back to article Facebook twins lose court case

The creepy Winklevoss twins have lost an appeal against an earlier settlement with Facebook which gave them $20m in cash and $45m in Facebook shares. The identical twins, granted 15 minutes of fame by the film the Social Network, claim that Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for a website of Harvard alumni. For the purposes of …


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  1. David Dawson


    Does that mean they are only left with $20 million? Or has that been stripped from them?

    1. Subliteratus

      Sums and stuff

      "Does that mean they are only left with $20 million?"

      The way I read it was that they keep their $20m in cash, plus another $45m in shares that have tripled in value since issue (from a previous article - but that could be the current market value). They just didn't get their award super-sized. So they're currently sitting on assets of between $65m-140m between them for subcontracting development of a concept. I'm finding it quite hard to see the source of all their butthurt.

      1. Mike Moyle

        @ Subliteratus

        Their problem, I suspect, is that their lawyers worked on contingency, so the Winklewhoozises may have only gotten half of the adjudged amount -- cue new lawsuit for more money so they could get the amount that they THOUGHT they were getting.

        Of course, since they lost, they get nothing more AND their lawyers get to take home ANOTHER chunk of their settlement, which strikes me as some sort of cosmic payback for their being greedy...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some people are never happy

    Although I *had* some sympathy with their case, can't they find something better than lawyers to spend 65 million on?

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Why are the twins described as creepy? Greedy I could understand but creepy!

    Surely, not because one of them has (had) a porn stash? If it was, then what a way to alienate the majority of the ElReg community!

    1. Goldmember


      Did you read the subheading, or even the article? It was the JUDGE who had the porn stash. A stash belonging to a greedy, spoilt college boy wouldn't get so much of a mention I wouldn't think

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Err -- No - Sorry about that!!

        I saw Creepy and Porn and some strange sounding names. Then put the two and two together.....

        I FAIL:

        but still doesn't explain why the twins are described as creepy.

        1. Getter lvl70 Druid
          Paris Hilton

          Totally Creepy

          Seriously googlesearch images of these guys - scarey as hell in fact.

          It's as if somebody wanted to design the perfect Ivy-league college boy jock stereotype in a lab - and got two. <shivers>

          <additional creepiness>

          They also raise the hairs on the back of my neck and seemingly beckon a hit to the jaw to see if it's glass (known as the Justin Bieber Effect). A subconscious caveman thing. You know, like how animals freak when Death walks into the room? yeah, that.

          </additional creepiness>


          Paris: Cuz they creep her out too... and that's saying something!

          1. ratfox
            Thumb Up

            Completely agree, they are creepy

            And I have proof! Using the Assange™ technique, we find:

            71,800 Google results for "creepy Winklevoss twins"

  4. Thomas 18
    Thumb Up

    "At some point, litigation must come to an end"

    That's something I never thought I'd hear a member of the American judicial system saying!

  5. David Gale

    We have a much better proposition than Facebook...

    Save your energy, twins! We have IPR on - a much better proposition than Facebook.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone disapointed when reading...

    "If you like PDFs you can download the whole..." which then mentions the court papers, not the stash.

  7. copsewood
    Gates Halo

    Years before Facebook existed

    I spent some time in the late 90ies social networking on a very similar website called Addapt. The name of the programmer behind this one: Richard Persaud came to memory. Searching on his name just now resulted in Giff Constable's observation and recollection of the same site recorded (I guess based on US date notation) 10 Dec 2003 :

    "In the late 90's I was part of an interesting web-based community (mostly Bay area people) called Addapt, built by Rich Persaud. It worked partly because it was well designed, but mostly because it was *small*, invitation-only, and had really interesting people."

    Written by: Giff Constable | 12/10/2003 on

    So in my view the generic ideas behind Facebook are likely to have been invented many times over by different people, and if anyone deserves credit this must be Richard Persaud. Generic ideas are also not copyrightable. In any sane society software as such is also not patentable, see the 1991 quote by Bill Gates on software patents: “If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete stand-still today."

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ICT is a great leveller.

    Declaring a potential bias, speaking very much as an short, ugly, fat, northern, but philosophical bloke, who watches with interest, the evolutionary psychology at work in business because it helps with troubleshooting, (I firmly believe that women aren't discriminated against because they have a vagina, I believe it's because they're small as they earn the same as a man of similar height over their lifetime - it's usually the women and dwarves who've been overlooked that I go for answers when I'm troubleshooting, because troubleshooting's usually only necessary because the management have failed, usually because the wrong people got promoted or hired,) and who has even himself, regrettably, served good looking people in bars before plain ones, I find it hilarious that after a lifetime of being treated preferentially by all and sunder because they're polished jocks with shiny teeth, that they still think they deserve more.

    This is confidence at work. "We've always got what we wanted, so we have no shame in asking for money, because we feel we deserve it." I wouldn't be able to overcome the shame myself.

    If they're that good, why don't they take the acres of money they already have, and invest it in businesses of their own?

    ICT doesn't care if you're handsome. ICT doesn't care if you're charismatic. ICT doesn't care if society rates you higher because of your height, build, or youth. ICT cares if you're clever.

    Were I single, I'd screw Nuclear Physicists, or Rocket Scientists. The odds would much more in my children's favour than marrying someone who has made it rich because of no particular talent that is objectively measurable.

  9. zen1

    two down

    My guess is that they will never patronize facebook. With that being said, 2 down, 500,000,000 to go.

  10. bruceld

    Creepy twins...

    They're like those creepy twins from The Matrix movies. Imagine if you had one person that chose to make an enemy of try to imagine two genetically and physically identical people that make an enemy of you and they refuse to leave you the hell alone. It sounds spells creepy. Now imagine they BOTH want to take every dime that you own.

    It sounds like some freakish horror movie.

  11. Rob

    If I remember rightly...

    ... they were on the losing team of the Boat Race a couple of years ago as well.

  12. attoman

    Sad the whole lot! Twins, Schmuckerburg, and Judge Bred

    Facebook as its competitor Myspace is noWARE,

    That is a few styles of treating users, a few underlying monitization features etc., easily copied in another online meeting place like MyPad!

    It's great that the Twins told the truth about the schmuck, and greater still if they can create something better in next few years.

    In the end though the whole crew think there is something happening at FB. It's a huge bore, waste of time and resource. Certainly its a waste of scientific and technical talent so only schmuckburgers should be involved- keeps them off the streets.

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