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Bloggers lose legal battle against Huffington Post

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The suit was over whether people who blogged over at Huffington Post, for free, were entitled to any of the profits from the deal in which AOL bought the Huffington Post for a cool $315 million.  The bloggers claimed they were owed a third of the money.


You have to remember that at the Huffington Post, you were permitted to "blog" but that did not mean that you worked for Arianna.  While the site was by invitation only, it was a pretty large invite lists to the point where the arrangement was not unlike DailyKos', where any diarist could take up show and write a blog, but still not really work for Markos.

In any case, people agreed to blog for free in exchange for their posts being published on a high profile site and seen by the masses.   It's the same reason I started blogging - not for the money, but for the exposure (and the hope that the exposure would push the political agenda I care about).  There was no expectation of money, so the court says none is deserved.

It is an interesting question.  But when you think about it, HuffPost staffers have been paid for years, long before AOL acquired them.  The blogger never were.  Why didn't they complain about not being a part of that monetary scheme?

A blog - any Web site - is a tricky thing.  Are you doing the site a favor by writing on it, or is the site doing you a favor by letting your content be seen on a site that reaches a large and influential audience (making you a virtual star)?  Probably both.  And the bargain wasn't to write on the site in the hopes that it would be bought and make a lot of money for everyone.  The bargain was to write on the site, and not make a dime, and not PAY a dime, regardless of whether the site went bust or bountiful.

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