INFORMATION ACQUISITION MACHINE Facebook has apparently dug up what it claims is the original contract between its founder Mark Zuckerberg and chancer Paul Ceglia.
Ceglia has claimed that he and Zuckerberg signed a contract that gave him a significant chunk of Facebook, which today would be worth billions. Facebook has always maintained that Ceglia is nothing more than a con artist and that the documents he produced are fake. Now Facebook's lawyers claim they have dug up the "authentic contract" and information suggesting that Ceglia is holding back a number of storage devices.
The documents Facebook's lawyers have found presumably should, as Facebook wants to include them in the lawsuit, pave the way for the firm to put this matter to bed. However Ceglia claims that there is a confidentiality clause that stops them from being used in the lawsuit. Facebook is currently trying to get a federal judge to rule in its favour, in the hope of getting some 120 documents included into evidence in the case.
Ceglia's lawyers remain committed to prevent these 120 documents from seeing the light of day in a courtroom. They argue that it is now Zuckerberg's turn to hand over all emails and provide handwriting samples.
The founding of Facebook has become a long running soap opera. Zuckerberg paid the Winklevoss twins cash and shares after the pair claimed Zuckerberg had stolen their idea to create Facebook. The Winklevoss twins have since had judgements go against them and are not appealing the latest one, last we heard, so it is looking increasingly likely that they will accept the money and shares of Facebook that they have already won - less their attorneys' fees, of course.
Should Ceglia's claim be found to be false then it will appear that Zuckerberg will have managed to board up all the skeletons in his closet, but until then he might have a few more sleepless nights.
The next hearing for oral arguments in the case is scheduled for 17 August. µ