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As a 22 year veteran of the intersection of media and technology (going back to the interactive video disc days) I have many views on the subject. Having been doing this for as long as I have, I have a different perspective on it than many bloggers. This is where I opine.

Entries in facebook (2)

Tuesday
Apr122011

Someone Else is Suing Facebook (and they're full of shit too)

So just as the Winklevoss thing dies down something else pops up.

Some guy from upstate NY claims that Mark sold him 50% of thefacebook.com in April of 2003. There's a few problems with that idea.

thefacebook.com was not registered until January of 2004. So we are expected to believe that Mark Zuckerburg was out there raising money for a company called thefacebook 9 months before he even bothered to register the domain name? Sorry, that is simply not believable. The first thing you do is make sure you grab the name you want.

The other issue is that if Ceglia's claims are true then the Winklevosses were totally and completely bluffing. Their claim which Facebook settled for $60 million was totally full of shit. If Mark had a single line of code written, or a single documented mention of thefacebook prior to meeting the twins in November of 2003 he could have had their claim summarily dismissed. Instead Facebook Inc litigated with these guys for five years and paid them $60 million.

 

 

 

Sunday
Aug122007

Facebook/ConnectU

The New York Times had a great article today about the ongoing ConnectU/Facebook kerfuffle (pdf). There are many lessons here for those starting up a technology company.

They quote R. Scott Feldmann, an intellectual property lawyer and a partner at Crowell & Moring.

Ideas, Mr. Feldmann explained, are protected either by trade-secret contracts or by patents and copyrights. “Trade secrets may be maintained indefinitely,” he said, but “it does not appear that ConnectU had Zuckerberg sign a nondisclosure agreement, and disclosing a trade secret to someone without doing so would ordinarily result in loss of any trade secret status.”

At the same time, Mr. Feldmann said, “copyright will not protect ideas themselves, only their expression” — in a Web site’s underlying source code, for instance. But if Mr. Zuckerberg was an unpaid, casual worker at ConnectU, and not an employee, then “he owns the code,” Mr. Feldmann said. Thus, even if the ConnectU plaintiffs can prove that the codes of two social networking sites were similar (an argument that Facebook seems confident it can refute), the Winklevosses might have no claims on Mr. Zuckerberg.

“On the surface, it appears ConnectU will have some challenges,” Mr. Feldmann said.

Given all the sturm und drang this case has kicked up on the blogosphere (now also in the offline press), the thing that keeps running through my head is the old Peggy Lee song...