July 29, 2010
The Facebook Movie: The Social Network
Posted by Christine Hurt

Every business law professor should love talking about Facebook.  The formation issues; the business model issues; the privacy issues; the IP issues; the list could go on.  And now, there's a movie!!

The Social Network is due out on October 1 and promises to dramatize the origins of Facebook and the legal struggles over that formation.  For a brief primer of these issues, here's Gordon's post from three years ago.  And not to spoil the ending, but the settlement of the case was as protracted and fraught with drama as any in recent history.

Even with all that real-life fodder, the movie, written by Aaron Sorkin, may not be entirely factual.  The movie is based on a book that is so desperate to catch your attention it has two colon-preceded subtitles, plus the words "sex" and "money":  The Accidental Billionaires:  The Founding of Facebook:  A Tale of Sex, Money, Genuis and Betrayal.  Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO, has called the book "fiction," and the movie even departs from the book.  Notably, Zuckerberg does not plan to see the movie, according to Forbes.

That being said, it is written by Aaron Sorkin, so I'll probably love it, just like I loved Sports Night and West Wing.  One piece of dialogue, spoken by a fictional ex-girlfriend of Zuckerberg, seems true Sorkin: 

Listen. You’re going to be successful and rich. But you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a tech geek. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an a**hole."

Sorkin's characters always manage to say the things that we think of saying about six hours after the conversation is over.

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