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Winklevoss twins  (Source:
After dropping the Supreme Court appeal yesterday, the Winklevosses took the case to federal court in Boston today

Remember when we all thought the Facebook feud between Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins was over? Well that was only yesterday, and we thought wrong. After dropping the Supreme Court appeal yesterday, the Winklevosses took the case to federal court in Boston today.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss went to Harvard University with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. When creating social networking site HarvardConnection (which was later renamed "ConnectU"), the Winklevosses had asked Zuckerberg to join their team after losing their programmer. He agreed and allegedly entered into an oral contract with the twins and their partner Divya Narendra. But over the following two months, Zuckerberg created his own social networking website called while corresponding with the Winklvosses and Narendra about HarvardConnection.

Zuckerberg's site launched on February 4, 2004. The Winklevosses found out about it two days later and filed a lawsuit later that year.

The Winklevosses won a $65 million settlement in 2008, but filed another lawsuit in 2010 claiming that a friend had lied about the value of Facebook. In April 2011, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski ruled that the Winklevosses must accept their previous settlement. 

The Winklevosses were then seeking Supreme Court review, but dropped it in a filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco yesterday. 

But apparently that wasn't the end of this drawn-out litigation. Today, the Winklevosses decided to ask a federal court in Boston whether Facebook "intentionally or inadvertently suppressed evidence" in regards to instant messages that were allegedly sent from Zuckerberg.

The instant messages the Winklevosses are referring to are those allegedly found in Zuckerberg's computer when Facebook's legal team conducted a search. One message outlined what he planned to do about HarvardConnection.

"I'm going to [expletive] them," wrote Zuckerberg. "They made a mistake haha. They asked me to make it for them. So I'm like delaying it so it won't be ready until after the Facebook thing comes out."

The Winklevosses noted that they wouldn't have settled for the original settlement had they known about the instant messages.

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RE: The more I hear about Zuckerberg...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2011 12:45:14 PM , Rating: -1

Oral contracts aren't legally binding. It's just 'he said they said'. Frankly I'm surprised that they were awarded 65 million with such little actual solid evidence. How much more do they want?

Zuckerberg created Facebook, that much isn't being disputed. These twins are just crying over sour grapes and exploiting his fortune.

RE: The more I hear about Zuckerberg...
By MrBlastman on 6/24/2011 1:04:14 PM , Rating: 4
Actually, Oral contracts are just as binding as written contracts. It all boils down to the principle of "Offer and Acceptance." Study up on your business law. If you make an Offer contingent on some form of consideration (such as money) upon acceptance, then both parties have entered into a legally binding contract.

There are some rare cases where a contract has to be in writing to be binding such as the sale of property (which requires a physical deed) to fulfill the obligation but these are few and far between.

Oral contracts are very real and very much a part of civil law.

RE: The more I hear about Zuckerberg...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: The more I hear about Zuckerberg...
By MrBlastman on 6/24/2011 1:21:00 PM , Rating: 4
You are confusing Criminal law with Civil law. They are two completely separate areas and the burden of proof in each is also completely different.

While yes, it is popular to say "innocent until proven guilty," it primarily applies to Criminal law as the burden of proof seeks to show guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

In Civil law, however, the burden of proof simply requires the plaintiff to convince the judge/jury that they are entitled to the relief they are seeking. They do not have to prove guilt at all.

Read about all this--I don't make it up. They are completely different areas of the legal system and rightly so, they serve completely different purposes. One seeks to incarcerate, penalize and rehabilitate an individual and the other simply seeks compensation for damages in a civil forum.

Oral contracts ARE valid. Do not try to dispute this until you can prove to me and everyone on here that the particular arrangement that the twins and Zuckerberg entered into could in no way be a valid contract unless it was entered into in a written fashion.

I really think you'll have a hard time doing so. Their agreement was basically an employment agreement--in this case, under a contractual 1099 basis. Zuckerberg was contracted under good faith to perform the work (programming) for the twins on their IP with the understanding that Zuckerberg would not use it for his own financial gain other than the money the twins paid him for his work. He violated this clearly by deceiving them of work being performed and then used their IP to formulate and create his own medium and platform that he could generate revenues from.

