Recently Arianna Huffinton (and her initial business partners in the Huffinton Post) received both an enormous amoung of flak and an enormous amount of money when she agreed to sell the Huffington Post to AOL for the high price of $315 million. As a result of the sale, many uncompensated bloggers were upset that their words were helping make an already-rich Arianna Huffington even richer; currently there is a lawsuit pending against Arianna Huffington on behalf of the angered bloggers. Already speculation that compensation could reach into the millions when and if a settlement or court decision is reached.
As this site reports about the lawsuit against Arianna Huffington:
“The suit claims the Huffington Post has been "unjustly enriched" by luring contributors with the prospect of exposure but keeping the financial gain from their articles.”
Labor rights activist Jonathon Tasini is leading the legal charge against the Huffington Post and has been speaking out against Arianna Huffington in support of the bloggers. He’s not afraid to use labels and is calling anyone who is still writing for the Huffington Post a scab. Jonathon Tasini’s stated goal is to make life a “living hell” for Arianna Huffington and to make her a “social pariah among the progressives” she used to represent. This isn’t the first time that Jonathon Tasini has been involved in a court case involving electronic rights. In 2001, he won a court case giving freelance writers more control over how and if their written works were allowed to be written on the Internet—none of the writers in the case had given permission for their work to be put on the Internet.
Arianna Huffington’s spokesman is claiming that the case has little, if any, merit. His view is that Arianna Huffington and the Huffington Post provided a platform for writers to express their views. Specifically, he stated:
“As we’ve said before, our bloggers use our platform — as well as other unpaid group blogs across the Web — to connect and help their work be seen by as many people as possible,”. “It’s the same reason people go on TV shows: to promote their views and ideas.”
Jonathon Tasini’s lawsuit against the Huffington Post represents more than 9,000 Huffington Post bloggers and is for more than $105 million, not an insignificant amount of money by any means of measurement. It will be interesting to see how the courts tackle this case and whether or not Jonathon Tasini follows through on his pledge to make life a “living hell” for Arianna Huffington.