Man demands 50-50 share of Facebook, has emails to prove it

Facebook's legal problems are far from over, following the likely end of their long-going case between Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and the Winklevoss twins. Following Monday's ruling by a federal judge which struck down the appeal the Winklevoss brothers put forward, Zuckerberg and Facebook find themselves caught in another complaint by one of Zuckerberg's former business acquaintances.

As reported by the Associated Press (via The Globe and Mail), a New York man by the name of Paul D. Ceglia has filed a federal court complaint in the Western District of New York. The complaint alleges that Ceglia had a business relationship with Zuckerberg starting from April 28, 2003. According to the document, Ceglia and Zuckerberg agreed that Zuckerberg will sell to Ceglia a 50% stake of the software, design, and "business interests derived from the expansion of that service to a larger audience." The deal went sour shortly after Zuckerberg went live with the then-named "The Face Book" on February 4, 2004.

This complaint is an amended revision, with Ceglia's claim dropped to 50% from an earlier claim of a whopping 84% of Facebook. This figure was derived based on a contract clause Ceglia inserted that would see an additional percentage point of his share per extra day past The Face Book's original launch day of January 1, 2004. Following the launch, according to Ceglia, Zuckerberg claimed the venture was a failure and was ready to shut down the site. Instead, Zuckerberg went ahead and registered TheFaceBook, Inc. on July 1, 2004, without Ceglia's consent or knowledge.

The complaint also included emails exchanged between him and Zuckerberg preceding the launch of The Face Book, which were missing from the original complaint. Zuckerberg has been quoted in one of them demanding a reduction of the 84% and agreeing to a return to the 50-50 partnership right before the launch of The Face Book.

It has to be seen whether Ceglia will be successful in his endeavour, with one of Zuckerberg's lawyers quick to point out that Ceglia was a convicted felon for possession of shrooms in 1997, although that incident was before Ceglia's partnership with Zuckerberg. A 50% stake of one of today's most lucrative websites on the Internet is likely to be worth several billions of dollars.

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zuckerberg should just give all the money away to charity and declare facebook open source. no money in it means no more headaches and no more people coming forward to claim their share when they think their share is big enough.

capr said,
zuckerberg should just give all the money away to charity and declare facebook open source. no money in it means no more headaches and no more people coming forward to claim their share when they think their share is big enough.
Zuckerberg could never give up his money.

Hahahaha think about how many shrooms that guy could buy if he had 50% of Facebook... maybe that's what the lawyer is trying to point out

DeMo_BR said,
Hahahaha think about how many shrooms that guy could buy if he had 50% of Facebook... maybe that's what the lawyer is trying to point out
um, what?

I have sketches on paper tissues (used) that prove I am the sole genius behind Facebook...
DAMN ZUCKERBERG!

But I see too much hassle in running a big company like that, so I'll let it slide for him...

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,
I have sketches on paper tissues (used) that prove I am the sole genius behind Facebook...
DAMN ZUCKERBERG!

But I see too much hassle in running a big company like that, so I'll let it slide for him...

GS:mac

I am the NAPSTER! oh wait, wrong argument...

Glassed Silver said,
I have sketches on paper tissues (used) that prove I am the sole genius behind Facebook...
DAMN ZUCKERBERG!

But I see too much hassle in running a big company like that, so I'll let it slide for him...

GS:mac

lol

Why wait x amount of years before then trying to sue. I'm sure anyone with a bit of knowledge can fake an email and I hope the guy fails.

Then hopefully that'll be it, because basically i'm abit bored of this now

Beyon_Godlike said,
Even if the guy is entitled, wonder if the US courts will even do what's right considering FB may as well be considered infastructure

That is BS, it is not infrastructure, it is a social website by their own admission....sadly I can see the argument winning though.

Actually, I am the inventor of Facebook and have the IM conversations with Zuckerberg to prove it. I demand all 110% of the profits or I will sue.

briangw said,

No, Al Gore invented the Social Web after he invented The Internet!


