[SIGCIS-Members] Gawker settlement re the history of email
thomas.haigh at gmail.com
Thu Nov 3 10:49:52 PDT 2016
My impression from the reports is that the other lawsuits filed by Peter Thiel’s lawyer, including Ayyadurai’s, were holding up the whole process of settling up the Gawker empire sale and cashing out founder Nick Denton, who couldn’t receive the money until they were resolved as it would be seized by creditors. Thiel’s justification for going after Gawker was that a poor “single digit millionaire” like Hulk Hogan couldn’t afford to win justice, so by secretly bankrolling the case he was just standing up for truth, justice, and the little guy. Now Denton can presumably leave personal bankruptcy and enjoy a happy retirement as a double digit millionaire. Thinking about those poor millionaires, and their vulnerability to the whims of a billionaire, did remind me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzMUrB-Um1Y.
People are pointing out that forcing a website to take down stories about Ayyadurai cannot be justified with the same appeals to the public good. This is bringing a fresh round of scrutiny to Ayyadurai’s claims, and may further damage Theil’s standing in the tech world. The story Joly linked to from the Huffington Post, written by an editor there, finally apologizes for its publication of blog posts by Ayyadurai and his friends in 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/peter-thiel-email-inventor_us_581a50cde4b0c43e6c1dc44a
The Huffington Post also allowed Ayyadurai’s claims to appear on these pages. We were wrong <https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140903/18514728409/huffington-post-finally-responds-stands-its-completely-bogus-totally-debunked-history-email-series.shtml> to have published them and wronger still to have defended their publication. Those posts, which attested to the veracity of these false contentions, have rightly been pulled <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/p/editors-note962014.html?1410017884> .
It also makes a good point: someone should ask Peter Thiel for his own views on email history.
…if Ayyadurai had actually been the inventor of email, as opposed to being the inventor of a false claim to have invented email, he might not have needed Thiel’s assistance to finance his bogus lawsuit against Gawker.
But apparently no one thought to ask Thiel, “Hey, do you know who invented email?” And that’s too bad, because I’d have liked to hear him answer. Presumably he would have said (incorrectly), “That’s easy. It was my man, Shiva Ayyadurai.”
Of course, journalists then would have written stories with headlines like, “Peter Thiel Does Not Know Who Invented Email.” And then, I guess, he would have sued the people who wrote those stories? Actually, that’s a pretty interesting follow-up question: “Are you going to sue any of the other people who wrote about how Shiva Ayyadurai is not actually the inventor of email? Or is that something that’s okay for everyone not Gawker Media to say?”
You see, either Thiel does not know who invented email, or he is one really intellectually and morally inconsistent fellow!
Brian Feldman, blogging at New York magazine, reports http://nymag.com/selectall/2016/11/this-is-what-it-costs-when-a-billionaire-declares-war-on-you.html
The Ayyadurai and Terrill suits were all but certain to have been dismissed when they came to trial early next year. Instead, Ayyadurai — whose claims to have invented email <http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-a-discredited-old-yarn-20140904-column.html> have been thoroughly discredited — will walk away from a billionaire’s proxy legal war substantially richer, and with an accurate but unflattering article about him deleted from the internet.
According to Mike Masnick at Techdirt https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20161102/10054035947/ridiculous-nick-denton-settles-remaining-charles-harder-lawsuits-agrees-to-delete-perfectly-true-stories.shtml
Ayyadurai has staked his entire identity on the outright false claim that he invented email. He's written a book about it. He has a whole webpage about it. And he keeps pushing the story on the press, including teaming up with a famous PR guy and (???) Noam Chomsky to argue that there was <https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140901/07280928386/huffpo-publishes-bizarre-misleading-factually-incorrect-multi-part-series-pretending-guy-invented-email-even-though-he-didnt.shtml> a giant conspiracy to deny him his rightful designation as the inventor of email…. Ayyadurai has been given the heckler's veto and will likely crow about how this vindicates him. He's tried to twist a variety of other things as "proof" that he's the inventor of email. As of writing this he hasn't said anything on his Twitter feed, other than to retweet someone saying "congratulations to [Shiva], inventor of email" and someone else tweeting about the Denton story.
From: Members [mailto:members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] On Behalf Of Joly MacFie
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2016 1:37 AM
To: Marc Weber <mweber at computerhistory.org>
Cc: Sigcis <members at sigcis.org>
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Gawker settlement re the history of email
More via HuffPo
On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 3:50 PM, Marc Weber <mweber at computerhistory.org <mailto:mweber at computerhistory.org> > wrote:
John Vittal just sent a link to this article: http://lawnewz.com/celebrity/gawker-will-pay-hulk-hogan-over-31-million-in-new-settlement-agreement/
Apparently Gawker settled with Ayyadurai for $750K, with a stipulation that posts are deleted.
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