Facebook, the worlds largest social network, this means repeated claims that the site was not, in fact, the brainchild of CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The Wall Street Journal reports that the latest, somewhat bizarre, claim comes from Web designer Paul Ceglia who says he owns a precise 84% stake in the company.When you're the king of the hill, everyone wants to see you fall - or wants to take a piece of the pie. For
Ceglia filed a lawsuit with the New York State Supreme Court on June 30, claiming that he signed a contract with Zuckerberg in 2003 to design the website he claims is now Facebook. According to Ceglia, the terms of the contract were that he would be paid $1,000 for the site along with a 50% stock in the resulting product. Now here's the most bizarre part that leads to this claim of 84% ownership: According to the Journal, "The contract stipulated that Mr. Ceglia would get an additional 1% interest in the business for every day after Jan. 1, 2004, until it was completed."
We have to say, that's the most puzzling stipulation we've ever heard of when it comes to Web design. For every day that the designer is late, he gets a larger piece of the pie?
While the accusation seems weird, to say the least, Judge Thomas Brown has issued a temporary restraining order on the company, keeping it from transferring any of its assets. Facebook offered the Journal a denial of the claim, calling the suit "completely frivolous" and saying that it would "fight it vigorously".
The company has more than doubled in size since we took a look at its disputed origins just over a year ago, and this will likely not be the last we hear of this sort of claim. We have to doubt, however, that this will be the one to topple the social networking behemoth.