Huffington Post, Blogging And That Lawsuit.
Huffington Post was recently sold to AOL for a considerable sum, about $300 million.
Such an amount of money was bound to cause problems, as bloggers, who made the HuffPost what it is today consider the issues.
The Raw News has the story:
“WASHINGTON — Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post, has dismissed as “utterly without merit” a lawsuit filed against the website claiming compensation for unpaid bloggers.
Huffington, who sold The Huffington Post to AOL two months ago for $315 million, said the vast majority of contributors to her news and opinion site are happy to do so for free because of the exposure it gives them.
Jonathan Tasini, a freelance journalist, sued The Huffington Post on Tuesday and is demanding at least $105 million for unpaid bloggers on the grounds that they should be compensated for the value they have created for the website.
Tasini is seeking to have the suit accepted as a class action representing more than 9,000 writers and others who contributed material to The Huffington Post for free since it was launched six years ago.
Huffington, in a blog post late Wednesday, said the lawsuit is so “utterly without merit” that she is “hesitant to take any time away from aggregating adorable kitten videos to respond.”
The kitten reference is a jibe at Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, who called Huffington recently the “queen of aggregation” and said part of the appeal of her site is its “adorable kitten videos.” “
Derek Thompson at the Atlantic argues:
“The case of Unpaid Bloggers vs. The Huffington Post is lawsuit for the ages.
It will be taught in law schools across the country for decades to come on the first day of Contract Law under the rubric “The Public Humiliation Consequences of Failing to Understand Contract Law.”
The plaintiffs, who are suing for lack of pay after writing for free, have compared their free labor to modern slavery, which is an insult to the history of slavery and logic. “
This is Jonathan Tasini’s point:
” Today, I have filed a class action lawsuit against Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post and AOL on behalf of thousands of writer-bloggers. Here’s why.
We live in a time of unrelenting class warfare. We are the richest nation on earth—yet that wealth is flowing into the hands of the few. The greatest stage for that class warfare is in the workplace: CEOs and their top executives believe that they are the most important part of the company and that they should reap an obscene portion of the value created by WORKERS.
The Huffington Post was, is and will never be, anything without the thousands of people who create the content. Ms. Huffington is acting like every Robber Baron CEO—from Lloyd Blankfein to the Waltons—who believes that they, and only they, should pocket huge riches, while the rest of the peons struggle to survive. Ms. Huffington stance has been clear: only she deserves the fruits of the labor of the people who work for her.
Actually, Arianna Huffington is worse than the CEOs of the banks, the Walton family of Wal-mart. At least, they pay their workers something—even if those wages aren’t enough to make ends meet.
Huffington pays zero. Nothing. Nada. [more below the fold] “