This news is hardly surprising: bloggers for HuffPo who didn’t share in the AOL acquisition monies are suing both Arianna Huffington and AOL in a class action suit. As I noted when the news of the sale of HuffPo first came out, “it’s interesting that there are 6,000 bloggers working for free for HuffPo, and they didn’t get a dime. We bloggers, what we do for love!”
But HuffPo is no longer a lovefest. As former HuffPo blogger and lead plaintiff Jonathan Tasini indicated to Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici during a phone call, “Tasini vowed to make Huffington ‘a pariah in the progressive community’ and said his goal is to set a precedent that writers must share in the value they create.”
The bloggers understood themselves to be volunteers; what does that mean when the product they help develop is sold for tons of money? Under contract law, not much. But the plaintiffs are not suing under contract law, their cause of action will be based on unjust enrichment.
Tasini has more to say to Arianna:
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.”…Anybody blogging for the Huffington Post now is a scab,” he says. “They’re a strike breaker. They’re producing content for somebody who is attacking workers.”
Ah, the left and its fine rhetoric. Arianna may do a rerat and end up taking refuge on the right again before this is through.