National Writers Union Drops Huffington Post Boycott After Discovering That No One Cared

from the duh dept

Back in March, we thought it was pretty silly that the Newspaper Guild and the National Writers Union were calling for a boycott of the Huffington Post, because some of the writers who had agreed to post on the site for free no longer liked the deal. As we said at the time, if you think that writing for free undermines your profession, you have a pretty simple solution: don't do it. But don't agree to write for free and then bitch about how it's unfair. In the end, we suspected that the same reasons why people had written for the Huffington Post in the first place (in order to share their thoughts to a wider audience) would continue to win out.

It appears that is absolutely the case. The National Writers Union has now admitted that it's dropped the boycott, because, well, no one cared. What's amusing is that rather than quietly dropping it, they actually put out a press release saying they were "withdrawing the boycott" which almost no one paid attention to in the first place.


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  1.  
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    Donnicton, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 4:09pm

    I remembered reading about the original announcement, but then I completely forgot about it until just now...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 4:49pm

    Crap! I missed Halley's Comet as well. And the Edsel! I must be living under a rock...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:01pm

    "no one cared."

    What are you talking about? The lawyers care! IP maximists care.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:20pm

    Writers were suckered in by Masnick's notions of providing content

    FOR FREE, and now Masnick jeers at them for catching on that his ideas don't work! Dang, Mike, you're an even bigger hypocrite than I thought, and with a pretty CRUEL streak too.

    Obviously those writers /hoped/ that exposure would catapult, or at least springboard, their careers. But as always when people are induced to work for free with hints of /future/ payoff, they just get exploited in the here and now. See any of dozens of Dilbert strips for what interns get.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:28pm

    Re: Writers were suckered in by Masnick's notions of providing content

    "Writers were suckered in by Masnick's notions of providing content FOR FREE"

    Looks like you got suckered too, with all the comments you're providing.

     

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    Dementia (profile), Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Writers were suckered in by Masnick's notions of providing content

    I see your working on the whole creative writing thing again.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:29pm

    STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    Published Oct. 21, 2011 9:07 am
    Updated Oct. 21, 2011 4:39 pm

    "UPDATE: Huffington Post Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim addressed The Newspaper Guild-CWA’s awards banquet Thursday night, saying that the two organizations agreed that professional journalists should be paid and that the Guild had agreed to withdraw its boycott."

    So appears they won! You're blatantly WRONG yet again: someone did care!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Re: Writers were suckered in by Masnick's notions of providing content

    and he's doing it ... gasps ... FOR FREE!!!

     

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    Dementia (profile), Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:31pm

    Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    You mean other than you, right?

     

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    Vic, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:38pm

    On the same page I have noticed that the HP idea stealing case can go on trial. Obviously NY has it in laws that you can steal an idea (I mean, anyone is capable of doing it)...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:44pm

    "The end of the boycott does not affect the lawsuit lead by Jonathan Tasini which represents specific people who believe they are owed back pay for Huffington Post contributions."

    http://www.newsguild.org/index.php?ID=12512

    So let me see if I understand this correctly. Various contributors agreed to offer their input for free and then later changed their mind and decided that they want to use the legal system to get paid?

    If you don't want to offer free commentary and whatnot, then don't. Find someone willing to pay. But don't agree to one thing and then later sue because you really wanted something else.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    Yes, I made the mistake of relying too heavily on MIke's take. Should know better: he half reads, then dashes off according to bias. At least I got curious and actually read.

    You can't possibly square Mike's statements above that gave me the impression resistance had collapsed and writers were again working for free:
    "In the end, we suspected that the same reasons why people had written for the Huffington Post in the first place ... would continue to win out.

    It appears that is absolutely the case. The National Writers Union has now admitted that it's dropped the boycott, because, well, no one cared. What's amusing is that rather than quietly dropping it, they actually put out a press release saying they were "withdrawing the boycott" which almost no one paid attention to in the first place."

    With the Guild link, that pay talks are ongoing:
    "We have asked, from the beginning, that Arianna Huffington and her staff meet with us to discuss the need for a model that compensates journalists for their efforts. Such meetings have now taken place, and the company has publicly pledged to work with us to resolve our differences.

    We are pleased to see HuffPost leaders stating so clearly the importance of paid journalism, not only to our society as a whole, but to their own business model."

    Was NOT dropped "because, well, no one cared", but because the writers got their demands met.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Writers were suckered in by Masnick's notions of providing content

    If the guild is dropping the boycott and continuing the lawsuit, it could be that Huff Post is more concerned about the lawsuit. Otherwise, why doesn't the union drop the lawsuit as well? Perhaps they kept the lawsuit and dropped the boycott because the boycott had little influence.

    "On Thursday, Mike Elk of In These Times wrote that the two unions failed to put together an effective boycott — where’s the list of “prominent writers” who supposedly back it? — and now “little support remains.” "

    http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/romenesko/150456/national-writers-union-drops-huffington-pos t-boycott/

    "After the boycott, newspaper guild organizers scrambled to draw up lists of prominent writers supporting the boycott, but still have yet to produce such a list of people in support of the action. Few events or actions have been held to support the boycott, which has largely been ignored by prominent progressives, including several high-profile labor-funded progressives."

    I think this is more an issue of the Huff post fearing our broken legal system than some mostly unknown boycott that very few people participated in.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    If that's the case then why wasn't the lawsuit dropped too?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    @ Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 5:57pm

    If that's the case then why wasn't the lawsuit dropped too?

    ----------------

    They may be winning the lawsuit TOO in terms of out-of-court settlement talks ongoing. Why do you even think that dropping it is the logical course?

     

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    Beta (profile), Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:06pm

    'What's amusing is that rather than quietly dropping it, they actually put out a press release saying they were "withdrawing the boycott"...'

