AOL, Huffington to face class-action lawsuit over merger from freelancers

posted at 2:55 pm on April 12, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

In an effort to prove that ridiculous hyperbole is not limited to Democrats in Congress, a former Huffington Post contributor has accused founder Arianna Huffington of turning bloggers into “modern day slaves” on her “plantation.” Jonathan Tasini filed a class-action lawsuit against Huffington and AOL, who bought the Huffington Post earlier this year for $315 million.  Tasini wants a third of that in damages on behalf of the unpaid contributors to the site:

“In my view, the Huffington Post’s bloggers have essentially been turned into modern-day slaves on Arianna Huffington’s plantation,” he said. “She wants to pocket the tens of millions of dollars she reaped from the hard work of those bloggers….This all could have been avoided had Arianna Huffington not acted like the Wal-Marts, the Waltons, Lloyd Blankfein, which is basically to say, ‘Go screw yourselves, this is my money.’”

In other words, it’s personal.

“We are going to make Arianna Huffington a pariah in the progressive community,” Tasini vowed. “No one will blog for her. She’ll never [be invited to] speak. We will picket her home. We’re going to make it clear that, until you do justice here, your life is going to be a living hell.”

Don’t be too quick to dismiss the claim, either.  As Forbes explains, Tasini won a case against the New York Times, although that was on a different issue; the Times had not compensated freelancers for publishing their work through electronic databases.  That case involved writers who had negotiated compensation for their work’s initial publication.  In this case, the writers never had an expectation of compensation.

That doesn’t matter, Tasini and his team argue in this case.  Instead, they will claim “unjust enrichment.”  Apparently, the argument will rely on “common law” to convince a court that people who voluntarily contributed their works for free to the website made Arianna rich, and somehow that’s unjust in a legal sense.  (It’s certainly arguable in a moral sense; more on that below.) Now that the contributions allowed Huffington to hit a big payday, Tasini argues that one-third of that value should be seized and given to people who didn’t ask for monetary compensation at all.

I won’t predict that the courts will deny Tasini’s argument, since courts routinely do strange things in lawsuits like this.  The idea that Huffington was a slave-driver on a plantation is not just ridiculous, but insulting to those who suffered from actual slavery, past and present.  No one forced writers and bloggers to publish for free at HuffPo.  The fact that so many contributed without pay means that they must have felt that other factors compensated for their effort, such as exposure, taking part in the community, or just the satisfaction of seeing their work on line.  They could just as easily have chosen not to contribute, a choice that actual slaves do not have.  These writers understood the terms of the relationship when it started, and could have ended it at any time if they were not satisfied with it.

Now Tasini wants to change the terms ex post facto to get a chunk of compensation never promised to him or his colleagues.  That runs a far greater moral and practical risk than Arianna’s arguable exploitation.  It assumes that people cannot comprehend for themselves the agreements into which they enter, a direction that would undermine the entire basis of contractual and non-contractual business relationships.  Huffington had every right, moral and legal, to rely on those agreements to explicit terms of publication, as did AOL in their purchase.  It’s ludicrous to claim a third of the sale value of an asset from which contributors waived compensation from the start.


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[munches popcorn]

greggriffith on April 12, 2011 at 2:57 PM

The perfect liberal metaphor: Give me what you have, even though I don’t deserve it!

rmgraha on April 12, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Silly suit, but it will be fun to watch some of her former far left minions brand Arianna as the third Koch Brother.

jon1979 on April 12, 2011 at 2:58 PM

[munches popcorn]

greggriffith on April 12, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Beat me to it.

Count to 10 on April 12, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Arianna Legree

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 2:59 PM

HotAir is paying me $2.00/comment, so the results of this case will not apply. Dang-it!

WashJeff on April 12, 2011 at 2:59 PM

She needs to face a class action lawsuit for burning our eyes with this — in case you haven’t see it

Arianna Huffington Without Make-Up

Nearly Nobody on April 12, 2011 at 2:59 PM

“We are going to make Arianna Huffington a pariah in the progressive community,” Tasini vowed. “No one will blog for her. She’ll never [be invited to] speak. We will picket her home. We’re going to make it clear that, until you do justice here, your life is going to be a living hell.”

