Arianna Huffington Sued For 'Stealing' The Idea For The Huffington Post

from the you-can't-steal-ideas dept

Apparently two political consultants, Peter Daou and James Boyce, thought they had a deal back in 2004 to help create a blogging site with Arianna Huffington and Ken Lerer -- and they're now suing both of them for "idea misappropriation" over the Huffington Post. The whole filing is quite a read:
Of course, you can't own an idea, so it's a bit silly to claim otherwise. There's also a breach of contract claim, which also seems like a huge stretch. While it is possible to have a verbal contract, from the filings, it's going to be very difficult for Daou and Boyce to prove that there was any official verbal contract at work here. It sounded like early stages of planning, before Huffington and Lerer decided to go in their own direction.

Also quite damning is the fact that the lawsuit is being filed more than 5 years after the events took place. Daou and Boyce try to explain this away by claiming that a public legal fight would hurt their ability to get other work, which doesn't really make much sense. On top of that Daou and Boyce have been regular contributors to The Huffington Post. In the lawsuit, they suggest that they still wanted it to be a success and hoped that Huffington and Lerer would make things right. It's difficult to see this court case getting very far, but it may scare people off from having any conversations with Daou or Boyce about potentially working together on any kind of project, as it seems they might sue you in the future if you don't automatically cut them in on it if you decide to go off and do it on your own.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Oh gods

    I had this idea in '94.

    Oh wait, everybody else on the net at the time did too.

    If it wasn't for these buggers who up and done it, WE'D have done it. Probably. At some point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Scote, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    You mean "oral" contract

    You wrote:

    "prove that there was any official verbal contract at work here. "

    Any contract that uses words is verbal. Both oral and written contracts are verbal. An oral contract is one that is spoken rather than written down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 12:19pm

    Re: You mean "oral" contract

    So you're saying that you think it may be a written contract? Why?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    WDS (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 12:26pm

    Re: You mean "oral" contract

    Actual Merriam-Webster includes under the definition of Verbal, "Spoken rather than written" and gives as an example "A Verbal Contract".

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: You mean "oral" contract

    BAM!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: You mean "oral" contract

    Boom, headshot...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 12:57pm

    Were these two whores recently laid off?

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Dewey, Cheatem & Howe, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    And to think Daou and Boyce thought bringing way back when would be career-limiting... it's far more career-limiting to play nice in the intervening 5 years and THEN file suit. Whatta couple dopes.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 1:04pm

    Assuming the facts as related in the complaint are true (at this point in the proceedings the facts are presumed to be true), these two individuals present a quite compelling case that may proceed to trial on all counts in the absence of any relevant statute of limitations.

    As for "idea", your article is remiss in not noting that the work allegedly done by the two plaintiffs was far, far more advanced than you appear prepared to give credit.

    BTW, verbal contracts are just fine (Statute of Frauds does not apply here) for the formation of a Joint Venture, and breach of a fiduciary duty, as is owed by each joint venturer to the others, is a serious matter.

     

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  10.  
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    interval (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 1:14pm

    Good

    I'm glad Huffington is being sued for something, even if the merits of the case arn't exactly up to snuff. The damn, lie-spewing witch needs to be brought down a peg or two by any means.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    James Carmichael (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Grammar Nazi

    more then 5 years -> more than 5 years

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    bob, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 1:48pm

    I can't say I blame him

    All I know is that being married to her turns you gay, or in other words her x would rather be gay than married to her.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Scote, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: You mean "oral" contract

    Yes, you *can* use it in that way, but it is imprecise and equivocal. Oral is not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    bjupton, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 3:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: You mean "oral" contract

    I thought 'oral' was precise and unequivocal.

    She had a different view.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Good

    nice.
    ends justify the means? if you dont like it, dont read it. if you believe it to be lies, start your own site in order to offer proof that its all lies.

    quite honestly, the idea of "i hate them so bring them down by any means possible" is bottom of the barrel thinking and every bit as underhanded as what RIAA, MPAA, et al. do... you really want to be thought of in the same light as them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    elliot, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 7:02pm

    Daou and Boyce

    I guess these guys watched THE SOCIAL NETWORK, and decided to sue. Zuckerburg gets sued (and won) by 2 guys who came up with the original idea and hired zuckerburg.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 7:56pm

    Huffington Post suit

    I am probably a little out of date, but there are several things to consider here:
    1. Under the Statute of Frauds, a contract covering more than a year must be in writing. I didn't see that; but IMO a verbal contract is a nullity in this case.
    2. In every state I am aware of, a suit for such a thing needed to be brought within 2-4 years, even if in writing, otherwise, the Statute of Limitations likely applies.
    3. An attorney, in every state I am aware of, would need to explain this to a client - of course, if the client decides to proceed anyway, it gets murky - and we need to know "Which state"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Nobody you know, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 5:40am

    Re: Good

    You just don't like the fact that someone is standing up to the Republicanazis who own America and control most of the news outlets so they can hide their crimes. Good for Arianna.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 4:45pm

    people steal more than you think

    I'm not saying yes or no. I'm saying there are some bastards out there that have been known to do such things. And there are other bastards who have been known to steal for no reason. Do enough business long enough, you'll discover this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 7:03pm

    send the bitch to egypt

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    Funny, August 2004 there was a double homicide in Jenner where JOURNAL FIVE entry has characteristics of Arianna's handwriting when magnified. There was a Move for Spiritual Awareness Minister in the Northern CA region at that Aug 04 time (Mary Melissa Kline) and I wonder, is there a problem with that? could that couple have seen something? a meeting of million dollar minds? only running a theory here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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