    Oh come on, give them credit for having a little dignity, and not coming back quietly as if they'd never stormed away.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: Writers were suckered in by Masnick's notions of providing content

    Well, AC, think what you want, but you stopped quoting just before the MOST relevant part: "UPDATE: Huffington Post Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim addressed The Newspaper Guild-CWA’s awards banquet Thursday night, saying that the two organizations agreed that professional journalists should be paid and that the Guild had agreed to withdraw its boycott."

    Manifestly withhodling pieces stopped BECAUSE WORKED, show of good faith, talks ongoing. That's the opposite of MIke's "No One Cared" take. The lawsuit can still be for pressure OR entirely separate and not redressed by other negotiation.

    Why do you guys keep defending Mike when he's blatantly wrong?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    "Why do you even think that dropping it is the logical course?"

    I never said it was, I said that dropping the boycott and not the lawsuit suggests that it's the lawsuit side of the issue, and not the boycott side, that they're winning. If they were winning the boycott side as well then why drop it when you plan to also continue the lawsuit? Clearly, the continuing the lawsuit suggests they are not happy with the current situation, yet, despite not being happy, they still dropped the boycott.

    As a self interested entity, it's only logical for them to stick with that which they are 'winning' and discard that which they are losing. Dropping the lawsuit side of it would suggest that this is more of a move for them to voluntarily work together instead of a move to use our mostly broken legal system as a negotiation tool. Keeping the lawsuit side of it suggests that they are self interested and want to stick with that which they could win.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    If dropping the boycot was really about an agreement for them to work together, then there is little reason to coninue using our legal system to force further negotiation. No, dropping the boycot and continuing the lawsuit is more about the fact that they lost the boycott side of it, so they will continue with that which they think they can win.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Writers were suckered in by Masnick's notions of providing content

    "Why do you guys keep defending Mike when he's blatantly wrong?"

    He's not blatantly wrong, as you said, "The lawsuit can still be for pressure". IOW, that yields the possibility that he's right. In fact, the evidence suggests it. The boycott got very little support, so why continue it? Why not go with that which you think can yield better results?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:21pm

    Re: @"Beta": No, what's amusing is that Mike got it wrong.

    "UPDATE: Huffington Post Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim addressed The Newspaper Guild-CWA’s awards banquet Thursday night, saying that the two organizations agreed that professional journalists should be paid and that the Guild had agreed to withdraw its boycott."

    See the course of events there? Huffington Post agrees, THEN the boycotts is withdrawn. It's the Guild that's decent by keeping from crowing.

    Mike childish dig: "because, well, no one cared", is entirely wrong: the boycott worked.

    I don't give Mike credit for any decency, though. He'll just ignore yet another plain error on his part, won't correct.

     

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  22.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    I'll just duplicate from below, since you /want/ to miss that there IS an agreement to work together and talks are ongoing. Rest of your quibbling is just to avoid admitting that you fell for Mike's mistaken take. So did I, but then I READ this:
    "UPDATE: Huffington Post Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim addressed The Newspaper Guild-CWA’s awards banquet Thursday night, saying that the two organizations agreed that professional journalists should be paid and that the Guild had agreed to withdraw its boycott."

    See the course of events there? Huffington Post agrees, THEN the boycott is withdrawn. It's the Guild that's decent by keeping from crowing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Writers were suckered in by Masnick's notions of providing content

    In fact, that statement came from the NewsGuild's website, which only gives it less credibility.

    "Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief of the Huffington Post, addressed The Newspaper Guild-CWA’s awards banquet Thursday night, saying that the two organizations agreed that professional journalists should be paid and that the Guild had agreed to withdraw its boycott. "

    That's just how the newspaper guild is spinning it. These discussions have been ongoing for some time now, do you honestly think that the Huffington Post suddenly said something entirely different from what it's been saying since the beginning of the negotiations? Of course they're going to say "we're working together to reach a resolution" and give all sorts of canned responses of the sort, they've probably been saying that long before the boycott ended. The guild is ending the boycott because it got little support and they're finding some way to spin it to say that they are ending it for some other reason. What are they supposed to do, admit that they are ending the boycott because it's not effective? If you think that, then you are very naive.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:36pm

    Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "If you don't want to offer free commentary and whatnot, then don't. Find someone willing to pay. But don't agree to one thing and then later sue because you really wanted something else."

    That contradicts how many businesses start up, besides simply exploiting labor. They helped build the biz on good faith, and yet you say to hell with the stupid fools, you got yours.

    You're only taking that position because Mike put that spin on it, and of course, he /can't/ be wrong.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    "since you /want/ to miss that there IS an agreement to work together and talks are ongoing."

    That's been the case before the boycott ended. The only change here is that the boycott ended and the guild is spinning this differently. The information from that update was taken from the guild's website, of course it's going to have that spin. What, do you expect the guild to admit that they are ending the boycott because it's ineffective? Of course they aren't. So they made up some other reason to end the boycott.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    I can copy and paste this indefinitely! Until you grasp WHO said what, that the source for the quote is Mike's own reference, that there IS an agreement to pay journalists, NOT hedged with "some", and that THEN the boycott was withdrawn. That's not spin at all, it's exactly what says here:

    "UPDATE: Huffington Post Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim addressed The Newspaper Guild-CWA’s awards banquet Thursday night, saying that the two organizations agreed that professional journalists should be paid and that the Guild had agreed to withdraw its boycott."

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "That contradicts how many businesses start up"

    Most businesses probably contradict how many other businesses start up. Different businesses start up differently. What's your point?

    "They helped build the biz on good faith, and yet you say to hell with the stupid fools, you got yours."

    The contributors knew the rules ahead of time. If they don't like the rules, they can find someplace else to contribute.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    Which misses the point.

     

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  29.  
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    Rich, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Writers were suckered in by Masnick's notions of providing content

    Maybe you and FUDPacker should room together.