By a ‘nice’ bunch to a ‘nice’ witch.

Schadenfreude on April 12, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Lay down with the entitlement class and wake up in court.

trapeze on April 12, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Liberals enjoy being slaves.

lorien1973 on April 12, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Winner on the 1st post

Heh

cmsinaz on April 12, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Lay down with the entitlement class and wake up in court.

trapeze on April 12, 2011 at 3:00 PM

That has thread winner written all over it.

Count to 10 on April 12, 2011 at 3:03 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAAAAHAHAHHA

Although it will likely ultimately amount to nothing, it’s still funny to watch these “progressives” at war with each other over $$$ when all they do is decry the evils of capitalism and personal profit motives.

Good Lt on April 12, 2011 at 3:05 PM

The chances of the plaintiffs being certified as a class are pretty much zero. This in addition to the fact there is absolutely no claim on the merits.

tommyboy on April 12, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Well-said. The good news is that they’re not asking the federal government (i.e., we taxpayers) for reparations for their voluntary servitude.

Buy Danish on April 12, 2011 at 3:06 PM

It is funny when you see the liberals in power brainwash their people and then those people apply the same logic to their masters. It just goes to show you, that you can train a dog to fight, but eventually it will bite you.

jeffn21 on April 12, 2011 at 3:07 PM

HotAir is paying me $2.00/comment, so the results of this case will not apply. Dang-it!

WashJeff on April 12, 2011 at 2:59 PM

I’m not getting anything. Ed & HP are slavemasters! Cruelly whipping me to comment.

rbj on April 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Anything bad for Arianna is good for the country.

petunia on April 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM

On the other hand, there’s this sense of “community” in, well, places where people don’t have to pay/get paid to join (databases like last.fm (see comments here), free software movement, etc.). I can certainly understand HuffPo contributors feeling betrayed—even as I fear this lawsuit may set a terrible precedent.

novakyu on April 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Of course, what they’re fishing for is an out-of-court settlement.

BTW: I’ll be suing Hot Air for my contribution. Their making 4 cents off of my 2 cents worth :)

michaelo on April 12, 2011 at 3:09 PM

So the woman took advantage of and made a bundle off a bunch of suckers. There’s one born every minute, right? Should she treat people in such a manner? No, it’s quite vulgar to profit off other people’s sweat and tears. But did she do anything illegal? Probably not.

scalleywag on April 12, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Hey, spread the wealth, Arianna. Spread that wealth!

ironmonger69 on April 12, 2011 at 3:11 PM

They should unionize. I’m sure Arianna would embrace their collective bargaining….along with all the paid contributors on HuffPo.

ramrants on April 12, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Blue on blue. Me likey. A lot.

angryed on April 12, 2011 at 3:13 PM

As Kissinger once said about the Iraq-Iran war,

“It’s a shame they both can’t lose.”

Wethal on April 12, 2011 at 3:14 PM

There is literally light years of distance between Arianna Huffington and Scarlett O’Hara.

pilamaye on April 12, 2011 at 3:15 PM

It’s ludicrous to claim a third of the sale value of an asset from which contributors waived compensation from the start.

I wouldn’t necessarily agree with this. It would be ludicrous if it was for work already performed voluntarily. But I think they will argue instead the 1/3 is for the value, and it’s future benefit to AOL, they added to the sale. If they can show from the sale negotiations that AOL expressed a strong interest in the free bloggers writings and based a large part of the value of the company on that then I would give them a very good chance.

A good analogy would be a friend of mine helps me maintain my classic car for free. A person offers to buy the car but specifically states it’s partly because he thinks I can convince my friend to keep the car up at no cost and pays more than the going rate because of it. I think my friend would have a good shot at some compensation.

The problem for Arianna in this deal is the out of whack price paid. I wonder when celebs and pols start looking for some of this cash. Will libs really continue to use HuffPo as their go to place for rants now that they know how much money is in it? How much of the price paid to Arianna was for her ability to get high name people to post for free?
Did any celebs that post get anything out of the AOL deal on the sly?

