[SIGCIS-Members] The new thing: Ayyadurai claims to be suing Techdirt

Thomas Haigh thomas.haigh at gmail.com
Wed Jan 4 22:27:45 PST 2017


Hello SIGCIS,

It's disturbing news, but there are circa 500 people on the list now so we
should probably wait for some new information or analysis to surface before
doing any more mass venting. Don't want to spam people's email.

In response to the last few posts, please remember that there are no
"adjudicators" here and no jury. Nobody ruled on the merits of his case. It
never got to a courtroom, or as far as I can see made any real progress
towards trial. Read Masnick's posts on the settlement:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20161102/10054035947/ridiculous-nick-dento
n-settles-remaining-charles-harder-lawsuits-agrees-to-delete-perfectly-true-
stories.shtml
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20161103/11502935958/heres-truth-shiva-ayy
adurai-didnt-invent-email.shtml
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20161104/17341635970/actual-creators-email
-not-all-happy-fake-creator-email-got-paid-his-bogus-claim.shtml 

Also this Gizmodo post on the settlement, which quotes me:
http://gizmodo.com/internet-pioneers-slam-750-000-settlement-for-the-man-178
8503950. 

According to these, and many other reports, Ayyadurai's case was caught up
with the much bigger Hogan lawsuit. An initial judgement for Hogan in that
case had led to the sale of Gawker, but its founder Nick Denton couldn't
collect on the proceeds without a settlement. I recall reading a report
suggesting that everything had to be wrapped up before the end of the year
to avoid tax problems, creating an incentive to tie up the loose ends
rapidly. Anyway there's been a huge amount written on the Gawker settlement.
Not just by tech bloggers -- even the New York Times was covering it.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/03/business/media/gawker-hulk-hogan-settlemen
t.html?_r=0  

The other thing to remember is that it's routine to settle lawsuits when
going to trial would cost more than is being demanded to make the case go
away. Patent trolls with weak cases exploit this all the time. In this case
Ayyadurai was asking for damages of IIRC $35 million and settled for $0.75
million. That's just over 2 cents on the dollar. 

Best wishes,

Tom


-----Original Message-----
From: Members [mailto:members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] On Behalf Of
Subramanian, Ramesh Prof.
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2017 11:16 PM
To: Evan Koblentz <evan at snarc.net>; Sigcis <members at sigcis.org>
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] The new thing: Ayyadurai claims to be suing
Techdirt

This is most depressing, akin to Trump's election. Both can be argued as
cases where fake news, the power of nastiness and bluster have won the
argument. I agree with Evan that the most distressing is the statement:
There is no reasonable dispute that  Dr. Ayyadurai is the inventor of
email."

I cannot believe that the adjudicators did not consider the disputes that
have been in the press and in forums such as these...Gawker would have been
well served to contact forums such as these, but it looks like it has been
outmaneuvered by Ayyadurai's legal team! I wonder if SIGCIS members should
consider filing amicus briefs in cases such as these in the future.

-Ramesh




---------------------------------------------------------------------
Ramesh Subramanian, Ph.D.
Gabriel Ferrucci Professor of Computer Information Systems Quinnipiac
University Hamden, CT 06518.
Phone: 203-582-5276
Email:rameshs at quinnipiac.edu
Web:
http://www.quinnipiac.edu/about/directory/faculty-detail/?Dept=16&Person=233
45
&
Fellow, Yale Law School - Information Society Project New Haven, CT 06511
Email: ramesh.subramanian at yale.edu
Web: http://www.law.yale.edu/intellectuallife/9841.htm

________________________________________
From: Members <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org> on behalf of Evan Koblentz
<evan at snarc.net>
Sent: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 10:32 PM
To: Sigcis
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] The new thing: Ayyadurai claims to be suing
Techdirt

> Do facts carry no weight anymore?

The most offensive part to me is: "There is no reasonable dispute that Dr.
Ayyadurai is the inventor of email."

If the president-to-be can say any crazy thing and mock those who observe
its falsehood, then so can lawyers.


Or is history now decided by who has the nastiest lawyer?

Remember, John Mauchly "did derive" ENIAC from Atanasoff's unfinished
electromechanical calculator...

I can understand such a decision back then, when the non-technical public
knew next to nothing about computing. But in 2016? All it should have taken
for Gawker to win is anyone on this list taking the stand to show a timeline
of (ahem) email. The greenest small-town law school graduate could have won
that case. It is baffling how Gawker lost.
_______________________________________________
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
https://websitecheck.quinnipiac.edu/canit/urlproxy.php?_q=aHR0cDovL2xpc3RzLn
NpZ2Npcy5vcmcvcGlwZXJtYWlsL21lbWJlcnMtc2lnY2lzLm9yZy8%3D&_r=cXVpbm5pcGlhYy1l
ZHU%3D&_s=cnN1YnJhbWFuaWFu and you can change your subscription options at
https://websitecheck.quinnipiac.edu/canit/urlproxy.php?_q=aHR0cDovL2xpc3RzLn
NpZ2Npcy5vcmcvbGlzdGluZm8uY2dpL21lbWJlcnMtc2lnY2lzLm9yZw%3D%3D&_r=cXVpbm5pcG
lhYy1lZHU%3D&_s=cnN1YnJhbWFuaWFu
_______________________________________________
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



More information about the Members mailing list