     

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  30.  
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    Rich, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:52pm

    Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    Do you keep your pillow and blankey next your computer just waiting for Mike to post something, so you can quicky response with some more idiocy to earn your troll money from your corporate masters? Did mommy raise your basement rent? Remember: it's not your mom's basement. It's your COMMAND center!

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    People contribute to charity. Yet charities need to support their administrative costs. What, is contributing to charity wrong now? People may want to contribute their journalistic efforts as a form of community charity. They should be allowed to and the law shouldn't get in the way by allowing them the opportunity to then later successfully sue for damages after agreeing to contribute volunteer work. That will deter organizations from allowing volunteers to contribute work.

    But, of course, that's what the guild wants to do. Volunteer work is competition and the guild doesn't want that. Why should I assume that the newspaper guild is anything but self interested? Why should I believe that they are interested in content contributors (especially given that very few boycotters participated). They are just using them as the poster child for their selfish cause and I think it's despicable.

     

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  32.  
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    Rich, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Re: @"Beta": No, what's amusing is that Mike got it wrong.

    I hear your mom calling. It's bedtime.

     

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  33.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    @"Rich": Is Mike right or wrong on his take in this piece? Come on, sonny, don't just toss some feeble insults, then hide: STATE whether you fully agree with Mike on this or not.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    "that the source for the quote is Mike's own reference"

    Yeah, so? The source for that update was the guild's website. Of course they're going to spin it to say that there is some other reason the boycott was dropped.

     

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  35.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    Down to one-liners, eh? Tell me Mike's take on this piece is correct. Was it "because, well, no one cared"? Or did the Guild succeed in getting talks going?

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    "did the Guild succeed in getting talks going?"

    They succeeded in getting talks 'ongoing' which means they really didn't succeed in anything. The talks were going to begin with from the lawsuit negotiations, and now they're still ongoing. Big deal.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re: @"Beta": No, what's amusing is that Mike got it wrong.

    Sigh. Your continual abuse of logic never ceases to amuse me. Correlation does not equal causation. You have offered no proof that the boycott was ended for the reasons you cite. AND it is very much possible for you both to be right... that no one cared and they ended the boycott due to an agreement.

    But hey, please continue to act like you are smarter than everyone else--we'll just keep pointing and laughing.

     

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  38.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    @ AC: "Volunteer work is competition and the guild doesn't want that." -- Right! You can't compete with free, in the real world.

    Assume the guild is self-interested all you want. I sure do, and commend them for it. Are you so out of argument that now you're not /for/ self-interest?

    Regardless how many participated, was it successful or not?

    "They are just using them as the poster child for their selfish cause and I think it's despicable." -- The Guild is doing better by them already than when they were being exploited by Huffington Post. Is it despicable to fight for your fellow writers? Do you NOT belong to some group that you'd defend?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: @"Beta": No, what's amusing is that Mike got it wrong.

    @AC: Do you agree with Mike's take in the piece? Was it "because, well, no one cared", or did The Guild wring concessions from HuffPost? Answer that directly, prove you're smarter than me. But you're already conceding in part...

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "Right! You can't compete with free, in the real world."

    Sure you can, offer something else for free. Or offer a better product with a price. Why should laws be about ensuring that incumbent businesses don't have to compete with free? If someone is willing to provide a free service as a means of charity, let them.

    "Are you so out of argument that now you're not /for/ self-interest?"

    No, my argument is that they are self interested and pretending that their efforts are about helping content contributors.

    "The Guild is doing better by them already than when they were being exploited by Huffington Post."

    They can simply choose not to volunteer their time if they feel exploited. No one is forcing them to.

    "Is it despicable to fight for your fellow writers? "

    They are fighting to reduce their competition of writers, not as an altruistic means of helping writers in general.

    "However, we still encourage all professional journalists not to work for free. Giving away your labor in the hope of gaining exposure or experience is a losing proposition. It makes no more sense than stopping into a local restaurant and offering to wait tables, in the hope that you would eventually get hired onto staff. Why would any company pay for a service they can get for free? Your work and skills are valuable, so please consider donating them only to support those causes you hold dear."

    http://www.newsguild.org/index.php?ID=12512


    Yet, they are spinning this as if their intent is to help the livelihood and well-being of writers in general. I don't believe it and it's disingenuous to spin this as if they are basing their efforts on principles that go beyond their own personal interests.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    @Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:00pm

    "did the Guild succeed in getting talks going?"

    They succeeded in getting talks 'ongoing' which means they really didn't succeed in anything. The talks were going to begin with from the lawsuit negotiations, and now they're still ongoing. Big deal.

    ---------------

    Thanks for the concession.

    Now, what part of this are you having trouble with?
    "the two organizations agreed that professional journalists should be paid"

    I consider it nailed down that the two organizations are HuffPost and The Guild.
    "Professional journalists" are presumably all who write for HuffPost.
    "Agreed" means came to mutual understanding, not necessarily cordial, but in common.
    "Paid" we can reasonably assume does not mean in accolades or atta-boys, but some transfer of cash, likely via check.

    And since that quote doesn't comport with Mike's take on the whole deal, do you agree with Mike or not?

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @"Beta": No, what's amusing is that Mike got it wrong.

    It could be a little bit of both, but Mike isn't necessarily wrong. He's certainly not blatantly wrong. This is an opinion blog and Mike is expressing his opinion. You may have another opinion and that's fine too.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: STOP THE INTERNETS! -- Did you miss the update, Mike?

    The two organizations have been negotiating this for some time now, it's unlikely that they haven't stated similar or identical generalized agreements before this point. Again, the only thing that's really different here is that the boycott was dropped.

     

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  44.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "Right! You can't compete with free, in the real world."

