Anyone who knows the best conspiracy theories of the 20th century can’t blame Dylan Stephen Jayne for trying to sue Google.
Every good conspiracy theorist knows that playing certain songs on LPs backwards is a Satanic chant. The number of clues on the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover that “Paul is Dead” (Paul McCartney) are too numerous to mention.
So it must have come as a shock to the Conspiracy Theory community that Google prevailed in an appeal of the most bizarre lawsuit ever filed against the search engine.
In September of 2007, Dylan Stephen Jayne filed a (handwritten) suit against the founders of the Google internet search engine, alleging that his social security number when turned upside down is a scrambled code that spells the name “Google.”
He was asking for $5 billion for Google’s alleged “crimes against humanity.”
The District Court reviewed the lawsuit and dismissed it sua sponte (on its own will or motion”) for failure to state a claim. In other words, the judge made a decision without having been asked by either party. (ie. never happened: “Your honor, the defendants, Larry and Sergey, move to dismiss!”)
The ever-resourceful Jayne filed a timely appeal. His case was on appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and guess what? He lost the appeal a couple months ago.
To prevail on his claim, Jayne needed to demonstrate the Google founders acted “under color of state law” and deprived him of Constitutional rights or rights secured by federal law.
The judges concluded, “It is clear that neither of these criteria is satisfied here. As explained by the District Court, Google and its founders are not state actors, and Jayne’s allegation concerning his coded social security number does not constitute a violation of the Constitution or federal law.”
Making it a particularly bad day for Jayne and sending a shiver down the spine of many a conspiracy theorist, the judges noted, “We also agree that any amendment of the complaint would be futile.”