A lawsuit has been filed from an unpaid blogger against AOL and the Huffington Post today, just over two months after founder Arianna Huffington sold the site that she co-founded to AOL for $315 million.
The blogger, Johnathan Tasini, was one of the unpaid bloggers who produced a large chunk of the Huffington Post’s content, which published news stories from paid writers alongside unpaid contributors. The suit estimates the value of the unpaid bloggers contributions at $105 million.
In a statement to Reuters Tasini stated that “The Huffington Post is nothing without the bloggers who created the content.”
Tasini filed the suit personally and is seeking class-action status on behalf of all of the bloggers who provided unpaid content for the site.
Tasini is a union organizer and activist who wrote articles that were published on the Huffington Post from November of 2010 through February 11th of 2011, just a few days after the sale to AOL was made public.
In a statement responding to the filing, AOL spokesman Mario Ruiz called the action “completely baseless” stating, “Our bloggers utilize our platform to connect and ensure that their ideas and views are seen by as many people as possible, It’s the same reason hundreds of people go on TV shows to broadcast their views to as wide an audience as possible.”
The case claims that roughly 9,000 unpaid bloggers are entitled to their cut of the profit from the sale of the site.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated as the story unfolds.