According to Jeff Bercovici of Forbes.com, if the $105 million class action suit against the Huffington Post filed Tuesday succeeds in full, each one of the site’s 9,000 bloggers can expect a check for $11,666, courtesy of AOL and Arianna Huffington.
So what’s the issue? Well, leading the law suit is Plantiff writer and labor activist Jonathan Tasini, who hangs on a claim of unjust enrichment. Basically, the argument is there’s something inherently unfair about the idea of Huffpo and its owners profiting while writers who’ve contributed substantial amounts of content to the site go empty-handed.
Could his lawsuit prevail? That may be a long shot. If enough bloggers feel they got exactly what they bargained for when they volunteered to write for free, it could prevent Tasini’s bid to be recognized as a representative of the class. Some bloggers have already come out and said they’re perfectly happy to contribute in exchange for the non-monetary benefit of exposure.
We wonder what the outcome will be. After the AOL and Huffington Post merger, it seems like bloggers are either thriving or really in a bind.