It will be an interesting case.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 3:16 PM

HotAir is paying me $2.00/comment, so the results of this case will not apply. Dang-it!

WashJeff on April 12, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Wait, what?? Where’s my damn check!

NotCoach on April 12, 2011 at 3:17 PM

“What does democracy look like — This is what democracy look like”

tjexcite on April 12, 2011 at 3:18 PM

“We are going to make Arianna Huffington a pariah in the progressive community,” Tasini vowed. “No one will blog for her. She’ll never [be invited to] speak. We will picket her home. We’re going to make it clear that, until you do justice here, your life is going to be a living hell.”

So typical of liberals…so typical.

Gothguy on April 12, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Not bloggers.

Interns, apparently.

tomg51 on April 12, 2011 at 3:20 PM

“… or just the satisfaction of seeing their work on line.”

FIRST…!

/

Seven Percent Solution on April 12, 2011 at 3:21 PM

She may be a tart but this is not a tort. Okay that’s it for me.

Seth Halpern on April 12, 2011 at 3:22 PM

[puts down cheddar cheese, picks up beer, munches popcorn, burps] :-)
repeat…

ChicagoBlues on April 12, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Delicious. Will Oliver defend her in court?

slickwillie2001 on April 12, 2011 at 3:24 PM

You know, I’ve helped out friends before by donating my time on graphic design projects. If I found they had sold a logo I designed to some Fortune 500 company and made a handsome profit off of it I’d say they owed me some money. But if they told me to stuff it, (like Arianna basically has told these writers), I doubt I’d have a legal leg to stand on and it would be my own fault for not getting something in writing. Yea, you’ve been had, buddy, but you should have known Ms. Huffington never had anyone but her own interest’s at heart. That kind of blows her credibility as the “I’m so concerned about the working class folks” out of the water, though.

scalleywag on April 12, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Perhaps Arianna should counter-sue for the value the free-lancer’s received by being able to publish their works (which would probably be mostly unknown otherwise) on the nation-wide platform she built.

Sure, Arianna and the bloggers never entered into an agreement for them to pay her for the platform; however, that clearly no longer matters. What matters is whether or not you think you can get some money after the fact….

JadeNYU on April 12, 2011 at 3:26 PM

wonder how far this nutjob would have taken this argument if he knew that he’d be liable for Auntie Arianna’s legal fees should he lose the lawsuit?

can the HuffPo ‘tort reform’ editorial be far behind?

/big doubts

DrW on April 12, 2011 at 3:26 PM

.This all could have been avoided had Arianna Huffington not acted like the Wal-Marts, the Waltons, Lloyd Blankfein, which is basically to say, ‘Go screw yourselves, this is my money.’”

he forgot those nasty nasty Koch brothers…./

ted c on April 12, 2011 at 3:28 PM

I wonder if this will drive Arianna Huffington to go Galt?

BohicaTwentyTwo on April 12, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Durn evil rich. Oh wait, it’s a progressive capitalist and not the Koch?…

AH_C on April 12, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Are these the “writers” who contribute opinions/articles on the left side of her front page? If so, I’ve never noticed they got a lot of views or comments unless they wrote about Palin. Or the post was about cute kittens. :)

scalleywag on April 12, 2011 at 3:32 PM

…”We will picket her home. We’re going to make it clear that, until you do justice here, your life is going to be a living hell…”

Is that all these libtards know…to personally terrorize anyone they disagree with at their home? One of these days, someone is going to cross the line and end up getting shot. And as far as I’m concerned, when they step on private property, they deserve what they get. Like the ol’ man said “Get offa my lawn”

Big John on April 12, 2011 at 3:33 PM

J_Crater on April 12, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Great stuff.

pedestrian on April 12, 2011 at 3:34 PM

I’m not getting anything. Ed & HP are slavemasters! Cruelly whipping me to comment.

rbj on April 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Your rent is too damn high!

