Facebook site faces fraud claim

Social networking website Facebook could be closed if legal action in the US by a rival site's founders succeeds.

Three founders of ConnectU say Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for the site while at Harvard.

Facebook has become a global phenomenon with about 31 million users, compared with ConnectU's 70,000.

A Federal case accuses Mr Zuckerberg of fraud and misappropriation of trade secrets, and asks for ConnectU to be given ownership of Facebook.

Last year, Facebook turned down a $1bn offer from Yahoo.

Facebook has asked a judge at a Boston district court to dismiss the case.

The ConnectU founders claim that while at college Mr Zuckerberg agreed to finish writing computer code for them, but that he stalled and eventually created Facebook using their ideas.

View: BBC News

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Google acquires ImageAmerica to boost mapping

Next Story

iPlayer faces petition pressure

38 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Yes, obviously a "social networking website" is such an original idea.
And kind of funny how this only comes up when facebook starts getting popular?

haha.. soon it will be a facebook monopoly on social connectivity and they will be forced to remove facebook related items from the site to allow competitors equal acess...

Those news are old... BBC's slow, it dates from more than 10 days ago...

Anyways facebook's cool, I hope they don't add the skinning or incorporate horrid things like myspace did... facebook's simple and elegant. The only thing I don't like it, is the security on friends.

The only person whole should be punished in this case is Zuckerberg, for rejecting Yahoo's $1 Billion offer. What an idiot.

i don't blame him... they'd turn it into an ad displaying machine. ruin the whole idea of facebook. kind of what myspace is now.

they'd turn it into an ad displaying machine

Facebook already gives you adware when you visit their site ..
But no doubt that there would be plenty more if Yahoo! were to take over.

spacer said,
The only person whole should be punished in this case is Zuckerberg, for rejecting Yahoo's $1 Billion offer. What an idiot.


No, because it is worth more than that

I am pretty sure that Zuckerberg worked for ConnectU... and then there was a problem between the creators and he went off and founded facebook.

This suit isn't a baseless claim. I am pretty sure they have a chance, if what I remember is correct.

yah and myspace stole my idea from my conversation in a chatroom... :suspicious:
cant believe that offer from yahoo though.. $1BN... mental!

Septimus said,
It took them this long to chase after him? bull****.

It's pretty common to wait until something is worth a lot more money before you go and sue. Happens with patents a lot too.

Septimus said,
It took them this long to chase after him? bull****.

Actually, I remember reading about this very thing with ConnectU going after Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook back when I was still in college in my college newspaper, when Facebook was less than 6 months old.

BJSE said,
facebook has been around for a quite a long time...and they are saying this now...nice try... :confused:

It's called "waiting for the company to be worth a lot, and then sueing it for a baseless bull**** claim"

-Razorfold said,

It's called "waiting for the company to be worth a lot, and then sueing it for a baseless bull**** claim"


Actually this has already been in court for years, before facebook really took off.

Hahaha, the idea wasn't copyrighted or trademarked. So on what basis is connectu sueing for?

ConnectU is horrible, literally horrible. Honestly I bet monkeys can come up with a better UI and color scheme.

The site is terribly slow, you get a million connect to database errors, not many schools/colleges/universities are supported, userbase is way way way smaller etc etc

Facebook is fast, slick and easy to use. The only "bad" part is applications [some applications are useful, but many are totally pointless and just junk], but that can easily be fixed by doing what www.virb.com did, add a button on each profile called Remove Customization.

I honestly don't know how it's users even stand it, and many claim its better than facebook. Yeh sure, as if.

Well actually anytime you have an idea, you automatically get copyright for it without doing anything, it is yours and no one has rights to it. The issue here is that those idiots cannot prove it. Their website ConnectU is the sorriest excuse for a social networking platform I have ever seen, THAT needs to be shut down for being so damned crappy!!

obsolete_power said,
Well actually anytime you have an idea, you automatically get copyright for it without doing anything, it is yours and no one has rights to it. The issue here is that those idiots cannot prove it. Their website ConnectU is the sorriest excuse for a social networking platform I have ever seen, THAT needs to be shut down for being so damned crappy!!

You can't copyright an idea...

You can patent it, or keep it as a trade secret, but you can't copyright it.

If he stole it, then he needs to pay up. But it just sounds like they want the rights to Facebook to then sell if off for a 1 billion or more.

Lasker said,
they need to prove it, which is going to be difficult.

I'm sure they wouldn't both taking them to court if they didn't have proof... :sleeping: Chat logs are evidence...

It's pretty close to MySpace, just a different execution of it.

Their claims seem pretty weak. Facebook just beat them to the punch.