Indian-American Shiva Ayyadurai invented 'E-mail', not Ray Tomlinson?

New Delhi, Mar 8: A day after billions of internet users paid rich tributes to internet pioneer Ray Tomlinson, who is credited with the invention of e-mail, died on Monday, now a Mumbai-born American scientist has claimed he is the primary inventor of e-mail.

Shiva Ayyadurai has said he and not Ray Tomlinson is the primary inventor of e-mail. Ayyadurai was born to a Tamil Family in Bombay. At the age of seven, he left with his family to live in the US.

Tomlinson died of an apparent heart attack late on Saturday at the age of 74. His invention included the ground-breaking use of the "@" symbol in e-mail addresses, which is now standard.

As per a PTI report in 2014, Email, the quick method of message transfer was invented by Indian American VA Shiva Ayyadurai when he was just 14.

[E-mail inventor Ray Tomlinson dies at 74]

In 1978, Ayyadurai created a computer programme, which he called "email," that replicated all the functions of the interoffice mail system: Inbox, Outbox, Folders, Memo, Attachments, Address Book, etc. These features are now familiar parts of every email system.

On August 30, 1982, the US government officially recognised Ayyadurai as the inventor of email by awarding him the first US Copyright for Email for his 1978 invention. At that time copyright was the only way to protect software inventions.

As per an Economic Times report published in 2014, his critics said that in 1982, Ayyadurai merely copyrighted the term 'email' and the code he wrote and that such messaging existed long before 1978.

However, he says that it was the only way to protect software as patents didn't cover software in those days. According to him, critics find it hard to believe that a 14-year-old Indian in a backwater like Newark could invent something as massive and socially significant as email, the ET report further added.

"I'm the low-caste, dark-skinned, Indian, who DID invent #email. Not Raytheon, who profits for war & death.Their mascot Tomlinson dies a liar," he wrote on Twitter.


"Today is MahaShivaratri. The night of truth, & justice over ignorance, fitting that Raytheon's lies about #email, and Tomlinson died today," he wote on twitter.

OneIndia News

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