I must admit to never having heard of claims by Shiva Ayyadurai, an MIT graduate, that he invented email in the 1970s, but Boston Business Journal reports that he “won $750,000 Wednesday in a bankruptcy court settlement with Gawker Media, according to court documents.”
Apparently Ayyadurai sued Gawker because it ran stories ridiculing his claim. Gawker’s post-bankruptcy owner pulled those stories as part of its settlement with former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan over a sex tape. Here’s the story – but not the sex tape.
Despite Ayyadurai’s propensity for lawsuits, Huffington Post had no qualms just writing a story saying flatly that Ayyadurai didn’t invent email – perhaps because the site had previously run articles saying that he did.
Email seems to be one of those things that nobody in particular invented – it developed over time – although Ray Tomlinson at Boston-based BBN often gets credit for developing the first system that looks mostly like modern email. Here’s a nice piece from Nethistory.info that starts: “It was never invented; it evolved from very simple beginnings.”