The defamation lawsuit filed by self-proclaimed email inventor Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai and Floor64, Inc. (Techdirt.com) ended without any money passing hands.
Ayyadurai had sued over 14 articles on Techdirt that debunked his claim that he had invented email, and that featured such term as ”fraud,” “liar” and “fake.”
The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled in 2017 that such terms are rhetorical hyperbole that nobody would take as factual. The case was thrown out on First Amendment grounds.
But Ayyadurai argued that the expressions go far beyond hyperbole, and filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Techdirt also appealed to that court because it was not awarded attorney’s fees and the case was not stricken.
Ayyadurai contended that the court erred when it said that Techdirt was not guilty of malice against him, a factor in some defamation cases.
Techdirt has agreed to post a hyperlink titled "Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai's Response to this Article and Statement on the Invention of Email," at the top of each of the 14 Articles.