Legal ownership of the Internet’s dominant social networking site is being called into question following a civil case against Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old owner of Facebook.

Web designer and wood pellet magnate Paul D. Ceglia claims that a circa-2003 contract with the company entitles him to 84 percent of the Web 2.0 behemoth — or somewhere around $5.46 billion. Facebook boasts an estimated value of some $6.5 billion.

According to Ceglia’s suit, his design contract stipulated, among other terms, a 1 percent stake in the company for each day it took him to complete his work, which ended on Feb. 4, 2004.


Regardless of the outcome, Facebook is in a bit of a bind: In the interim, New York Supreme Court justice Thomas Brown has blocked the company from transferring assets — preventing the raising of any venture capital.

The site’s current ownership has called the case “frivolous” and “outlandish,” saying Ceglia’s lawsuit is in violation of the statute of limitations.

Latest From ...