Guy Who Sued Huffington Post For Not Paying Bloggers, Doesn't Pay Bloggers Who Contribute To His Site

from the not-getting-it dept

Incredible. Jonathan Tasini, the guy who filed that ridiculous lawsuit against the Huffington Post for not paying the bloggers who volunteered to write for free, apparently has a blog where he seeks out contributions from writers... and then, no, he doesn't pay them. John Cook at Gawker called him up to ask about this, leading to the following, absolutely hilarious, exchange:
"It hasn't had any ads in several years, but there were a couple unions that did buy some advertising," he said. "They wanted to support the work I was doing." So how much of that did he kick back to commenters and readers whose e-mails he ran? "There was never a thought that we would do that," he said. "Oh, I see what you're doing. Are you comparing my little blog to the Huffington Post? That's absurd."
Except, it's not absurd. As far as I can tell, his argument is that the Huffington Post is different because it's "successful," whereas his blog is a failure, so it's okay. Interesting legal theory, though I can't see how it holds up in court.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 5:30pm

    Why doesn't he just sell his blog to AOL for $300 million?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 5:36pm

    Somebody didn't like getting called out on his hypocrisy.

    Poor dumb bastard.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 6:28pm

    Wow. I see half a page on gawker. Nice redesign.

     

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  4.  
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    Doug, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 6:51pm

    Yeah, he comes off as a jerk. But unless his blog is an actual business entity taking in revenue, then he's right: there is a difference. And legally it is absurd to compare the two.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 6:52pm

    Re:

    Their redesign is clunky and awful. Here's a link to the old version:

    http://ca.gawker.com/5792078/guy-suing-huffpo-for-not-paying-bloggers-doesnt-pay-blogger s

     

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  6.  
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    Atkray (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 7:02pm

    According to the linked article he may have problems not filing tax returns as well. Somehow I have a feeling that his greed is going to cost him when this is all settled.

     

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  7.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 7:23pm

    Hmmm.

    "utterly or obviously senseless, illogical, or untrue; contrary to all reason or common sense; laughably foolish or false"

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/absurd

    Tasini must be using an unknown definition of absurd.

     

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  8.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 7:28pm

    Re:

    Legally it might be absurd (depending on your lawyer's talents), but Gawker wasn't making a legal comparison. Both sites have unpaid contributors. Both sites (presumably) made it clear they would not be paying these contributors. And yet, Tasini feels HuffPo owes him money.

    Anyone who contributed to his blog could make the same claim. He may have only made a small amount of money, but their claim to a share of it would be no more absurd (to use his word) than his claim to a share of the Huffington Post's profits.

     

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  9.  
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    The eejit (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 12:33am

    Re: Hmmm.

    No, the use is correct. The application, however, is so horrilby wrong it's absurd.

     

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  10.  
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    Nom du Clavier (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 1:07am

    Re: Re:

    Add to that HuffPo not being as large when Tasini started to contribute as when it was sold, and the parallel is even more obvious.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 2:42am

    "Oh, I see what you're doing. Are you comparing my little blog to the Huffington Post? That's absurd."

    Ah, the glimmerings of self-awareness. Being able to see what someone is doing is rare these days in businesspeople.
    Now, if he can just look a little bit closer, think a little bit harder, and have just a tiny bit of empathy, then he'll have the revelation that he and Arianna Huffington are the same: that her justification for not paying contributors is the same as his.

     

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  12.  
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    Nick Dynice (profile), Apr 16th, 2011 @ 7:48am

    His little blog was not getting him any attention so he went to a larger blog to get the attention he was seeking. A perfectly logical thing to do for a blogger. But then to turn around an makes these claims destroys any good will he might have created by using HuffPo to get his name out there. What an idiot.

     

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  13.  
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    anon, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    The law about for-profit companies employing unpaid labor and nonprofit companies employing volunteers are completely different. Look it up.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 8:48pm

    Re:

    but what if the Huffington Post was a non-profit at the time that it wasn't paying its volunteers and later became a for-profit entity. Why should people get paid for the time that they volunteered for the Huff Post back when it was a non-profit entity?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Re:

    Also, Techdirt might be considered a for profit entity, you and I are volunteering our time to comment on Techdirt, why shouldn't we get paid?

     

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  16.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Apr 17th, 2011 @ 7:01am

    Who would read his piece of crap anyway?

    What a hypocritical anus! He needs to be pimp-slapped to a whimpering heap on the ground, writhing in a puddle of his own pee. But then, he'd probably enjoy that.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    He's NOT a hypocrite!

    His blog made no money. There is nothing to pay his bloggers; nothing to sue about. On the other hand, the Huffington bloggers created considerable value and worth. They deserve a share.

     

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  18.  
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    Truthsquader, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 8:30am

    And I'm NOT an "anonymous coward".

    I signed up according to all the instructions on you website.

     

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  19.  
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    The eejit (profile), Apr 17th, 2011 @ 8:41am

    Re: He's NOT a hypocrite!

    no, they don't. They REALLY don't deserve to earn anything from HuffPo. What they deserve is nothing. What they earn, they have to earn themselves.

    And if there was no money, then why would he say there is, and then deny those on his blog a share? That makes no sense, unless Tasini's being a raging bloody douche.

