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NY District Judge Dismisses Blogger Suit Against Huffington Post

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the you'll-write-this-and-like-it dept.

America Online 94

The Chicago Tribute reports on a ruling announced Friday that the Huffington Post violated no law in profiting enormously from the unpaid contributions of bloggers who wrote much of the content that has spurred the site's success. Says the article: "John E. Koeltel, a district court judge in New York, dismissed a class action sought brought against the Huffington Post by unpaid bloggers seeking $105 million from AOL and Arianna Huffington's media empire. The bloggers argued that though they initially agreed to do the work for free, the Huffington Post was 'unjustly enriched as a result of this practice,' violating New York state law. Koeltel disagreed. 'There is no question that the plaintiffs submitted their materials to The Huffington Post with no expectation of monetary compensation and that they got what they paid for -- exposure in The Huffington Post,' Koeltel wrote."

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Good. (5, Insightful)

Haxagon (2454432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537325)

They agreed to write for free, there's no unjust enrichment if you stated that there's no expectation of compensation at any turn. I hope some other cases go by this precedent, I don't want people taking me to court for cash from my small business.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537345)

Huffpo is a greedy capitalistic exploitive enterprise! What did they think they were writing for, some socialist rag?

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39538579)

Huffpo is a greedy capitalistic exploitive enterprise! What did they think they were writing for, some socialist rag?

I'm sure OWS'er heads are asploding trying to decide which greedy capitalist group to hate more, while at the same time trying to suppress that very hatred because the HuffPo and the bloggers are both supposedly "on the side of the 99%".

This is an example of the kind of capability for such extremely dissociative thought processes, actions, and beliefs, that it reinforces the theory that modern Liberalism/Progressivism is a genetic mental disease as opposed to a case of simple ideological and/or political differences.

Trbute? (1)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39539093)

Chicago Tribute? LOL! How appropriate for such a corrupt city!

There is a newspaper called the Chicago Tribune, I think that's what they meant...

Re:Good. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537365)

wait so let me get this straight...

They wrote for free. KNOWING it was for free. Then decided 'hey you guys are making money off our stuff' and now they are mad?

Had a neighbor once pissed off someone was building on the land behind him. He came over yelling and screaming that he paid extra to have the lot he had because of the trees. I asked "do you own the deed?" "no" "well then you are fairly screwed and they got extra money out of you for no work on their part call it a life lesson to the tune of 5k". He wanted me to get mad for his sake because he did something stupid.

Basically the moral? If you dont get it in writing and the assumption up front was you get basically nothing then that is exactly what you are going to get. In the case of my neighbor he bought something from someone with no clear title to it.

Re:Good. (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537477)

Had a neighbor once pissed off someone was building on the land behind him. He came over yelling and screaming that he paid extra to have the lot he had because of the trees.

Lots of people pay extra for the "view", and the aesthetics of the surrounding property. This is not at all irrational the way you make it out to be.

I paid extra and selected my current property because there is a green belt adjacent to the lot. I checked that it was zoned as protected green space around the creek that runs through it.

Its heck of a lot better than merely being adjacent to "undeveloped" property, which can be zoned and developed at any time.

But other than being vigilant about any city rezoning plans, and raising a stink if some developer decides to apply to have it rezoned so they can drop a condo on the lot there's not much one can really do.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537599)

Its heck of a lot better than merely being adjacent to "undeveloped" property

Which was *exactly* what it was. Also if you dont own the deed there is usually little you can do except bitch. Paying extra for a view you better be SURE no one else can wreck it. Or you may just be pissing money away.

And he was yelling and screaming (because over the years I have lived next to him I have learned he is 'irrational'.) He wanted me to get worked up about it too. He was one of the first people to move into the neighborhood and is a bully (along with one of the other neighbors). He quickly realized I do not take to being bullied as I will yell back and tell him he is a twat and explain it to him very clearly in front of the rest of the neighborhood. But that is a different story.

You also paid for something you still do not control. The city could come along and redesignate it as something else. Getting something rezoned is not terribly difficult especially if you have some cash to 'donate to campaign contributions'. I have seen it many times. My father had several residential houses rezoned to commercial its not expensive and usually only takes an afternoon of time. It is unlikely but still it could happen. You do not own it. The city does.

I didnt say it was irrational. I said it is stupid to pay for something you do not control. Unless you just like giving money away... If you care about that sort of thing move into an area that has a HOA. They usually control that sort of thing. But like I said above I do not take to people being bullies...

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

ZipK (1051658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537609)

But other than being vigilant about any city rezoning plans, and raising a stink if some developer decides to apply to have it rezoned so they can drop a condo on the lot there's not much one can really do.