    No, you're blatantly wrong. No point to hashing that out again, and anyway, in the narrow case here, who the hell would compete against essentially equivalent writers doing the same work? Not going to let you widen it to hypotheticals. Writing such as for HuffPost is both hackery and some excellence, but which writer draws the biggest audience of eyeballs is somewhat difficult to predict. Should a good writer who started at free but draws thousands of page views /continue/ to just be exploited? Of course not.

    "They are fighting to reduce their competition of writers, not as an altruistic means of helping writers in general."

    Strawman. Who said otherwise, and why should it be different? The old "selfishness" argument, eh? Do you work for free? Or are you "selfish"?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @"Beta": No, what's amusing is that Mike got it wrong.

    @AC: "You [ootb] may have another opinion and that's fine too."

    That's very generous of you, to allow what isn't in your power to withhold. -- Keep conceding. Since you're only an AC, I won't be able to hound you as you do me. Dare you to pick a handle and stick with it. -- But it'll be clear on this thread that you CONCEDED, enough.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "Should a good writer who started at free but draws thousands of page views /continue/ to just be exploited? Of course not."

    That should be up to the writer, not you.

    If the writer feels exploited he can either

    A: stop writing

    B: Demand money from that point on. If the host doesn't want to pay them, he can either stop writing or find some other place willing to pay him.

    Or maybe the writer is writing because he enjoys writing and that, in itself, is reward enough. She enjoys freely contributing to such a large community. and what's wrong with that? Why should bad laws make it more difficult for a writer to partake in activity they enjoy doing?

    "Strawman. Who said otherwise, and why should it be different? The old "selfishness" argument, eh? Do you work for free? Or are you "selfish"?"

    You apparently comment on this blog for free. But that's besides the point.

    The point is that they are being disingenuous in pretending that their efforts are anything but self interested. Is it OK for companies to claim altruism when in fact they are being selfish? Is attempting to deceive the public OK? There is nothing wrong with being a for profit, self interested, organization, but trying to deceive the public into thinking that your efforts are something else when they're not is something not to be commended.

    and if their efforts are self interested, why should we believe that their intended outcome will serve anyone else's interests beyond their own? and why should we have a legal system that doesn't serve the public interest?

    Our legal system ought to punish their anti-competitive efforts. The DOJ should be going after them for anti-competitive behavior, not Google.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @"Beta": No, what's amusing is that Mike got it wrong.

    "That's very generous of you, to allow what isn't in your power to withhold."

    Where did I say that I'm being generous?

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "Regardless how many participated, was it successful or not?"

    Well, what did it accomplish, beyond overly general statements of agreement that were likely made appreciably before the boycott ended.

     

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  49.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    @Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:39pm

    "Should a good writer who started at free but draws thousands of page views /continue/ to just be exploited? Of course not."

    That should be up to the writer, not you.

    ------------------

    IT IS UP TO THE WRITERS! THAT'S WHAT THEY SAID THEY WANT!
    It's NOT a generic "writer", but thsoe who boycotted HuffPost.

    >>> "Or maybe..."
    Stick to the ACTUAL CASE.

    >>> "The point is that they are being disingenuous in pretending that their efforts are anything but self interested."

    Oh, I don't think so. I'd say The Guild has my interests in mind too, or at least that I agree with their principles, and consider them in the right. And again, this "selfishness" theme that you're now stuck on is irrelevant.

    "Is it OK for companies to claim altruism when in fact they are being selfish?"

    NO! I'm on record here several times as opposing Google for its pretense of altruism, and will be for any other companies that I comment on.

     

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  50.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    @Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:45pm

    "Regardless how many participated, was it successful or not?"

    Well, what did it accomplish, beyond overly general statements of agreement that were likely made appreciably before the boycott ended.

    ---------------

    I've stated what is said to have been accomplished.

    "were likely made" -- You /don't/ know, you're just making up hypotheticals. For al you /know/, HuffPost is about to concede entirely and pay more than any other site.

    Stick to what we do know.

     

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  51.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:54pm

    Re: @Anonymous Coward re "no one cared."

    HEY, yellow swirly AC who's straining to not cave after dozens of silly comments: Just noticed that you don't agree with Mike here. Sure, it's a trivial throw-away, but because made before you began the rest, I think it reveals your true position.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "IT IS UP TO THE WRITERS! THAT'S WHAT THEY SAID THEY WANT!
    It's NOT a generic "writer", but thsoe who boycotted HuffPost. "

    Attempting to use our legal system to retroactively get a host to pay for something that contributors previously agreed to offer for free is not leaving it up to the writers, it's leaving it to the legal system to discourage the hosting of writers that wish to freely contribute content.


    "I'd say The Guild has my interests in mind too, or at least that I agree with their principles, and consider them in the right."

    Id say that they only have their own interests in mind. Unless you're part of the guild, to the extent that their true interests benefit you, it's not intentional on their part. Sure, their stated interests maybe altruistic, but their true interests are about themselves.

    "And again, this "selfishness" theme that you're now stuck on is irrelevant."

    Please stop referring to some perceived "theme" and focus on the discussion.

    "NO!"

    But it's what the guild is doing.

    "I'm on record here several times as opposing Google for its pretense of altruism"

    Google doesn't claim altruism, it admits to being a for profit entity. Now, being self interested doesn't mean one can't have standards of ethics, the two are not mutually exclusive possibilities. But the guild pretends that its efforts are not self interested when they are.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "Stick to what we do know."

    This is an opinion blog. We don't have to know something for 100 percent certain to draw reasonable opinions. Absolute proof is impossible and if it's required then few discussions could occur.

     

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  54.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "This is an opinion blog."

    Great, another concession. I agree that Mike sure doesn't bother with journalistic accuracy.

    But regardless of that, your "spaghetti" method of arguing, throwing various hypotheticals and strawmen to see what sticks, isn't going to get me off topic.

