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Winklevoss Twins Finally Give Up Fighting Facebook 160

An anonymous reader writes "Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's former Harvard classmates Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss, who accuse him of stealing their idea for the social network, have decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court. In a filing today with the federal court in San Francisco, the duo said that after 'careful consideration,' they decided not to seek Supreme Court review of the $65 million settlement."
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Winklevoss Twins Finally Give Up Fighting Facebook

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  • First! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    First! Unless Mark wants it instead... I could use $65M

  • by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:18PM (#36536826)

    and bought my own tropical island to live on.

    • Maybe if you copyright that idea and sue the Winklevii when they do something that sounds similar (to someone who has no idea about islands) then you can have a couple million for yourself.
    • by LS ( 57954 )

      These guys never had a problem getting to a tropical island, so this was not about getting enough money to retire.

    • Actually if the settlement is all in the form of cash, they may end up making more money than pretty much anyone else in the organization, they really should consider themselves lucky.
      • It's too late for the advice "say thank you" or "and then shut up" to do any good. But cash the checks, put some of it in diversified investments where you'll have a safe income stream for life, blow some of it drinking rum on tropical islands, and then either shut up or go invent something else new and cool.

    • This one [] is within their settlement price and looks a hell of a lot nicer than having to deal with lawyers and talk about Zuckerman.
  • by IvyMike ( 178408 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:20PM (#36536848)
    Dude, the preferred nomenclature is "Winklevii".
  • Thank Goodness! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:21PM (#36536856) Journal
    I've been having a hard time sleeping at night, with all this uncertainty as to which set of narcissistic pricks would end up minting a giant pile of pretend internet money during the fools-from-their-money-parted IPO... I feel so much better now that the matter is settled.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:28PM (#36536918)

      Normally jealousy is unbecoming, but it looks fabulous on you.

      • Normally jealousy is unbecoming, but it looks fabulous on you.

        For all you know, fff is worth more than the settlement. But he's right: it's really hard to feel very sorry for anyone involved in this mess.

      • Pretty sure this is more "Who cares" than "I'm envious."
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

      You mean you don't feel sorry for a couple of himbo pretty-boys who never had to work a day in their lives and were raised with silver spoons in their mouths? I mean come on, don't tell me that if you went to a college that your dad bought you into even though you're as dumb as a rock, only to have some greedy jew steal your vague idea and make money off of it without giving you a big chunk of it for doing nothing, that you wouldn't be pissed off too. Without those millions, there is the slight possibility

  • by Darth_brooks ( 180756 ) <> on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:22PM (#36536862) Homepage

    In ten or so years when Facebook goes the way of AOL (Because, lets be honest, facebook will somehow die. Eventually.) the Winkelvoss twins will be the ones who came out ahead.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Would Facebook then be the first company in history to die without its top executives cashing out and retiring rich?

    • What makes that the "plus side?"
      • What makes that the "plus side?"

        Two negatives make a positive, I guess. Actually in this case, it's three negatives, so that would make it double-plus good. Or something.

        • Three negatives goes back to being a negative. Don't you remember anything from Middle School Math?
          • Well, you are assuming we are dealing with some subset of the real numbers. I prefer to do all of my work using modular arithmetic, in which case it is possible to add or multiply three negatives and get a positive...and where your "negatives" are also "positives."
    • by Anonymous Coward

      No way will it still be around in ten years. I'd be surprised if anyone still remembers it in three years. Right now, someone, somewhere is putting the finishing touches on the code of the Next Big Thing.

      • No way will it still be around in ten years. I'd be surprised if anyone still remembers it in three years. Right now, someone, somewhere is putting the finishing touches on the code of the Next Big Thing.

        Probably not here in the U.S., not with the patent system in general (and software and business-method patents in particular) suppressing anyone that farts even the slightest hint of innovation or disruptive tech. There's a reason there haven't been any more Googles lately.

      • Correct me if I'm wrong but hasn't there already been 2 or 3 "Next Big Things" that facebook beat out? The problem isn't innovation, capabilities or style, its that everyone is on facebook becase... everyone is on facebook. Sure you might get a hipster-esk crowd to jump to the new one to say "I was there BEFORE it was cool" but unless the masses follow suit it is doomed to fail quickly.