You could buy the surrounding land and personally control its fate.

Re:Good. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538683)

Just as in this case. You can turn Huffington post into a dead zone simply by stop making contributions. The point is not that AOL paid for your work, the point is making AOL pay for nothing. Stop making contributions, Stop making comments, Stop going to the Site, Remove everything you can from the site.

Face it Huffington post has turned into worthless shite, so bad in fact that they were defending Darth Cheney of all people. They set up a web page devoted to Darth Cheney, ensuring content and comments all worshipped and loved Darth Cheney.

The whole idea is to laugh at how AOL got ripped off by the scamy Ariana Huffington selling them nothing. In fact when AOL bought them they peaked since then they have stagnated with no growth (meaning the purchase was pointless) and now they are treading down.

Re:Good. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39549471)

But other than being vigilant about any city rezoning plans, and raising a stink if some developer decides to apply to have it rezoned so they can drop a condo on the lot there's not much one can really do.

You could buy the surrounding land and personally control its fate.

Not always possible. If it's zoned as a park, the city probably won't sell it since they expect you to lobby them to rezone it and have to put up with the rezoning process. If it's undeveloped land zoned for housing, there can be convenants specifying the land must be improved within X months.

It all depends on the goals of city hall and what they intend for the land.

Re:Good. (1)

Velox_SwiftFox (57902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537611)

My name is The Lorax, and I speak for the Zoning commission.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537835)

most people buy land and actually don't understand zoning. most land in a city is already zoned and the by-law is public information, along with the associated mapping. If the lay-man only gets his zoning information from the realtor, who has a significant sales function and little to no schooling with zoning, it is his own damn fault.

typically if you are buying at the edge of an urban area, expect more urban development, your 'extra large back yard' is another's property, to develop whenever they want, subject to appropriate approvals. you do not have a claim to the land unless you are making improvements and asserting that you are the owner, which happens 1 in 10000 of these cases. most people grumble and complain, some write a letter devoid of content, and the smart hire a planner to provide an opinion about the development.

-an urban planner

Re:Good. (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537977)

And it all depends on what the neighbors actually DO and if they are decent folks or not IMHO. The ones that originally moved onto the land behind my mom's place frankly trashed it, not only did they cut down the trees but they put a couple of mangy horses out there which wiped out the grass and caused little mudflows down onto my mom's property, just a real mess.

Lucky for us when my mom found out who owned that land behind her and called him to complain he was like "What renter? I haven't touched that property in years, i was waiting for my daughter to finish college before i built her a little house out there" so he called the cops and had them evicted and their mobile home hauled off. Now his daughter is in her little house up there and not only did she plant a bunch of nice trees and fix the place back up but when her husband is out there running the chipper and fixing up the place he'll come over onto mom's property and help her out by cutting any dead limbs and putting a little mulch around her trees to make them nice and easy to mow. So i'd say it all comes down to attitude, a little consideration goes a long way. Hell those squatters could have stayed there another 3 years with nobody the wiser if they just wouldn't have acted like assholes.

As for TFA, you do something for free? Tough fucking luck, you knew what you were getting into. I'm sure /. and LinuxInsider is making money off everything i post on either site but so what? does that make me entitled to a cut? its not like anyone forces me join in to Ms Noyes little round table discussions or to comment on /., i do so because i enjoy the conversations with other geeks and trying to find geek hangouts where I live is practically impossible, so having discussions on tech where people actually understand what I say is quite pleasant after dealing with people all day that don't know the difference between HDDs and RAM, or a tower and the monitor. TFA sounds like a bunch of whiny entitled types that got butthurt because nobody would pay them for their "incredible insight". Well if you think your "words of wisdom" are worth so much write a blog and quit giving it away for free, duh! of course if they did that then most likely they would have readerships in the single digits if they are lucky. at least here on /. I can point folks towards good software they may have overlooked like Comodo Dragon and Time Machine or QTWeb, and great sites for geeks like Ninite [ninite.com] (Godsend for new installs, check it out) and it gives me a nice warm fuzzy feeling when someone comments "Hey, thanks for pointing that out, I tried it and really like it a lot" and THAT is my payment for posting.

Re:Good. (1)

PlasmaEye (1128377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538195)

BTW, thank you for that great link (Ninite [ninite.com] [ninite.com]). That's going to save me tons of time when I do another clean install.

