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  1. #1

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    Court: Harvard twins stuck with Facebook agreement

    Court: Harvard twins stuck with Facebook agreement

    Thoughts? Mark Zuckerburg may have done some wrong here - but it is REALLY hard to feel sorry for these two. Born into wealth, went to Harvard, 2008 Olympians, and now they're stuck with a $160 million settlement. I wish my life was this difficult.

    Should they have pursued this further against Zuckerburg and tried to get more money? Or at all? I feel like even if Zuckerburg "stole" their idea, it wasn't like they had it under copyright. And do they know for sure if they had went with the Facebook idea, that they would have done it as well as Zuckerburg anyway?

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    Boo hoo. Just like Jesse Eisenberg said in The Social Network, if they were the inventors of Facebook, they would have invented Facebook.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    You punish the crime, regardless of the circumstances of the victims. I don't care if they were the sons of the richest Arab sheikh in the world, it doesn't justify Zuckerburg effectively stealing the idea. Is it greedy, yes. Could they have done as good as job with it, probably not. But Zuckerburg would not have done it at all had the Wiklevoss twins not come to him with the idea in the first place.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    I don't care if they were the sons of the richest Arab sheikh in the world, it doesn't justify Zuckerburg effectively stealing the idea. Is it greedy, yes. Could they have done as good as job with it, probably not. But Zuckerburg would not have done it at all had the Wiklevoss twins not come to him with the idea in the first place.
    How many entrepreneurs out there start their business with an idea that they heard from or even worked with a relative/friend/co-worker/etc.? I bet a good percentage.

    And it isn't like the Wiklevoss twins didn't have the financial resources to really go for starting the company if they really wanted to do it.

    I am not sure Zuckerburg would have done Facebook without the idea, but I think he would have started some pretty significant company: Zuckerburg's wikipedia article

    During Zuckerberg's high school years, under the company name Intelligent Media Group, he built a music player called the Synapse Media Player that used artificial intelligence to learn the user's listening habits, which was posted to Slashdot and received a rating of 3 out of 5 from PC Magazine. Microsoft and AOL tried to purchase Synapse and recruit Zuckerberg, but he chose instead to enroll at Harvard College in September 2002.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    You punish the crime, regardless of the circumstances of the victims. I don't care if they were the sons of the richest Arab sheikh in the world, it doesn't justify Zuckerburg effectively stealing the idea. Is it greedy, yes. Could they have done as good as job with it, probably not. But Zuckerburg would not have done it at all had the Wiklevoss twins not come to him with the idea in the first place.
    I agree with you that their circumstances should have nothing to do with the decision. And IMO, they do not.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    You punish the crime, regardless of the circumstances of the victims. I don't care if they were the sons of the richest Arab sheikh in the world, it doesn't justify Zuckerburg effectively stealing the idea. Is it greedy, yes. Could they have done as good as job with it, probably not. But Zuckerburg would not have done it at all had the Wiklevoss twins not come to him with the idea in the first place.
    But the issue isn't whether Zuckerberg stole the idea, although the twins would very much like it to be; their claim is that they were defrauded by Zuckerberg undervaluing Facebook and leaving information out of their settlement agreement. They're smart guys who had excellent lawyers and an expert adviser working with them at the time; they are going to have a really hard time convincing any court that they were deceived.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

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    I'd never heard of the Winklevoss twins until I watched a 60 Minutes story about their lawsuit against Zuckerburg late last year. It's hard to feel sorry for them given that they're good looking, incredibly fit, multimillionaires. On the plus side, they came across as smart, driven, young men who work well together. I'll be surprised if they don't succeed at future endeavors.

