Tasini’s lawsuit seeks $105M in damages for HuffPo contributors

Washington Post
Jonathan Tasini contends the Huffington Post engaged in breach of contract with its contributors because of an “implied promise” of compensation. “Some people were given some promises about future payments,” he tells Paul Farhi declining to provide specifics. || More from Farhi’s story:

He said his suit will also allege that HuffPost’s owners, including Huffington herself, engaged in “unjust enrichment” by building a business on uncompensated labor and by accepting AOL’s buyout offer. “AOL would not have paid $315 million without the value [unpaid writers] created,” he said. “Arianna Huffington believes she and only she should pocket the money for the value created.”

Tasini said at his press conference

We are going to make Arianna Huffington a pariah in the progressive community. 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.

Huffington Post spokesman Mario Ruiz‘s response to the suit:

The lawsuit is wholly without merit. 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. HuffPost bloggers can cross-post their work on other sites, including their own. Aside from our group blog, to which thousands of people from around the world contribute, we operate a journalistic enterprise with hundreds of paid staff editors, writers, and reporters.

Scott Rosenberg‘s tweet:

Got my issues with HuffPo but Tasini’s suit is a ludicrous publicity stunt. If u gave Arianna yr words u knew the deal.

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