Re:Good. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39539177)

You are most welcome, thanks for the warm fuzzy feeling from knowing I've helped out another geek make their life just a little easier. Another link you might enjoy is WSUS Offline [wsusoffline.net] which makes updating Windows to current beyond simple. No more of this "update and reboot, update and reboot" crap, and it gives you the option of adding .NET and IE, as well as MSE or Windows Defender definitions, just two clicks and it'll update the OS to current. I have every update from XP-Win 7 X64, all nice and neat and easy, but if you are only gonna be installing a single version of Windows you can simply check the box for that version and have WSUS Offline download all the updates and have them ready for you, oh and can include all the MS Office updates if you plan on installing MS Office as well. Between that and Ninite it really takes all the hassle and bullshit out of a clean install. It even has a checkbox so that you can have it copy the updates to a stick or burn a disc, that way if you are like me and don't like letting a Windows machine that isn't fully updated onto the net you can just pop in the stick and let WSUS take care of the rest.

But I'm glad you enjoy Ninite, please tell your friends as it makes clean installs about as hassle free as they can be. you can even suggest new apps and if they get a lot of calls for a program they'll add it to the list, for example myself and several others asked for kilte (has really great DXVA support) and voila! there it is. Enjoy!

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39538899)

Yeah thanks for the Ninite site. I have no idea how I've never come across this. I knew about oldversion, etc but not this little gem.

Re:Good. (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 2 years ago | (#39540057)

Much as i dislike the Huffingtonpost, if this judgement had gone they other way, every web site serving goods of blogger, for example science 2.0, where I blog, could have been sued for getting rich from my work. So its a good judgement that allow magazines that are groups of bloggers to survive.

considering the standard, they were overpaid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537389)

Theres an old saying "Never do owt fer nowt" these idiots have learned a lesson in capitalism, may they learn from it well.

Geeknet's officers heave a sigh of relief (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537395)

The "FIRST POST!" guy would've been next in line at the court docket.

Arianna (5, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537401)

Am I the only one who thinks that Arianna Huffington is a self-serving money grubbing bitch who switched from being a hard core conservative to being "liberal" just because she saw a better market opportunity there?

Incidentally, the ruling is spot on. There was no expectation of getting paid until after the sale of the site to AOL for big $$$ when they suddenly had an open-source coder like epiphany: Hey, others are making millions from my work and I'm getting nothing!!! Sorry dumbass, don't work for free next time.

Re:Arianna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537429)

Am I the only one who thinks that Arianna Huffington is a self-serving money grubbing bitch who switched from being a hard core conservative to being "liberal" just because she saw a better market opportunity there?

So, isn't she just the same as every other political commentator you see online/on television?

Re:Arianna (1, Funny)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537493)

Not a bitch, whore. Let's not disparage female dogs here.

Re:Arianna (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537535)

Why insult working women either?

Re:Arianna (1)

V. P. Winterbuttocks (2246736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537907)

If your idea of "working" is "lay there and look purty while I do all the sweating".

Re:Arianna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39538597)

If your idea of "working" is "lay there and look purty while I do all the sweating".

That's why I put the girl on top. Why should I do all the work?

You've visited the wrong ladies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39539331)

Prices in your country might of course vary but where I live, spending some 500-700 euros (670-930 dollars by current rate) gets you a whole night with someone who is young, clean (both from drugs and disease), not a victim of pimping/slavery/etc. (some even give you a receipt and pay taxes) and takes their work seriously. The price for an hour is pretty stable at 250 euros (330 dollars) and many let you buy even a shorter duration but of course if you buy 30 to 60 minutes you don't have time for much more than the sex. When you buy a whole night, you can kindly ask if they would throw in a massage, some roleplay and that kind of stuff... and of course your purchase isn't entirely ruined if you don't happen to feel horny the exact moment you have booked the time for.

I've noticed that while the prices are pretty high for my wallet, it is sometimes worth it. I tend to get pretty stressed up in my work and sometimes there is nothing better to relieve stress than to spend a night with a nice professional... with no other obligations at all (aside from common courtesy, obviously). And with that kind of arrangements, prices, etc. I don't feel too bad for being part of the oppressive patriarchy and whatsoever.

Re:You've visited the wrong ladies (1)

V. P. Winterbuttocks (2246736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39543331)

I've noticed that while the prices are pretty high for my wallet, it is sometimes worth it. I tend to get pretty stressed up in my work and sometimes there is nothing better to relieve stress than to spend a night with a nice professional... with no other obligations at all (aside from common courtesy, obviously).

Minus the likelihood of sex, and with the obligation to continue to maintain common courtesy in the future, that is basically what friends are for. If you have nobody to unwind with and enjoy an evening with when you're stressed, except by paying a woman to be your companion for the evening, I pity you.

