Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai is suing TechDirt, a group business blog, for $15 million over articles disputing his claims that he invented email.
The lawsuit claims that “in 1978, Dr. Ayyadurai invented email,” wrote code, coined the term, and copyrighted it in the early 1980s. He is represented by Charles Harder, the attorney who represented Hulk Hogan in his Peter Thiel-funded lawsuit against Gawker. Harder is also representing Melania Trump in lawsuits against the Daily Mail and a Maryland blogger for claiming she was an escort.
The lawsuit accuses TechDirt of “an ongoing campaign to damage Dr. Ayyadurai’s personal and professional reputation and career by publishing no less than fourteen (14) false and highly defamatory articles” since 2014 that call him a “fraud,” “liar,” “fake” and so on. iMediaEthics has written to TechDirt and Harder for comment.
Ayyadurai sued Gawker previously over its reports on him, but after Gawker’s bankruptcy and shuttering last year, the lawsuit was settled.
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The lawsuit points to the following articles by Techdirt:
- “Why is Huffington Post Running a Multi-Part Series to Promote the Lies of a Guy Who Pretended to Invent Email?” Sept. 2, 2014
- “Huffington Post Doubles Down, Has MIT Professor Spread Blatant Falsehoods about Creation of Email” Sept. 3, 2014
- “Huffington Post Finally Responds, Stands by its Completely Bogus, Totally Debunked ‘History of Email’ Series,” Sept. 4, 2014
- “Huffington Post and the View from Bogustan: Standing behind Blatantly False Claims isn’t Journalism” Sept. 5, 2014
- “Huffington Post Finally Removes Most Articles about Fake Email Inventor, Meanwhile Ayyadurai Threatens to Sue his Critics” Sept. 8, 2014
- “Fact Checking is Dead: Mainstream Media Goes Nuts Repeating Debunked Claims by the Fake ‘Inventor of Email'” Sept. 9, 2014
- “Guy Who Pretends he Invented Email Whines at Every Journalist for Writing Obit of Guy Who Actually Helped Create Email,” March 8, 2016
- “Guy Who Didn’t Invent Email Sues Gawker for Pointing Out He Didn’t Invent Email” May 11, 2016
- “Univision Execs Have No Backbone: Pull a Bunch of Gawker Stories over Legal Disputes” Sept. 12, 2016
- “Ridiculous: Nick Denton Settles Remaining Charles Harder Lawsuits, Agrees to Delete Perfectly True Stories” Nov. 2, 2016
- “Here’s the Truth: Shiva Ayyadurai Didn’t Invent Email” Nov. 3, 2016
- “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments of the Week at TechDirt” Nov. 6, 2016
- “Actual Creators of Email Not At All Happy The Fake Creator of Email Got Paid for His Bogus Claim” Nov. 7, 2016
The lawsuit is published here.