The Social Network War

Facebook is, perhaps, the most popular social networking site in the US. There are over 400 million users, with 50% logging on at least once a day.

What started out as a social experiment has blossomed into an empire. And, the idea was stolen.

Mark Zuckerberg developed The Facebook while he was a student at Harvard, but Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss claim that the idea was theirs.

The Winklevoss twins developed their own social networking site while studying at Harvard. They were developing a site called ConnectU alongside their classmate, Zuckerberg. They thought they were working together.

Until Zuckerberg launched Facebook.

In 2008, the Winklevoss’s sued Facebook. The case has settled with the Winklevoss’s receiving shares of Facebook, but there is a continuing despite as to the value of those shares.

More importantly, the question of intellectual property i s thrust into the spotlight. Did the Winklevoss’s deserve their settlement? If someone has an idea, but lacks the know-how to develop it, there must be some agreement as to where the work really begins. With the internet, it seems as though intellectual property is losing its protection.

While the Winklevoss twins may have had the idea for Facebook, the site is not what it once was. Originally, Facebook was only available to college students and had only a few features. Now, Facebook has applications, games, status updates that mimic Twitter posts, and is open to anyone with an e-mail address.

Is that everything the Winklevoss’s imagined?

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Posted on April 2, 2010, in Biz Tech, Internet and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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