The dismissal of claims by unpaid bloggers against The Huffington Post has been upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. A three-judge panel yesterday rejected claims brought by Jonathan Tasini and other contributors for a share of the $315 million that AOL paid for The Huffington Post in early 2011.
Alleging unjust enrichment and deceptive business practices, the plaintiffs claimed they contributed $105 million of that value and that the company duped them into providing free content based on promises their contributions would be used to provide a public service and the website would never be sold to "Big Media." But Judge John Koeltl (See Profile) dismissed the case in April (NYLJ, April 2), a decision upheld by Circuit Judges Jose Cabranes (See Profile) and Reena Raggi (See Profile) and Southern District Judge Jed Rakoff (See Profile), sitting by designation.
The plaintiffs, the panel said in Tasini v. AOL, 12-1428-cv, "were perfectly aware that The Huffington Post was a for-profit enterprise, which derived revenues from their submissions through advertising. Perhaps most importantly, at all times prior to the merger when they submitted their work to The Huffington Post, plaintiffs understood that they would receive compensation only in the form of exposure and promotion."