    Mike is blatantly wrong in his take on this. You /can't/ square up his writing with what the Guild wrote. -- And since the Guild is quoted in Mike's source, it's of equal weight with the first view there, so STOP trying to impeach it as just the Guild's view. -- Anyway, Mike is clearly crowing, when in fact, he mistook it, and the laugh is on him.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "You /can't/ square up his writing with what the Guild wrote."

    You assume what the guild wrote is accurate and not merely a self interested statement. Again, you're naive if you think the guild is going to start a boycott only to drop it under the admission that it was dropped because it was unsuccessful. Of course they're going to try to spin it off some other way. That's' to be expected regardless of the true reason.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "And since the Guild is quoted in Mike's source"

    Citing or quoting a source doesn't mean one must agree with everything on that source. Heck, one can cite a source to criticize it even.

     

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  57.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    @AC: "But the guild pretends that its efforts are not self interested when they are."

    Empty assertion, whether true or not. And after nagging me to focus on the discussion, NO, that's YOUR view of the discussion.

    I'm still focused on whether Mike's take is correct or not. I say it's NOT. Just look at this again:
    Mike wrote: "What's amusing is that rather than quietly dropping it, they actually put out a press release saying they were "withdrawing the boycott" which almost no one paid attention to in the first place."

    NO, "quietly dropping it" IS what one does when embarrassed. But it's easy to view a "press release" as signifying that they're PROUD of having got to that stage: THEY WON.

    Now, as "selfishness" or "self-interest" appear NOWHERE but in your assertions, I'm not going around on that anymore. Take up on the above paragraph, or something IN the piece(s).

     

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  58.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    @AC: You clearly don't /want/ to either reconcile or decide which Mike or Guild is right. You already tried the both dodge. I say Mike is WRONG on his take. That's really the only way to read all the evidence. -- Has HuffPost agreed to PAY, or NOT? -- YOT, they have. That's NOT what Mike /appears/ to write, but if you want a concession, Mike is a LOUSY writer. -- HEY. Bet that's why Mike is incensed that the Guild won! He knows /they're/ good enough to get PAID.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "Empty assertion, whether true or not. And after nagging me to focus on the discussion, NO, that's YOUR view of the discussio"

    You admit yourself that they are self interested.

     

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  60.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    @Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:39pm

    "Empty assertion, whether true or not. And after nagging me to focus on the discussion, NO, that's YOUR view of the discussio"

    You admit yourself that they are self interested.

    ----------------

    I admit it again! Is that "admission" what you've got to justify so many posts? Tell you what, give me a minute, and I can duplicate this enough to significantly this slow page loading:

    I, out_ot_the_blue, admit that The Guild is self-interest, and furthermore, that I fully expect them to be, and even HOPE that they are. This horrible admission was wrung out of me by an Anonymous Coward.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    Yet, they pretend that their efforts are intended to promote the interests of "all professional journalists".

     

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  62.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 9:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    @Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:53pm

    Yet, they pretend that their efforts are intended to promote the interests of "all professional journalists".

    --------------------

    Well, Mike pretends that he represents enlightened entrepreneurs, and not merely pirates and grifters who want to leverage off the work-products of the content industry. Whatever The Guild pretends to or doesn't, Mike is certainly NOT a "professional journalist", so of course he's inimical to those who are. Mike's biaa for "free" content produced by flunkies who should be grateful for the exposure because it'll supposedly lead to them getting PAID sometime, I believe, led to his missing a key point in the story. But now YOU'RE saying "once free, always free", can't re-negotiate a deal, when I THOUGHT the point of doing "free" was to WORK UP, not be STUCK AT ZERO!

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    More altruistic looking quotes from their website (same link).

    "We are pleased to see HuffPost leaders stating so clearly the importance of paid journalism, not only to our society as a whole, but to their own business model."

    As if they care about the interests of "society as a whole". They do not. They are only self interested and their efforts are self interested. Pretending that their efforts are intended for an external cause is disingenuous if their efforts aren't. I don't believe their efforts are intended for an external cause, and why should I (especially since all of their alleged altruistic interests just so happen to coincide with their private interests of reducing competition), and so I believe them to be disingenuous.

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 9:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "can't re-negotiate a deal, when I THOUGHT the point of doing "free" was to WORK UP, not be STUCK AT ZERO!"

    I'm not against renegotiating a deal. I'm against one party deciding to misuse our legal system to retroactively change a deal after the fact.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 9:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @AC: So, if work "free" to build the biz, can never get any of the profits?

    "when I THOUGHT the point of doing "free" was to WORK UP, not be STUCK AT ZERO!"

    Or, if someone wishes to volunteer their time, it could be to contribute to a community. Our legal system shouldn't discourage this. Allowing people to retroactively modify a past agreement will discourage such agreements.

    Or, if someone is stuck at zero, perhaps they should find another career because they suck at this one. No one wants to pay them for their work. Like no one wants to pay you for your comments. Guess what, you're stuck at zero. But no one is forcing you to comment.

     

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  66.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 9:33pm

    The title is NOT true.

    "National Writers Union Drops Huffington Post Boycott After Discovering That No One Cared"

    Manifestly, Huffington Post cares enough to begin negotiating for HOW MUCH writers will be paid, not whether.

    Mike manages to get matters opposite far too often for it to be chance. I'm allowing plenty for bias and slip-shod manner of youths today, but I nearly have to conclude he writes to provoke controversy rather than out of belief. Anonymous Cowards don't even /suspect/ whether that's so or not.

    But back to topic. Take this line: "But don't agree to write for free and then bitch about how it's unfair."
    Now, does that mean under no conditions? Maybe one was lied to. Maybe one was self-deluded. Maybe Mike would have them bound into chattel-slavery. In fact, there may be "agreement" but it's not binding either morally or as an item of law, no "consideration" has been given. The writers remain FREE, I'd hope, to change minds. IF they then have some leverage over HuffPost, well, that may be an objection for Mike, because he's visibly anti-labor. He doesn't care about people who actually work for a living: he styles himself an intellectual, quite fond of intellectual property in fact, if that means /his/ brain bring large rewards for merely re-writing pieces. With the contest at Step2, Mike expects others to labor for his greater glory, for free (not everyone gets the prize, remember).

