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Winklevoss Twins To Continue Fighting Facebook 90

Posted by timothy
from the lifestyle-to-which-they've-become-accustomed dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Facebook's longest legal saga, which has lasted seven years so far, looked like it was finally closed, but that was just a false alarm. In a filing earlier this week with the federal court in San Francisco, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's former Harvard classmates Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss, who accuse him of stealing their idea for the social network, decided not to seek US Supreme Court review of the $65 million settlement made in 2008. Everyone thought this meant they had finally given up. It turns out that the twins have decided to keep fighting after all, just with a different lawsuit."
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Winklevoss Twins To Continue Fighting Facebook

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  • by JamesP (688957) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @08:35AM (#36567446)

    Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational lawyer station

    No Love

    Emperor Zuckerberg

    No, really, I'm expecting something like this. They got away with 65million already.
    It's a failure of settlement they were allowed to sue again and keep the settlement

    Now really I'm rooting for Mark to wipe the floor with them.

    • Re:Dear Winklevii (Score:4, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday June 25, 2011 @08:41AM (#36567480) Homepage Journal

      "got away with"? Zuckerberg got away with his crime for a pittance of a payment in stock, and he allegedly accomplished this on the back of another crime. Rooting for Mark is like rooting for Darth Vader because some Rebel made a bad pun.

      • Re:Dear Winklevii (Score:4, Insightful)

        by JamesP (688957) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @08:46AM (#36567506)

        If the WV had been capable of doing Facebook they would have done facebook!

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          A court obviously felt that there was merit to the claim, because they wouldn't have got a settlement otherwise. If you know you're going to successfully defend against a frivolous lawsuit by someone with some money to cover legal costs you go to court, you don't settle. The claim was not that they did facebook, so your comment is devoid of content.

          • by GFLPraxis (745118) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @09:11AM (#36567692) Homepage Journal
            Do you know what a settlement is?
            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Do you know what a settlement is?

              Yes, it's where you agree to cough up money without a verdict, or possibly without even trying a case, because you know you are going to lose. Presumably Zuckerberg also understands this. Do you?

              • by Rogerborg (306625)
                Didn't we just have one our patented (pun indented) nerd frenzies over a chap settling a copyright lawsuit even though he (says) he would have won in court? Maybe you should have commented there.
                • by drinkypoo (153816)

                  Not too interested in what people say any more. By their actions shall you know them. He knew he would lose. When you know you can win you can find a lawyer because they like money.

              • Actually, I'm pretty sure a settlement is where you bribe the plaintiff to leave you alone for less than the cost of your defense (aka army of high paid lawyers). Doesn't really have anything to do with what you think the verdict might turn out to be, which is random at best regardless of the truth the opposing councils have sworn to seek.
                • Settlements aren't only made when they think the cost of fighting it in court would be cheaper than settling.

                  Most cases aren't slam dunk in either direction. If what was depicted in the movie was accurate then it's not unlikely that the twins had a decent chance of winning. An argument that Zuckerberg was leading them on as an attempt to develop his own version of a social network and stall possible competition seems reasonable.

                  If they won they could win a lot more than $65 million. I don't know what the or

                  • I actually said that. I hinted around about the fact that the outcome can rarely be foreseen beforehand. But I think the most likely of the choices were along the lines of: Z: my defense would cost more than this, fuck it, give them $60 rather than risk losing. And W: I doubt I can win this, I might as well take the $60 and then go back on the agreement and try to get it jammed in the court again to try to make maybe another $60 even if my arguments are pure bs and likely to get thrown out.

                    I have li

                    • I actually said that.

                      Maybe you did. But what you typed was not anywhere close to that.

                    • Are you sure? "Most cases aren't a slam dunk in either direction" and "random at best" seem pretty similar to me. In any case, I expect we mostly agree if the text gets long enough, so it seems like a silly argument to have.
                • by osgeek (239988)

                  Exactly right. A settlement is in no way, shape, or form an admission of guilt or even an acknowledgement that the suit had merit. It's just handing someone some money so they'll shut up and you can continue to run your business.

              • Yes, it's where you agree to cough up money without a verdict, or possibly without even trying a case, because it is cheaper then trying the case in court.