WashJeff on April 12, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Do all the people who have accounts on Facebook deserve a cut of that $50 billion? How about all the people who have written a web page that was indexed by Google?

pedestrian on April 12, 2011 at 3:40 PM

The Guy Who Says He Owns 50% Of Facebook Just Filed A Boatload Of New Evidence — And It’s Breathtaking

J_Crater on April 12, 2011 at 3:10 PM

The guy would own 50% of whatever Zuckerberg still owns of Facebook, not 50% of the company.

strictnein on April 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Blah blah blah commerce clause blah blah blah commerce clause blah blah blah. In summation, Huffo needs to pay because of the commerce clause.
– crr6

angryed on April 12, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Hard to pick a “good guy” in this story.

Scrappy on April 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

It seems to me that what all these freelancers actually don’t like is that HuffPo was bought by an “evil” corporation who wants to make a profit. Never mind that Arianna was all about making a profit as well, she was one of them, you see, and her heart was in the right place, so these freelancers didn’t mond being a slave to her. Bottom line? They’re idiots who allowed themselves to be used and are now throwing a hissy fit because thy’re being used by someone who’s not one of them.

clearbluesky on April 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Do all the people who have accounts on Facebook deserve a cut of that $50 billion? How about all the people who have written a web page that was indexed by Google?

pedestrian on April 12, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Not really any comparison. People on Facebook received a service for free. One they could use even without doing anything more than signing up. Was HuffPo marketed to the as a free blogging service? Do the bloggers maintain copyright? Can they remove their work from HuffPos servers? As for Google that’s just silly. Goggle doesn’t even have any real contact with the pages it indexes. It certainly didn’t solicit them.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 3:46 PM

The Guy Who Says He Owns 50% Of Facebook Just Filed A Boatload Of New Evidence — And It’s Breathtaking

J_Crater on April 12, 2011 at 3:10 PM

A return of $10 billion on an investment of $2000 is pretty slick.

Count to 10 on April 12, 2011 at 3:48 PM

“Not only do I <3 AARP, I'm pulling for Tasini."

- Jazz Shaw

pain train on April 12, 2011 at 3:48 PM

It seems to me that what all these freelancers actually don’t like is that HuffPo was bought by an “evil” corporation who wants to make a profit. Never mind that Arianna was all about making a profit as well, she was one of them, you see, and her heart was in the right place, so these freelancers didn’t mond being a slave to her. Bottom line? They’re idiots who allowed themselves to be used and are now throwing a hissy fit because thy’re being used by someone who’s not one of them.

clearbluesky on April 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

I don’t think that’s true. Mostly because of the excessive price paid to Huffinton for the site. It’s hard to justify the price while dismissing the influence of the free bloggers. I think in the end you will see this deal go south unless they were very careful in the language of the contracts. I think this is one of the reasons Arianna’s role was sole played up and the reason she was put in charge of AOL’s content.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 3:50 PM

A return of $10 billion on an investment of $2000 is pretty slick.

Count to 10 on April 12, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Tell that to Jobs and Gates.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 3:51 PM

The guy would own 50% of whatever Zuckerberg still owns of Facebook, not 50% of the company.

strictnein on April 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Yep, and I’m thinking he will get it. Zuckerberg’s main argument seems to be the time passed but I don’t think that will hold in the end. The guy claims he hadn’t come forward earlier because he didn’t think he could prove it but recently found the actual contract. He came forward then.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 3:53 PM

I thought she was already a pariah.

John the Libertarian on April 12, 2011 at 3:53 PM

I get allergic smelling hay.

Del Dolemonte on April 12, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Zuckerberg’s main argument seems to be the time passed but I don’t think that will hold in the end.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 3:53 PM

The article just says that Facebook denies the evidence. If they admit the evidence is true, Zuckerburg is in a world of hurt. For one thing, the Winklevii will go after him for the other 50%.

pedestrian on April 12, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I don’t think that’s true. Mostly because of the excessive price paid to Huffinton for the site. It’s hard to justify the price while dismissing the influence of the free bloggers. I think in the end you will see this deal go south unless they were very careful in the language of the contracts. I think this is one of the reasons Arianna’s role was sole played up and the reason she was put in charge of AOL’s content.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 3:50 PM

I’m not dismissing the influence of the bloggers, i’m pointing out that they knew all along what they were doing. It’s no secret that HuffPo is one of the most visited sites on the web and pulling in the $ that go with that, but those bloggers worked for free anyway. So what changed? The ownership changed and the liberal bloggers decided that they won’t for free when it’s an “evil” corporation and not one of their kind.

clearbluesky on April 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Down with the corporate slave drivers at Huffington who fatten their pockets off the backs of the American worker.

