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Facebook: We Have Proof Ceglia's Contract Is Fake

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    They must have partied hard if they can't find the contracts defining the ownership of a company like Facebook.

    • by deains (1726012) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @04:58PM (#37016872)
      They just forgot to tag themselves when they uploaded it.
    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @05:26PM (#37017078)

      Here's what I understand: Back in 2003, Celigia contracted Zuckerberg to code for his website which was not related to Facebook. Celigia and Zuckerberg do not dispute that they had a contract. Zuckerberg does not have a copy of this contract. Celigia says his version of the contract which he "found" last year says that he (Celigia) is entitled to 85% of Facebook because the clauses of the contract which say Celigia got a percentage of Facebook for every day Zuckerberg was late with his work. Zuckerberg was late completing his work.

      I found it suspicious that Celigia forgot for years that he owned a majority of Facebook. The other thing that is suspicious is the contract calls for Zuckerberg to surrender ownership of Facebook if he was late. Normally penalties are assessed in monetary values because Celigia is sacrificing hard cash for ownership of a company not related to his business nor guaranteed to bring in future money. It is also not clear whether Celigia knew about the existence of Facebook as it was much smaller back.

      • I found it suspicious that Celigia forgot for years that he owned a majority of Facebook. The other thing that is suspicious is the contract calls for Zuckerberg to surrender ownership of Facebook if he was late. Normally penalties are assessed in monetary values because Celigia is sacrificing hard cash for ownership of a company not related to his business nor guaranteed to bring in future money. It is also not clear whether Celigia knew about the existence of Facebook as it was much smaller back.

        It's hard to believe that Zuckerberg acted in the way that Ceglia claimed. It's not a question of character- Zuckerberg's dealings with the Winklevoss twins suggest he's a tough businessman, maybe even a ruthless one- it's one of competency. Whatever you think of the guy as a person, he managed to start a company in his dorm room and turn it into an internet giant valued at tens of billions of dollars, one that even Google has struggled to compete with. So whatever else he may or may not be, Zuckerberg's cl

      • by sribe (304414)

        Your understanding is mostly correct, with the exception of one detail: Celigia lost in court once, and only after having his case thrown out for total lack of evidence, did he then "remember" this contract and come back with it for another try.

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      Facebook was worthless at the time. Kids don't have the greatest filing habits.

  • Now it comes down to (Score:3, Informative)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @04:51PM (#37016818) Journal
    Now it comes down to who can make a better forgery. Or who needs to.
    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      I wonder why in this day and age cryptographic signature is not more prevalent.
      • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Sunday August 07, 2011 @05:48PM (#37017182) Homepage

        Because the people whose job it is to determine what is authentic in the world of documents are mostly officials who have only just come to terms with fax machines.

        • Parent should be modded "Insightful" rather than "Funny."

  • Again! (Score:5, Funny)

    by cultiv8 (1660093) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @04:56PM (#37016850) Homepage

    Ceglia’s lawyers are claiming the “authentic contract” is shielded from use in the suit because it is designated as “confidential” under the rules of an agreement between the two parties. Facebook is asking the federal judge overseeing the case in New York to overrule that designation.

    Damn Zuckerberg, it must be hard to actually *ask* people if you can change their priva... I mean, overrule their confidentiality settings.

    • Re:Again! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee (775178) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @05:32PM (#37017112) Homepage

      So it's a contract so confidential that it cannot be legally enforced?

      • The tale of the contract that cannot be enforced, for it contains the the name that must not be spoken, it is written on the parchment that cannot be seen, and was signed with the pen of ink that does not dry, by mysterious and powerful figures in a darkened room on a moonless night at the stroke of midnight!

        • by JamesP (688957)

          Yeah, I think Zuckberg signed one of those in a moonless night.

          And after that, proceeded to cross the other party on that contract.

    • Do Ceglia's lawyers not know that you can mark stuff as confidential so that only the lawyers, judge, and jury can see it? How can it be more confidential than that?
  • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @04:57PM (#37016862) Journal
    that Ceglia is just looking for a settlement.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      its because he is. i live in wellsville, everyone around here knows that man is a POS. he's been caught scamming people many times before

    • That's how the "game" is played. It's not like some judge is going to say "well, this evidence means that 30% of the company is now his". This is the same as the Winklevy twins -- they were somewhere within farting distance of zuckerberg when he started stealing peoples' informat....erm, I mean, started facebook, and they want cash. So far at least 2 parties have managed to get hush-money out of him, so why not try again?
  • by salesgeek (263995) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @05:00PM (#37016882) Homepage

    From the last paragraph of the article:

    Facebook says all the evidence required to prove Ceglia’s contract is a forgery is in his computers and hard drives.

    Wow.

    • Strictly speaking, this doesn't contradict the headline. The headline merely states that "We Have Proof Ceglia's Contract Is Fake", it doesn't say "and we have it right here". The proof could be on Mars, for all we know. They just said "We Have Proof", they didn't say what the location of the proof is.

      Seriously though, facebook had to respond somehow. Not saying anything would have seemed suspicious. Even if this is just an ad hominem ("Facebook insists Ceglia is a known con artist. Ceglia, as has been we
      • by salesgeek (263995)

        it gives the media something to chew on.

        Right up to the part where someone in the media bothers to read the article they were handed.

        • They couldn't care less. They want clicks, and this headline achieved that purpose. When they got the claim from Ceglia, it just gave them an excuse to stick a microphone in facebook's...um..."face", and await their reaction. It doesn't matter if the reaction made sense, just that there is a reaction, which they can now post. I'm sure that if you posed the question to them, they'd say "it's our job/responsibility to report".
      • by 7-Vodka (195504)
        If it's not in an accessible location then they don't have it.

