Unpaid Bloggers File Suit Against Huffington Post

Freelancer Jonathan Tasini brings suit, claims 'implied' compensation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2011 11:19 AM CDT
Unpaid Bloggers File Suit Against Huffington Post
National Writers Union president Jonathan Tasini listens to a question as he addresses members of the Chicago Headline Club July 27, 2001 in Chicago.   (Getty Images)

Freelance writer Jonathan Tasini has filed a class-action lawsuit against the Huffington Post/AOL, seeking $105 million in damages for the hundreds of unpaid bloggers toiling for the site. Tasini tells the Washington Post that there was an “implied promise” of compensation for those writers. “Some people were given some promises about future payments,” he said, without elaborating. He’s also accusing Arianna Huffington and the site’s other owners of “unjust enrichment” for building their business on unpaid labor.

“AOL would not have paid $315 million without the value [unpaid writers] created,” he argues. Tasini has written some 250 posts for the Huffington Post. You might also remember him as the man who successfully sued a host of newspapers and magazines for posting freelance articles in online databases without compensating the writers. A Huffington Post spokesman scoffed at the accusations. “Such a suit would be completely baseless,” he said, saying their bloggers volunteered their work in the hopes of reaching a wide audience. (More Huffington Post stories.)

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