Shot in the dark... (1)

bdabautcb (1040566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538049)

Is your name Sarah, and do you want to meet up sometime? I like your style.

Re:Arianna (2)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537497)

Isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work? I thought conservatives were all for the free market.

Though personally I still think that news are supposed to be neutral, and that the whole idea that a news outfit can have a political slant is a perversion, regardless of the direction.

Re:Arianna (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537613)

Isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work? I thought conservatives were all for the free market.

Though personally I still think that news are supposed to be neutral, and that the whole idea that a news outfit can have a political slant is a perversion, regardless of the direction.

Conservatives have nothing to do with this. This is a bunch of liberal writers mad because the liberal woman who they agreed to write for pro bono made a whole lot of money off their work.

You are correct about this being how the free market works. The funny part is that there are a bunch of "progressives" acting like conservatives who don't see the irony of their actions.

Re:Arianna (2)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538009)

I'm replying to the poster, not to the article.

My point is that if you take the "free market" idea to its ultimate expression, then it's just about money. If the market demands a liberal viewpoint, then as a good businesswoman it makes perfect sense for Arianna to ignore whatever personal political views she has and supply what's being demanded. It even makes sense to switch the viewpoint back and forth repeatedly depending on what pays more at each point in time.

So why is it that the grandparent is complaining about it? It's perfectly in line with the free market philosophy.

Re:Arianna (1)

DMFNR (1986182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538825)

You also have to deliver a quality product to get people to spend their money, or at least perceived quality. If you switch your position to often people will eventually catch on and you won't be making much money from anybody because they will realized you are a fraud.

Re:Arianna (1)

windcask (1795642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39547409)

You also have to deliver a quality product to get people to spend their money, or at least perceived quality. If you switch your position to often people will eventually catch on and you won't be making much money from anybody because they will realized you are a fraud.

This hasn't stopped Mitt Romney, has it?

Re:Arianna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39538363)

You 'Murricans" are a bit weird about Capitalism and how you 'think' it 'works'. Especially after the degree of corruption of self serving corporations from arms industries to enron to banks have levelled the playing fields of the world. "Free Market' as in free to rob, lie, blackmail, for the good of the world, (but perhaps not so good for its occupants).

Perhaps you are no worse than anyone else and it's a pity to see you succumb to fall under the spells of Rupert Murdoch and the church.

Re:Arianna (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538493)

Meanwhile, I can use a public restroom in the USA without paying any money whatsoever, and guess what? Water here is free! So much for being a nation of money-grubbing capitalists.

It's also amusing to think that Murdoch is some being looming evil upon the entire Earth corrupting everything... and you even drag religion into it when it's totally irrelevant! Please, do try to work in animal rights and the patriarchy into this discussion, too.

Re:Arianna (1)

JDAustin (468180) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538851)

Meanwhile, I can use a public restroom in the USA without paying any money whatsoever, and guess what? Water here is free! So much for being a nation of money-grubbing capitalists.

Yea...but have you actually experienced what a public restroom smells like?

Re:Arianna (1)

tragedy (27079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39542361)

Meanwhile, I can use a public restroom in the USA without paying any money whatsoever, and guess what? Water here is free! So much for being a nation of money-grubbing capitalists.

In some places maybe. I think public restrooms are pretty rare in big cities now. Probably only in parks, and even then maybe not.

Re:Arianna (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538547)

You 'Murricans" are a bit weird about Capitalism and how you 'think' it 'works'. Especially after the degree of corruption of self serving corporations from arms industries to enron to banks have levelled the playing fields of the world. "Free Market' as in free to rob, lie, blackmail, for the good of the world, (but perhaps not so good for its occupants).

I think you need to learn the difference between Capitalism and Anarchy. They are not the same thing. Believe it or not, even the most staunch conservatives believe in some type of regulations. For example, monopolies and public utilities should be regulated and heavily monitored, even when privately owned and run. What conservatives are against are things like taxing the snot out of oil companies while ignoring larger and more profitable companies like Apple. I think Ronald Reagan summed it up quite well when he said, "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

Re:Arianna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39539505)

"Believe it or not, even the most staunch conservatives believe in some type of regulations."

Yes, the best you can buy.

Re:Arianna (2)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538779)

You have forgotten that the name "Capitalism" was invented by its enemy, Karl Marx. It is a slur because it implies that the defining characteristic is money.

Capitalism is human rights viewed from an economic and political perspective.

Re:Arianna (1)

elbonia (2452474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538903)

Capitalist is derived from capital, which evolved from capitale, a late Latin word based on proto-Indo-European caput, meaning "head"; Capitale emerged in the 12th to 13th centuries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism [wikipedia.org]

Capitalism is human rights viewed from an economic and political perspective.