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 9:45pm

    Well, let's assume the writers simply out-foxed Huffington Post.

    "As we said at the time, if you think that writing for free undermines your profession, you have a pretty simple solution: don't do it."

    But if there's a site that you can use to leverage off -- a gatekeeper, let's say, for a pejorative -- and said site clearly intends on screwing you by getting your product for zero pay, then one is actually morally in the right to screw said site back. And I think it self-evident that writers are the most important people on a "newsy opinion" site, so in the given case, it's a bunch of fat cats profiting off idealistic suckers just starting out.

    Kind of comes down to looking as though Mike doesn't like the writers, doesn't it?

    And Mike has no objection to leveraging himself by filching content from here and there: he's kind of a vampire on writers... Yes, it's some visceral hatred for writers, perhaps compensation because Mike knows he's such a LOUSY writer...

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 9:50pm

    Re: The title is NOT true.

    "Maybe one was lied to."

    Lied to about what?

    "Maybe Mike would have them bound into chattel-slavery."

    Slavery is compulsory. Their free contributions are voluntary. They can quit at any time they wish.

    "In fact, there may be "agreement" but it's not binding either morally or as an item of law"

    I don't believe it to be a moral imperative to have to pay someone for doing something after that person agreed that you don't have to. and the law should reflect this.

    "no "consideration" has been given."

    Not all agreements require consideration.

    "The writers remain FREE, I'd hope, to change minds."

    Sure, they can always change their mind and stop posting or insist on getting paid for future posts. But to retroactively change their mind is something that our legal system shouldn't enforce. If I make an agreement with someone else, I can't suddenly decide that I don't want to hold up to my end of the agreement after the other party has held up to their end.

    "IF they then have some leverage over HuffPost, well, that may be an objection for Mike"

    I doubt it. If they are popular posters and Huff Post doesn't want to lose them, they can use their leverage to demand payment for future posts or refuse to continue their contributions. I doubt Mike would disagree with that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Well, let's assume the writers simply out-foxed Huffington Post.

    I can hardly understand your writing, it's as if you're drunk, yet you have the audacity to criticize Mike's writing. Seriously?

    "But if there's a site that you can use to leverage off -- a gatekeeper, let's say, for a pejorative -- and said site clearly intends on screwing you by getting your product for zero pay"

    Again, if you believe the site intends to scam its writers then don't post there. Find another site to post on. Build your own community elsewhere. You can start your own site and if you fail to build an audience, that's your own failure. You can't force a site to allow you to post and to force them to pay you. They have every right to deny you their webspace if they don't wish to pay you. If they have a large community, it's because they built it. They earned it through acting in the (perceived) interests of their community. You have no right to force them to allow you to freely benefit from their hard work of creating a community and to force them to pay you for it just because you want access to the community that they spent their time and effort building.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 10:11pm

    @Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 9:57pm

    "Again, if you believe the site intends to scam its writers then don't post there."

    Quoting you: "That should be up to the writer, not you." -- How dare you advise writers what to do after telling ME not to. For all you know, those writers went into it with clear sight and intent to counter-scam. They're not children as you imply. Maybe they like a boisterous atmosphere and deflating scammers. -- I know I do! Deflating Mike is quite fun. So easy to do, too.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 10:24pm

    Misplaced comma mangles the thought into ambiguity.

    The offending one is marked by asterisks
    "Back in March, we thought it was pretty silly that the Newspaper Guild and the National Writers Union were calling for a boycott of the Huffington Post ***,*** because some of the writers who had agreed to post on the site for free no longer liked the deal."

    It's a false clause, see? With the comma there, it implies that the "because" may be connected to "we thought", rather than the reason the writers boycotted. Sentence is also too long for easy comprehension, should be chopped up.

    A more careful writer -- such as the professionals of the Newspaper Guild and the National Writers Union, two organizations that seem likely to hire Mike as custodian at most -- might re-write that as:
    Back in March, we reported that the Newspaper Guild and the National Writers Union were calling for a boycott of The Huffington Post. The reason for the boycott was that some of the writers who had agreed to post on the site without compensation no longer found benefit for themselves in the one-sided deal."

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 10:54pm

    Re: @Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 9:57pm

    "How dare you advise writers what to do after telling ME not to."

    What? and you call Mike a bad writer?

    I am just offering a possible solution.

    "For all you know, those writers went into it with clear sight and intent to counter-scam."

    For someone to be scammed implies that they didn't get what was agreed upon. If I bought x and I got y, then I was scammed. If a writer agrees to x and receives x, then that writer isn't scammed, he got what he agreed to. No one is forcing him to agree to x, he can simply not post. Our legal system should not facilitate writers who wish to scam content hosts.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 10:57pm

    Re: Misplaced comma mangles the thought into ambiguity.

    You are one funny character to read. You write worse than Mike and many (if not most) Techdirt commenters (well, at least non-IP maximists), yet you criticize Mike's writing. At least you offer comic relief.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 11:02pm

    Re: Re: Misplaced comma mangles the thought into ambiguity.

    You're down to mere ad hom. I just found more material in the first post. Kind of interesting to see Mike agitated...

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 11:05pm

    What WAS Mike's purpose with this piece?

    ) Fill space.
    ) Attack the Newspaper Guild and the National Writers Union.
    ) Jeer at boycott/writers.
    ) Revenge because writers took Mike's advice, then rejected it.
    ) Support Huffington Post?
    ) Congratulate himself on being right. -- He blew that.
    ) Mike is against: "We are only asking for a fair share of what we are helping to create."
    ) MONEY gets Mike's approval, though: "They [writers] didn't put their own money or equity on the line."

