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.

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Companies: huffington post

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Comments on “Arianna Huffington Sued For 'Stealing' The Idea For The Huffington Post”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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.

harbingerofdoom (profile) says:

Re: Good

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?

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

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”?

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

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