Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, the ‘Inventor of email’, has won a settlement payment of $750,000 from Gawker Media for publishing a defamatory article against his claim. A part of this settlement also involves Gawker media to take down the article from its website.
Initially, the death of Raymond Tomlinson revived the controversy of who exactly is the inventor of email. Raymond Tomlinson was a programmer who is known to have implemented the first email program on the ARPANET system. But soon after his death, Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, an Indian origin American scientist came forward claiming that in 1978, as a 14 year old boy, he wrote an electronic messaging program in school which he named as ‘EMAIL’. He also copyrighted his invention in 1982 as EMAIL.. “Americans have no tolerance for fake news, lies or cyberbullying. A 14-year old kid working in Newark, New Jersey in 1978 invented email. This settlement honors that innovation.” said Dr. Ayyadurai.
Following the settlement with Gawker, Dr. Ayyadurai dispersed a press release comprising two research papers, various expert views and more than 20 testimonials from technology experts, each in favor of his claim.
Apart from Gawker Media, Dr. Ayyadurai also filed a similar lawsuit against another website named TechDirt.com on January 4, 2017. Apparently, TechDirt has published about 14 critical articles, all defaming him of his claim. Dr. Ayyadurai has attempted to sue TechDirt for minimum $15 million in damages as the derogatory articles published from September 2014 through November 2016 are still up on the website. As Dr. Ayyadurai claims that websites like Washington Post, Huffington Post, and others are confusing the public by putting electronic text messaging and email in the same bracket, he continues to fight against cyber bullying and seeks a corresponding result in TechDirt lawsuit as he received in Gawker Media.