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    I love Judge Kozinski. Haven't really read that name too much since law school, but he really gets it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    But the issue isn't whether Zuckerberg stole the idea, although the twins would very much like it to be; their claim is that they were defrauded by Zuckerberg undervaluing Facebook and leaving information out of their settlement agreement. They're smart guys who had excellent lawyers and an expert adviser working with them at the time; they are going to have a really hard time convincing any court that they were deceived.
    this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Civic View Post
    I'd never heard of the Winklevoss twins until I watched a 60 Minutes story about their lawsuit against Zuckerburg late last year. It's hard to feel sorry for them given that they're good looking, incredibly fit, multimillionaires. On the plus side, they came across as smart, driven, young men who work well together. I'll be surprised if they don't succeed at future endeavors.
    They kinda have the long horse faces IMO. The actor who played them in the film was OTOH.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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    I can't help but feel that if the Wiklevoss twins were poor and Zuckerburg were rich, this story would have been spun a lot differently. They may be making an unreasonable claim, but it's unfair to view what is reasonable and what isn't based off how much money and priviledge they had while growing up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    But the issue isn't whether Zuckerberg stole the idea, although the twins would very much like it to be; their claim is that they were defrauded by Zuckerberg undervaluing Facebook and leaving information out of their settlement agreement. They're smart guys who had excellent lawyers and an expert adviser working with them at the time; they are going to have a really hard time convincing any court that they were deceived.
    I agree, however, the financiers of Facebook have been caught under-valuing the company before. I believe Eduardo Saverin's settlement was largely due to pernicious financial reporting by the company.

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    I'm amazed that the twins' wealth and status is even a factor in this thread. This is a legal dispute that involves legal statutes far beyond my, and most people's, comprehension. Why are people reacting based on the defendants' demographics?

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    I'm one of those who believed the Twinklevoss' had good enough payday since they have been awarded 20 million, plus part ownership based on just verbal agreement vs.trademarking and just because you have an idea doesn't mean you can produce the same result as someone else who put your idea in motion. If you did it and failed and somebody else succeeded I dont see how someone get to determine and claim any monetary value to that.

    I see an appeal to the SC coming and it'll be the lawyers going to get filthy rich by the time this is over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    I'm amazed that the twins' wealth and status is even a factor in this thread. This is a legal dispute that involves legal statutes far beyond my, and most people's, comprehension. Why are people reacting based on the defendants' demographics?
    I wasn't referring to their parents' money but to the millions of dollars they received through their initial settlement with Mark Zuckerburg. They're smart and they now have beaucoup millions to play with. Why not put their their time and energies into starting a new business venture that they can control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    They kinda have the long horse faces IMO. The actor who played them in the film was OTOH.
    So they are identical twins...I wondered about that.

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    I agree with this ruling. They agreed to accept the settlement and it sounds as if they did not make a convincing argument that they were duped into thinking that Facebook was worth a lot less than it was.

    I can't see the Supreme Court agreeing to review the case if the twins decide to appeal this decision.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    I'm amazed that the twins' wealth and status is even a factor in this thread. This is a legal dispute that involves legal statutes far beyond my, and most people's, comprehension. Why are people reacting based on the defendants' demographics?
    Because they are people - lawyers may be most interested in the case details, but the rest of us are interested in the people. Few care about the technical details and the coding that built Facebook - we care about the people, and thus the success of The Social Network.

    Whatever the demographics, we're going to care about them. If the twins were poor and disadvantaged, we'd care and we'd have reactions and opinions. That they are rich and privileged makes no difference - we're still interested, and we still have reactions and opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Civic View Post
    So they are identical twins...I wondered about that.
    There actually was a second actor who appears throughout the movie - it's only when the shot needed to show a face or have his voice heard that Armie Hammer's was superimposed.

    Armie is credited as playing both Cameron and Tyler, while Josh Pence is credited as playing Tyler only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    The actor who played them in the film was OTOH.
    This.

    I hadn't heard of the Winklevoss twins until I saw "The Social Network".
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    The issue isn't about someone stealing their idea - the issue is whether the payment they did receive was enough.

    As for their wealth at the time, they had six lawyers help them get the initial $20m, so they were well-represented. If they were poor, starving college students that brought six lawyers out to play, I'd still feel the same way. However, if the agreement was made without any legal advice, then I'd feel different about their case, but not about their lifestyle.

    The lawyers should have done their due diligence to determine if the share price at the time was accurate. Wouldn't that have uncovered an accurate share price and let them negotiate a better deal at the appropriate time? Hindsight is 20/20. You can't sell your beater car for one price, sign the agreement, then go back and get the buyer to give you more money because it suddenly appreciated in value after the buyer tuned it up, replaced the upholstery and did bodywork. That's not the way it works.

    I can't see any cause for saying they were deceived. I think the ruling was fair.

    As someone else said, they'll probably blow the $20m on lawyers for the appeal.
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 04-12-2011 at 02:54 PM.

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