"Inventor of email" appeals ruling that tossed his libel suit against Techdirt - 2018-06-30
Lawyers representing the Massachusetts man who for years has made a highly controversial claim that he invented email have filed their appeal in an ongoing lawsuit brought against the tech news site Techdirt.
The appeal to the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals comes more than a year after a federal judge dismissed the libel lawsuit brought by Shiva Ayyadurai, an entrepreneur who is now also running as a longshot candidate for the United States Senate.
In the lower court ruling, US District Judge F. Dennis Saylor found that because it is impossible to define precisely and specifically what email is, Ayyadurai's "claim is incapable of being proved true or false."
In a Thursday filing, Ayyadurai's lawyers argued that Techdirt previously published articles and comments that contained numerous antagonistic words used to describe Ayyadurai—a "fraud," a "charlatan," a "liar," a "fake"—that a "reasonable reader" would find as asserting a factual statement rather than a protected opinion. Because of this, Ayyadurai's team believes, Techdirt's work can constitute defamation.