Tag Archives: lawsuit

Facebook's Lawyer Isn't Sure if Zuckerberg Signed a Contract With Paul Ceglia

New Yorker Paul Ceglia filed a complaint against Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on June 30th claiming he is entitled to ownership of about 84% of the company. Ceglia points to a contract allegedly signed by himself and the Zuck back in April of 2003. The problem with that is that Facebook’s lawyer, Lisa Simpson, isn’t sure whether a contract was ever signed. “Whether he signed this piece of paper, we’re unsure at this moment,” she told U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara. The document in question was produced in court this afternoon by Ceglia’s attorney, Terrence Connors.

Connors informed the judge that Ceglia was a web designer in those days, trying to develop a project he called “StreetFax.” His plan for the site was to throw millions of pictures of streets into a database and then charge insurers money to access it. He had the idea and the photos, but not a code monkey. Zuckerberg was the lowest bidder at $1000.00. He was a Freshman at Harvard at the time, and told Ceglia at the time that: “I’ve got a project of my own. I’m developing an online yearbook for Harvard kids now, but I’m thinking of expanding it.”

According to the Plaintiff, the contract was intended to cover the coding work Mark would do on StreetFax and Ceglia’s investment in the “fledgling project.” No one knew at the time, of course, that Facebook would grow to be the giant leader that it is today. Perhaps this is why Ceglia waited six years to even come forward?

If one is to believe the Plaintiff, the original contract found Zuck agreeing to complete the coding work in exchange for the thousand bucks plus 50% of the resulting entity – PLUS an additional 1% every day until the work was completed. This is where Ceglia comes up with his 84% ownership figure.

An interesting side note to this case is the one in which Ceglia and his wife find themselves as defendents in another NY courtroom. In an ongoing case against them brought by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the couple has been accused of taking $200,000-worth of pre-orders for wood pellets and then failing to deliver the goods – or refunding the monies.

Many people speculate that the statute of limitations will apply in this case, and that Ceglia’s case will be thrown out of court. For now, though, a state judge has issued an order barring the transfer of ownership interests in the Palo Alto, California-based company. Ceglia’s attorney has asked Judge Arcara for an extension of that order.

What are your thoughts on this entire drama? Even if Zuck did sign the contract, does it mean that it should be honored six years later – now that Facebook is worth billions of bucks? Why did Ceglia wait all this time to file his complaint? I think I just answered my own question.

Veoh Files Bankruptcy

Veoh was once considered to be in direct competition with YouTube. Veoh founder Dmitry Shapiro has said that the company would be liquidating and filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The company announced back in April that it would lay off 25 staffers, despite the $70 million in capital that the company raised from investors such as Intel, Time Warner, and Goldman Sachs. The company has been plagued by lawsuits during the past few years. Even though they have come out of those victorious, the cost of fighting has amassed to an astronomical amount.

Sadly, the news of closure doesn’t come as a surprise to many people. Traffic has been on a steady decline, dropping from more than 5 million unique visitors in December, 2008 to around 3 million uniques as of December, 2009. The company let go of what was left of their staff on Wednesday. Mister Shapiro stated on his own blog that “Unfortunately, great vision, a passionate team, tens of millions of users, millions in revenues and victory in court were not enough. The distraction of the legal battles, and the challenges of the broader macro-economic climate have led to our Chapter 7 bankruptcy”.

Veoh is just another in a long line of promising startups which has now failed in today’s economy. Even when there are investors on board, a company can still lose everything it has, just in the fight to stay alive. Online content consumers are finicky. We want what we want, and won’t accept something different. I’m not saying this is the case with Veoh. The number of visitors the site boasts is quite large. However, when compared with what YouTube brings in, those millions are apparently a drop in the bucket.

Will Apple be Open any Time Soon?

TheDub is a regular visitor to our chat room. He sent me the following email, surrounding the Psystar / Apple legal issues.

I am curious to find out what everyone’s opinions are on the Psystar Open Computers, which come with OS X Leopard installed on them. For those who don’t know, Apple has filed a lawsuit against Psystar, claiming EULA violations. However, Psystar is counter-suing Apple, claiming various Anti-Trust violations.

