Facebook: Who is the Real Owner?

Two stories have made the round about Facebook this week. One involving the twins, Winklevosses, who were appealing an earlier legal ruling stating that the twins will have to accept their original settlement of $65 million in Facebook shares which are now valued at $100 million.  (I wonder if they’ll have enough money to go to McDonald’s and get a value meal.)  Apparently they suggested the idea of Facebook to Mark Zuckerberg while they were at Harvard. The original social network was to be called CONNECTU.  Zuckerberg took the idea and transformed it into Facebook. A lawsuit was filed in 2004, and a settlement was reached in 2008.  And the appeals court ruled this week in Zuckerberg’s favor. The settlement was legit.

But this week, a new story appeared that Zuckerberg had given half of his company to Paul Ceglia for a $1000 investment.

Who is Paul Ceglia?


For starters he is a convicted felon who is claiming that Mark Zuckerberg sold him half of Facebook in 2003 for $1,000, and he has the contract and emails to prove it. He later put in another $1,000 for a total investment of $2,000, but if he gets anywhere close to what he’s asking for (half of Zuckerberg’s share, which could be worth as much as $10 billion), he could go down as the best tech investor in history. But that story is taking some steam.

Mark Zuckerberg (Center) and the Winkelvoss Twins

Consider that there are some emails, which Facebook says are fake, look pretty convincing. (To read about the e-mails see The Business Insider. ) They paint a picture of  Zuckerberg playing Ceglia for some extra cash to help develop Facebook when it was only a dorm room project at Harvard. (Zuckerberg was doing work for hire for another Ceglia project, and got him to fund development of Facebook as well, at least according to Ceglia’s latest complaint).

So where does all of this stand? To early to tell, but there have been rebuttles coming on this story now.

 

To see a Facebook response about the story see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJLjD98QcZ4

 

 

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