John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Winklevoss Brothers, Mark Zuckerberg Has Sent You a $65 Million Gift


Frankly, I’m kind of appalled that they’re threatening me after the work I’ve done for them free of charge, but after dealing with a bunch of other groups with deep pockets and good legal connections including companies like Microsoft, I can’t say I’m surprised. I try to shrug it off as a minor annoyance that whenever I do something successful, every capitalist out there wants a piece of the action.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, February 2004

The inane dispute over the provenance of Facebook apparently ended in a multimillion dollar resolution. Facebook has reportedly paid the founders of ConnectU $65 million to settle a lawsuit that accused founder Mark Zuckerberg of lifting the social network’s source code and business plan when he worked for it as a programmer. A nice little financial windfall for the founders of ConnectU–brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and their colleague, Divya Narendra. Facebook certainly has money to pay to make the suit go away and a very good reason to pay it: It would be poor form to leave its quaint little creation myth in dispute.

News of the “confidential agreement” was apparently broken by ConnectU’s legal counsel, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, which inadvertently disclosed it in a promotion for its legal services.

“Lawyers in the heavyweight fight had expended great effort to keep the settlement secret–even going as far as persuading a judge to clear the courtroom of reporters on one occasion,” The Recorder reports. “But ConnectU’s former lawyers from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges published the settlement amount in a firm advertisement trumpeting the firm’s prowess. ‘WON $65 million settlement against Facebook’ appears, along with dozens of other Quinn outcomes from last year, in the firm’s January business litigation newsletter.”

All parties involved declined comment on the “confidential settlement.”


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work