When will this rape of workers rights by the liberal elite be stopped??????……have they no shame???????

Shame on you!!!!!

……….Shame on you!!!!!

……………….Shame on you!!!!!

Baxter Greene on April 12, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Jonathan Tasini hates women. In fact, he probably wants to kill them.

/

mankai on April 12, 2011 at 4:06 PM

The article just says that Facebook denies the evidence. If they admit the evidence is true, Zuckerburg is in a world of hurt. For one thing, the Winklevii will go after him for the other 50%.

pedestrian on April 12, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I’m thinking that is why they wanted out of their recent settlement despite it being worth so much. In the end this may work out as a 3 way split. The problem for Zuckerburg is he screwed, what turns out to be, the majority owners of “his” company.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 4:06 PM

I get allergic smelling hay.

Del Dolemonte on April 12, 2011 at 3:55 PM

That’s some funny s*** right there.

:>)

hillbillyjim on April 12, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed.
-Karl Marx

/irony

mankai on April 12, 2011 at 4:09 PM

So what changed? The ownership changed and the liberal bloggers decided that they won’t for free when it’s an “evil” corporation and not one of their kind.

clearbluesky on April 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Your oversimplifying it. If Arianna had got some reasonable price for the site I think many of the bloggers would stop posting for the reasons you state but I don’t think a lawsuit would gain much traction. The price paid sends up a lot of flags here.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 4:12 PM

I disagree with Ed.

The contributors were willing to donate thier time because they believed in supporting the movement.

Not to enrich a single individual.

I am pretty damn conservative, and find most of the articles on Huffpo drivel.

But this to me stinks.

She should not be able to court all this pro-bono material, i’m sure selling it on the point that the contributors are doing it for the common good, only to have her flip the content, and the audience generated, and make hundreds of millions.

That is slimy.

Thune on April 12, 2011 at 4:16 PM

I heard about this on Hannity on my way home from exercising. I can exercise in the middle of the day because I have no job. I have no job because the economy is so bad. The economy is so bad because businesses are holding onto to cash instead of investing it. Businesses aren’t investing because of the hostile anti-capitalist atmosphere emanating from the White Mosque.

Back to my point, though, I heard about this on Hannity today.

madmonkphotog on April 12, 2011 at 4:18 PM

This all could have been avoided had Arianna Huffington not acted like the Wal-Marts, the Waltons, Lloyd Blankfein, which is basically to say, ‘Go screw yourselves, this is my money.’”

Last I checked, those evil right-wingers pay their employees and give them health plans to boot.

Shame you chose to work for a Leftist.

(Note: “Blankfein is a contributor to mostly Democratic party candidates…”)

mankai on April 12, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Your oversimplifying it. If Arianna had got some reasonable price for the site I think many of the bloggers would stop posting for the reasons you state but I don’t think a lawsuit would gain much traction. The price paid sends up a lot of flags here.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 4:12 PM

The bloggers knew how much the site was worth before it was sold, everyone knew, it wasn’t a secret. The bloggers changed their tune when they started working for a corporation, in their eyes they weren’t writing for “the cause” anymore so they’re throwing a hissy fit. If HuffPo was bought by Daily Kos tomorrow for the same price AOL paid all these bloggers would go back to writing for free.

clearbluesky on April 12, 2011 at 4:24 PM

madmonkphotog on April 12, 2011 at 4:18 PM

LOL, well done.

d1carter on April 12, 2011 at 4:27 PM

How can they both lose? I’m rooting for a double loss.Hmmmm… Arianna Huffington wins after a long expensive court battle (after many appeals), AOL drops Arianna due to backlash. Arianna sues AOL and so on, and so on.

Buttered Popcorn please. :-)

IowaWoman on April 12, 2011 at 4:27 PM

if this guy wins will comment section on blogs become a think of the past?

unseen on April 12, 2011 at 4:30 PM

This all could have been avoided had Arianna Huffington not acted like the Wal-Marts, the Waltons, Lloyd Blankfein, which is basically to say, ‘Go screw yourselves, this is my money.’”

