Copyright Law

Facebook Favored in Faceoff

Posted Aug 13, 2007 10:45 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The creator of Facebook has the upper hand in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the founders of a competing social networking Web site, according to one expert.

R. Scott Feldmann, an intellectual property lawyer at Crowell & Moring, said Facebook appears to have the better legal arguments, according to a column in the New York Times.

The suit claims Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stole ConnectU’s source code and business model. Most of the claims are based on Zuckerberg’s free work for ConnectU’s founders when all were students at Harvard. (See this post for details.)

“It does not appear that ConnectU had Zuckerberg sign a nondisclosure agreement, and disclosing a trade secret to someone without doing so would ordinarily result in loss of any trade secret status,” Feldmann said. As an unpaid worker for ConnectU, Zuckerberg owns the source code, he told the newspaper.

“On the surface, it appears ConnectU will have some challenges,” he said.


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