Mark Zuckerberg, the 23-year-old founder of Facebook, will today be accused of stealing the idea for his enormously popular social networking site from a rival website.
Mr Zuckerberg is being for sued for stealing the source code – and design – of Facebook from ConnectU.com, a similar, university-based social network which he worked for briefly as a programmer four years ago.
At a district court in Boston, Massachusetts, ConnectU's founders, who were in the same year at Harvard as Mr Zuckerberg, will demand that Facebook be shut down and that control of the site – and its profits – be handed over to them.
The Ivy League identical twins suing Facebook.com founder and former Harvard classmate Mark Zuckerberg for a high-tech double-cross are in double trouble with a federal judge, who has given them just two months to persuade him not to throw their case out.
“I’m going to offer you the opportunity to meet a higher standard. It’s in your hands,” U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock yesterday warned 25-year-old brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss of ConnectU.com, a rival online networking site.
Woodlock further warned the impossibly handsome Winklevosses - who are in training for next month’s World Rowing Championship in Germany and came to court in matching blue pinstriped suits - that their ongoing courtship of the press has “the aroma” of trying to force an out-of-court settlement with 23-year-old whiz kid Zuckerberg.