No it's not, please site a reputable verificable source for this ridiculous statement

Re:Arianna (1)

tragedy (27079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39542349)

I find the political labels people use very funny. By US standards, these probably are "liberal", but most US "liberals" seem to be quite the opposite from my point of view. It depends on the particular subject, of course. In any case, if you take a look at the wikipedia page for Jonathan Tasini, it mentions that he was the president of the national writers union. Unions are a strange beast from the point of view of political alignment. In theory, unions are left-wing organizations, springing forth from socialist ideas of social justice and fairness. In practice, most of the actual actions of unions are very right-wing and capitalistic, even mercenary.

As for the actual meat of their complaint, it seems that they don't, and shouldn't, have a leg to stand on. It seems that there was never any misrepresentation from the organization they submitted their entries to about how they would be used. They knew it was a for profit enterprise and that they were giving over copyright without a license or contract protecting how their content would be used. There have been other situations a bit like this, such as the CDDB fiasco where I lean more in favor of the submitters, since in that project, the submitters believed that their contributions fell under the gpl, so a non-gpl commercial fork was a violation of the license of their contributions. Of course, in that case, the submissions were more along the lines of a purely factual database which shouldn't be subject to copyright protection. Of course, the contributors still had their labor taken under false pretenses.

Re:Arianna (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39542443)

Your post is incorrect. 1. some conservatives do post on Huffington Post (generally more old school conservatives). 2. Trying to get a share of the earnings at the corporate level distributed to the people who actually did the work? That sounds pretty left of modern day liberal to me. 3. The free market has no set way of working. Some companies exploit people. Others don't. Some toe the line in interesting ways. The market can and has supported all possibilities.

Re:Arianna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537635)

Murdoch showed that you could make a lot of money by packaging political slant as news, so should it come as any surprise that someone should try it with a different ideological slant? News doesn't make a lot of money and takes a lot of hard work, but if you can keep spoon feeding a group of people editorialized content that they want to hear, you can easily find a group of advertisers that has some other crap to shovel down those peoples' throats.

Re:Arianna (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537965)

Your bashing Fox News after this last week?

In this week the Supreme Court had its hearings on Obamacare and Chris Mathews said "It never even occurred to me that the bill could possibly be unconstitutional". A woman on CBS said she thought it had to constitutional because Obama was a Constitutional law professor at Harvard and she was shocked that there was a valid argument against it. On and on from just about every news source this came.

Its amazing how Fox was able to explain what the challenge was and what the arguments against the bill were, but NO OTHER major media outlet even considered that there might be a reason to argue against the bill. And after all that YOU come and tell us how Murdoch's news outlet is biased? It is the ONLY news source that wasn't biased on this issue.

Re:Arianna (2)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538031)

First of all, this is coming from someone who considers Fox News more credible than much of anything that Obama's teleprompter prompts him to say.

Let's not get carried away, though. A stopped clock is right twice a day, remember?

If you disagree with someone 100% of the time, sooner or later you'll be correct. That doesn't mean you're overall credible.

Re:Arianna (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538261)

First of all, it's not over.

Second: pretty much the vast majority of legal experts said that it seemed unlikely the bill was unconstitutional. That's was reflected in the bulk of media reporting.

Third: Chris Matthews spent the entire Clinton Presidency slamming him, and voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004. While rightists may have convinced themselves he's liberal because of his vote for Obama in 2008 - who, remember, stood as a post partisan figure, and who indeed has a bi-partisan cabinet - doesn't make him representive of any "liberal agenda".

Finally, Fox lies, almost constantly, and pushes the agenda that it alone is a speaker of truth with the rest of the media being against it and lying. That's why, for example, you saw it pushing the "Zimmerman really did kill Martin in self defense, because, uh, he says so! Yeah! And Martin was clearly suspicious what with him being black in a mixed race neighborhood and stuff!" crap last week. It wasn't that Fox is racist per-se, it's that as the rest of the media was reporting a particular story, it felt it had to posit a contrarian point of view, to advance the idea the rest of the media was always lying.

Just because Fox might tell you what you want to hear doesn't mean you should trust it. You're being lied to.

Re:Arianna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39539201)

Chris Matthews cut his teeth with Jimmy Carter and as a staffer for Speaker of the House Tip O' Neil, Democrat. It's that experience he draws upon for his "commentary" and perspective. That's his world view.

We only have his statement that he voted for GW Bush who also had a "bipartisan" cabinet, just like Bill Clinton. Obama's not the first to appoint Cabinet from the opposing party.

