New York Man Says Emails Prove Facebook Ownership Stake


"We did a lot of internal analysis of the legal claims," said Robert Brownlie, Ceglia's attorney and a partner at DLA Piper, adding that his firm conducted analysis of the contract and their co-counsel, Paul Argentieri, set up the analysis of the emails. "We examined the documents, both in hard copy and electronic form."

In addition to the electronic analysis, which provides information about a document's creation, print and alteration history, he said his team spent considerable time cross-examining Ceglia.

When asked why Ceglia waited until 2010 to file his first complaint when the contract was allegedly signed in 2003, he said, "We can't lose sight of the fact that Facebook exploded onto the scene just a few years ago."

Zuckerberg's final correspondence with Ceglia was a "brush-off" in which Zuckerberg claimed that "The Face Book" project wasn't working out, Brownlie said.

Ceglia's decision to file the suit in 2010, after its global success, is "well within any applicable statute of limitations," he said.

As for the omitting the emails from Ceglia's first complaint, Brownlie said he didn't know if it was Ceglia's decision or his previous lawyer's decision.

While he said he didn't have enough information at this stage to put a dollar figure on it, Brownlie said Ceglia claims he is owed half of whatever equity position Zuckerberg received or was promised when Facebook incorporated in 2004.

"He wants to be treated just like any other founder," he said.

The emails included in the complaint, Ceglia's lawyers claim, begin in June 2003, when Zuckerberg was working on Facebook, and a project for Ceglia called, from his Harvard dorm room. They end in July 2004, a month after Facebook says its base of operations moved to Palo Office, Calif.

Take a look below at a few more excerpts from the alleged emails detailed in Ceglia's complaint.

Sept. 2, 2003 -- Zuckerberg apparently sends an email to Ceglia suggesting that "The Face Book" charge alumni to use the service. (Facebook has never charged users and in a 2010 interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer, Zuckerberg said that a free service is part of its commitment to users.)

"I have been away for a few days without internet, during that time I revised the business plan for the Harvard site. I would like to talk to you on the phone about it in detail. As you mentioned last week, the issue we must resolve is how to produce a revenue stream from the users. My conclusion this past week is to charge Alumni $29.95 a month. With this in mind, considering just 300 people, and the projection of a $9000 monthly revenue, we could, as you suggested, rapidly expand to other colleges."

Sept. 2, 2003 -- Ceglia purportedly responds, saying he is opposed to charging users.

"I like your thinking about funding expansion, I'm not sure a monthly fee is the way to go though, we are having a hard time getting adjusters to pay it and it's their business. I'd be concerned that we wouldnt (sic) get enough people on there to keep anyone interested. Maybe we could make it free until it was popular and then start charging?"

Nov. 22, 2003 -- In an e-mail with the subject line "Urgent! Let's Talk," Zuckerberg allegedly sends an email that seems to refer to the Winklevoss twins.

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