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NY District Judge Dismisses Blogger Suit Against Huffington Post 94

Posted by timothy
from the you'll-write-this-and-like-it dept.
The Chicago Tribute reports on a ruling announced Friday that the Huffington Post violated no law in profiting enormously from the unpaid contributions of bloggers who wrote much of the content that has spurred the site's success. Says the article: "John E. Koeltel, a district court judge in New York, dismissed a class action sought brought against the Huffington Post by unpaid bloggers seeking $105 million from AOL and Arianna Huffington's media empire. The bloggers argued that though they initially agreed to do the work for free, the Huffington Post was 'unjustly enriched as a result of this practice,' violating New York state law. Koeltel disagreed. 'There is no question that the plaintiffs submitted their materials to The Huffington Post with no expectation of monetary compensation and that they got what they paid for -- exposure in The Huffington Post,' Koeltel wrote."
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NY District Judge Dismisses Blogger Suit Against Huffington Post

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  • by oGMo (379) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @06:54PM (#39537521)

    There's a very simple lesson here: If you think your work is worth something, don't give it away for free.

    Yeah wouldn't want to give anything of value away for free. Just think what would have happened if Linus had given away Linux all those years ago. Wait...

    Better lesson: If you do something without charge, don't be a cheap bastard and turn around later demanding compensation.

    If nothing else, especially in a case where something becomes hugely popular/profitable/etc, you can use the popularity in a self-promotional manner, which is probably more valuable than any other compensation in the long run anyway. Good luck doing that after something like this.

  • Agree! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 31, 2012 @07:06PM (#39537585)

    Once upon a time, 'Did X for Y' for free may have looked good on your resume. Now, it's barely more than a comma. Now, it's a comma that you paid for in sweat equity, because you were good enough to ask a favour of, but not good enough to pay.

    This!

    And with companies abusing their unpaid "internships" and yet corporate profits are at record levels [seekingalpha.com]. And if they do fall, you just know that they're going to can people, send more work overseas using the lie that they can't get enough qualified people in their home country or blame it on some lame excuse like "government regulations".

    Internships is just abuse of people's desperation to get their foot in the door and to actually get a job. And then there are the rationalizations by hiring managers that just cons folks into giving their labor away.

    And about the "not good enough to pay" part

    And volunteer work? Doesn't do a damn thing because everyone is doing it to stay busy and we've all bought into the lie that it looks good on a resume because "we're doing something while we're not working". Nope. It just means you can't get a paying job because you're defective in some way. Of course, no hiring manager will ever give you feedback.

    I swear to god, if I ever get a chance to become a take-over "private equity" guy like Romney was, I won't can all the peons; I'll take out the managers first with the reason that they're not qualified, their skills are out of date, and they show a serious lack of planning.

    I will then instruct them to get "re-training" in some marketable field.

  • by bdabautcb (1040566) <bodaciouswagglerNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Saturday March 31, 2012 @07:53PM (#39537839)
    I run a small business in which I provide legal services for small law firms, including process service, depositions (in my state, as a notary I am an officer of the court and may swear people in and record depositions with a/v equipment), and transcriptions. My business works because in many cases, I can offer said services cheaper than national companies. Sometimes, I will discount or even provide for free service for a new client. I do, however, invoice them for the service and write it down as paid. I discuss their finances before hand, let them know that they will recieve a non-collectable paid out invoice, and I do not account for it in my business income/taxes/whatever. I have garnered several new clients by showing them what I do, and after that they happily pay for my services. I guess the point is, if you are going to do something for free and expect to be paid for it later on, do it on your own terms. No sympathy for folks who sign a contract to do free work and then sue later for damages. Although, that helps me in the long run because it gives lawers more bullshit to take to court, and I get paid when they do that. Keep suing everybody, America.
  • Baseball Parallel (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geoffrobinson (109879) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @10:17PM (#39538473) Homepage

    There's a guy who did sabermetrics in baseball who came up with a completely revolutionary way of evaluating pitchers and spread his knowledge for free: http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201101/sabermetrician-exile [thepostgame.com]

    It's affected millions of dollars worth of salaries. He now refuses to do any work for free.

Maybe Computer Science should be in the College of Theology. -- R. S. Barton

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