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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Tasini’

Tasini Doesn’t Pay Contributors to His Site

Well, this is interesting: Gawker is reporting that Jonathan Tasini has a site that invites readers to contribute, but he doesn’t pay any of them. Apparently he publishes his readers comments often, and even cites them as the reason for the site’s success.

So why doesn’t he pay them? Tasini thinks that’s a ridiculous idea:

‘It hasn’t had any ads in several years, but there were a couple unions that did buy some advertising,’ he said. ‘They wanted to support the work I was doing.’ So how much of that did he kick back to commenters and readers whose e-mails he ran? ‘There was never a thought that we would do that,’ he said. ‘Oh, I see what you’re doing. Are you comparing my little blog to the Huffington Post? That’s absurd.’

Right. So according to that logic, if your site makes a lot of money, you should pay your contributors. If your site doesn’t make a ton of cash, then it’s fine to do exactly what Tasini claims to be so morally against.

Oh Tasini, you so crazy.

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Jonathan Tasini: Opposition to Lawsuit are ‘Bootlickers’

Arianna Huffington had her say, and now it’s Jonathan Tasini who is firing back about the lawsuit he’s bringing against The Huffington Post. He tells paidContent that he has plenty of support, and those who oppose the case are just “bootlickers,” which perhaps is better than being an ass kisser (depending on the ass, we suppose).

Tasini also says that while he’s not sure if he’ll win the case, he is sure that Huffington owes him – and others – something:

Ms. Huffington has made, I think, a blunder. Her arrogance and her clear bile, partly towards me but towards all the people who created the content—that’s working against her. People would have been very reasonable and it would have bought her a lot of good will if she had said, I just got fabulously rich—again—let’s sit down and figure out how I help the people who made this a valuable company. Instead she said, screw you.

The sad thing about all of this is that had Tasini not written many, many times for HuffPo, and perhaps insisted that he be paid for his writing right away, everyone would be taking him more seriously. But when he compares writing for HuffPo with slavery and explains that people should be paid after agreeing not to get paid, it just makes him sound stupid.

FishbowlNY wonders: Have any of those writers who wrote for HuffPo, and then gained a book deal from the exposure, given any money to Huffington? Probably not, because – much like Tasini – that doesn’t make any sense.

Freelancer Suing Huffpo Also Sued NYT in Supreme Court…And Won

Freelance writer Jonathan Tasini is suing Arianna Huffington. We’ve discussed how well she’s taking it.

Tasini wrote on his blog this morning:

There is little doubt that unjust enrichment has taken place. In society, our law tries to reflect our moral values, and vice versa. The thousands of bloggers created the value of the Huffington Post. Arianna Huffington created a tiny piece of that value—but she has declared that she, and only she, should benefit from the value of the sale to AOL.

I have no idea whether we will win the legal case. Judges do what they will do. It is a novel argument—as was the legal argument at the heart of the case I brought against The New York Times in 1993, which we won in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2001 (and, full disclosure, yes, Scalia, Thomas and Rehnquist also voted in our favor in the 7-2 decision—a fact I will have to live with). At the time, many pundits or “observers” opined that we had no chance. So, I suggest we all take the opinions of various people with a healthy dose of skepticism, or, at least, a “wait and see” attitude.

Wait – what?! His case against the New York Times went to the Supreme Court?! And he won?! Wow – we can’t even IMAGINE 7-2 decisions anymore…

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Multi-Millionaire Media Mogul Compelled to Publicly Scoff at Peon Suing Her

What is that bad taste in our mouths? Maybe it’s Arianna Huffington‘s post “above the fold” on the front page of Huffington Post cataloging all the people who agree with her and not with the lowly free-blogger suing her for non-payment.

She writes:

The lawsuit filed Tuesday by Jonathan Tasini is so utterly without merit, and has been so thoroughly eviscerated in the media — including being ridiculed as the “dumbest lawsuit ever”…

Yeah, remember back when Arianna was the voice of the downtrodden? You know when Pigs at the Trough didn’t sound like it could be an autobiography? You know, like December?