    "To then demand a piece of the $315 million suggests a complete misunderstanding of how basic capitalism works." -- Yes, it DOES: capitalism is ALL about screwing labor, and Mike /approves/ of those who are born rich, thinks /they/ put the most into this venture. NO mention of labor/owners partnership from Mike, as I've said elsewhere, he's /against/ labor. -- For all we know, Mike has some stake in Huffington Post. Sure sounds like it when he rants about those pesky writers actually wanting to be /paid/ after they made the site a success! The NERVE!

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 11:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Misplaced comma mangles the thought into ambiguity.

    "You're down to mere ad hom."

    Look who's talking.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 11:22pm

    Re: What WAS Mike's purpose with this piece?

    "capitalism is ALL about screwing labor"

    You mean how the MPAA and the RIAA use anti-capitalism IP laws to scam both the public and the artists through their Hollywood accounting? You mean how the public gets scammed when they get stuck with retroactive copy protection extensions and deals/laws that it did not agree to?

    Those who voluntarily post aren't scammed, they knew the rules ahead of time and agreed to them.

    "Sure sounds like it when he rants about those pesky writers actually wanting to be /paid/ after they made the site a success!"

    No one forced them to contribute. Yes, they have nerve, demanding money for posts that they previously agreed to voluntarily submit.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 11:24pm

    Mike loathes The Ungrateful Poor.

    Here's a block quote that agitates Mike for snarling response:
    -----------------
    As Cherie Turner, one of the former writers, explained, "Certainly, we all have written for free for the great exposure the Huffington Post can give us, but what's the cost? Those of us on strike feel it undermines the value of our profession and is unethical, especially in light of great profits by those at the top. We are only asking for a fair share of what we are helping to create. We are also speaking out against real journalism being run side-by-side with advertorial.

    "We feel it is unethical to expect trained and qualified professionals to contribute quality content for nothing. It is unethical to cannibalize the investment of other organizations that bear the cost of compensation and other overhead without payment for the usage of their content. It is extremely unethical to not merely blur but eradicate the distinction between the independent and informed voice of news and opinion and the voice of a shill.
    -----------------

    I don't believe many here will disagree with that. Matter of perspective and identification: all laborers know that they get paid as little as possible while the born lucky grab as much as possible, and without the least pangs of conscience, either.

    Then Mike snarls, "In other words, Turner and her group want to get double paid." -- Except they weren't paid to begin with!

    Mike holds, as all capitalists do, that the poor should be /grateful/ for just a chance. No /actual/ pay is deserved, even when the biz is going great.

     

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  79.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Re: What WAS Mike's purpose with this piece?

    @AC: "You mean how the MPAA and the RIAA use anti-capitalism IP laws to scam both the public and the artists through their Hollywood accounting?"

    You have a totally flawed view of capitalism as some beneficent system, a meritocracy. It's not. It's sheer ruthless plutocracy, indistinguishable from other authoritarian systems. What you see with MPAA and RIAA IS capitalism. Corporations ruthlessly use ANY means to get money. You mistake the "socialized" current conditions for capitalism. Actually, those were won for the people with blood and sweat, in the face of literal machine guns from the plutocracy.

     

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  80.  
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    Jay (profile), Oct 26th, 2011 @ 11:58pm

    Blue, this is the most you've ever talked...

     

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  81.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 12:07am

    What? No AC for half an hour now? Guess he showed ME.

    But I'm not quite done.

    In the other piece, Mike wrote: '"unpaid" is in the eye of the beholder'.

    Ah, subjective economics. Reveals so much about Mike.

    From view of The Rich -- as is clearly Mike's perspective when he snarls at people for wanting to be /paid/ merely for creating value -- then "unpaid" is GOOD. Of course, from view of Labor, it's BAD. The peculiar thing is that even though most people are not by any stretch of definition Rich -- with median income currently at $26,500 -- they've been trained to think that their rulers are wise and benevolent, same myth as the worst authoritarian societies put out. Sure, things ARE comparatively great here, but it's not because of capitalism or The Rich, it's IN SPITE OF THEM. A little reading about the early 20th century labor conditions and union struggles should get your blood boiling. Even slight acquaintance with "born rich" people should disabuse you of the "meritocracy" myth.

    Anyway, with that quote, Mike explicitly rejects any objective value to labor. Simply doesn't care. He'd feel no guilt paying labor nothing: "You took the deal, fool. Don't come whining around now wanting to steal a subsistence out of my excesses."

    I doubt that Mike holds labor as the source of all wealth. If he can exploit laborers, they're valuable /to/ him, but they've no intrinsic or objective or human values if not: they're just "useless eaters", then. And to just blithely toss aside fairness -- when it's not going to kill Huffington Post to pay a pittance or two -- let alone come out of Mike's pockets: it's a REAL capitalist who worries about someone else wasting money on labor!

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 12:11am

    Re: Mike loathes The Ungrateful Poor.

    "Except they weren't paid to begin with! "

    They were paid in the form of free hosting and having a free venue to advertise their skills. That's payment.

     

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

  83.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 12:40am

    Re: Re: @"Beta": No, what's amusing is that Mike got it wrong.

    "UPDATE: Huffington Post Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim addressed The Newspaper Guild-CWA’s awards banquet Thursday night, saying that the two organizations agreed that professional journalists should be paid and that the Guild had agreed to withdraw its boycott."

    See the course of events there? Huffington Post agrees, THEN the boycotts is withdrawn. It's the Guild that's decent by keeping from crowing.


    Uh. No. You're wrong as per usual, ootb. The HuffPo didn't make any changes. It has always said professional journalists should be paid. The boycott was over its free bloggers, and HuffPo made no changes to the way it handles those.