        The only way out of the loop that I see is someone deriving a new business model to maintain themselves while struggling
        • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

          Yeah, but "everyone" was on Myspace as well when Facebook beat them into the ground. The hard part is trying to picture what sort of service would have enough things better than Facebook to get a lot of people to move over to it.

          • And that's sort of another thing facebook has going for it. As crappy as the API is most developers looking to cache in on the social networking scheme see a greater opportunity tying in their idea to facebook rather than trying to compete with it.
            • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

              Well yeah. I'm sure when "Web 2.0" happened, businesses were racking their brains figuring out how to do the whole "social" thing. Now it amounts to "Put this Facebook/Twitter/Stumbleupon/etc. button on your page." It's a ready-made social network that's easy to integrate with. And yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition. Fuck the police.

    • by rssrss ( 686344 )

      "the Winkelvoss twins will be the ones who came out ahead."

      Only if they cash out before the crash.

      "Timing is Everything" -- Andre Agassi

    • I doubt it... You don't think Zuckerberg will be a billionaire? Even besides your death prediction (which I'm suspicious is colored with bias and perhaps a desire that Facebook dies soon), you don't think anyone else there has already made it?

    • How, exactly? Zuckerberg has a property that is worth a lot of money, and may cash in on it at any time between now and its demise to such an extent as to ensure that he and several generations of his family remain filthy rich, and indeed has been cashing in on it. The Winklevii will have what? Their bitterness (mistakenly) vindicated?

      • by Evets ( 629327 ) *

        Because eventually, facebook will go the way of MySpace, Friendster, et all, and completely lose it's value. Whereas the Winklevii will have cash that they pulled out of facebook, zuckerberg will have a lot of paper that's worth nothing.

        • by jjohnson ( 62583 )

          Did you know that Friendster has 125 million active users still?

          It's a little nuts because it's dead in North America, but it's going strong in southeast Asia, and is a very viable business still. Frequently we tend to equate Internet popularity with business success, and the reverse, but neither are very strong correlations.

        • Where do you think that $65 million came from and why don't you think Zuckerberg hasn't already pulled out many times that amount for himself?

          AOL, Myspace, and Friendster are far from worthless. They are still billion-dollar and hundred-million dollar companies. and even if Facebook fades in to obscurity it will still have been a billion-dollar company. Eventually everything loses its value, but that doesn't stop people from getting filthy rich, as the founders of all those companies had. Why don't you thin

    • ...and every investment adviser in the world would tell him to diversify his assets.

      He takes 5% of his current net worth and sticks it in a global property portfolio, another 5% in an index fund, and maybe 2% in cash and other liquid assets, and even if Facebook dies tomorrow he's still an extraordinarily rich man.

      For that matter, the Winklevoss twins are also extraordinarily rich, and will remain so.

    • facebook will somehow die

      I agree. And not somehow, but of complete and utter apathy. Social networking as a viable business model is not the "hot new thing" it was 5 years ago. I can't believe Facebook is still chugging along now. I don't see it still around at the level it is currently in 5 years.

      • by Anrego ( 830717 ) *

        I agree facebook will die (and for the love of the great fire cactus I hope it's soon) .. but social networking isn't going anywhere.

        It may not be the "hot new thing", but I'd say at this point it's like search. People have gotten a taste for it, and unless something else comes along that totally changes everything, we are just going to see one social networking system replaced with another.

    • by oztiks ( 921504 )

      If we're talking technology FaceBook it will die the same way IRC died, something fresher and hotter will be on its way soon enough.

