tech: October 2004 Archives

Red Facebook?

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Just got a tip from Derek about a story in today's Daily Orange about Registration is required beyond the first page of the story, but it's free.

Apparently, the creators of ConnectU are suing the Facebook:

Winklevoss and his partners first envisioned in the winter of 2002 a Web site where students could post personal profiles and pictures as a way to improve the social life at Harvard University, Winklevoss said. Since none of them were experienced programmers, they enlisted several other Harvard students to help with the logistics and in November 2003, they approached Zuckerberg for assistance.

Winklevoss said that his group discussed details for the site and exchanged vital information with Zuckerberg under the assumption of an oral agreement "that he would become part of the team in exchange for a share of the benefits, glory, fame and money that would have occurred with the site's success."

How exactly Zuckerberg is to have "stolen source code" from people without programming experience is unclear. Heh. My guess is that the ConnectU folks are going to find that the "assumption of an oral agreement" isn't exactly binding. My second guess is that Zuckerberg took one look, figured out that he didn't really need them, and struck out on his own. The idea of a facebook is pretty public domain--lots of schools do it, and have done it since well before the Net--as are the various affordances offered by these kinds of sites. If Zuckerberg is an adept enough programmer to cost the CU people 2 months of delays, he's almost certainly adept enough to sufficiently adapt source code as well.

And it looks like the CU people realize this:

"We're moving on," [Winklevoss] said. "We'll spend as little time on the lawsuit as we can. The product will continue to grow and that's what we want to focus most of our energy on."



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