Quote of the Day

“If Donald Trump wins, my guess is America will look a lot like it did in ‘Back to the Future 2,’ when Biff was in charge.” –Jimmy Kimmel

Arianna Huffington Responds To Blogger Suit

Arianna Huffington has responded to the bloggers who are suing her after seeing how much money she pulled in. As long as the bloggers submitted material willingly with no promises of payment, the comparisons to slaves is absurd. Some of the bloggers have even benefited from the publicity of writing for a site with the traffic levels of Huffington Post.

Huffington compared the unpaid bloggers at her site to those who are involved in other ares of social media and the blogosphere. There are some differences between those who post to sites like Facebook as some posting for a limited audience. Still, Mark Zuckerberg is making a considerable amount of money off their work, but nobody who posts on Facebook realistically expects any payment. Those who write for free at Daily Kos present a closer analogy as they are writing material for the general public without sharing in the income received by Markos Moulitsas Zúniga

Doug Mataconis has a good overview of the case from a legal perspective, but I have a minor nitpick over his statement, “Indeed. These freelancers are, in my opinion, no different than an individual who blogs on his own site without generating any real revenue.”

There is one difference.  The bloggers at Huffington Post did work which partially led to the large profits there, while an individual blogger is unlikely to lead to such profits for anybody. The claim that they were slaves is obviously absurd and I can’t imagine that legally there is any grounds to their suit. However the key remains that there is a large pot of money here, along with the reputation of a public figure. While their legal arguments might not make any sense, I can see where they thought that there was reasonable hope receiving a settlement making the filing of a frivolous suit worthwhile.

If the bloggers had simply raised the issue, they might have received some sympathy. I could then see thinking that perhaps Arianna Huffington should share some of the profits made from their efforts despite not being under any legal obligation to do so. However, now that this has turned into such a frivolous lawsuit, I hope Huffington doesn’t pay out a dime to anyone involved in this suit.