Ridiculous: Nick Denton Settles Remaining Charles Harder Lawsuits, Agrees To Delete Perfectly True Stories - 2016-11-02

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F0.png Ridiculous: Nick Denton Settles Remaining Charles Harder Lawsuits, Agrees To Delete Perfectly True Stories November 2, 2016, Mike Masnick, TechDirt

Congrats Peter Thiel: you've successfully censored true stories reported by the press. Just a little while ago, Nick Denton posted that the remaining three cases filed by lawyer Charles Harder against Gawker, Denton and some reporters had been settled, with the agreement to remove the stories. Harder, of course, is the lawyer that Peter Thiel set up with his own practice, with the stated mission of filing lawsuits that would kill Gawker. Thiel/Harder "won" back when this effort forced Gawker into bankruptcy and then a fire sale to Univision. But now the remaining stories have been officially killed off. This includes the famous Hulk Hogan story and case -- meaning that the appeal, which basically every lawyer admits would have resulted in overturning the lower court's jury verdict, is dead. I know the Gawker haters will cheer this outright censorship (or, worse, insist that this proves that the case was legitimate -- despite the fact it never was). But let's focus on one of the other stories that is getting censored here thanks to Peter Thiel's actions.

It's the one that we wrote about the most: Shiva Ayyaudrai claims to have invented email when he was a kid. He did not. I won't go through all the details again, but as a kid in 1978, Ayyadurai did apparently create (independently) a software program for electronic mail for a college he worked for. By all accounts, it was a good program that was useful. He named it EMAIL and eventually registered a copyright for that piece of software. That's it. It's a neat accomplishment for a kid. But it is not "inventing email" by any stretch of the imagination.

That's because (1) every single thing that Ayyadurai did had already been done elsewhere, often many years earlier, and (2) all of that other work was done in public settings via RFCs and the process that eventually led to the email systems that we use today. Ayyadurai's email system... contributed to nothing. It was late to the game and it never went any further. Again, it was impressive that as a kid he basically independently created an electronic mailing system, but that's different from "inventing email." But, for whatever reason, 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 a giant conspiracy to deny him his rightful designation as the inventor of email. He often claims this is because he's of Indian descent, ignoring that one of the actual inventors of email, on RFC 561 is Abhay Bhushan (who also created FTP) and is, also, of Indian descent.


{{cite news | author = Mike Masnick | title = Ridiculous: Nick Denton Settles Remaining Charles Harder Lawsuits, Agrees To Delete Perfectly True Stories | url = https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20161102/10054035947/ridiculous-nick-denton-settles-remaining-charles-harder-lawsuits-agrees-to-delete-perfectly-true-stories.shtml | work = TechDirt | date = November 2, 2016 | accessdate = March 3, 2017 }}