                Fixed that for ya.

      • Re:Dear Winklevii (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 25, 2011 @08:53AM (#36567562)

        "Teacher, teacher! That big meanie head stole my idea!"

        Ideas are a dime a dozen. To get actual value requires--gasp--actual work. Get over it, move on, and learn how to implement your own ideas instead of being useless business majors.

      • What crime? Good for him, they just want to latch onto his good idea.
      • So by settling with the Winklevoss Twins he has made them more powerful than he could possibly imagine?
    • Re:Dear Winklevii (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @08:57AM (#36567584)

      It's a battle between 2 millionaire douchebags from a privileged background, I'm amazed people would root for one over the other. Screw all of them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This seems like incompetent negotiations on the part of Zuck. The whole point of giving them $65M is that the twins go away and don't bother him again. There should be a clause that specifies "no more lawsuits".

    • by jd2112 (1535857)

      It's kind of like a recent news story in which the Ku Klux Klan was protesting the Westborugh 'Baptist' 'church' (quotes included because I don't believe they qualify as either.) There is sinply no way to pick a 'lesser' evil.

  • Can't they just be happy with what they've already won and go home?
    • by jd2112 (1535857)

      Can't they just be happy with what they've already won and go home?

      They appear to be students of the Larry Ellison school of thought: "You don't really win unless everyone else looses."

    • This is just the classic case of each side wanting what the other believes they don't deserve. In the end, shareholders and lawyers win as they always seem to do, and we win because we get to laugh at these wastes of space and not have to deal with the crap they do.

      The moral of this story is, "Given enough time, those who set out to destroy themselves eventually do."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    These guys are so money hungry, they should work for the RIAA
    • by Twinbee (767046)

      At first I thought that. But we don't know if they're fighting out of principle because of the supposed evilness that Facebook has done to them. I don't know how much the twins contributed to the whole thing, or what the terms of their stock were, but it could be a good thing if they win, since it will encourage other companies not to be so apparently evil.

  • by g0bshiTe (596213) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @08:47AM (#36567532)
    Seriously how did he steal their idea? When they came up with it, they couldn't have gotten it off the ground then? Did he beat them in building the site first? They couldn't have created their idea still? This seems frivolous to me. It's not like he stole their idea for a physical object and then patented the idea so they could never make it.
    • by myowntrueself (607117) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @09:20AM (#36567754)

      Seriously how did he steal their idea? When they came up with it, they couldn't have gotten it off the ground then? Did he beat them in building the site first? They couldn't have created their idea still? This seems frivolous to me. It's not like he stole their idea for a physical object and then patented the idea so they could never make it.

      They had an idea for a site. He made them think that he was working on that site for them. Meanwhile he was working on a similar site for himself, a site which would have been competing with the site he was supposed to be building for them. He stalled them and effectively strangled their project from the inside.

      Its a fairly obvious scam when you think about it, a kind of 'denial of service'.

      What he should have done is tell them "no, I'm not going to be working for you, you will have to hire someone else." Had he done this and had they hired someone else its possible that their site would have launched ahead of his and he would have faced real competition.

      Maybe he wouldn't be the billionaire he is today had he not pulled off this scam.

      • by JamesP (688957)

        He stalled them and effectively strangled their project from the inside.

        Its a fairly obvious scam when you think about it, a kind of 'denial of service'.

        Well, he was hired as a consultant, so it kind of makes sense.

        Sorry, couldn't resist.

      • by Rogerborg (306625)
        And "he was working" on means "he hired a guy to do it, but didn't pay him". Allegedly. The guy is the ultimate... executive.
      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        what? did you just crawl out from under a rock?

      • by xnpu (963139)

        When someone doesn't deliver you cancel the contract according to whatever the terms agreed were. This happens all the time. Many people learn from their boss only to open shop themselves as soon as they can. I think that's quite common too.

        The Winkeldudes not handling these two very common issues well really just show their lack of experience. I don't like Suckingberg one bit, but I don't see why he owes them anything.

