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Unpaid Huffington Post bloggers lose appeals court bid

The 2nd Circuit rejected the writers’ request for a cut of the profits from the site’s sale to AOL

Unpaid bloggers who wrote for the Huffington Post are not entitled to profits from the site’s sale to AOL Inc., the 2nd Circuit ruled Wednesday.

The bloggers, who had sought class-action status for 9,000 unpaid contributors to the news website, said that they agreed to provide their content for free as a public service, and that they would not have done so “had they known that [the site] would be use their efforts…to make itself desirable as a merger target for a large media corporation.”

When AOL bought the Huffington Post for $315 million last year, the writers claimed that they deserved a cut—$105 million, to be precise—since their content added significant value to the website. They also argued that HuffPo hid numbers about its revenue and traffic numbers from the contributors.

But a three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision against the bloggers, ruling that the writers knew that “they would receive compensation only in form of exposure in promotion.”

Read more at Thomson Reuters.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of unpaid employees, see:

Hearst lawyers email former unpaid interns seeking stories of “valued opportunities”

“Black Swan” intern suit may get bigger

Unpaid intern sues talk show host Charlie Rose

Labor: The top 5 compensable time issues that spell disaster for employers

Labor: When unpaid interns become unpaid employees

Alanna Byrne

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