     

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  20.  
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    cisco2035, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What? We're not getting paid?!!!

    Note to Mr. Tasini - please extend your lawsuit to include TechDirt - and don't forget to distribute proceeds to all of us on this post.

     

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  21.  
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    Billybird, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 2:32pm

    Tasini suit

    Maybe Mr. Tasini should sue the telephone companies too. The fact that people are paying to be able to receive his calls makes him an employee. How about medical and pension benefits? Count me in too.

    I say that there should be a fee and a tax charged for every blog posting. Let's say $10 + $10.

    A tax on stupidity would provide an endless an infinite source of revenue.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 3:29pm

    Re: He's NOT a hypocrite!

    I also think that requiring people to get paid for simply typing up a headline on some for-profit website is a ridiculous obstruction to free speech. Not all for-profit sites can afford to pay everyone that wants to post a headline, but if they have to, they will let fewer people post headlines or they may even let no one post anything. This will make it more difficult for those who are willing to post for free to get their opinions distributed. They may have to host their own website, websites cost money, and their isolated website may not benefit from the larger audience that a popular for-profit website could attract partly by allowing multiple people to post their opinion pieces on it. This will deter the distribution of their opinion which is an undue obstruction to free speech. While I generally tend to agree with having a minimum wage (though it really doesn't make that big of a difference since most people get paid more than the minimum wage regardless), I think that in the case where a minimum wage can be a reasonable obstruction to free speech, free speech should prevail.

    and many companies that sell tech and other items have discussion boards that allow people to ask for help and that allow anyone who signs up to answer. Those companies that sell tech items are for profit and they can benefit from these discussion boards too. Should an anonymous person who voluntarily answers a question for free about a product by posting a comment on a discussion board later be allowed to get paid minimum wage too?

    I also think one significant difference is that people who post on Huffington post can post when they like from anywhere they like (as long as they have Internet access). Most hard labor jobs require you to be at place X every day (or whatever) from time x to time y (more or less) and they must work at least z hours a day/week or else they may lose their jobs. People who post to the Huffington post set the rules and they can post during their leisure time as part of their leisure, the Huffinton post is not telling them you must make at least x amount of posts per week or you must contribute y amount of your time per week, it's more of a post as you like scenario.

    (and if you don't think that these governmental actions could curtail free speech, just look at how much the government has curtailed free speech outside the Internet. IP in this country is absolutely absurd yet any criticism about it would never make it over public airwaves or on cableco infrastructure thanks to the fact that the government grants monopoly power over public airwave and cableco infrastructure use. Yet the government started slowly eroding free speech over public airwaves with the claim that it will ensure there is enough media competition for free speech to continue, but today that's far from true. They were wrong then and they don't care enough to even make a single effort to fix the problem, why should I believe that they're right now when it comes to Internet regulation? Why should I believe that their airwave and Internet regulations aren't intended to hinder free speech? Their regulations hinder free speech and they don't care because that's what they want).

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: He's NOT a hypocrite!

    (well, I've seen patent criticisms before, but they are rare and tend to be on isolated patents or on patents over government funded research).

     

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  24.  
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    Netalarm, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 10:59pm

    Wow... what a dumbass...

     

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  25.  
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    Catharina, Apr 18th, 2011 @ 12:36am

    respect

    Wright or wrong.. I would have had a lot more respect left for Arianna Huffington if she had decided to share at least half of her millions with her writers.

     

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  26.  
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    Tech84, Apr 18th, 2011 @ 1:53am

    hypocrite

    I would just like to add that that guys is also an id**t.

    "Except, it's not absurd. As far as I can tell, his argument is that the Huffington Post is different because it's "successful," whereas his blog is a failure, so it's okay. "

    When all else fails.... sue!

     

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  27.  
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    Tech84, Apr 18th, 2011 @ 1:55am

    hypocrite

    I would just like to add that that guys is also an id**t.

    "Except, it's not absurd. As far as I can tell, his argument is that the Huffington Post is different because it's "successful," whereas his blog is a failure, so it's okay. "

    When all else fails.... sue!

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymou$ Cowardİ, Apr 18th, 2011 @ 2:47am

    Pay Me

    As I am sure would be clear to anyone reading this comment, I, Anonymous Coward, have contributed at least HALF or more of the comments leading to increased debate and obvious interest at Techdirt for many years. In fact, sometimes my comments, pithy and succinct or otherwise, are far more in number than comments made by people with other names.

    I feel this has made Techdirt very popular due directly to my own efforts and I think that Mike owes me a huge check for all the bushels of money he is bringing in by incorporating my talents to drive his readership up.

    Ok Mike, I'm waiting *tapping foot*

     

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  29.  
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    Whisk33, Apr 18th, 2011 @ 4:55am

    Re:

    You omitted to state the difference. You failed to identify why is "is" absurd.

    Perhaps instead of simply stating nonsensical rhetorical questions you could explain your point of view.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2011 @ 9:40pm

    Re: respect

    Why? She (and her investors and web team, I guess) gave them a free platform, a growing audience, asked for nothing from them financially, took all the risks, made all the development happen, what the hell does she owe them?

    How would she even begin to distribute cash disbursments? By the word? By the pageview? By one potato, two potato?

    Maybe they should pay her back for the free service and exposure she provided.

     

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


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