Re:Arianna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39539889)

If you have a token Democrat in a very republican White House, you're now "bipartisan?" News to me.

Re:Arianna (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39539975)

"Zimmerman really did kill Martin in self defense, because, uh, he says so! Yeah! And Martin was clearly suspicious what with him being black in a mixed race neighborhood and stuff!"

First let me state that I do not know what happened in the confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin (except that it ended with Zimmerman--an hispanic--shooting Martin--a black). However, the current released information is that several witnesses reported that Martin was on top of Zimmerman and Zimmerman was calling for help. Additionally, it was NBC who first reported this in a distorted manner. NBC first broadcast an edited version of Zimmerman's 911 call that had Zimmerman say, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.” The actual 911 call went like this: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” 911 operator: “Okay. And this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic?” Zimmerman: “He looks black.” The actual 911 conversation is much less damning of George Zimmerman than what NBC broadcast.

Re:Arianna (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 2 years ago | (#39546601)

I was stuck in a room having to listen to Chris Matthews and he was saying the same thing you that you are accrediting to FoxNews.

Re:Arianna (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538805)

ABC, CBS, and NBC were "packaging political slant as news" decades before Fox News existed, and CNN was also doing it before Fox News existed. Murdoch saw an audience that wasn't being satisfied, and gave them the content they wanted.

I find much of Fox News hard to take because people like Hannity and O'Reilly discuss politics with leftists, and it's annoying to hear the leftist blather. But its there, and reinforces Fox's claim that (unlike the other networks) they present the viewer with some non-cartoonish examples of opposition viewpoints.

Re:Arianna (3, Insightful)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538749)

Though personally I still think that news are supposed to be neutral, and that the whole idea that a news outfit can have a political slant is a perversion, regardless of the direction

Historically speaking, you're completely wrong. Bias has been the norm since the invention of the printing press (and with it, newspapers). The idea that newspapers/stations/sites should be neutral is an aberration that was born, and died, in the 20th Century as a result of the sudden scarcity of preferred news media outlets (specifically television/radio licenses in the early decades following the invention of those technologies). Now that scarcity is once again no longer an issue (as it wasn't when print rags were the only option--and note that neutrality was never common in print rags except for the handful of 'national standard' papers), neutrality is no longer valued.

Re:Arianna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39538937)

neutrality is no longer valued.

According to whom? You? I'm sorry but I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people in this country would still prefer a balanced approach to factual news. What has happened is that news from all points of view has been sensationalized beyond the nth degree. They sensationalize has gotten so bad that each media outlet caters to a very specific crowd based on the ratings/demographics they have of their audience. This is one of the very bad side effects (imo) that computing age has brought us. Computers can track such a vast amount of information on particular groups that the media can and does control how it packages and displays everything from news to the daily TV you watch. Every single show out there has some over-arching agenda. Not that agendas didn't exist before it is just worse than it was 50 years ago. Instead of family values you have shows subtly attempting to change society as as a whole by introducing specific ideas in order to mold the public mind to a particular point of view. It is done very slowly and methodically so the change is gradual. The issue with those changes is that most of them are out-cries and complaints from the minority in this country. The changes occur because the majority in this country have, for the most part, silently rolled over.

So..I would have to strongly disagree with your assessment. While scarcity is not an issue with "news" there is something to say about an organization who actually goes out and verifies the information for a story prior to writing or broadcasting it. And when they do publish that information it should be done in as much an impartial way as possible to allow the reader to draw their own conclusions; unless it's an Op-Ed then by all means attempt to convince the reader of your particular view point. But instead news these days from any organization is always an Op-Ed piece, irrespective of whom it comes from. Injecting a media organizations ideals or opinions into a supposed factual story is poor in taste and reporting; imo.

Re:Arianna (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39539313)

I'm sorry but I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people in this country would still prefer a balanced approach to factual news.

Of course they do. It's just that their definition of balanced is "telling me what I want to hear". Anything else is by definition unbalanced.

So, neutrality isn't valued. Rather, neutralities are.

Re:Arianna (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39539477)

I'm sorry but I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people in this country would still prefer a balanced approach to factual news

Really? What country are you in, because judging by viewing figures for television news and circulation figures for newspapers, most people in the USA and UK would prefer a source of news that doesn't challenge their personal prejudices or force them to think.

Re:Arianna (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#39545477)

I'm sorry but I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people in this country would still prefer a balanced approach to factual news.

Awfully nice of you to apologize, but there's no need. What you are or aren't sure of is irrelevant.

