[SIGCIS-Members] In today's Boston Globe, re developer of EMAIL

Jonathan Coopersmith j-coopersmith at tamu.edu
Wed Feb 15 10:52:35 PST 2017


The comments (mostly civilized with correct spelling, which is refreshing)
are filled with recollections of 'how I was using email back in the days
when'.  Apart from a few mockings of Al Gore for inventing the Internet
(which he actually contributed to politically), refreshing compared with
the usual ad hominem attacks.
  Jonathan

Jonathan Coopersmith
Professor
Department of History
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX  77843-4236
979.845.7151
979.862.4314 (fax)

http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/author/42
:
latest post is "
​Obama's legacy in science, technology, and innovation,"
*http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/153872
<http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/153872>*

*FAXED.  The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine* (Johns Hopkins University
Press) is the co-recipient of the 2016 Business History Conference Hagley
Prize for best book in business history.


On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 12:05 PM, Ian S. King <isking at uw.edu> wrote:

> One upon a time I worked for a large technology corporation.  One of the
> lawyers mentioned to me that it cost us $15,000 every time someone sued us,
> regardless of whether the suit had merit.  One of the greatest liabilities
> of the American legal system is that only in certain cases, as explicitly
> specified by law or contract, can one compel the losing party to pay the
> winner's attorney fees and costs.  I have been involved in cases in which
> the fees and costs were an order of magnitude larger than the amount being
> litigated.  -- Ian
>
> On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 9:55 AM, Pierre MOUNIER-KUHN <mounier at msh-paris.fr
> > wrote:
>
>> Basically, on what legal grounds could SA sue historians? As long as
>> historians do not write insults or claim intellectual property on "email",
>> but just present facts (like Tom's 4 points), there is no ground for
>> litigation.
>> Best,
>> Pierre
>>
>> ------------------------------
>> *De: *"Julie Cohn" <cohnconnor at comcast.net>
>> *À: *"Murray Turoff" <murray.turoff at gmail.com>
>> *Cc: *members at lists.sigcis.org
>> *Envoyé: *Mercredi 15 Février 2017 15:35:08
>> *Objet: *Re: [SIGCIS-Members] In today's Boston Globe, re developer of
>> EMAIL
>>
>> I would be very enthusiastic about a SHOT session on this topic! Not my
>> area of expertise, but if there is anything I can do to help, please let me
>> know! -Julie
>>
>> *****************************
>> Julie Cohn, Ph.D.
>> Research Historian
>> Center for Public History
>> University of Houston
>> 315 McElhinney Hall
>> Houston, TX 77204-3007
>> cohnconnor at comcast.net
>>
>> On Feb 14, 2017, at 4:42 PM, Murray Turoff <murray.turoff at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> I note that he claims his system is the first to bring together all the
>> functionality of email.
>> That much i think is definitely not true.  in 1972 one our programmers at
>> OEP wrote a message system that allowed message lists where you could send
>> to the group or to individuals and it could be operated synchronous or
>> asynchronous so it could be a written "conference call."  it was put out in
>> teh shared software for UNIVAC 1108 machines and i know the university of
>> Wisconsin used it for some number of  years for all the students to
>> communicate with the software support group at the university.
>>
>> it probably had more features than the later "email" system as it could
>> tell you when a user left a simultaneous discussion or entered it.  the
>> discussion could be left on for asynchronous use as well and the ability to
>> send between any two or more individuals was a part of it.
>>
>> The crazy twist here is there were user communication systems already
>> that were more powerful than the email system.
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 5:23 PM, Thomas Haigh <thomas.haigh at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> I am by no means a legal expert, but according to Fortune (
>>> http://fortune.com/2017/01/11/techdirt-libel-lawsuit/)
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Many states, including Massachusetts, have so-called anti-SLAPP
>>> statutes, which offer a quick and cost-efficient means to defeat frivolous
>>> lawsuits intended to censor or intimidate defendants. But the anti-SLAPP
>>> law will likely be of no avail to TechDirt because the statute is largely
>>> restricted to cases involving the government, and because the law may not
>>> apply in federal court.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> As such, TechDirt's legal bill could amount to hundreds of thousands of
>>> dollars or even more if the case is subject to numerous procedural motions
>>> and appeals.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Fortune links to this page: http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guid
>>> e/anti-slapp-law-massachusetts.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Best wishes,
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Tom
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: McMillan, William W [mailto:william.mcmillan at cuaa.edu]
>>> Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 4:12 PM
>>> To: Thomas Haigh <thomas.haigh at gmail.com>
>>> Cc: members at lists.sigcis.org
>>> Subject: RE: [SIGCIS-Members] In today's Boston Globe, re developer of
>>> EMAIL
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Might SLAPP lawsuits be relevant if one is attacked for presenting facts
>>> and rational arguments in support of or opposition to a public claim?
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_publ
>>> ic_participation
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> - Bill
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________
>>>
>>> From: Members [members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] on behalf of Thomas
>>> Haigh [thomas.haigh at gmail.com]
>>>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 3:54 PM
>>>
>>> To: 'Sarah T. Roberts'; 'David C. Brock'
>>>
