Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica:
The claim was brought by Shiva Ayyadurai, who has controversially claimed that he invented e-mail in the late 1970s. Techdirt (and its founder and CEO, Mike Masnick) has been a longtime critic of Ayyadurai and institutions that have bought into his claims. “How The Guy Who Didn’t Invent Email Got Memorialized In The Press & The Smithsonian As The Inventor Of Email,” reads one Techdirt headline from 2012.
Numerous articles that dubbed Ayyadurai a “liar” and a “charlatan” followed. That, in turn, led to Ayyadurai’s January 2017 libel lawsuit.
Masnick will still have to pay legal fees, which is unfortunate, and Ayyadurai will drag this thing into appeal which is going to cost Techdirt even more. All states should have anti-SLAPP laws to help prevent this kind of nonsense in the first place, and require those filing dumb lawsuits such as this to pay legal costs if they lose.
In case you’re wondering, Google’s instant answer box still says that Ayyadurai invented email, and of the ten normal search results displayed on the first page, five are links to either Ayyadurai’s own websites or puffy articles about him.