updated 04:25 pm EDT, Mon July 23, 2007
Facebook founder lawsuit
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the ubiquitous Facebook social networking site, will this week defend himself against charges that he knowingly stole the concept from classmates at Harvard University. First begun in 2004, the lawsuit filed by Cameron Winklevoss, brother Tyler and Divya Narendra accuses Zuckerberg of having registered "thefacebook.com" on January 11th of 2004, three days after promising to help his peers with their own social networking site (now ConnectU). In the long run, say the accusers, Zuckerberg intended to deliberately stall his classmates, enabling him to launch Facebook six months in advance.
Facebook is in fact so similar to ConnectU that users can convert their profile directly from the former.
Should Narendra and the Winklevosses win the suit, they hope to claim control of Facebook and its assets, with extra money coming in the form of damage payments. Zuckerberg meanwhile denies having done anything wrong, and says he will ask for the case to be dismissed. Facebook representatives are quoted as saying that "Only one of (the students) had an idea significant enough to build a great company. That one person was Mark Zuckerberg." [via CTV]