Winklevoss Twins Lose Legal War With Facebook
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss were pretty irrelevant until I saw the movie “The Social Network.” The movie allegedly told the story of “how Facebook came to be” and these twins were portrayed in the movie by Armie Hammer. (if you are wondering how one guy played “twins” just click here to be amazed) In the movie, the story was told with these guys having the original idea for the concept of what Facebook is today; a concept that was allegedly stolen by their former Harvard classmate Mark Zuckerberg.
Although the movie highly dramatized the situation, it was actually a legal battle in real life as well.
The original case was brought against Facebook in 2004 when the brothers claimed that Zuckerberg broke an oral contract with the plaintiffs to create ConnectU (originally dubbed the Harvard Connection). The twins alleged that Zuckerberg not only stole the code and the idea, he stalled them them so he could get his site, thefacebook.com, out first.
The suit was originally settled for $65 million in 2008 but the latest lawsuit had claimed fraud for Facebook and Zuckerberg “not volunteering a more recent valuation of different Facebook stock.” The settlement is now worth more than $160 million because of Facebook’s increased valuation.
Facebook has said it stood behind the original settlement, noting that the twins “admit that they calculated the value of Facebook themselves, based upon a truthful press release from several months earlier,” according to leaked documents.
Basically what it boils down to in simpler terms is that the twins agreed to a settlement years ago for what “seemed fair” at the time. Since the settlement, Facebook has blown up ridiculously and what they settled for back then is peanuts compared to what Facebook is actually worth today. In my opinion, this makes the twins seem even more unworthy of being credited as the true “creators of Facebook” being that years ago during the original trial they agreed to what they thought was a “fair settlement” over the website. A settlement that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss can’t undo over the social networking site.
The appeals court ruled that the twins were savvy enough to understand what they were agreeing to when they signed the agreement in 2008, a deal that called for a $20 million cash payment and a partial ownership of Facebook.
Why would the twins be so upset ? $20 million in cash is a lot of money…. unless of course you’re comparing it to the $65 billion dollars that some say Facebook is worth today. When that original settlement was agreed upon by Zuckerberg and the Winklevosses, only one of the 3 men truly knew Facebook’s potential … and it was the guy who didn’t have an identical twin.
This only proves that back in that Harvard dorm room Zuckerberg was the true visionary that knew Facebook’s potential then, and he is still the true visionary now.
Get more details about the Facebook legal battle here.