Facebook: Contract Giving Up Ownership Was 'Forged'

The contract Ceglia included with his complaint lists himself as a purchaser and Zuckerberg as a "contractor/seller" in an agreement for the "continued development of the software, program and for the purchase and design of a suitable website for the project Seller has already initiated that is designed to offer the students of Harvard university access to a wesite [sic] similar to a live functioning yearbook with the working title of 'The Face Book.'"

Some have cast doubt on the timeline presented in Ceglia's claim, noting that Zuckerberg didn't register the domain name thefacebook.com until January 2004 and that he didn't develop predecessors to the website -- Course Match, a site that allowed Harvard students to see what classes their friends were taking; and Facemash, which allowed students to rank the attractiveness of student ID photos -- until the autumn before, according to published reports on the founding of Facebook. Facemash landed Zuckerberg in a university discplinary hearing for security breaches and privacy and copyright violations but he was not expelled, Zuckerberg told The Harvard Crimson in 2003.

In 2009, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sued Ceglia, his wife and Allegany Pellets, the couple's wood-pellet fuel company, for allegedly taking more than $200,000 from customers but failing to deliver any products or refunds. Cuomo obtained a temporary restraining order at the time banning the business from taking payments from customers.

An e-mail last week from ABCNews.com to Allegany Pellets prompted an automatic message from the company's e-mail account. The message said, "We are in the process of reaching an agreement with the New York State Attorney General's office and will let everyone know once an agreement is reached."

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