You know what the differnce is between a Progressive Owned Multimillion Dollar Coporation and a Conservative Owned Multimillion Dollar Corporation?

Conservatives pay their help.

Lily on April 12, 2011 at 4:37 PM

If HuffPo was bought by Daily Kos tomorrow for the same price AOL paid all these bloggers would go back to writing for free.

clearbluesky on April 12, 2011 at 4:24 PM

That’s the point. DailyKOS could never have paid such a sum. I don’t think anyone would have placed a value on Huffpo anywhere near what AOL paid either. At best I think most would have placed it at a tenth of that. Again it depends what was in the contract. I think it will shake out that either Arianna pays them off or the bloggers gets sole rights to what they posted including the ability to remove it from HuffPo which would scotch the deal with AOL. HuffPo is not worth what they paid with no content.
Arianna is trying to play this off like it’s Facebook or Flicker but the difference is those companies don’t own the pics, etc. that get posted. Imagine what Flicker would be worth if the company considered the copyrights to what gets posted there belongs to them.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Somewhere I see Ariana playing Otter to the bloggers Flounder, saying “You f***ed up! You trusted me! Hey, make the best of it!”

itsspideyman on April 12, 2011 at 4:42 PM

I get allergic smelling hay.

Del Dolemonte on April 12, 2011 at 3:55 PM

I don’t know how old you have to be to get the reference, but seriously, I almost wet myself I was trying so hard not to laugh here at work.

Lily on April 12, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Thune on April 12, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Have you read Animal Farm?

It’s an allegory of how leftist thought can harness effort that in the end is worse, in every way, than the system that it replaces.

A relevant quote, from near the end:

Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer— except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs.

And another, which sums up Tasini’s POV:

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

That last one is especially schadelicious.

JeffWeimer on April 12, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Now this is what I call irony. Mr. Tasini fails to realize that the only reason he has an outlet to begin with is because someone with money and name recognition set up a mechanism for him to blog. Now Tasini is upset because the person who put the money and their name on the line is making profits because of it. Mr. Tasini is under no obligation to blog for Huff Po and looks like he didn’t arrange for compensation either. It’s kind of funny to watch dems pull each other down because one of them became “too rich.”

stuartm650 on April 12, 2011 at 4:49 PM

The fact that so many contributed without pay means that they must have felt that other factors compensated for their effort, such as exposure, taking part in the community, or just the satisfaction of seeing their work on line. They could just as easily have chosen not to contribute, a choice that actual slaves do not have. These writers understood the terms of the relationship when it started, and could have ended it at any time if they were not satisfied with it.

Ed, this argument works if HuffPo does not try to claim copyright. Do the bloggers have the ability to delete anything they have posted to HuffPo? Or does everything become property of HuffPo once posted? If it’s the latter then the argument doesn’t work. This isn’t like comments here. These are actual content valued in the price of the sale.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 4:50 PM

I get allergic smelling hay.

Del Dolemonte on April 12, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Subtle. I see we’re on the same wavelength.

JeffWeimer on April 12, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Greedy liberal hag screws over liberal bloggers…and a big spat ensues???

Zsa-Zsa didn’t get rich by being a generous giving person.

BigWyo on April 12, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Unjust enrichment is an equitable remedy, not a legal remedy.

Tasini has an arguable claim that part of the value of the 315 million dollar value of the Huffington Post was the past and future contributions of writers such as Tasini. And so, it is inequitable that Ariana keep the entire 315 million without compensating Tasini and others in the class.

As with most modern class action lawsuits, if there is a settlement, most of the settlement money will go to Tasini’s lawyers, some to Tasini, and a coupon to purchase a book at a 5% discount to everyone else.

BTW Ed has an actual conflict of interest since Hot Air benefits from uncompensated contributions by some or all of Hot Air’s contributors.

slp on April 12, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Arianna to the peasants: Go f’ yourselves. I’m rich!!! Rich!!! RICH!!!!!

capejasmine on April 12, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Narcissistic rent seeking, Huf has hit a payday and Tasini wants a cut. And, of course, a chance to play victim in the Leftist morality play.

