Facebook submits ownership law evidence

Facebook submits ownership law evidence

By , Aug 18 in blog with 0 comments

Facebook thumb3 Facebook submits ownership law evidenceFacebook lawyers have revealed evidence they say proves a New York man fabricated a contract that he says entitles him to part ownership of the $US50 billion ($A47.68 billion) social network.

Included in an after-hours court filing is an image of a two-page contract signed by Paul Ceglia of Wellsville, New York, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, recovered by forensics experts from Ceglia’s computer.

The image is blurry and difficult to read but appears only to refer to a street-mapping database Ceglia hired Zuckerberg to work on in 2003 – and not Facebook.

Ceglia’s lawsuit against Zuckerberg is based on a contract that he says shows that when he hired Zuckerberg for the streets project, he also invested $1,000 in the then-Harvard University student’s fledgling Facebook idea on the condition he’d own half if it expanded.

From the beginning, Facebook has said the contract submitted by Ceglia was doctored. Now, lawyers said, they’ve got the original, retrieved from embedded electronic data.

Facebook alluded to the find as ‘smoking gun’ evidence in earlier court filings but was barred from publicly identifying it by a confidentiality order which has since been modified.

‘This smoking gun evidence confirms what defendants have said all along: the purported contract attached to the complaint is an outright fabrication,’ lawyer Orin Snyder of Gibson, Dunn Crutcher LLP, wrote on Monday.

Ceglia’s lawyer, Jeffrey Lake of San Diego, did not respond to an emailed request for comment from The Associated Press on Monday night. Ceglia is in Ireland, according to emails he’s written to his hometown newspaper, the Wellsville Daily Reporter.

In court papers filed last week, Ceglia’s lawyers took issue with Facebook’s claims that Ceglia had concealed certain documents.

‘No good-faith basis has been shown for such an accusation,’ Lake wrote.

He said Cegla had complied with the court’s instructions to turn over all of his computers and electronic media as part of the discovery process in the case.

Zuckerberg’s lawyers say six removable storage devices containing files entitled ‘Zuckerberg Contract’ and ‘Facebook Files’ are missing.

The lawyers are scheduled to appear before US Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio in Buffalo on Wednesday to argue a series of motions. Ceglia wants the judge to compel Facebook to turn over emails between Ceglia and Zuckerberg captured from Zuckerberg’s Harvard account from 2003 and 2004.

He’s also asked that the case be sent to mediation for possible settlement to avoid protracted proceedings.

Facebook wants the judge to require Ceglia to produce the original electronic version of the contract and other electronic files and to allow further ink sampling from a hard-copy version of the contract.

Zuckerberg’s lawyers oppose mediation as ‘pointless,’ saying the only resolution to the case they’re willing to accept is to see it thrown out.


About the author

 Facebook submits ownership law evidence Mike Andrew has been working with the Internet and small business for over 12 years. Mike has been a keynote speaker at conventions and seminars and conducted social media training sessions all over the world. Mike has an extensive media background having worked in electronic media for over 30 years. Mike specialises in social media and Internet marketing strategy, SEO techniques and search engine marketing campaigns. His articles appear on numerous blogs around the web as well as national magazines.

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