|Created by||Mike Masnick|
Techdirt is an internet blog that reports on technology's legal challenges and related business and economic policy issues, in context of the digital revolution. It focusses on intellectual property, patent, information privacy and copyright reform in particular.
The website Masnick founded in 1997 was originally based on the weblog software Slash. Techdirt's content is based on reader submissions as well as the editorial staff's picks. The website makes use of MySQL, Apache, and PHP, and is hosted at ActionWeb.
There is a guest editor section in Techdirt, called "Favorite Techdirt Posts of the Week", where several high-profile personalities of politics and culture contributed articles over the years; for instance Marietje Schaake, European Parliament MEP for the Netherlands,Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon or author Glyn Moody.
On Techdirt in January 2005 the "Streisand effect" was coined by founder Mike Masnick.
In 2003 Forbes named Techdirt as one of the "Best Tech Blogs".In 2006 Techdirt has been praised for its "sharp, pithy analysis of current tech issues" by Bloomberg Businessweek. In 2007 techdirt was nominated for the Webby Award in the section "Web Blog - Business". Techdirt has been named among the favorite blogs of PC Magazine in 2008. In 2015 techdirt was positively mentioned for the bold step to allow readers to remove web ads.
In 2009, English singer Lily Allen created a blog critical of music piracy where she plagiarized an entire post from Techdirt.Following an exchange with Techdirt, debating hypocrisy in the musician's handling of copyright infringement, Allen shut down her blog.
Marvin Ammori, a lawyer who advocates on network neutrality and Internet freedom issues, praised Techdirt in the 2011s Stop Online Piracy Act controversy with: "I’m not sure anyone did more to educate the public about SOPA than Techdirt."
In 2017, Shiva Ayyadurai filed suit against Techdirt for defamation in response to a series of articles critical of Ayyadurai's claims to have invented email.Techdirt announced its intention to fight the suit, describing it as a "First Amendment fight for its life". A federal judge dismissed the defamation claims on September 6, 2017. In June 2018, attorneys for Ayyadurai appealed the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
TechDirt highlights research showing that extending copyrights increases prices and limits dissemination of knowledge, while also pointing out that people who believe patents cause innovation are simply confusing correlation with causation. If anything, patents inhibit innovation.
The episode is the latest example of a phenomenon known as the "Streisand Effect." Robert Siegel talks with Mike Masnick, CEO of Techdirt Inc., who coined the term.