Media blog Techdirt fights for its life in frivolous lawsuit - 2017-01-12
Techdirt, a blog about the intersections of law, media and technology, is fighting a defamation suit brought by Shiva Ayyadurai, a man who claims to have invented email. The site posted on the claim multiple times and Ayyadurai took offense to the tune of $15 million.
"Defamation claims like this can force independent media companies to capitulate and shut down due to mounting legal costs…this is not a fight about who invented email. This is a fight about whether or not our legal system will silence independent publications for publishing opinions that public figures do not like," wrote Techdirt founder Mike Masnick. Ayyadurai has hired a lawyer named Charles Harder whose latest win was the destruction of Gawker.
Whatever you think of Gawker, Techdirt or blogging in general, the fact remains that online sites are currently the strongest and most independent media resources we have in the fight against censorship, political pressure and, in this case, frivolous claims. The EFF has is watching the case and Masnick is building his defense.