NEW YORK, NY: A class action lawsuit was filed today against The Huffington Post.com, Inc., Huffington Post owner Arianna Huffington, her co-owner, and AOL.com, Inc. alleging that thousands of writers and other content providers have been wrongly denied any compensation for the substantial value they created for the Huffington Post. The Huffington Post was recently sold to AOL for $315 million.
“Arianna Huffington is pursuing the Wal-Martization of creative content and a Third World class of creative people,” said Jonathan Tasini, the lead plaintiff in the suit. “Actually, that is unfair to Wal-Mart because at least Wal-Mart pays its workers something for the value those workers create. In Arianna Huffington’s business model, economic gain is only reserved for her. Everyone else, apparently, is expected to work for free regardless of the value they create. Greed and selfishness is the order of the day.”
The class action, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of a putative class of over 9,000 writers and other content providers to The Huffington Post.com states deceptive trade practices and unjust enrichment as causes of action. The complaint requests at least $105 million in damages on behalf of The Huffington Post’s uncompensated writers and other content providers.
THE FULL COMPLAINT CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE: http://www.huffingtonpostlawsuit.com/uploads/Tasini_et_al._v._Huffington_et_al._Filed_Complaint_April_12_2011.pdf
The suit will pursue novel issues in the digital age. “We intend to prove at trial that the content and services provided by the over 9,000 members of the class created substantial value for the Huffington Post and we hope to establish a strong precedent that in the digital age content producers must be compensated for the value they create,” said Plaintiff’s counsel Jesse Strauss.
A conference call to review the case will be held at 11:00 AM EST on Tuesday, April 12. Invited participants may dial in at (712) 432-0900 using access code 515711#.
Tasini was the lead plaintiff in a previous landmark case won on behalf of freelance creators, Tasini v. The New York Times, which reaffirmed creators’ rights in the digital age. The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the creator-plaintiffs in June 2001.
Kurzon Strauss LLP is a premier New York-based commercial litigation and corporate transactional law firm. For more information, please visit www.kurzonstrauss.com.