Last week, a New York federal judge on Friday tossed out a class action brought by volunteer Huffington Post bloggers seeking compensation for their work. The reason? Bloggers knew they were not getting paid from the start.
After the Huffington Post was sold to AOL, bloggers were upset that the publication’s celebrity founder Arianna Huffington profited greatly from the same of the publication, but the bloggers themselves received no pay for building the site for Huffington.
“That the defendants ultimately profited more than the plaintiffs might have expected does not give the plaintiffs a right to change retroactively their clear, up-front agreement,” Judge Koeltl wrote in the opinion. “That is an effort to change the rules of the game after the game has been played, and equity and good conscience require no such result.”
“The [bloggers] knew that they were not going to be compensated, and there was no materially misleading statement as to that essential fact,” the judge wrote. “Rather, the [bloggers] were explicitly made aware that they would receive exposure … in lieu of monies.”