I thought it was Chuck Norris who invented The Internet

Choto Cheeta said,
Will we ever know who actually made FACEBOOK ?? Every month a new case comes forward with claim towards facebook..

Just gonna leave this here: I actually own Facebook, I just don't want my name on a dodgy company, thats all.

Possession of 'shrooms 14 years ago is hardly crime of the century is it Hardly a justifiable reason to deny someone 50% of something that they are legally entitled to (if that indeed does turn out to be the case)
Sounds like Zuckerberg's brief is scraping the barrel a bit on this one, perhaps there is just the faintest whiff of arse-twitching fear in the air.

20legend said,
Possession of 'shrooms 14 years ago is hardly crime of the century is it Hardly a justifiable reason to deny someone 50% of something that they are legally entitled to (if that indeed does turn out to be the case)
Sounds like Zuckerberg's brief is scraping the barrel a bit on this one, perhaps there is just the faintest whiff of arse-twitching fear in the air.

20legend said,
Possession of 'shrooms 14 years ago is hardly crime of the century is it Hardly a justifiable reason to deny someone 50% of something that they are legally entitled to (if that indeed does turn out to be the case)
Sounds like Zuckerberg's brief is scraping the barrel a bit on this one, perhaps there is just the faintest whiff of arse-twitching fear in the air.


Zuckerbergs counsel will obviously do absolutely everything he can to discredit the complainant, he'd be a rubbish lawyer if he didn't!

The sheer fact that Zuckerberg's lawyer felt the need to point out a drug charge from 1997 kind of makes me wonder if there isn't some weight to this. That just seems very desperate... An attempt to discredit Ceglia based on character rather than case fact...

M_Lyons10 said,
The sheer fact that Zuckerberg's lawyer felt the need to point out a drug charge from 1997 kind of makes me wonder if there isn't some weight to this. That just seems very desperate... An attempt to discredit Ceglia based on character rather than case fact...

Of course character comes into it. Justice should never be that blind.

M_Lyons10 said,
The sheer fact that Zuckerberg's lawyer felt the need to point out a drug charge from 1997 kind of makes me wonder if there isn't some weight to this. That just seems very desperate... An attempt to discredit Ceglia based on character rather than case fact...


You think he wouldn't mention that to further discredit the complainant if he had a strong case? Lawyers are supposed

M_Lyons10 said,
The sheer fact that Zuckerberg's lawyer felt the need to point out a drug charge from 1997 kind of makes me wonder if there isn't some weight to this. That just seems very desperate... An attempt to discredit Ceglia based on character rather than case fact...
He's just doing it to prove he's worth the zillions of dollars Zuckerberg is paying him and show he's willing to go the extra mile. I really don't think a conviction for shrooms is going to discredit him that much. Come on, that's like getting caught with a joint.

Jenson said,
Dont think emails are going to be legally binding?

Yeah but the signed contact he "supposedly" has could be, even though it seems to be horriby written

Jenson said,
Dont think emails are going to be legally binding?
Actually they can be if you can show that both parties agreed to a set of terms and knowingly entered into an agreement. You can even use verbal agreements but those are very hard to prove unless you have something (such as an e-mail, voice-mail, notes, memos, letters, paid invoices, checks, etc.) that validates the agreement. I once had some legal matters with a former business partner and the e-mails and voice-mails were priceless. The only thing about this whole story is it doesn't sound like money ever exchanged hands so Zuckerberg could go to court saying it was all just "talk" but never anything serious. If money was exchanged then he's screwed.

Ok I just got done reading the whole court filing and Zuckerberg is screwed. Ceglia has a signed partnership contract with a witness, contributed payments of a few thousand dollars towards the development of facebook, and has the e-mails that outline them doing business together and eventually Zuckerberg lying to Ceglia telling him facebook was dead then turned around and incorporated a few days later. So yeah, it looks like Zuckerberg is screwed.