      Home entertainment and Internet, webcam and VoIP. All you need is just the bottle of your favorite drink, sit down on the couch and you could have yourself fairly compelling social gathering, sheesh most SmartPhones these days carry all these components. If you think of the possibilities, virtual nightclubs, parties, the sky's the limit. Throw a few bits of profile matching stu

    • I'm only guessing of course, but Facebook will probably have and IPO. Some time after that there will be several unlocks of the insider shares and there will probably be several new multi millionares running about.
    • Has anyone else noticed the trend of LARGE corporations, like McDonald's, Coca-Cola, etc, not only having their own WEBsites, but ALSO "Like us on Facebook" in their own ads? Did we see this kind of trend with MySewer? No. It is almost as though Facebook is becoming a "second Internet" of sorts.

      Advertisers are flocking to Facebook because it has a very effective advertising model. (I know, I have used it!) It combines the best of all features. Everything from extremely focused, targeted adverts with broad-s

  • by nighty5 ( 615965 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:22PM (#36536868)
    1) intend to launch a social network based on academia but do hardly anything
    2) ???
    3) profit!
    • I think we know what Step #2 and #3 are

      2) Sue

      3) Sue Again!

    • Your comments are of course based on the movie rather than the facts.
      • ...and your comment is based on what, exactly?
      • by kodomo ( 1100141 )
        Are really based on the trailer.. I didn't see the movie
        •     Don't bother. It was 90 minutes of my life wasted, that I'll never get back. At least I can say I slept through 30 minutes of it.

              Basically, take some kids who want to be the center of attention, keep raising that attention level ad nauseum, and lowering their level of social graces until they finally roll the closing credits.

              I think there was something about some web site, a boat, sleeping with groupies, and drugs.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It was just announced that they are going after the Doublemint Twins. Hoping for double the pleasure and double the fun.

  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:44PM (#36537018) Homepage Journal

    they'd already won 65mil$, they had plenty of spare money to piss away trying to get a lot more. Even if their lawyers said hey you have about a 2% chance of winning, it'd still be worth the try.

    I wonder if zuck will go after legal fees? again that's just a drop in both of their buckets at this point though. As usual, "the only winners are the lawyers".

  • ... that they'd be willing to kick down some money for open source, distributed social networking projects (like, Appleseed [] :)

    They may not get any return on their investment, unless you count sweet, sweet revenge.
    • That just doesn't sound like the type of open-source project that would succeed, because social networking is ultimately a marketing vehicle. Either you build a big network and sell the eyeballs, or you fade into obscurity before anyone even notices.

      • by dominion ( 3153 )

        "social networking is ultimately a marketing vehicle"

        Social networking is quickly becoming a commodity, which makes it a prime target for an open source challenge. With a distributed network, a single site with under 10 users can operate within a larger network, which overcomes the network effect that centralized social networks require.

    • What makes you think any of this is about animosity? They are greedy, that's all -- they didn't get billions they only got millions and they weren't satisfied with that. The fact that they could live comfortable for the rest of their lives without having to do any work whatsoever is irrelevant to them.
  • Just a thought... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zill ( 1690130 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:55PM (#36537090)

    $65 million

    Suppose I had a nemesis and I won the lottery, I would immediately send my nemesis a check for $1000 just to piss him off. He would anguish over it for weeks and would never cash it in the end.

    Seeing as how Zuckerberg's personal wealth is around $13.5 billion, this $65 million probably served a similar purpose.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I would like to apply for the position as your nemesis, just in case.

      • I agree. 13.5 billion is a lot of money. But maintaining that kind of wealth requires Zuckerberg to remain in the spotlight for 40+ hours a week. That life is not for me (if I can help it). Ya, I'd be miffed -for a moment-, but who wouldn't be if your objective is to run a small business and become modestly wealthy. Little did all three know...

        After receiving 65 million, I would have tipped my hat to Zuckerberg and left quietly in the night. My next stop would be a world of permanent vacation without a fina

        • I agree. 13.5 billion is a lot of money. But maintaining that kind of wealth requires Zuckerberg to remain in the spotlight for 40+ hours a week.

          Why would that be? I'm honestly asking, I have no frame of reference for wealth beyond about 5 digits. Seems like if he were to retire to an apartment overlooking central park and take up a habit of smashing faberge eggs, he'd still likely die with more than a billion dollars.

