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PimpQ

Quote:A New York judge has issued a temporary restraining order restricting the transfer of Facebook Inc.'s assets, following a suit by a New York man who claims to own an 84% stake in the social-networking company.

Paul D. Ceglia filed a suit in the Supreme Court of New York's Allegany County on June 30, claiming that a 2003 contract he signed with Facebook founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg entitles him to ownership of the company and monetary damages.

The suit is being heard by Judge Thomas Brown, who issued the temporary restraining order earlier this month. Facebook has requested that the case be moved to federal court.

In his suit, Mr. Ceglia claims he signed a contract with Mr. Zuckerberg on April 28, 2003, to develop and design a website, paying a $1,000 fee but getting a 50% stake in the product. The contract stipulated that Mr. Ceglia would get an additional 1% interest in the business for every day after Jan. 1, 2004, until it was completed.

In a statement, a spokesman for closely held Facebook said, "We believe this suit is completely frivolous and we will fight it vigorously."

Mr. Ceglia didn't return calls seeking comment. His lawyer, Paul A. Argentieri, also didn't return a call for comment.

It's unclear how Mr. Ceglia might have become involved with Mr. Zuckerberg.

A copy of the contract seen by The Wall Street Journal says it is "for the purchase and design of a suitable website for the project Seller [Mr. Zuckerberg] has already initiated that is designed to offer the students of Harvard university [sic] access to a wesite [sic] similar to a live functioning yearbook with the working title of 'The Face Book.'"

The date of the contract appears to conflict with previous accounts of the creation of Facebook. Mr. Zuckerberg built a predecessor to Facebook called Facemash in October and November 2003, but Mr. Zuckerberg didn't register the domain thefacebook.com until January 2004.

In 2009, New York's Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo accused Mr. Ceglia of defrauding customers of his wood-pellet fuel company, according to a news release from the Attorney General's office.

The state claimed that he took more than $200,000 from consumers and then failed to deliver any products or refunds. The wood-pellet case is ongoing.

Victor P. Goldberg, who teaches contracts at Columbia University's Law School, said the Facebook contract lawsuit may get tripped up by the statute of limitations, which is six years in New York.

He also said the contract itself was unusual, because it doesn't stipulate what else Mr. Zuckerberg would have gotten from Mr. Ceglia aside from $1,000.

Adam Oliveri, managing director of New York-based SecondMarket, a company that helps early employees and investors in Facebook trade shares of the private company, said such trading continues and that he didn't expect the suit would have much impact on such deals.

"I think people will read this and take it to be a lawsuit that will be dealt with pretty quickly by Facebook," said Mr. Oliveri.

Facebook has grown explosively in recent years, and has about 500 million users globally. Along the way, the company has wrestled with other challenges over its early ownership and origins, and with user privacy issues.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...40888.html
http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/20/technolo.../index.htm
sounds like someone out to make a quick buck

PimpQ

(07-21-2010, 03:24 PM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]sounds like someone out to make a quick buck

Not really. It's starting to sound like it's legit.

Quote:An attorney for Facebook told a judge on Tuesday that she was "unsure" whether company founder Mark Zuckerberg had signed a contract with a New York man who claims to own 84 percent of the social network.

Paul D. Ceglia of Wellsville, N.Y., claimed in a lawsuit filed in June that he entered into a contract with Zuckerberg in 2003 to design and develop a Web site for $1,000. The contract entitled Ceglia to a 50 percent stake in the final product, which eventually launched as TheFacebook.com, according to the suit, which was filed in the Supreme Court of New York's Allegany County. The suit also claims Zuckerberg agreed to give Ceglia an additional 1 percent stake per day until the Web site was completed, giving Ceglia an 84 percent stake in the company as of February 4, 2004.
The suit claims the final product ultimately became Facebook, which today is worth $24.6 billion, according to SharesPost.com, a marketplace for shares of privately held companies.
"Whether he signed this piece of paper, we're unsure at this moment," Facebook lawyer Lisa Simpson told U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara in Buffalo, N.Y., according to a Bloomberg report. Simpson also reportedly said the company has "serious questions" about the document's authenticity.
The purpose of the hearing to was to consider a Facebook request to dissolve a temporary injunction that prevented the company from transferring assets, Bloomberg reported. The parties reportedly agreed to let the injunction expire on Friday, and Arcara extended an order staying the injunction.
In response to questions posed by Arcara, Simpson said Zuckerberg had a contract to work for Ceglia as a computer coder, Bloomberg reported. Facebook has also claimed that Ceglia did not raise ownership issue for more than six years and that his claim might be too old to pursue.
Ceglia attorney Terrence Connors told Arcara that Zuckerberg, then a Harvard freshman, was hired for a $1,000 fee to build a site called StreetFax, which was intended to be a database of millions of photographs of streets that insurers would pay to access, Bloomberg reported. Connors reportedly said Zuckerberg and Ceglia also discussed a side project Zuckerberg was working on that would create an online yearbook for Harvard students. Connors said the contract between the two covered that project as well, Bloomberg reported.
A Facebook representative had previously characterized the suit as "completely frivolous."

