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Half-Ownership Claim against Facebook

Written by Inam Ali on 03 June 2011

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Once more Facebook is facing a claim of alleged ownership by a third party.

Mr Ceglia is claiming a 50% stake in the social networking site against the founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Ceglia has based his claim on a 2003 contract and e-mails between the two men, giving Ceglia half-ownership of the site with Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg has dismissed the claim as "forgeries". He admitted that he provided web development services to StreetFax in 2003, a business Ceglia was trying to start at the time, and that he signed a contract drafted by Ceglia, a wood pellet salesman, which referred only to the work he did for StreetFax. Zuckerberg said Facebook was never discussed, and no contract was signed in relation to it. Zuckerberg claims the alleged contract was a 'cut and paste' job and the emails were fabrications. His lawyers hope to use forensic testing to show that the documents are fakes if it can be proven that no DNA traces of Zuckerberg can be detected on the alleged Contract.

It will be interesting to see how this case progresses, and what tact the Facebook team will take, as in 2008, Facebook reached a settled with twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss who had claimed that Mr Zuckerberg stole their website idea while they were all students at Harvard. The settlement included $20m in cash and $45m of stock valued at $36 a share in Facebook.

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