Face­book con­tests man’s claim to ma­jor­ity own­er­ship of site

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS & PERSONAL FINANCE - Com­piled from wire re­ports

Face­book Inc. will try to get a New York man’s claim for ma­jor­ity own­er­ship of the web­site thrown out of court, attorneys for the so­cial net­work­ing site said. A com­plaint by Paul Ceglia of Wellsville claims that a 7-yearold con­tract he signed with Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg for soft­ware devel­op­ment en­ti­tles him to 84 per­cent of the com­pany.

Ceglia at­tor­ney Ter­rence Con­nors said the two men met when Zucker­berg, then a Har­vard Uni­ver­sity fresh­man, re­sponded to an ad Ceglia had posted on Craigslist look­ing for some­one to de­velop soft­ware for a street-map­ping data­base he was cre­at­ing.

Zucker­berg of­fered to take on Ceglia’s project for $1,000, Con­nors said, and then told Ceglia about a project of his own, a kind of on­line year­book for Har­vard stu­dents that he wanted to ex­pand. Ceglia said he gave Zucker­berg an­other $1,000 to con­tinue work on Zucker­berg’s “The Face Book,” with the con­di­tion that Ceglia would own a 50 per­cent in­ter­est in the soft­ware and busi­ness if it ex­panded. The per­cent­age grew to 84 per­cent based on a clause that added a per­cent­age point for each day the project went past its Jan. 1, 2004, due date.

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