    • by chrismcb (983081)
      As I understand it, they hired him to write the site. He claimed he was, and then released it as his own. Imagine if you had an awesome idea for a car. You hire a craftsmen to help you build it. The guy likes your idea and says it is good and will build it for you for a small fee. He goes off and starts working on it. You communicate regularly, he tells you it is coming along. 6 months (or a year, whatever) later he says he is almost done with your product. Then he releases your product to the public as hi
  • 65 Million ought to be enough for ANYBODY!!

    • by Macrat (638047)

      65 Million ought to be enough for ANYBODY!!

      I wonder how much that is after legal fees and taxes. 20-40% left afterwards?

      • by Announcer (816755)

        I would be insanely happy to take home 10% of that, are ya kidding me?! That would be enough for LIFE! My wife and I would also use it to help our families... bigtime... and STILL have PLENTY for ourselves!

  • by hsmith (818216) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @09:01AM (#36567614)
    Why does anyone seem to care?
    • by Macrat (638047)

      Why does anyone seem to care?

      The enemy of my enemy...

    • by Roduku (950552)
      Thank you. That's exactly what I was thinking. Then again, maybe it'll cause Facebook to be shut down. If that's the case, I hope they sue the shit out of him and end the most obnoxious creation on the internet.
    • This is important as it decides their fate at the hands of a poor angry mob. The winner is hunted like in the 1966 movie "The Naked Prey". The loser is killed and sent to the taxidermist to be mounted in a feral geek pose and displayed in the museum of rich assholes next to Larry Ellison.
    • Why does anyone seem to care?

      I hope you mean "don't care" in the sense that it shouldn't be news, rather than "don't care" in the sense that it's not legally significant. I'm going to address the second one because it's what I see most people mean when they say this.

      I care if some rich person gets cheated out of his money, because laws should be applied fairly and equally whether they are rich or not. If we start with "he's rich so I don't care if he gets what he is allegedly legally entitled to" then how do you think a legislative w

  • These two geniuses are really identical morons. They should have had him sign a non-disclosure/non-compete agreement acknowledging the intellectual property they think they had. We would not be even discussing this now.

    Furthermore, we have to acknowledge ideas grow and change; their original idea may have been similar to whatever Mark created, but it changed as soon as he started working on it. Sometimes we call these changes changes, or scope creep, or just evolution. But they always change, especial
    • Also if they had discuss wages and the ownership split with Mark they might of got him on board with ConnectU. If he had an honest stake in their company then maybe he wouldn't have betrayed them. They were expecting free work from an underclassmen like they got with the last sucker.
  • ...if only because of the endless puerile mirth to be obtained from a social networking site called "Winklebook".

  • After all, their lawyers are the only ones with something to gain in this case.

  • Seriously, after this long of being a thorn its time to put them out of the picture. Especially since they were offered more money to go away than they could ever figure out what to do with.

  • Does this mean we'll have a sequel for The Social Network?
  • The Winklevoss twins offer no contract, no NDA and no reason not to work for a competitor. They had nothing to stop him from stealing their ideas. Ideas aren't copyrightable. They're easy to come up with. It's execution that matters.

    Now these guys had money, or at least access to money. The could easily have hired a coder, full time, got a site together in a month. Maybe nothing amazing but it would have done the job, and been first to market and that's what's important.

    They made a bad Business d
  • That's just pure greed IMO.

    Seriously, that amount is around what, 50-60 times what the average north-american worker will earn in his *whole life*...

    (Why anyone would even *need* more than that is beyond me.)

    Even after taxes and everything, let's say even 20M $, just the interests on that will allow anyone to never worry about being able to afford something. Heck, just gimme 1M , and I'm retiring at 40...

    • by euroq (1818100)

      What you are implying is that it is OK to steal from rich people because they have lots of money. I know that's probably not something you agree with, but that is the result of letting somebody steal something from you and then saying they shouldn't fight back for it because they already have more money than most others.

  • " Everyone thought this meant they had finally given up. It turns out that the twins have decided to keep fighting after all, just with a different lawsuit." " Should be..." Everyone thought this meant the winklevoss's had given up, it turns out that the twins have deicded to keep fighting suckerberg after all, in a different lawsuit." Or something like that...

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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