by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
equity, mark zuckerberg, ownership, paul ceglia, scam


Original Contract Used By Paul Ceglia To Claim Facebook Ownership... Doesn't Mention Facebook

from the falling-apart dept

The latest chapter in the bizarre story of Paul Ceglia claiming a right to more than half of Facebook is that Facebook -- who has previously claimed that Ceglia is nothing but a fraud -- says that in the discovery process it found the original contract, and that contract doesn't even mention Facebook. Facebook pretty clearly is suggesting that Ceglia doctored the contract he did have with Mark Zuckerberg, to work on a Ceglia project called StreetFax, and changed it to supposedly cover Facebook. If you look at the two documents side by side you can see clearly that the original was changed. The fact that both have handwriting and both MZ and PC's initials on it show that this is the same document:
Given this evidence, and how this case has gone so far, especially with multiple lawyers dumping Ceglia (including some big names who surprised a lot of people in taking his case originally), it doesn't look like Ceglia has much of a chance here. I'm still a bit mystified that Zuckerberg and Facebook didn't come out more vehemently originally. When the story first came out, Facebook's lawyers simply said they were unsure if the contract was legit. You would think that if he'd never signed any such thing, the denials would have been a lot more upfront. Still, in the end, this case looks dead in the water.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    TheStupidOne, 16 Aug 2011 @ 4:56pm

    So he committed fraud. Good thing that is perfectly legal otherwise he'd be in trouble.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2011 @ 5:40pm

    Okay, so...who cares?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Casey Bouch (profile), 16 Aug 2011 @ 6:11pm

    Who doctored what

    I'm not following this 100% so maybe someone else knows... but who is to say that Facebook's version isn't doctored?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    blaktron (profile), 16 Aug 2011 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Who doctored what

    It supposedly came off of Ceglia's computer during discovery.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Any Mouse (profile), 16 Aug 2011 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Who doctored what

    Per the linked article:

    In a court filing on Monday, attorneys for Facebook said an authentic contract was found embedded in electronic data on Ceglia's computer but that document mentions only another company, StreetFax.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    JS, 16 Aug 2011 @ 8:50pm

    No I can't clearly see anything. The document on the right is so fuzzy you can't tell anything about what it contains (even after following the link).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), 16 Aug 2011 @ 9:25pm


    You just need to press the enhance button.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    G Thompson (profile), 17 Aug 2011 @ 12:01am

    Highly suspicious

    From Left side (down bottom under handwriting):

    "The Face Book" shall be Janruary 1 2004.

    Notice how the word Janruary has an extra R in it? Sort of like if someone scrubbed out February

    Also notice the missing comma between 1 and 2004 (on date) whereas the comma is on date above (May 31, 2003)

    the next line has a strange extra space between 'the' and 'business'

    Not to mention the actual costing figures of both contracts are completely different.

    I'd be of a mind to make a professional opinion that one is definitely altered just looking at this photo, especially after noticing that the handwritten notes and sign-off are exactly the same and in same position. Very suspicious

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    FM Hilton, 17 Aug 2011 @ 4:44am

    If you look at the 'original'

    You will see that there's a misspelling of 'seperate' in the sentence "separate business interests', for one. No good lawyer in his right mind (if Ceglia even used one) would dare to misspell such a common word.
    "University" is not capitalized, as is usual form for the usage...and I could go on to mention that one version is more detailed on specifics than the other, but I won't.
    Clearly someone was hoping to make big bucks from FB, but it won't be Ceglia.
    Case closed. Fraud at the least.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 17 Aug 2011 @ 8:37am

    What Was Ceglia Up To?

    Well, the most obvious explanation is that Zuckerberg had lost the paperwork pertaining to a short and unimportant job, maybe ten or twenty hours at an economic rate.

    Young men are often not careful about that kind of thing. The job would probably have involved integrating publicly available open source code into a system in which Ceglia would have had severely limited exclusive rights. That is the kind of thing you can do in ten hours.

    It seems doubtful, based on available evidence, that Ceglia was honest at any point in his life, but if one assumes the motives of an honest man, the idea would presumably have been to get some kind of quick-and-dirty version of his street-view-type system going, so that customers could start using it. If the business proved viable, it would later have been feasible to do a better job and port the data over.

    Given, of course, what we know about Ceglia, that he repeatedly sold things he did not own, the indication is that he was probably trying to "sell the Brooklyn Bridge." That is, he wanted Zuckerberg to spend ten hours tying together open source code representing tens of thousands of hours of work, much of which might have been protected by the GPL or some other restrictive open-source license. Ceglia would have had every right to run this combined system on his own website, but he might well have had the bright idea of selling "exclusive rights" in the underlying code to gullible investors, just as he sold non-existent firewood, and real-estate which belonged to someone else. This would explain why he might have drafted a contract to give the impression of more activity on Zuckerberg's part than was actually the case.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    PT, 17 Aug 2011 @ 12:46pm

    I'm not terribly familiar with this kind of lawsuit, but when you file the case based on evidence you know to be fabricated, isn't that perjury?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    pabloPicaso, 24 Aug 2011 @ 3:08pm

    facebook fraudsters

    So we are meant to believe a billion dollar company who produce a badly blurred digitalised contract over one man who produces an original paper contract which has being forensically tested and verified? think about it why would Facebook take this case so seriously if it is one big fraud? surely facebook has the funds to hire lawyers capable of killing of a fraud in minutes. The only explanation can be that Ceglia has a solid case and when you view his evidence this is found to be true. And how the judge has acted reminds me of how the judge has acted in the Strauss Kahn rape case, As soon as the innocent room attendant has tiny flaws in her argument the judge throws the case out. Why ? because power protects powerful people ! and this is the case in the facebook-v-Ceglia case.. like come on do people really think Ceglia is that stupid to take on Facebook in the courts if he has no legit evidence ? the man has ran companys in the past he is intelligent enough not to try and fraud facebook .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    tracy emin, 25 Aug 2011 @ 10:14am

    Re: Who doctored what

    Exactly think about this we are made to believe that a DIGITALIZED badly blurred contract which was produced by a billion dollar a year internet company is credible, especially when you consider the fact they claim they found it while searching through the Computers owned by Ceglia. It is just too good to be true. Ceglia has the original paper contract but it is being discredited even thought it has being verified and Ceglia passed a Polygraph test !

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    theRebel, 28 Aug 2011 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Who doctored what

    exactly. Does in not raise questions to you when a billion dollar a year internet company claims to have found a DIGITAL contract on their accusers computer, after being giving access to it? especially when you consider that this newly found contract works in their favour and ultimately discredits their accuser. Weird in my opinion

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.