Feeds

'I own half of Facebook', says New York fuel salesman

It's my book of face too... bitch!

Boost IT visibility and business value

New York firewood salesman Paul Ceglia filed a revised complaint against Facebook yesterday, in which the claimant said he had evidence that showed he was entitled to ownership of half of the social network.

Ceglia alleges he has email exchanges with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, where the two men discussed the terms of a 2003 contract and also talked about early development of the site, originally dubbed "The Face Book".

The revised filing was lodged yesterday in a federal court in Buffalo, New York, which happened to be the same day that the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, lost an appeal against an earlier settlement with Facebook, which granted them $20m in cash and $45m in the firm's shares.

In that separate case, the identical twins had claimed that Zuckerberg stole their idea for a website of Harvard alumni.

Privately-held Facebook, meanwhile, continues to deride Ceglia's claims against the world's biggest social networking site, which is said to be worth as much as $55bn.

"This is a fraudulent lawsuit brought by a convicted felon, and we look forward to defending it in court," the company's lawyer Orin Snyder told Bloomberg.

"From the outset, we've said that this scam artist's claims are ridiculous and this newest complaint is no better," he added.

Ceglia had initially hired Zuckerberg to do some computer coding for him in 2003 and paid the then 19-year-old boydroid $1,000 to do the work.

He claimed in an earlier suit that he later inked a contract with Zuckerberg in April 2003 to design a website called "The Face Book" or the "The Page Book" by 1 January 2004.

The deal allegedly granted Ceglia a 50 per cent stake in the business. He notched up 1 per cent for every day past the due date, which eventually led to his original 84 per cent claim against Zuckerberg.

In recent years, Ceglia has faced legal problems of his own, after the New York Attorney General took out a restraining order against his company, which markets wood-pellet fuel, in December 2009. Authorities claimed Ceglia lied and repeatedly took customers' money then failed to deliver goods or refunds.

According to his latest complaint against Facebook, Ceglia dropped his claim for the additional percentage, after Zuckerberg grumbled about the terms.

"Zuckerberg sent to Ceglia emails complaining that a provision in the agreement giving Ceglia an additional 1 percent interest in the business for each day after Jan 1, 2004 that 'The Face Book' website wasn’t complete, was unfair because it would give Ceglia more than 80 per cent ownership of the business, including thefacebook.com website," reads the filing. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.