>>> Cc: members at lists.sigcis.org
>>>
>>> Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] In today's Boston Globe, re developer of
>>> EMAIL
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Perhaps the most disturbing thing in the Boston Globe column (which I
>>> notice Ayyadurai is already featuring prominently on his own website) is
>>> the line “One early innovator declined to be interviewed, fearing
>>> litigation from Ayyadurai.” So we now live in a world where Internet
>>> pioneers are afraid to tell journalists that electronic mail was widely
>>> used in the mid-1970s. That is what is known as a “chilling effect” on free
>>> speech.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I have focused my own statements (www.sigcis.org/ayyadurai<http
>>> ://www.sigcis.org/ayyadurai
>>> <http://www.sigcis.org/ayyadurai%3chttp:/www.sigcis.org/ayyadurai>>) on
>>> Ayyadurai’s claims and arguments rather than his ethics and motivations. My
>>> expertise is as a historian and technologist, not an ethicist or
>>> psychologist. My position is simple:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> 1)      Nobody can invent a technology that already exists, still less
>>> one that is in widespread use.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> 2)      “Email” is a contraction of “electronic mail” and refers to the
>>> same thing. For example, Abbate’s Inventing the Internet (p. 106) notes
>>> “The network’s users unexpectedly came up with a new focus for network
>>> activity: electronic mail. Email (initially called ‘net notes’ or simply
>>> ‘mail’….”
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> 3)      Electronic mail systems were in widespread use many years before
>>> Ayyadurai developed his “EMAIL” system at some point between 1978 and 1982.
>>> For example, Abbate states (p.107) of the early-1970s ARPANET that “Email
>>> quickly became the network’s most popular and influential service,
>>> surpassing all expectations.”
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> 4)      Therefore, Ayyadurai is not “the inventor of email.”
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> The implication of Ayyadurai’s recent lawsuits is that anyone who
>>> acknowledges that 1, 2 and 3 are true, and that 4 is their inescapable
>>> corollary, risks a hugely expensive legal ordeal. Here is what his press
>>> release of Jan 4 said. “There is no reasonable dispute that Dr. Ayyadurai
>>> is the inventor of email. The full press kit contains more than 20
>>> testimonials from leading technology experts and numerous Ph.D.s. The press
>>> kit also includes two extensive research papers prepared by well-respected
>>> academic university professors and scientists explaining why Dr. Ayyadurai
>>> is the inventor of email, and how the few doubters are wrong.” The next
>>> sentence announces the lawsuit against Techdirt. (
>>> http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gawker-media-pays-
>>> dr-shiva-ayyadurai-inventor-of-email-750000-settlement-300385899.html)
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I hope that members of this community will not allow themselves to be
>>> intimidated, though as David warns it may be prudent not to say anything
>>> one would not feel comfortable defending in court. If Ayyadurai’s legal
>>> campaign succeeds then what would happen to books like Abbate? Will anyone
>>> who uses Abbate’s work in the classroom run the risk of a multimillion
>>> dollar lawsuit? Ayyadurai has also shown himself willing to exploit open
>>> records laws to obtain my university emails, perhaps in a hunt for
>>> discrediting or actionable materials. http://www.tomandmaria.com/Tom
>>> /emailgrab. Other such requests have been harshly criticized by
>>> scholars as an assault on academic freedom.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> A few weeks ago Christopher Leslie asked whether this case is really so
>>> important to us, versus say defending net neutrality from the Trump
>>> administration. I would argue that it is, because the challenge that the
>>> post-fact world poses to academic freedom (and to so much else) is
>>> something that we are all called to fight in our own little corners of the
>>> world. Netflix and other tech firms will fight for net neutrality, but who
>>> will fight for history? If the SIGCIS community doesn’t stand up for the
>>> integrity of the historical record, against such a concerted campaign to
>>> undermine it, then who will?
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Best wishes,
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Tom
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> From: Members [mailto:members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org
>>> <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org>] On Behalf Of Sarah T. Roberts
>>>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 12:15 PM
>>>
>>> To: David C. Brock <dcb at dcbrock.net>
>>>
>>> Cc: members at lists.sigcis.org
>>>
>>> Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] In today's Boston Globe, re developer of
>>> EMAIL
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I mean I certainly don't intend to be silenced about either the record
>>> or my take on this situation, or engaging with others about it. That's
>>> rather the aim of suing, right?
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --Sarah
>>>
>>> ---
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> S a r a h  T.  R o b e r t s,  P h. D.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Assistant Professor
>>>
>>> University of California, Los Angeles
>>>
>>> Department of Information Studies
>>>
>>> Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
>>> https://is.gseis.ucla.edu/
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Blogging periodically at
>>>
>>> http://illusionofvolition.com<http://illusionofvolition.com/
>>> <http://illusionofvolition.com%3chttp/illusionofvolition.com/>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Feb 14, 2017, at 9:14 AM, David C. Brock <
>>> dcb at dcbrock.net<mailto:dcb at dcbrock.net>> wrote:
>>>
>>> Dear All:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I think it might be wise for you to consider that the SIGCIS Members