    Basically the guild's attempt to save face is to claim that HuffPo has changed stance, when it's kept the same stance all along.

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 4:08am

    Re: What? No AC for half an hour now? Guess he showed ME.

    Please, stop pretending like Mike is the one with some hidden agenda when you're the lawyer that just wants more laws that facilitate more litigation because it benefits your own personal agenda. It's sad that you would support policies that harm both writers, hosts, and the general public just to serve your own private interests as a lawyer and then you would turn around and pretend that it's Mike that's the one choosing a position based on his own self interests and that you hold your position because you actually care about writers. Like you said, the guild supports your own interests

    "I'd say The Guild has my interests in mind too"

    Yes, they are supporting your personal interests as a lawyer who desires laws that facilitate more senseless litigation, and that is why you support their stance. It's the same reason why you support IP, IP results in more litigation which results in more money for lawyers. Don't think anyone here is fooled, the fact that you always seem to support the position that results in the most litigation is no coincidence.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 4:15am

    Re: Re: What? No AC for half an hour now? Guess he showed ME.

    After all, if people know that they can use our broken legal system to retroactively change an agreement, then such a legal system encourages more litigation. It encourages people to use the legal system as a bargaining tool to try to make retroactive demands. This results in the hiring of more lawyers which is good for lawyers like Blue.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    And now no one, other than TechDirt, cares about them dropping their boycott either.

    No one cares about the plight of internet bloggers, this isn't newsworthy, much like the blog posts made by these people.

     

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  87.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: Re: @"Beta": No, what's amusing is that Mike got it wrong.

    No, Mike, see your take, and I actually am wavering from it, but it's not supported by available info:
    October 21, 2011
    "UPDATE: Huffington Post Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim addressed The Newspaper Guild-CWA’s awards banquet Thursday night, saying that the two organizations agreed that professional journalists should be paid and that the Guild had agreed to withdraw its boycott."

    WHY AN ANNOUNCEMENT BY RYAN GRIM IF NOT NEWS? Do you claim that's just what The Guild says he says?

    And I toss this in to support my view of how well HuffPost fosters jobs:
    http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/04/write-for-free/

    "In February, Huffington sold her website to AOL for $315 million, and assumed control of the company’s content properties. She then proceeded to lay off hundreds of editorial staffers and freelancers at sites like PoliticsDaily, WalletPop and DailyFinance (where this author worked prior to joining Wired.com five months ago).

    So apply to blog on Patch today, but be forewarned, “You might get fame, but not fortune, from your Patch blog,” as Wayne Patch editor Daniel Hubbard wrote Wednesday."

    She's so cruel that she even laid off "freelancers"!

    Unless you've got references that I haven't found as to whether former "free" writers will soon be paid, I suggest we wait on events. But for now you still look wrong. I suspect the lawsuit is working, which I'd count as "paid".

     

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  88.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    I think this is what is called the manic stage. Ootb hasn't been taking his meds.

     

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  89.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:43am

    Mike sides with Huffington Post for child labor -- "free" too:

     

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  90.  
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    Ninja (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 9:40am

    out_of_the_blue is either incredibly active or he's an online entity composed of an awful lot of ppl. Either way they need to take some tranquilizers.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 9:40am

    out_of_the_blue is either incredibly active or he's an online entity composed of an awful lot of ppl. Either way they need to take some tranquilizers.

     

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

  92.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 9:53am

    Here's more waffling. But I bet negotiations are going,

    or why is what Ryan Grim Oct said Oct 21 news? See, my opinion is that Mike wrote his bias into the story; seems certain that he doesn't actually /know/ what talks are going on, or the current state. But I take available evidence as suggesting change is coming. And yes, I could be wrong! But I dislike Mike's jeering attitude toward writers who only want a piece of the pie they baked, that's enough cause.

    http://www.medacity.com/1914/newspaper-guild-drops-boycott-against-huffington-post/

    Sha res my opinion of Mike's "free" blogging, though:
    "Unlike many of my fellow writers who constantly bash The Huffington Post for their unpaid bloggers program I personally believe that if you are stupid enough to give your work away and you actually believe the “exposure” is going to help your writing career that’s your own prerogative even though you’re sorely wrong…case in point, name 10 Huffington Post writers by name and exclude people already in the public spotlight."

     

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  93.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Money is so connected to personal sense of worth...

    that Huffington Post is saying to writers: you're worth nothing. -- Actually worse, they're saying: Make money for US, but YOU get NONE of it.

    So too, if you're providing content free /here/ for Mike, you get his message of /exactly/ how much he values you. Lip service at most. Enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling of helping Mike live beyond his worth. If Mike could just get enough suckers -- like the 8000 at Huffington Post -- he too could be a millionaire. Don't ever doubt that's his plan. He's manifestly over pangs of conscience at taking the work-products of others (it's one of his themes, even), and just look at his contempt for the writers above. At best Mike despises them for not sticking to the "agreement" of working for nothing. No friend of working people, he.

     

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  94.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    By the way, this "bitching" began AFTER Huffington got $310M!

    "But don't agree to write for free and then bitch about how it's unfair."

    Arianna Huffington CASHED IN ON their efforts. The deal was changed unilaterally by Huffington, and manifestly without her sharing out the rewards. Those who'd done the work were reasonably upset. Isn't Mike a wonderful guy to side with multi-millionaires (she already was) over poor writers? Gosh, doesn't that make you guys who write for the site feel confident how he'll regard you should he ever be able to cash in?

    By the way, "bitch about" is Mike's diminutive to here trivialize real unfairness.

     

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  95.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    Re: By the way, this "bitching" began AFTER Huffington got $310M!

    You are an idiot. That is all.

     

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  96.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 21st, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Seems out_of_the_blue is correct! Writers are LEAVING:

     

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


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