Bloggers take legal action over Huffington Post sale

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Arianna Huffington, her website and AOL were on the receiving end of a $105m (?64.5m) lawsuit by a group of angry bloggers unhappy that she sold the Huffington Post for $315m without them being paid a penny.

The class action is led by Jonathan Tasini, a writer and trade unionist, who wrote more than 250 posts for Huffington Post on an unpaid basis until he dropped out shortly after the news and comment site was sold to AOL earlier this year.

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Deborah Hobson

Deborah Hobson is a freelance writer and Deputy Editor of She specialises in human interest, celebrity and lifestyle features. Deborah has written scoops for The-Latest, using the Freedom of Information Act to uncover official secrets the public have a right to know about. She looks after contributors and if you would like to become one contact her:

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04 2011

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  1. 1

    Jonathan Tasini is no stranger to Supreme Court litigation. Tasini took on the New York Times for republishing his freelance articles in their databases without permission or payment for their double-use not intended or agreed upon by Tasini. Tasini is a professional journalist, yet for some reason he decided to write a blog at the request of Arianna Huffington herself. He knew that he would never be paid for his contribution, but now he wants a piece of Huffington’s scheme to capitalize on the work of bloggers. Tasini and the others will lose this case because they did not enter into an agreement saying that if the Huffington Post sold, they would be compensated. Ohmy News compensates its contributors, even if that contribution is relatively low for the efforts of westerners. However, for a contributor in a developing country, the money that Ohmy News pays for its articles can produce a viable revenue stream. Many of the pro-am relationships (of which Tasini is excluded as a professional), are born out of people like Huffington who seek to exploit their audiences, claiming that they receive recognition for their efforts. As a citizen and freelance journalist, fame can be very difficult to put on the dinner table. Thank you Ohmy News for leading a model that could provide some hope for a failing news industry that increases cutbacks and exploits the work of others.

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