    • Except that it was not voluntary (he was kind of forced to make a settlement, since the court case was going to be pretty tough) and that it is enough money that the twins will never have to work again, if they choose not to. They say $1 million is not what it used to be; somehow I get the feeling that $65 million is what it used to be.
      • Re:Just a thought... (Score:4, Informative)

        by nomadic ( 141991 ) <> on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @09:15PM (#36537214) Homepage
        They come from family money, too; their father runs a successful actuarial consulting company that I've dealt with, and if he chose they could have never worked again without the $65 million dollars.
    • You mean his pretend worth based on completely factless estimates from the people that want to take the company IPO (for the millions they will be paid). Facebook makes no money as in zero net revenue. Once that is common knowledge the "real" value of this company will be near zero and Zuckerberg's share will be pennies on the current value.

      They are refusing to sell American's stock because they will violate US regulations by concealing the financial documents. Do you know why they want to conceal the finan

      • Because they are very very scary and indicate how little money the company actually makes.

        Well, sure. Where exactly does Facebook make its money? They don't charge for the service (as if anyone would pay for it, which should tell you something) Advertising? I suppose, but they're no Google ... we're not Google's customers anyway. The advertisers are.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I thought this topic had been canvassed extensively on Slashdot? Facebook makes money by datamining its userbase and selling the information to advertisers who then tailor the advertising that appears on your FB page to meet your personal taste. They are basically the worlds largest market research company, except they found a way of getting people to freely divulge all the information about themselves.

      • They are refusing to sell American's stock because they will violate US regulations by concealing the financial documents. Do you know why they want to conceal the financials? Because they are very very scary and indicate how little money the company actually makes.

        Or maybe they make lots of money and don't want it made public just how they are doing that. I bet 500 million users' personal info could be worth a lot of money to a lot of companys.

      • I thought they made quite a bit through targeted ad's and selling data-mined demographics to large/small businesses ?

        Of course, I read this on the internet (probably some TC such site, although I dropped TC after they went to Facebook's commenting system, how retarded of them).

        Could just be FB propaganda thrown out there to increase their value and keep it all stable.
    • by SlithyMagister ( 822218 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @09:58PM (#36537486)
      Just in case -- I am now your nemesis
      --but I WILL cash it
    • by voss ( 52565 )

      $65 million is a lot different from $1000

      $1000 is piss on you money

      $65 million is Youre still a bastard but um yeah its $65 million bucks.

  • They should take the $65 million (or whatever they have left after paying their lawyers) and invest in BitCoins. Then they'll end up richer than Zuckerberg.
    • You mean whoever steals their bitcoin wallet and passphrase (via keylogging) will end up richer than Zuckerberg.

  • Sometimes its hard to back off the excess greed. Kudos to them. That's a lot of money to be able to retire on, easily $15M each after taxes. About $750K in income every year if maintaining their basis at-par (inflation adjusted) with a conservative portfolio.


  • Why not? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @09:24PM (#36537258) Journal
    I'd have done it, just for kicks. What other excitement exists in the life of a multi-millionaire, besides suing each other and being sued?
  • by BlueCoder ( 223005 ) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @03:17AM (#36538742)

    They are in business school and they tried to recruit mark for his skills. They had no contract and what they actually wanted to create was more like a dating site rather than anything like what Facebook turned into.

    I get offers all the time to create web sites for people but I'm like you have to have it all thought out and then come to me. Storyboard everything. If you can't do that we are wasting each others time. The idea person actually has to have an idea rather than me doing all the work creating the product. If I have to create the product and I'm doing it all myself anyway then I'm going to do it for myself. It takes more than a half cocked idea to actually make something like Facebook. The whole thing was sold on growth and being the next it thing and that's more than creating a few web pages.

    • I agree; I don't particularly like Zuckerberg, but in this case, he had the drive, energy, vision of what FB 'should be', and put in all the real hard work. I've had millions of 'ideas' thrown at me too, over the years, with people hoping I'll just do the work or whatever. They should've had a contract if they wanted to own what Zuckerberg did - but honestly I see no reason why they should own the work of someone else, without that person's consent, that is immoral. Then they should have been more than happ

Forty two.