With the ongoing legal battle between Facebook and ConnectU going on, who’d of thought a third claim to the hot social networking site would surface? The New York Times’ John Markoff reports that Aaron Greenspan, another Harvard classmate of Mark Zuckerberg, claims to have had the original idea for Facebook. Greenspan launched a website called houseSYSTEM prior to both Facebook and ConnectU’s creation. houseSYSTEM was used by many Harvard students, including Mark Zuckerberg, to accomplish various tasks online. Greenspan sent an email to houseSYSTEM’s users informing them of a new feature called “the Face Book”, which would allow them to easily locate other students. This email was distributed 4 months before Zuckerberg started his site, thefacebook.com. Greenspan has given copies of this email to The New York Times, verifying its existence. Zuckerberg has declined to be interviewed and had his spokesperson say that he does not know how to respond. And, as The New York Times article says, “he did not dispute the chronology of events or the authenticity of Mr. Greenspan’s e-mail messages.”
I wonder if this will come into play in the judge’s decision of whether or not to dismiss the ConnectU-Facebook case. Even further, I wonder what, if anything, will end up happening between Greenspan and Zuckerberg. Amazingly though, Greenspan’s hostility actually seems pretty light, judging from the article. But looking at Facebook’s success, if Greenspan’s claim is 100% accurate, how can he not want what
is was his?