Country of originUnited States
OwnerFloor64, Inc.
Created byMike Masnick
EditorMike Masnick
Launched1997; 27 years ago (1997)
Current statusActive
Techdirt founder Mike Masnick in 2012

Techdirt is an American Internet blog that reports on technology's legal challenges and related business and economic policy issues, in context of the digital revolution. It focuses on intellectual property, patent, information privacy and copyright reform in particular.[1]


The website was founded in 1997 by Mike Masnick. It 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.[2] Techdirt is managed by Floor 64, a company located in Redwood City, California, US.[3]

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, Member of the European Parliament for the Netherlands,[4] Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon[5] or author Glyn Moody.[6]

Reception and impact

The popular term the "Streisand effect" was coined on Techdirt by founder Mike Masnick in January 2005.[7][8]

In 2003, Forbes Magazine selected Techdirt as one of the "Best Tech Blogs".[9] In 2006 Bloomberg Businessweek praised Techdirt for its "sharp, pithy analysis of current tech issues".[10] In 2007, techdirt was nominated for the Webby Award in the section "Web Blog – Business".[11] Techdirt has been named among the favorite blogs of PC Magazine in 2008.[12] In 2015, Techdirt was positively mentioned for the bold step to allow readers to remove web ads.[13]

In 2009, English singer Lily Allen created a blog critical of music piracy in which she plagiarized an entire post from Techdirt.[14] Following an exchange with Techdirt, debating hypocrisy in the musician's handling of copyright infringement, Allen shut down her blog.[15]

Marvin Ammori, a lawyer who advocates on network neutrality and Internet freedom, praised Techdirt in the 2011 Stop Online Piracy Act controversy, saying: "I'm not sure anyone did more to educate the public about SOPA than Techdirt."[16]

Shiva Ayyadurai lawsuit

In 2017, American entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai filed suit against Techdirt for defamation in response to a series of articles critical of Ayyadurai's claims to have invented email as a teenager in 1978, an assertion which has been dismissed by several experts.[17][18] Techdirt announced its intention to fight the suit, describing it as a "First Amendment fight for its life".[19] A federal judge dismissed the defamation claims on September 6, 2017.[20] In June 2018, attorneys for Ayyadurai appealed the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.[21] The two parties settled out-of-court in May 2019 with no money changing hands, and Techdirt's articles remaining online with an added link to a rebuttal on Ayyadurai's website.[18][22]

Other work

Masnick and Techdirt run a think tank called Copia.[23] Through this effort, Masnick has worked on multiple policy-focused video games, including Moderator Mayhem, a game focused on content moderation,[24][25] and a followup titled Trust & Safety Tycoon.[26]


  1. ^ Matt Asay (18 Feb 2013). "John Lennon's lesson for public-domain innovation – IP protection hurting, not helping, US and UK". The Register. Archived from the original on 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2017-01-02. 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.
  2. ^ "About Techdirt". Techdirt. Archived from the original on 2011-12-04. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  3. ^ "About Techdirt". Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  4. ^ Schaake, Marietje. "European Parliament Member Marietje Schaake's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week". techdirt. Archived from the original on 2013-02-03. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  5. ^ Wyden, Ron. "Senator Ron Wyden's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week". techdirt. Archived from the original on 2013-05-01. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  6. ^ Moody, Glyn. "Glyn Moody's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week". techdirt. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Is Leveraging the Streisand Effect Illegal?". July 13, 2006. Archived from the original on 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  8. ^ Robert Siegel (February 29, 2008). "The Streisand Effect' Snags Effort to Hide Documents". All Things Considered. National Public Radio. Archived from the original on 2018-03-06. Retrieved 2018-04-05. 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.
  9. ^ "Best Tech Blogs". Archived 2017-01-03 at the Wayback Machine. on Forbes by Arik Hesseldahl (3/14/2003).
  10. ^ Hof, Rob (October 11, 2006). "The Dirt on Techdirt's New Blogger Community". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on 2011-04-16. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  11. ^ techdirt Archived 2017-01-03 at the Wayback Machine on (2007)
  12. ^ Heater, Brian; Griffith, Eric (December 29, 2008). "Our Favorite Blogs". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-05-30. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  13. ^ Why fight it?': One tech publication is letting readers remove ads Archived 2017-01-03 at the Wayback Machine by Ricardo Bilton on digiday (October 2, 2015)
  14. ^ Masnick, Mike (September 21, 2009). "Lily Allen: Copying Isn't Alright... Unless It's Done By Lily Allen". Techdirt. Archived from the original on 2011-12-09. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  15. ^ Chivers, Tom (September 24, 2009). "Lily Allen drops fight against filesharing after Techdirt spat". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2012-01-12. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  16. ^ How this blogger became one of the most influential voices in tech policy Archived 2017-01-03 at the Wayback Machine on by Simon Owens (Jan 21, 2016)
  17. ^ Kravets, David (6 January 2017). "Man who says he invented e-mail sues Techdirt for disputing claim". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2017-06-28. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  18. ^ a b Farivar, Cyrus (May 17, 2019). "Defamation lawsuit brought by self-proclaimed email 'inventor' settles". NBC News. Archived from the original on May 29, 2019. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  19. ^ Masnick, Mike (11 January 2017). "Techdirt's First Amendment fight for its life". Techdirt. Archived from the original on 2017-01-14. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  20. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (6 September 2017). "Techdirt prevails in libel lawsuit over e-mail invention claims". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  21. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (June 30, 2018). ""Inventor of email" appeals ruling that tossed his libel suit against Techdirt". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2018-07-17. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  22. ^ Harder LLP (May 14, 2019). "Joint Press Statement On Behalf Of Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai And Techdirt, Michael Masnick, And Leigh Beadon". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  23. ^ "The Copia Institute". Copia. Retrieved 2023-07-09.
  24. ^ Pegoraro, Rob (May 15, 2023). "Think You Can Be a Content Moderator? Test Your Skills With This Game". PCMag. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  25. ^ Masnick, Mike (May 11, 2023). "Moderator Mayhem: A Mobile Game To See How Well YOU Can Handle Content Moderation". Techdirt. Retrieved 2023-07-09.
  26. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (Oct 27, 2023). "Why is Trust and Safety so hard? | This Week in Business". Retrieved 2023-11-02.

Further reading