This specification is intended strictly as a definition of what is to be passed between hosts on the ARPANET. It is NOT intended to dictate either features which systems on the Network are expected to support, or user interfaces to message creating or reading programs."


RFC 733 did not even dictate which features of the interoffice, interorganizational paper-based mail process would be included, such as the basic components of the user interfaces for message creation and reading. Moreover, RFC 733 attempted to define a standard that was never even fully accepted nor implemented. (Crocker et al., 1977).

“Some of RFC #733's features failed to gain adequate acceptance.” (Crocker et al., 1977)


The very term “RFC” means “Request for Comments” and were typically lists, notes and at best specifications (Shicker, 1981) on what could be in the future, but were neither computer code nor software application, such as email, the system and software application developed by Ayyadurai.

“Prospective users, system designers, and service offering companies often compile lists of potential services [of electronic mail systems]… Nobody claims that these lists are complete, and most often it is admitted freely that these lists represent a first cut synthesis of services offered by other communication facilities. Unfortunately, these lists mostly convey just a number of buzz-words which everybody interprets in his own fashion.” (Shicker, 1981)


In summary, RFCs only proposed an interface for message format and transmission, but said little about feature sets of individual electronic messaging or mail systems. The RFCs’ authors, by their own admission, clearly state this was not their intention. RFCs were the definition of command-line terminology, at best, but certainly not email --- the system of interlocking parts intended to emulate the interoffice, inter-organizational paper-based mail system.

-- Origin of Email & Misuses of the Term “Email”, by Deborah J. Nightingale, Sen Song, Leslie P. Michelson, Robert Field


But Ayyadurai's claim that he revolutionized how those messages are sent isn't uncontested either. Dave Crocker, another eminent figure in the history of actual email, calls Ayyadurai's posturing "theatrical," rattling off a fat list of email clients—MSG, SNDMSG, HERMES, MS—that did pretty much what EMAIL did, years and years before Ayyadurai started coding. "For a 14 year old his work was impressive," Crocker told us over the phone. "What he's saying about it now as a much older adult is also impressive—but in a very different way."

It's possible Ayyadurai was the first to come up with the term "EMAIL." That alone would be a feat. "In 1971, we called them 'messages,'" explains Tomlinson, a man so accomplished he can casually mention such things. But even that claim is tenuous, as Crocker points to a scholarly journal titled "EMMS; Electronic Mail and Message Systems." It was published a year before Ayyadurai did anything. "Newsletters for a topic don't usually start before the topic has been invented," says Crocker.

It's also possible the idea of copying decades-old paper standbys like "blind carbon copy" occurred to Ayyadurai independently of ARPA's work, and that he put it together in a friendly software package. But that's about as much as Ayyadurai has on his side, PR team and media credulity notwithstanding. The fact is that the labors of people like Tomlinson and Crocker are the monkey to your Gmail's homo sapiens, explains Tomlinson: "Email has evolved — FTP is no longer used to transport email. Additional media may be used instead of plain text. Messages are stored in a myriad of ways — Gmail stores messages in databases on huge server farms, messages on my end are stored in files on an IMAP server, etc., but the essence, even the at-sign, remains the same." That explanation? The words of an "elite group of people who think they own innovation," according to Ayyadurai.

Except they have history on their side. They need no aggrandizement, no TIME article, no need to take the Washington Post on a ride, no baseless Smithsonian tribute (the museum declined to comment on Ayyadurai's false apotheosis). They've done their work. But anyone who cares about the history of the astoundingly clever and complex things we use daily might suffer from Ayyadurai's ego campaign. Ayyadurai is free to self-promote—and he's doing a hell of a job—but when he delves into revisionism, it's a rare ego trip we shouldn't let slide.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:34 am

The Inventor of Email Did Not Invent Email?
by Mario Aguilar
Gizmodo
2/22/12

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.


V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai is a fraud who has been masquerading for years as the pioneering mind behind email. At least according to a bunch of geeks who mobilized from all corners of the digital world to try to set the record straight.

