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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Arianna Huffington at centre of bloggers' lawsuit

The Telegraph
by Amanda Andrews
April 12, 2011

A lawsuit, filed in the Manhattan federal court, comes two months after Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the website, sold it to AOL for $315m. The lawsuit has claimed that, of that price, at least $105m was the estimated value of the website's unpaid writings, which should now be given to the bloggers.

"The Huffington Post is nothing without the bloggers who created the content," said Jonathan Tasini, a one-time Huffington Post blogger who filed the lawsuit and is seeking class-action status on behalf of the bloggers.

Arianna Huffington at centre of bloggers' lawsuit

Part opinion, part news, the left-leaning website has relied on free contributions by celebrities, politicians and experts to drive its internet traffic, turning it into a major online force since its start in 2005.

Ms Huffington told The Telegraph in an interview last month that people should not expect to get paid for their blog contributions – they are simply getting the opportunity for their voices to be heard.

"It is really important to make a clear distinction between people who write and blog. Confusing the two is really missing the point of what is happening online," she says. "We do not pay bloggers. This is not a question of ever paying bloggers. When people go on [the BBC's] Newsnight , do they get paid? Do people complain that Newsnight doesn't pay you? I can show you emails from very influential people to post their blogs on the Huffington Post. And that's because they get exposure."