Libel suit threatens TechDirt’s existence
Techdirt founder Mike Masnick writes about what might happen to the tech news site because it’s being sued for libel by a man claiming to have invented email.
Masnick writes, “So, in our view, this is not a fight about who invented email. This is a fight about whether or not our legal system will silence independent publications for publishing opinions that public figures do not like.
“And here’s the thing: this fight could very well be the end of Techdirt, even if we are completely on the right side of the law.
“Whether or not you agree with us on our opinions about various things, I hope that you can recognize the importance of what’s at stake here. Our First Amendment is designed to enable a free and open press — a press that can investigate and dig, a press that can challenge and expose. And if prominent individuals can make use of a crippling legal process to silence that effort, or even to create chilling effects among others, we become a weaker nation and a weaker people because of it.
“We are a truly small and independent media company. We do not have many resources. We intend to fight this baseless lawsuit because of the principles at stake, but we have no illusions about the costs. It will take a toll on us, even if we win. It will be a distraction, no matter what happens. It already has been — which may well have been part of Ayyadurai’s intent.”
Read more here.