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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt


This week, we faced a disastrous plan from the Copyright Office to strip thousands of sites of their DMCA safe harbor protections if they don’t re-register with a new system. We suggested that the correct way would be to engage in a proactive campaign rather than holding people’s feet over the fire, and Cowardly Anonymous won most insightful comment of the week by going one step further:

No. The correct way is to give DCMA safe harbour to *all*. Blanketed. No registration required.

In the second place spot, we’ve got I. T. Guy with another simple response to the whole mess:

Dumbest thing I have ever heard of.

Don’t forget to go register for your First Amendment rights now.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with an anonymous comment on the subject of police abuse, making the interesting observation that the “bad apples” metaphor gets thrown around in very different ways depending on the subject:

To quote a couple recent argument used by some US politicians to reject the acceptance of ANY Syrian refugees into the US.

– If you have a 5 pound bag of peanuts and 10 peanuts in the bag are deadly poisonous, would you feed them to your kids? –


– If a bowl of skittles had 3 poisonous ones in it would you eat from it? –

When it comes to accepting refugees this is an argument that should entice people to reject them all but somehow the same argument keeps being made a bout the police whit totally different expectations. That we should totally accept all of them no questions asked even though there is overwhelming evidence that we have more than a few bad apples causing actual deaths rather than the metaphorical ones implied by the politicians arguments for rejecting refugees…

Next, we head to our surprising post about Shiva Ayyadurai (surprising in that he’s still trying) — which will be the source of both our winners on the funny side — where another anonymous commenter laid things out in detail:

Here’s a link to the v6 manual page for mail:

(Incidentally, note that the “see also” portion of this man page references “write” — an instant messaging program. Yeah. In 1975.)

Here’s a link to a well-researched page about Ayyadurai’s bogus, lying, totally false claims:

Here’s an entire web site about the history of email:

Here’s Tom Van Vleck’s well-researched history of email:

I just took the time to search some archives to see if fraudster Ayyadurai actually showed up anywhere. I can find no trace of his alleged source code in any of the standard repositories of the time, e.g., Usenet’s net.sources or successor newsgroups such as comp.sources.misc. I find no trace of him in any of the RFCs, the standards documents which trace the history and evolution of email. I find no messages from him in any of the mailing lists discussing mail, SMTP (the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), mail servers, mail clients, mail system operations, or anything else. To contrast and compare: there are THOUSANDS of message from many of the key contributors and hundreds of thousands more from people who had a problem or solved a problem, found a bug or published a fix, encountered a configuration issue or published a how-to. Ayyadurai simply doesn’t exist at all – which isn’t surprising, because his piffling and unimportant project existed in isolation and contributed precisely zero to the development of email.

Ayyadurai is particularly annoying because of his bogus claims of racism: those of us who were actually there know that the ARPAnet and CSnet and Usenet and BITnet were built by ridiculously diverse groups of people: just look at the names on the documents and the software. Ayyadurai’s claims are annoying and absolutely false: they’re a cheap stunt designed to make him appear the victim, and they’re insulting to everyone who actually has been disadvantaged because of their race or ethnicity.

And he’s annoying because of his willingness to take credit from those who did the heavy lifting — Ray Tomlinson being one of them. All of those people have eschewed credit, preferring to see their work as building on that of others and minimizing their own contributions. Ayyadurai has seized on this to claim everything for his own, when in fact he contributed nothing of value or interest.

I kinda hope he sues TechDirt, because the discovery process will be fascinating. He will face dozens, if not hundreds, of subject-matter experts — people like me who have been running real mail servers (not his bogus, worthless tripe) for decades. People who wrote the code. People who wrote the standards. People who have archives of all of this going back 20, 30, 40 years. People who are willing to invest a lot of time stacking supporting evidence to the ceiling and giving expert first-hand testimony.

Ayyadurai is a liar. He is a fraud. He is a charlatan. He is an unimportant nobody who has contributed nothing and deserves to be remembered as a posing, self-aggrandizing asshole — nothing more.

But of course, at this point, such lengthy explanations feel almost pointless — they clearly have no effect on Ayyadurai himself, anyway. So we head to our first place comment on the funny side, where another anonymous commenter reiterated the simple fact:

You forgot to mention that Shiva Ayyadurai did not invent email.

In second place on the funny side, we have yet another anonymous commenter suggesting a way to honor Ayyadurai:

We need a “Shiva Ayyadurai Didn’t Invent Email Day” where we all spam the dude with stories, posts, et al of how he didn’t invent email.

We will call this day… Everyday.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start with a comment from sorrykb presenting a new wrinkle to the Copyright Office conspiracy theory:

Admit it, Masnick, you and Google both are paid shills for Big Library.

Finally, after the Thai government demanded that a chat app reveal any users who insult the king, one more anonymous commenter interpreted that in the silliest way possible:

I don’t really see why Thailand needs to know if someone insults Elvis.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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