NEW YORK, March 8, 2012 – The unpaid writers will get their first day in court this Friday when U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl hears oral arguments on a motion by the Huffington Post to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed by uncompensated bloggers who gave the popular news website most of its original content. AOL purchased Huffington Post last year for $315 million, and its owner, socialite Arianna Huffington, refused to give compensation to her more than 9,000 unpaid contributing writers. Oral arguments are set for Friday, March 9 at 2:30 p.m. in Courtroom 12B of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Plaintiffs include strategist and organizer Jonathan Tasini (workinglife.org), filmmaker and renowned speaker Molly Secours (www.mollysecours.com), writer/performer Tara Dublin (taradublinonline.com), author/PR executive Richard Laermer (laermer.com) and sports journalist/author Billy Altman. The group filed suit in mid-2011 claiming that the Huffington Post and Mrs. Huffington profited unjustly when her burgeoning site was sold to AOL for hundreds of millions while its many contributors received nothing.
“Huffington Post built its considerable brand on the backs of talented, hard-working writers, each of whom deserves fair compensation for their contribution to the sensational success of the entity,” explained plaintiffs’ attorney Jeff Kurzon of Kurzon LLP. “The latest effort by Mrs. Huffington to have our case dismissed before a hearing on the merits is yet another example of this corporate giant stepping on those bloggers it claims were its reason for being.”
As valuable content becomes proliferate on the Web, the bloggers of the Huffington Post are seeking to ensure that writing be a recognized vocation, just as print journalism and opinion articles have been for centuries. According to Kurzon and colleague Victoria Kennedy who will be arguing for the plaintiffs, Huffington Post’s motion counters age-old legal precedent that continues into the digital age.
“We believe that no one, not even Internet start-up superstars, should be enriched by another’s loss,” said Kurzon. “It is the hope of our clients that Judge Koeltl agrees and gives them the opportunity to be heard on the merits.”
New York-based Kurzon LLP are attorneys in the practice areas of corporate, private equity, finance, complex commercial litigation, real estate, intellectual property and immigration law. For more information on the firm please call Kurzon directly at 212-203-8918 or log on to kurzon.com. Copies of the lawsuit and related legal documents are available at huffingtonpostlawsuit.com.
John P. David or Alexis Gray