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-2001115...?tag=mncol

I'd seriously laugh my ass off if FaceBook loses ownership to this person.
it would be funny but i can't see it myself
It might be legitimate? After all, the origins of facebook don't seem very clear cut anymore.

Doesn't matter if it's legitimate or not though. You can bet facebook is gonna fight this one tooth and nail with all the resources it has. This case sounds like its gonna be dead in the water... even a settlement seems unlikely.

mrmod

A solid business man like Zuckerberg should be wiser than to sell a 50% stake of a company for $1000... So I doubt it's true, but hey feel free to prove me wrong.

PimpQ

(07-23-2010, 06:33 AM)SidewaysDan Wrote: [ -> ]A solid business man like Zuckerberg should be wiser than to sell a 50% stake of a company for $1000... So I doubt it's true, but hey feel free to prove me wrong.

It was only suppose to be a Harvard website, then became very popular. Back then they prob just gave ownership to whoever worked on the site because they never expected the site to become so popular.

mrmod

Still, one thousand dollars isn't a lot of money... When you're talking of running/buying/fixing servers for something as large as Harvard(which isn't astronomically huge but still has a fair amount of pupils), one grand isn't very much. Especially for half a company (and interest of 1% added per day).

It just seems that someone that has managed to shoot a small social website into a multi-million dollar domain would think before selling half his company for some cash at some ridiculous interest rate. I don't know if he did or didn't. If he did, he's stupid.

PimpQ

(07-23-2010, 07:48 AM)SidewaysDan Wrote: [ -> ]Still, one thousand dollars isn't a lot of money... When you're talking of running/buying/fixing servers for something as large as Harvard(which isn't astronomically huge but still has a fair amount of pupils), one grand isn't very much. Especially for half a company (and interest of 1% added per day).

It just seems that someone that has managed to shoot a small social website into a multi-million dollar domain would think before selling half his company for some cash at some ridiculous interest rate. I don't know if he did or didn't. If he did, he's stupid.

1k for building a website and framework was good enough back in 03. Now you can spend thousands on it, and they gave him stock, so I think it could be legit. And who knows, this could be a good thing for FaceBook, maybe it could become the next Pirating Central.
legit or not
i think he's in for a long drawn out battle
he'll also need a good law firm whose prepared to back his claim with oodles of money.

PimpQ

(07-23-2010, 09:05 AM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]legit or not
i think he's in for a long drawn out battle
he'll also need a good law firm whose prepared to back his claim with oodles of money.

Not necessarily, if the signature is valid, FaceBook is officially his. Having tons of lawyers doesn't necessarily mean you'll win, you need a lawyer who knows what he/she is doing.

mrmod

Yes but a millionaire like Zuckerberg isn't going to hire just any lawyer. If he prizes his FaceBook domain he'll get someone that knows the tricks of the trade and not just any rookie straight out of uni.
if oj's lawyer can get him off with murder
and mj's lawyer can get him off with child abuse

i'm sure facebook with all it gazillions can hire as amny of the best lawyers it needs without bothering too much about the cost.

the other guy, if he continues is basically going to be branded a liar and money grabber.
something he's already been accused of.

mrmod

True, the guy's record isn't very clean. If he's telling the truth, this battle will be almost impossible to win. A true David and Goliath.
isn't very clean is an understatement.
at a guess i'd say most of the usa think he's just trying it on,
and thats before he even gets to court.

mrmod

Once a pirate, always a pirate..
you have to admire his ambition Big Grin

mrmod

Especially if he succeeds Hysterical...
i hope he does. can you imagine the reverberations through the internet idustry
as everyone starts creating false documentation as to when google was sold or given to them Tongue