>>> email discussion archives are published publicly.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Dr. Ayyadurai and his lawyers are included in this public.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> David
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Feb 14, 2017, at 12:10 PM, Sarah T. Roberts <
>>> sarah.roberts at ucla.edu<mailto:sarah.roberts at ucla.edu>> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> It may be an ideal time to publicize this goofiness, given the area of
>>> alternative facts and the public' fatigue with them, and the bullies who
>>> rely upon them.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ---
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> S a r a h  T.  R o b e r t s,  P h. D.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Assistant Professor
>>>
>>> University of California, Los Angeles
>>>
>>> Department of Information Studies
>>>
>>> Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
>>> https://is.gseis.ucla.edu/
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Blogging periodically at
>>>
>>> http://illusionofvolition.com<http://illusionofvolition.com/
>>> <http://illusionofvolition.com%3chttp/illusionofvolition.com/>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Feb 14, 2017, at 8:48 AM, Dave Walden <dave.walden.family at gmail.com<
>>> mailto:dave.walden.family at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>
>>> The reporter is quite a good technology reporter, in my view; and I see
>>> the Globe as a pretty high quality newspaper.  I suspect that the article
>>> was carefully reviewed by the Globe's legal people to cast doubt on
>>> Ayyadurai's claims without making it possible for him to sue them for
>>> saying his claims are wrong.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 2/14/2017 11:42 AM, Pierre MOUNIER-KUHN wrote:
>>>
>>> Well, the article – and even more the readers' comments – are far from
>>> providing our self-proclaimed hero with the best publicity...
>>>
>>> The most objectionable in this paper is the term "skeptics" ("The
>>> skeptics say that by the 1970s, e-mail as we know it today was routinely
>>> used"). We are not "skeptic", we know that S.A.'s claims are wrong.
>>>
>>> Yours truly,
>>>
>>> Pierre MK
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>>
>>> This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org<http://sigcis.org/>,
>>> the email discussion list of SHOT SIGCIS. Opinions expressed here are those
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>>> The list archives are at http://lists.sigcis.org/piperm
>>> ail/members-sigcis.org/ and you can change your subscription options at
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>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>>
>>> This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org<http://sigcis.org>,
>>> the email discussion list of SHOT SIGCIS. Opinions expressed here are those
>>> of the member posting and are not reviewed, edited, or endorsed by SIGCIS.
>>> The list archives are at http://lists.sigcis.org/piperm
>>> ail/members-sigcis.org/ and you can change your subscription options at
>>> http://lists.sigcis.org/listinfo.cgi/members-sigcis.org
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org, the email discussion
>>> list of SHOT SIGCIS. Opinions expressed here are those of the member
>>> posting and are not reviewed, edited, or endorsed by SIGCIS. The list
>>> archives are at http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/
>>> and you can change your subscription options at
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>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> *please send messages to murray.turoff at gmail.com
>> <murray.turoff at gmail.com>  do not use @njit.edu <http://njit.edu/>
>> addressDistinguished Professor EmeritusInformation Systems, NJIThomepage:
>> http://is.njit.edu/turoff <http://is.njit.edu/turoff>*
>> _______________________________________________
>> This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org, the email discussion
>> list of SHOT SIGCIS. Opinions expressed here are those of the member
>> posting and are not reviewed, edited, or endorsed by SIGCIS. The list
>> archives are at http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/
>> and you can change your subscription options at
>> http://lists.sigcis.org/listinfo.cgi/members-sigcis.org
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org, the email discussion
>> list of SHOT SIGCIS. Opinions expressed here are those of the member
>> posting and are not reviewed, edited, or endorsed by SIGCIS. The list
>> archives are at http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/
>> and you can change your subscription options at
>> http://lists.sigcis.org/listinfo.cgi/members-sigcis.org
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org, the email discussion
>> list of SHOT SIGCIS. Opinions expressed here are those of the member
>> posting and are not reviewed, edited, or endorsed by SIGCIS. The list
>> archives are at http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/
>> and you can change your subscription options at
>> http://lists.sigcis.org/listinfo.cgi/members-sigcis.org
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Ian S. King, MSIS, MSCS, Ph.D. Candidate
> The Information School <http://ischool.uw.edu>
> Dissertation: "Why the Conversation Mattered: Constructing a
> Sociotechnical Narrative Through a Design Lens
>
> Archivist, Voices From the Rwanda Tribunal <http://tribunalvoices.org>
> Value Sensitive Design Research Lab <http://vsdesign.org>
>
> University of Washington
>
> There is an old Vulcan saying: "Only Nixon could go to China."
>
> _______________________________________________
> This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org, the email discussion
> list of SHOT SIGCIS. Opinions expressed here are those of the member
> posting and are not reviewed, edited, or endorsed by SIGCIS. The list
> archives are at http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/ and
> you can change your subscription options at http://lists.sigcis.org/
> listinfo.cgi/members-sigcis.org
>
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