Man who says he invented e-mail sues Techdirt for disputing claim

Shiva Ayyadurai

Shiva Ayyadurai (credit: Darlene DeVita)

Techdirt founder Mike Masnick often takes no prisoners when it comes to his writings about intellectual property, net neutrality, the law, and everything in between. But now Masnick finds himself the target of the same lawyer who brought down Gawker on behalf of Hulk Hogan.

That lawyer, Charles Harder of Beverley Hills, is representing Shiva Ayyadurai, the man who claims to have invented e-mail. Ayyadurai is seeking $15 million in a federal libel suit (PDF) against Masnick and Techdirt parent company Floor64. The suit is over blog posts that labeled Ayyadurai a “fraud” and a “liar” because he claims to have invented e-mail in 1978 as a teenager in New Jersey.

Ayyadurai also sued Gawker for ridiculing him with headlines that said Ayyadurai has “pretended to invent Email” and “The Inventor of Email did Not Invent Email.” After losing the Hulk Hogan case, Gawker went bankrupt, disappeared those Ayyadurai stories from the site, and agreed to pay $750,000 to Ayyadurai to settle his libel lawsuit.

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Read the original at Ars Technica.