2 April 2012

The bloggers have lost the first round in their case.

In New York US district judge John Koeltl ruled on Friday that:

No one forced the plaintiffs to give their work to The Huffington Post for publication and the plaintiffs candidly admit that they did not expect compensation.The principles of equity and good conscience do not justify giving the plaintiffs a piece of the purchase price when they never expected to be paid, repeatedly agreed to the same bargain, and went into the arrangement with eyes wide open...

Plaintiff Jonathan Tasini told Forbes:

Our legal team is studying grounds for appeal. I remind everyone that authors lost the first round in the landmark electronics rights case against The New York Times ó indeed, based on a ruling by then-District Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor ó only to eventually win in the US Supreme Court in 2001. The facts still remain that Arianna Huffington is a robber baron CEO, no different than the people who run Wal-Mart or Goldman Sachs who exploit people for their own wealth and power. Though in fairness to Wal-Mart and Goldman Sachs, they donít hypocritically pretend to be progressives.

Puffing at Huffington

The dispute between unpaid bloggers and the Huffington Post, valued at $315 million by America Online, continues. "Ms. Huffington is creating a new editorial business model built on the desperation of the twenty-first century journalist," says sports writer Dave Zirin: "It's a business model that enriches itself by selling the snake-oil that, for a writer, 'building your brand' is an end unto itself... I think it's dangerous for the future of our craft and I ain't gonna work on Arianna's farm no more. The virtual picket line should be respected for this reason alone."

The Huffington Post launched a UK edition at the beginning of July: see www.huffingtonpost.co.uk

If you've dealt with HuffPost UK please tell us how it went. What rights do they want? What do they pay? How are they about negotiating rights? You can submit a report directly, in confidence, to www.londonfreelance.org/rates/submit.php or email HuffPo@londonfreelance.org.

Last modified: 02 Apr 2012; Posted 08 Aug 2011 - © 2011 contributors
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