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Bloggers Against Blogger Lawsuit Against HuffPo

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, a class-action lawsuit was filed yesterday by Jonathan Tasini on behalf of unpaid Huffington Post bloggers, contending Arianna and her website are guilty of “unjust enrichment and deceptive business practices.”

The blogosphere hasn’t exactly come out in support of the lawsuit. Dylan Stableford of TheWrap.com says it makes no sense. Jeff Bercovici of Forbes blog Mixed Media calls the suit “a legal long shot.” And Simon Owens of Bloggasm points out that suing HuffPo sets a dangerous legal precedent:

If these writers were to succeed in their class-action lawsuit, then it would open the doors to further lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter, Livejournal, Daily Kos, and virtually every other technology platform for which people contribute content. Should Google start handing out checks to everyone who writes on its Blogspot accounts?

After 216 Unpaid Posts, Huffington Post Contributor Files Lawsuit

Author and freelance journalist Jonathan Tasini (pictured) has a way with words. Take, for example, the titles of his four books:

- It’s Not Raining, We’re Getting Peed On;
- The Audacity of Greed;
- The Edifice Complex;
- They Get Cake, We Eat Crumbs.

Any one of those could apply to the $105 million class action lawsuit filed today by Tasini against The Huffington Post, AOL, Arianna Huffington, and Jonathan Lerer on behalf of the thousands of unpaid bloggers who helped create some of HuffPo’s vaunted acquisition value. But Tasini instead draws a different, equally provocative comparison in his accompanying press release:

“Arianna Huffington is pursuing the Wal-Martization of creative content… Actually, that is unfair to Wal-Mart because at least Wal-Mart pays its workers something for the value those workers create.”

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Bloggers Suing AOL, Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post

Lace your gloves up tight everyone, the fight is about to begin. A class action lawsuit is being brought against AOL, Arianna Huffington, and The Huffington Post, according to Forbes. Lead by union leader and journalist Jonathan Tasini – who previously blogged for HuffPo for about six years – the lawsuit is seeking payment for writers who have previously written for the site.

If you think this has no shot, think again. Tasini is somewhat of a veteran of these kinds of things. He successfully won a lawsuit against The New York Times that said the paper could not license print articles in electronic form without permission from, or payment to freelance writers.

With all the tension between HuffPo and freelancers steadily building, you had to know this was coming. If the lawsuit wins anything for the plaintiffs it’s a win for bloggers everywhere, so from FishbowlNY to Tasini and the others: Good luck.

UPDATE:

We just read that Tasini described the bloggers as  “modern-day slaves on Arianna Huffington’s plantation” during a conference call. We officially take back our support of Tasini. Anyone who throws around a metaphor like that is an idiot.

WGA 08 Strike

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Ray Bradbury pickets FOX.

In an amusing twist on the WGA strike theme, Craig Mazin reports:

WGAE Executive Director Mona Mangan has somehow managed to enrage her own employees so much…they’re now threatening to go on strike

This is the woman who has had CBS newswriters working without a contract for years now.

John Ridley goes fi-core, and someone notices. Since the WGA doesn’t have the most diverse membership possible, you’d think they might have tried a little harder to make the guy feel wanted.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert might have some ‘splaining to do. (A catch-phrase for which no writer received any residuals, let it be noted.)

Jonathan Tasini calls for the heads of academics who crossed the picket line to show up on The Daily Show. He’s still waiting for his call.

The strike could result in a big pay day for Canadian content providers. Re-run of Entourage or Curling ?

WGA 07 Strike Week 4: Knock Wood

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The Pencils2MediaMoguls delivery is set to go. Of course, moguls being cheap SOBs, they’ll probably hand these out as Christmas bonuses.

Jonathan Tasini posts about the sweatshop that is reality TV. Unfortunately, he lumps the good, the bad and the laugh-out-loud dreadful all together. There’s a number of DGA shows in the reality world–and the WGA muffed their attempt at organizing at ANTM.

Send Daddy back to work–a child’s plea.