        "We have proof" is very well accepted to mean that the person is IN POSSESSION of such evidence AND prepared to show it.

    • (putting on tinfoil hat)

      How does FB know that all evidence required to prove it's a forgery is on his computer?

      • by black3d (1648913)

        Because they actually have the evidence. The issue is that it can't be released because they agreed the contents of his computers was confidential. They're now asking for that finding to be overturned so they can release the documents.

        • by salesgeek (263995)

          They're now asking for that finding to be overturned so they can release the documents.

          It looks like Facebook's lawyers found a document that is better for Facebook in an area that was off limits for discovery as agreed by both parties. It's going to be sad if this case turns on Ceglia outlawyering Facebook over discovery. We'll see how it goes in the hearing.

          • by jamesh (87723)

            It looks like Facebook's lawyers found a document that is better for Facebook in an area that was off limits for discovery as agreed by both parties.

            which can almost be reduced to:

            Lawyer: Objection!
            Judge: On what grounds?
            Lawyer: The truth is really damaging to my case!

            • by Ambvai (1106941)

              Phoenix Wright, is that you?

            • by salesgeek (263995)

              Lawyer: The truth is really damaging to my case!
              Probably, but you never know. Funny thing how evidence can look very damning until related facts come out. I absolutely hate it when litigants drop stuff like this to the press because it gives the appearance that the case will be easily won... which usually does not follow in the courtroom (see the SCO Novell dustup). If you have the upper hand far better to just be quiet, wait until AFTER the hearing on the 17th and then have a little press conference AFTER

      • Presumably the way Facebook lawyers are hinting, the evidence was found on the HDs that Celigia had to turn over. However, Celigia is marking whatever evidence as "confidential" and FB wants this designation changed so that they can release it public. I assume that Celigia left another copy of this contract on his HD that is significantly different than the version he released publicly.
        • by jonbryce (703250)

          The computer hard drive may well contain correspondence with his lawyer, which is legally privileged and can't be shown in court. I think that is most likely the issue.

      • Apparently Ceglia posted on his FB page, 'Lolz, shopping zoidberg's contracts, I am teh 733tz0r!'
  • This again... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by derGoldstein (1494129)
    Isn't it interesting that whenever there's a new development in the "facebook chronicles", somebody "finds" some new documents? It's like this is some archeological expedition, and every now and then one of the people carefully excavating the digsite finds a piece of pottery and says "Hey guys! Look what I found! It's got writings on it!". Then facebook has to defend itself, so it sends its own archeologists to the deep dark dungeons of their corporate basement and they come back with a carbon-dated bit of
    • by sgbett (739519)

      Are these stone tablets? Are we in Narnia?

    • Or you could read the article and realize that the place the facebook lawyers are searching for their evidence is on Ceglia's computer, which he has provided due to a court order.
  • And I just now found my copy. He left me everything.
    • by syousef (465911)

      And I just now found my copy. He left me everything.

      I found you! Your the one who owes us for 60 years of storage of one large wooden aircraft!

  • by gfody (514448)
    Ceglia invested $1,000 in 2003 and is now expecting a 25,000,000% return on his investment. Get in line, Ceg [quora.com] even expecting your $1,000 back would be unreasonable.
    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Why the nerve of asking profits from investments! Don't investors know they're only entitled to profits if the profits are very small?
      Assuming the increasing unlikeliness of Ceglia actually having invested.

  • When ever (Score:4, Funny)

    by JustOK (667959) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @05:32PM (#37017104) Journal

    Whenever I see Zuckerberg, I think Zoidberg, and it all kinda makes sense.

  • Does it matter? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BlackRabbitWhite (2359384) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @05:52PM (#37017194)
    I don't see why people care about Facebook's legal battles anymore. It's not going to really change anything one way or another. Facebook wins, then there might be an appeal, if they lose there might be an appeal, and either way it's about money that none of us will ever see, and a decision that will not effect our lives in any way significant or insignificant.
    • I personally wouldn't feel bad if Zuckerberg loses it all. I don't like what he's done with it. And it's not like he'll run out of money or anything.
  • I find it strange that, if Ceglia forged the version of the contract on which he is relying in court, he kept around old versions or word processor change logs or whatever it is that Facebook has found. He doesn't seem to be the kind of naive non-technical user who wouldn't think of such things.
    • Maybe Celigia isn't extremely tech savvy enough to know that deleting a file doesn't mean the file is gone forever or that caches can exist or that he had another copy in a different folder he forgot about.
    • by johnnyb (4816)

      I wouldn't expect intelligence agencies to be "naive non-technical" workers either, but in the UK numerous government secrets were released accidentally, because the agency simply changed the background color to black for top-secret data [telegraph.co.uk], and then published it to the web.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Under Jewish contract law, only one copy of any contract may be produced, and it must be written in an extremely strict, tamper-proof manner. This is intended to prevent just this type of contract-forgery claim.

    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      And it is against the law to forge a contract in the US, that law would not keep a dishonest person from creating a forged contract because by definition the dishonest person is breaking the law.
  • I have a dedicated file tote for all important legal contracts with my signature on them. I would think anyone with half a brain would keep copies of something as important as a business contract. WTF?
    • by dcollins (135727)

      Thinking that legally-signed contracts make a difference (and spending time organizing them) may be part of the reason why you're not a billionaire. And same for me.

      • Hah! True that. I'll get my team of lawyers to draw me up some documents this afternoon, just for the hell of it...
  • Facebook will soon be irrelevant. People will migrate to other services, probably Google+. We've seen it happen before: myspace, hi5 etc. I give it 2 more years before it fades away.

    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      We've seen it happen before: myspace, hi5 etc.

      I haven't. Looks like they both still have an healthy amount of users on both too?

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