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Winklevoss twins  (Source: momdot.com)
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 thefacebook.com 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: 65 mil and growing
By cjohnson2136 on 6/24/2011 3:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
3. "Harvard Connection" doesn't seem to have world wide mass appeal like Facebook. We simply cannot say someone "got rich" off "their idea" when it's clear their idea wasn't going in the same direction as Zuckerburg's.


Except you don't know the direction they were heading. thefacebook started as harvard only and then slowly expanded. You don't know that the twins might have thought "hey let's rename and expand"

quote:
1. Facebook wasn't their "idea". Harvard Connection was. Which we can't prove would have been exactly like Facebook, and neither can the twins.


Zuckerburg was brought on to the idea to make the Harvard Connection. Why would he have made the Harvard Connection any different from thefacebook? He would of done the same thing but with the name being Harvard Connection.

quote:
He wasn't "hired", it was a verbal agreement. There was no contract or express terms dictating Zuckerbergs responsibilities in this regard.


Verbal agreement I will agree with you on that one. Is it a low blow and really unhanded of Zuckerberg to do Heck yes.

But I do think that these IM logs showing that Zuckerberg was deliberately screwing the twins over should be brought back to court.


RE: 65 mil and growing
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2011 3:19:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Except you don't know the direction they were heading. thefacebook started as harvard only and then slowly expanded. You don't know that the twins might have thought "hey let's rename and expand"


We don't know either. Because they dropped their case and SETTLED out of court. So it's a moot point.

quote:
Zuckerburg was brought on to the idea to make the Harvard Connection. Why would he have made the Harvard Connection any different from thefacebook? He would of done the same thing but with the name being Harvard Connection.


That's pure speculation. You can't say that, with any certainty, their ideas were just TheFacebook with a different name. We can surmise that Zuckerburg got an idea for a social site from them, but that's as far as we can go because, again, the case was dropped and settled out of court. We don't have the facts.

quote:
But I do think that these IM logs showing that Zuckerberg was deliberately screwing the twins over should be brought back to court.


I agree that's what they look like, or at least, that he was bragging to someone to that effect. But in my mind, it doesn't even matter. They settled for a cash sum, and to go back now and say this somehow changes the entire settlement is bogus in my opinion. Utterly bogus.


RE: 65 mil and growing
By rdawise on 6/24/2011 5:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer your argument would be right...if they actually AGREED to the settlement. The settlement was forced upon them after appeals.


RE: 65 mil and growing
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2011 6:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
I've never heard of a forced settlement. Nobody put a gun to their head and made them become multi-millionaires.


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