The imbroglio began late last week with a routine news report and it was settled, appropriately enough, with a detailed email.

TechDirt reports that last Friday, The Washington Post wrote about what should have been a sweet acquisition by the Smithsonian Institution:

The Smithsonian has acquired the tapes, documentation, copyrights, and over 50,000 lines of code that chronicle the invention of e-mail. The lines of code that produced the first "bcc," "cc," "to" and "from" fields were the brainchild of then-14-year-old inventor V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai.


Unfortunately, a lot of people don't believe that Ayyadurai invented email in 1978. The doubters say that all Ayyadurai did was write a computer program called "EMAIL," which he copyrighted in 1982. While I in no way want to undermine Ayyadurai's accomplishments, there's a pretty strong case that he's full of it. The fact is that networked communication actually predates Ayyadurai's computer program by quite a few years.

While holding a copyright might be good enough for some people, the Internet cognoscenti weren't going to have it. When they saw that blasphemy in print, they took to Ayyadurai's Wikipedia page, wrote letters of complaint, and debated as only geeks can.
TechDirt dug up this wonderful email written by Thomas Haig to the SIGCIS email list. Randell points out that ARPANET sent the first message between two computers back in 1971.

This version of the story makes ARPANET contractor Ray Tomlinson the inventor of email. Tomlinson doesn't quite take credit for the invention, but he does seem to think that the system he was using back in 1971 was indeed email.
According to the description on his website:

The first message was sent between two machines that were literally side by side. The only physical connection they had (aside from the floor they sat on) was through the ARPANET. I sent a number of test messages to myself from one machine to the other. The test messages were entirely forgettable and I have, therefore, forgotten them. Most likely the first message was QWERTYUIOP or something similar. When I was satisfied that the program seemed to work, I sent a message to the rest of my group explaining how to send messages over the network. The first use of network email announced its own existence.

These first messages were sent in late 1971. The next release of TENEX went out in early 1972 and included the version of SNDMSG with network mail capabilities. The CPYNET protocol was soon replaced with a real file transfer protocol having specific mail handling features. Later, a number of more general mail protocols were developed.


Notice that Tomlinson never goes quite so far as to call himself an inventor here, and in the page's FAQ, he acknowledges the contributions made to the technology both before and after he sent those first messages. That makes Ayyadurai's claim all the more strange—as if the most important part of the accomplishment was coining a term. Thomas Haig, from the email before, has no patience for the semantics game when it comes to this question:

They seem to be confusing copyright protection with patent protection, and implying that he would only have copyright on a program he created if it was the first of its kind. I could write a program called "OPERATING SYSTEM" tomorrow and hold the copyright, but it wouldn't mean I invented operating systems.


Well put! The Washington Post did publish a correction, which only half-admits that Ayyadurai didn't really invent email. Perhaps the truth is that email as we know it really shouldn't be considered a single person's invention. [TechDirt, The Washington Post, and Roy Tomlinson]

===================================================

Update: In an effort to clear his legal obligations, Nick Denton (previous owner of Gawker) settled with Shiva Ayyadurai and two other Peter Thiel backed litigants. He received $750,000 which will probably go towards creating even more websites to "prove" that he invented email even though the time line indicates otherwise.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:08 am

If Fran Drescher Read Gizmodo She Would Not Have Married This Fraud
By Sam Biddle
09/08/14

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.


Image

In 2012, an enterprising young Gizmodo blogger published the story of Shiva Ayyadurai, an MIT lecturer and renowned liar who pretends he invented email. Today, he adds another achievement to the resume, marrying Fran Drescher. Fran, you fucked up!

You had two years to discover that this guy is basically a big fake. And now look at you: stuck with the guy, doomed to nod along to his cyber-lies for a lifetime, as you grow old together and reminisce about things you didn't invent. The lesson here is clear: read Gizmodo daily, or your personal life is headed down the shitter.
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