I am torn, and can see both points of view. This could possibly be a history-making case. While the argument can be made that OS X is a product of Apple, and should only be run on Apple hardware… it’s also fair to see Psystar’s point of view. Psystar says that since OS X runs on “beige box PCs” without a modified Kernel, then OS X is obviously capable of running on non-Apple hardware.
It’s possible Apple could lose in the counter-suit. If so, Apple will have to allow OS X to run on non-Apple hardware. Apple wouldn’t have to support every piece of hardware under the Sun. But, think about a future where manufacturers like Dell roll out a few models which include OS X as their operating system. I cannot think of a negative consequence of letting other OEMs build and sell OS X machines. Apple’s hardware sales will not go down, because Apple makes seriously impressive and high-quality machines. However, they stand to gain a lot in terms of incoming revenue with this.

This could also prove healthy for both sides of the coin. Right now, Windows has no real competition, since most computers only have that as their option. Linux is out there, yes. But let’s face it, it’s not becoming ‘mainstream’ very fast. If OS X were a viable option for all PCs, Windows could have a serious issue. They’d have to focus even more energy on creating Windows 7. OS X would also gain market share in a huge hurry.

I didn’t mean to ramble on, but those are my thoughts on the matter. I know that I will be personally watching this whole thing unfold very closely. I think the odds are against Apple on this one. Can you imagine if Microsoft hard-coded Windows to not run on an Apple machine, or in a Virtual Machine? Microsoft would be immediately slapped with lawsuits. Apple might be forced to open their doors just a bit.

TheDub brings up some very interesting points, and gives us much to think about. What are your thoughts? Do you think Psystar is on the right track, and that Apple should/will have to open up the use of OS X on non-Apple hardware? Or is it all a bunch of hogwash, and Apple can continue doing what they like with their software?

Microsoft Iowa Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Verdict

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I grew up in Iowa. In fact, I spent most of my life there. Today, I received in the mail a claim form for the Iowa vs. Microsoft law suit that was settled. Let’s take a closer look at this, shall we?

Apparently, as long as I kept good records and still have my original CD keys from wayyyyy back then, I can receive money! This applies to people who lived in Iowa and bought these products from May, 1994 up until June of 2006. I could get $16.00 for Windows or DOS, $29.00 for Office, another $25.00 for Excel itself and $10.00 for Word and HomeEssentials. Wow. I can submit up to 29 claims. However, I have to provide not only the cd keys, but also date purchased, place of purchase, and more.

This is what I think of this settlement. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiip. That’s right. I ripped up my claim form. I feel that this whole lawsuit was ludicrous from the get-go, and should never have been filed. Those are just my personal feelings. Microsoft is a good company. Their practices… well, some people don’t like them, but others do. I just don’t think it’s right for any state to go after Microsoft the way they did. The market itself will ultimately decide what way things should go.

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Leave me a follow up comment to this video, or shoot me an email to [email protected]

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Boob Suits on YouTube

YouTube Sues Boobs

Well over a dozen people tuned into NBC’s Sunday night prime time lineup, shattering the network’s previous record of 10. Since the advent of the Internets, fewer intelligent beings have found themselves interested in what Hollywood has to offer.

Yesterday evening, one billion users logged into YouTube.com to upload videos of themselves doing stupid things. This morning, the networks responded in kind – issuing lawsuits against YouTube and every one of its users, claiming they (the television networks) “own the rights to insipid entertainment.” YouTube was again forced to update its Terms & Conditions to the following:

“…by submitting the User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, uninspired, completely boring, waste of time, I want my five minutes back, who is this dipshit and why do I care, another pointless singalong, a trailer I already saw elsewhere, lame-ass halfwits who just purchased a Webcam, can I punch the ninja yet… oops, where were we? Oh yes: to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube’s (and its successor’s) business… in any media formats and through any media channels.”

Next week, YouTube is switching to the “I’m not dead yet” RealVideo format to settle the score with another copyright lawsuit holder, Robert Turd – since beating him senseless was out of the question.

Source: YouTube
Domain: AllYourTube.com
Bonus: Comic Outtakes

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