RE: The more I hear about Zuckerberg...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2011 1:47:50 PM , Rating: 1
I'm sorry but their position seems very suspect to me. They already settled! Maybe what you are saying is true, and it all would have come out had they held their heads up high and perused the case in court. But they chose to settle for a cash sum, which means, they have agreed to drop the charges.

Now they want to go back and say "Well, had we known all the evidence we wouldn't have settled". That just doesn't cut it, in my opinion. You GO to trial for all the evidence to be presented, it's very possible that had they chose not to settle, that evidence would have been presented and they could have possibly won the case.

They settled, they were ORDERED to accept the settlement by a judge. This matter should be done and over with at that point.

RE: The more I hear about Zuckerberg...
By MrBlastman on 6/24/2011 2:00:37 PM , Rating: 2
We'll have to see what the judge rules. In light of the new evidence, it does clearly place Zuckerberg in a more incriminating light as they are his own words, not heresay. I believe there are a few precedents where a ruling has been revisited due to new evidence being brought to the table but I believe these precedents deal with criminal trials and not civil matters.

It all boils down to the courts though, whether they will enforce the old ruling or not. The way I look at it, purely from a third person perspective is--let them. Zuckerberg should hang by his own words in this situation. Lets let Karma run its course.

Read up on the Business Law, btw. It is very interesting and enlightening.

RE: The more I hear about Zuckerberg...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2011 3:10:57 PM , Rating: 1
Karma and the Law have very little in common. Our system isn't based on people "getting" what we arbitrarily decide they deserve. I don't think I would like to live in that world.

You seem highly biased and, typically for DT, anti Facebook. That's fine I guess. But to say we should throw out a previous settlement in light of new "evidence" is very suspect. Right or wrong, when you agree to a settlement you are agreeing to drop your case out of a court for a sum of money. You speak of Karma, yet seem fine with two men going back and their word, breaking an agreement, and trying to squeeze even more money from someone.

Zuckerberg should hang by his own words in this situation.

He's not being put on trial for what he said. We've all said incriminating things, that's not illegal. The issue isn't whether or not Zuckerburg "stole" the Facebook idea. That issue died the minute they agreed to a settlement. Do you not understand that?

It all boils down to the courts though, whether they will enforce the old ruling or not.

That would seem to over-rule the judges decision to bind them to the agreed upon settlement, wouldn't it?

By MrBlastman on 6/24/2011 3:48:40 PM , Rating: 2
Sure they have little in common. What I want and what the law says are two completely different things. It is how it should be--and thussly so I can have my opinion and distance itself from what the Judge says--as I precluded my previous response it. ;)

I didn't say we "should" throw out the settlement, that's putting words in my mouth. I'm saying I'd like it if they did purely from an internal viewpoint (myself) but certainly respect the rule of law and what they may decide. We're like fans watching a game rooting for one side or the other, that is all.

You seem highly biased

I must admit you've called me out here. I am biased here as I feel Facebook is a waste of time, data and technological resources. There are many other means of communicating with "friends" (Facebook friends aren't really friends, especially when they approach the hundreds), first and foremost through the good old fashioned "voice" method (phonecall or in person).

As for them breaking their word/agreement--how is what they are doing any different than Zuckerberg shafting them in the first place. Karma. See? It is at work here. :) They had given up due to lack of material evidence and now they have some. Are you telling me that if you gave up and accepted a court ruling but later were presented with damning evidence that could definitively help your case that you wouldn't try plainly out of principle?

Litigious society steps beyond moral society as we so frequently see--and bear witness to the pure deterioration of humanity once we dwell within it. The object in question here is not a moral token but a physical one--money, and as you'll find the more years in life you witness, it is a powerful force.

Many would have a hard time not trying to go back with this new fact to try and leverage it more in their favor. Those who don't are extremely strong characters. They're pissed off, they want revenge, justice and blood and well, no fault to their human condition, want to do everything in their power to exact retribution upon Mark (and financial gain upon themselves).

I myself, I believe in sticking to what you say you're going to do--but this situation, it is quite emotional for them.

We'll see what the courts decide. I'm quite interested, indeed.

By gimmeagdlaugh on 6/24/2011 3:18:40 PM , Rating: 2

too much fb so didn't pass lsat?

Oral contracts aren't legally binding.

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