Is Facebook Built on Stolen Code? Court to Decide
While Facebook continues to attract media attention – with talk of acquisition partners or an IPO – it’s haunted by a three year old law suit that claims it is built on code stolen by founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The lawsuit, filed by brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, accuses Zuckerberg, Facebook?s 23-year-old C.E.O, of stealing the source code, design, and business plan for Facebook in 2003 when he briefly worked in the Harvard dorms as a programmer for their own fledgling social-networking site, now known as ConnectU.
The plaintiffs have demanded that Facebook be shut down and that full control of the site – and its profits – be turned over to them.
A federal court will finally hear the case this month.
While I don’t believe ConnectU will get what they want, they’ll likely get a tidy sum to settle. It reminds me of Google’s settlement with Yahoo, just before its IPO. The company gave Yahoo 2.7 million shares to settle a dispute that AdWords violated an Overture patent.