Most people might CLAIM they would prefer a balanced approach to factual news, but that doesn't make it true. Ratings/subscription rates are much clearer measures of what people actually want (since they're paying for it either with money or time), and those numbers tell a clear story--no one cares about some abstract notion of balance or fairness. They care about hearing their own biases and prejudices parroted back to them while being told it's fair and balanced. That is NOT the same thing.

While scarcity is not an issue with "news" there is something to say about an organization who actually goes out and verifies the information for a story prior to writing or broadcasting it.

And? Now you're making an irrelevant, non-sequitur value argument.

Is truly balanced reporting BETTER? That's a separate issue (frankly, I'd say no, but that's only because I don't buy the claim that reporting CAN be balanced in any meaningful sense--it requires a notion of objective TRUTH separate from the person interpreting that TRUTH, which we could debate endlessly, but I doubt could exist in any non-trivial sense).

What I'm talking about here are historical norms. The historical norm (for the 500+ years we've had the printing press) has been bias and sensation. Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow were aberrations. What is better or worse is irrelevant. The norm is bias, and that's what we've returned to.

Re:Arianna (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39539895)

Isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work? I thought conservatives were all for the free market. Though personally I still think that news are supposed to be neutral, and that the whole idea that a news outfit can have a political slant is a perversion, regardless of the direction.

Isn't WHAT how capitalism is supposed to work? Yes, conservatives are for the free market, but I am not sure what conservatives have to do with this dispute between liberals.
I am not sure what makes you think that the news is "supposed to be neutral". There has never been a time when there was a news source that did not have a political slant. Reporters have a political opinion. That opinion is going to effect how they report the news. I would much rather know upfront what that opinion is, rather than have the reporter try to pretend that he/she is being objective.

Re:Arianna (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537507)

If you're giving something away for free, think to yourself, will I feel bad if that person makes millions from it?

If the answer is anything other than "Well, would have been nice to do that, but I didn't think of how to make millions from it, so glad someone it availing themselves of the opportunity" then you shouldn't give it away for free.

Re:Arianna (2)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537941)

Huffington was never a conservative, just like she's not a leftist now. She's just a moth attracted to the flame of political power.

Re:Arianna (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538747)

An alert person would have seen Huffington's switch well before it happened. When she was advocating conservatism (supporting her Republican Congressman husband's campaign), her arguments were of the "it's for the children" variety so characteristic of liberals. It sounded false, and for me it was no surprise when she flipped. As far as I can tell, she's always been a mentally shallow leftist.

Re:Arianna (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39538859)

"It's for the children," as odious an excuse as it is, is hardly monopolized by either side of the political spectrum. Are you so in need of rationalization that you would stoop to lies in order to demonize those with whom you disagree? The truth is, nobody who says it EVER believes it. It's just an excuse, an end-around designed to bypass their constituent's logic. All politicians want to do that from time to time.

And because you might actually believe this silliness that you are spouting, here are some non-liberal examples (note that this isn't meant to deny that there are liberal examples; I just assume you don't need them):

Anita Bryant [wikipedia.org] (Christian fundamentalist)
David Lane [wikipedia.org] (white supremacist)
George W. Bush [wikipedia.org] (World Champion, Anti-Liberal League, 2001-2009)

Re:Arianna (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538817)

When you get right down to it there really is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans when it comes to implementing foreign policy. Too many people focus on the rhetorical BS from all the political talking heads instead of the actual things being done.. When it comes to the deployments in the ME Obama's actions are not that different from Bush's.
The exit from Iraq was because the Iraqi government wanted the US to leave and the US obliged them. It only took about 1 day after the US left for them to start killing one another which seems to be the SOP in most of the ME countries. The only thing these countries ever agree on is thier animosity and hatred of the US. Remove the US from the equation and let them destroy themselves.
    Every country in the world that has US military basses only needs to ask the US to leave and they will if they are not in the middle of an actual war. Of course all monetary related aid will also be eliminated. The US can project military power world wide so foreign bases are not necessary. The US should also start evacuating Afghanistan as fast as possible and let them do whatever they want. And the US should not even contemplate putting boots on the ground anywhere when they can use air assets to bomb the shit out of any enemy. This type of policy should be applied to every country in the ME and other regions. As long as they keep their killing and mayhem within their own borders the US shouldn't give a shit. This whole "spreading democracy" horseshit should be abandoned. If the US has to interact with any of these countries for commerce they can do so with whoever is in charge at the time regardless of the type of regime they represent. An amoral based foreign policy should become the standard. Humanitarian aid should also not be the government's responsibility. If someone is upset with that they can supply support using their own resources. If someone wants any US government help they should expect a invoice for services rendered with at least 50% due upfront.

