A group of former Huffington post bloggers has launched a $105m lawsuit against the Huffington Post, its owner Arianna Huffington and the internet giant AOL.
According to The Guardian, the class action is being led by writer and trade unionist Jonathan Tasini, who wrote 250 blog posts for the site before it was sold to AOL for £315m earlier this year. The group claim they helped create the website’s success and are entitled to a share of profits from the sale.
Tasini is quoted as saying: “Huffington bloggers have essentially been turned into modern day slaves on Arianna Huffington’s plantation.” Tasini has form in this area, having led a successful class action on behalf of freelance journalists against the New York Times in 2001, in a dispute over copyright for print and online articles.
The group estimate that around 9,000 people wrote unpaid blogs for the Huffington Post on an unpaid basis. Using that figure, they have calculated that unpaid bloggers helped create a third of the website’s £315m valuation.
Last month it was announced that the the Huffington Post is set to launch a British edition later this Summer.