A pox on them all.

I hope this makes some people realize what kind of people they’ll be associating with on the Left, and rethink their positions.

LarryD on April 12, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Zsa-Zsa didn’t get rich by being a generous giving person.

BigWyo on April 12, 2011 at 5:20 PM

And she ain’t near the class of the real Gabor sisters.

itsspideyman on April 12, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Lets say I walk my dog “Tasini” by your house every day, and ole “Tasini” craps on your lawn every day. Do I get to bill you for fertilizer just cause you sold your house for $500K? Come on, Dude! You know the only reason it sold is cause the lawn looked so green and all . . .

BigAlSouth on April 12, 2011 at 6:20 PM

This is very similar to what happened at Microsoft in the late-80′s. Microsoft, like many firms, uses a lot of contract labor to smooth out the ups and downs of the work cycle. Back then contracting was much looser than it is today, for reasons that will become clear below. One contractor, who was probably making more than his manager, explicitly declined an offer to sign on as a Microsoft employee because it meant he’d have to take a pay cut. Well, when Microsoft stock started going up and employees were getting rich, suddenly the contractor decided he was in fact, a Microsoft employee and as such entitled to stock options too. Naturally, he sued. And won. Since then companies make independents work for a “body shop” that takes a chunk of your paycheck for doing nothing. If you don’t want to hire on with one of those leeches you have to incorporate and carry a couple million in liability insurance. The cost of being an independent went way up because of this moron.

Regardless of the merits, don’t be surprised if these whiny clowns win their suit too.

crusader1145 on April 12, 2011 at 6:25 PM

The article just says that Facebook denies the evidence. If they admit the evidence is true, Zuckerburg is in a world of hurt. For one thing, the Winklevii will go after him for the other 50%.

pedestrian on April 12, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I’m thinking that is why they wanted out of their recent settlement despite it being worth so much. In the end this may work out as a 3 way split. The problem for Zuckerburg is he screwed, what turns out to be, the majority owners of “his” company.

Rocks on April 12, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Will Hollywood have to remake their crappy movie?

slickwillie2001 on April 12, 2011 at 6:27 PM

“Liberals enjoy being slaves.
lorien1973 on April 12, 2011 at 3:02 PM”

Absolutely. What difference does it make which plantation they are on? Arianna’s, Soros’ or the government’s. Stop whining you weenies. Didn’t you know that socialism means the few rich pigs are more equal than you? Never read “Animal Farm”? Suckers.

JimP on April 12, 2011 at 6:42 PM

So I’m ENTITLED to 1/3 of the value of all those Habitat Homes I voluntarily worked on?

The day the owners sell, I’ll be sure to be there for my cut.

And I’m sure those homeowners will understand.

GarandFan on April 12, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Damn, this sounds more like the Michael More-Money Moore model.

Could somebody please remind us which came first ?

/.

CaveatEmpty on April 12, 2011 at 6:54 PM

I think this has legs.
One can assert that:
Huffpo had value because of the content.
The ‘free’ bloggers contributed because they believed in the idealogical concept.
Her property, the Huffpo, wouldn’t have had the same value without their contribution to the content.
Since she sold her property, and profited handsomely, the sale contradicts the intent of the bloggers and their ‘free’ contributions.
Therefore, they are entitled to compensation since her end of the implied contract has been violated.

TinMan13 on April 12, 2011 at 7:45 PM

The judge will just tell them to start blogging for a site that pays, if they can find one.

They had no contract, no expectation of compensation, and gained lots of global publicity for their puffpiece “articles”.

But they’re free to make Arianna’s life a living hell.

[That'll be $3.98 Ed.]

profitsbeard on April 12, 2011 at 7:49 PM

I wish they would leave Eva Gabor alone… It is hard work living on the farm with Oliver Douglas…

Khun Joe on April 12, 2011 at 7:58 PM

What would Facebook, Twitter & MySpace be worth without user content? If these bloggers win, shouldn’t all Facebook users should receive stock or some shares of stock?

nametaken on April 12, 2011 at 8:34 PM

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