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Who Owns Facebook?

David S. Mittleman

Mark Zuckerberg, the apparent owner of Facebook, may not have the rights to the phenomenally popular website—at least that’s according to a lawsuit filed by a web designer who claims that he signed a contract with Zuckerberg to build the site in 2003 that entitles him to 84% ownership.

According to court documents, Paul D. Ceglia of Wellsville, NY claims that he had a written agreement with Zuckerberg to design and build the site. Furthermore, Ceglia claims that he received $1,000 for the work and a 50% stake in the site, as well as an extra 1% stake for every additional day it took to create the site to completion. Nevertheless, Facebook maintains that Ceglia’s claims are simply not the case and that the company would vigorously fight the “frivolous” lawsuit.

However, after Ceglia filed the lawsuit on June 30 in New York Superior Court, a judge issued a restraining order against Facebook, prohibiting the company from transferring any assets. For its part, Facebook has filed a motion to have the case dismissed and the restraining order removed.


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