Facebook tries to fend off copyright-infringement claim

Former former classmates file copyright lawsuit

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will defend against copyright-infringement allegations on Wednesday, when his lawyers ask a judge to dismiss a complaint filed by three former classmates of Zuckerberg who say he stole the idea for the social-networking site while they attended Harvard University.

Brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra say Facebook was their idea and are asking a judge to give them all of the assets and ownership rights to the site, which could be worth several billion dollars.

In 2002, they say, they began developing a business plan for a Web site originally called the Harvard Connection and later renamed ConnectU. The next year they engaged Mark Zuckerberg to complete the computer program software and other work for the Web site. But they accuse Zuckerberg of using their ideas and code to launch Facebook before finishing the work he promised to do for ConnectU and claiming the idea as his own.

"Zuckerberg knowingly made false statement of intention when he agreed to create, complete, and/or provide source code to . . . the Harvard Connection website," the complaint states. "Zuckerberg never intended to provide the code and instead intended to breach his promise . . . and intended to steal the idea for the Harvard Connection website, and in fact he did so."

The court battle began in 2004, but the original complaint was dismissed -- reportedly because of a technicality -- on March 28. The legal merits of the case were never ruled upon, and Zuckerberg's former classmates refiled their complaint in U.S. District Court in Boston, where tomorrow's hearing will be held to consider Zuckerberg's motions to dismiss.

"Only one of [the students] had an idea significant enough to build a great company. That one person was Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the popular website, www.facebook.com," Zuckerberg's lawyers state in one of the motions.

Four of Zuckerberg's business partners are also listed as defendants, along with Facebook itself.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Brodkin

Network World

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?