A New York newspaper has discovered that a man in the suburb of Wellsvile, by the name of Paul D. Ceglia may own a 85% share of Facebook, in return for web design he did for the company years ago.
The Wellsville daily times reports that Ceglia has a civil law suit against Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ceglia claimed that seven years ago, in 2003, he signed a contract to develop a website -- he was to pay a $1000 fee, but recieve a fifty percent stake in the product, and that he would get an extra 1% interest every day the site was uncompleted after January 1st, 2004. He claims that he has rights to ownership in the company, as well as monetary damages.
The Wall Street Journal was also able to view a copy of the contract, and says the contract was "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 access to a Website similar to a live functioning yearbook with the working title of 'The Face Book.'"
Oddly enough this claim clashes with historical evidence of Facebook - the original domain name of 'The Face Book' was only registered in January 2004, and Zuckerberg was said to be working on another product called 'Facemash' during 2003.
A temporary restraint on Facebook moving its assets has also been put into place -- though Facebook does not believe this will affect the company, saying that "The order will not affect our ability to do business but we do not believe it is legally supported and we have moved to have it vacated," said Facebook's Barry Schnitt. Facebook believes that the lawsuit will blow over quickly, and a company spokesman for the company stated that "We believe this suit is completely frivolous and we will fight it vigorously."