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.