Re:Arianna (0)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39539621)

Every country in the world that has US military basses only needs to ask the US to leave and they will if they are not in the middle of an actual war.

Cuba have asked the US to leave on several occasions, but the US refuse to comply.

Re:Arianna (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552255)

"The United States assumed territorial control over the southern portion of GuantÃnamo Bay under the 1903 Cuban-American Treaty, which granted it a perpetual lease of the area."

This is a unique case and if Cuba wants the US to leave they will need to come up with someway to abrogate the treaty signed in 1903 or they could try and use force which would give the US all the excuse it needs to take the rest of the Island. The fact is that the military base employees a sizable number of Cuban citizens and benefits the surrounding Cuban businesses. Germany threw a hissy fit when the US suggested shutting down most of it's bases in their country because if the bases closed the surrounding local economies would crash. The same thing has happened in Japan and Korea. People demand the US base's closed but as soon as it looks like the US will actually do it their entire attitude changes. The fact is that Japan, Germany, South Korea, Australia, Britain, and others can demand the bases closed at any time but they don't.

Re: Arianna (1)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39539059)

I agree that the bloggers had no legal case, but if Arianna had an ounce of class, she'd have cut every blogger a nice check, if not thrown them a giant party as well. She'd still have vastly increased her already immense wealth, and would have been hailed as a hero instead of reviled as a multimillionaire tightwad and hypocrite.

Compare her with Keanu Reeves, who gave $72 million of his Matrix film earnings to the stunt and special effects crews [thebuzzmedia.com] . That's real class.

Re:Arianna (1)

cjsm (804001) | more than 2 years ago | (#39539871)

Maybe its just me, but I rarely read the bloggers on Huffington Post anyway. I scan the news stories for my daily supply of pap and tittie stories and move on. It does have occasional serious stories that interest me also, but their bloggers bore me.

Re:Arianna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39544469)

I agree with your sentiment and would like to point out how nicely the huffington post and April Fool's Day go together.

Re:Arianna (1)

idlehanz (1262698) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551661)

I find it ironic that people would work for free for an organization that promotes socialism and then be surprised that they weren't paid. Of course I've read the content provided by the free bloggers a couple times and found it wasn't worth what they were paid so I guess I shouldn't be surprised they weren't smart enough to read or understand the fine print.

don't freelance for free (4, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537425)

There's a very simple lesson here: If you think your work is worth something, don't give it away for free. Donating your time and the fruits of your labor to an open-source project or to a non-profit as charity work is one thing. But the harm that comes to a person from giving their work to a for-profit corporation is a self-inflicted injury. Furthermore, it doesn't just harm the people doing it, it also harms the professionals who are unable to do the same kind of work for a living, by undercutting them.

Re:don't freelance for free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537483)

or if youre a nobody be glad someone even put your writing in front of peoples faces.

Re:don't freelance for free (4, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537499)

Sing this to the heavens. Inscribe it on the side of every mountain. Drill it into the mind of every student and budding artist, journalist or otherwise creative person out there.

Once upon a time, 'Did X for Y' for free may have looked good on your resume. Now, it's barely more than a comma. Now, it's a comma that you paid for in sweat equity, because you were good enough to ask a favour of, but not good enough to pay.

If you really want to put your stuff out there, and think you've got the chops to get attention (and good, because that's the attitude you need), do it yourself. Start a blog, or a specialist news site. Roll your own webcomic, there's plenty of frameworks out there. Throw your band's tracks up on its very own website. Just don't give it away for free to outfits that can afford to pay you for the privilege. They'll be all too happy to put their stamp on it and leave you with shit-all attribution.

Agree! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537585)

Once upon a time, 'Did X for Y' for free may have looked good on your resume. Now, it's barely more than a comma. Now, it's a comma that you paid for in sweat equity, because you were good enough to ask a favour of, but not good enough to pay.

This!

And with companies abusing their unpaid "internships" and yet corporate profits are at record levels [seekingalpha.com] . And if they do fall, you just know that they're going to can people, send more work overseas using the lie that they can't get enough qualified people in their home country or blame it on some lame excuse like "government regulations".

Internships is just abuse of people's desperation to get their foot in the door and to actually get a job. And then there are the rationalizations by hiring managers that just cons folks into giving their labor away.

And about the "not good enough to pay" part

And volunteer work? Doesn't do a damn thing because everyone is doing it to stay busy and we've all bought into the lie that it looks good on a resume because "we're doing something while we're not working". Nope. It just means you can't get a paying job because you're defective in some way. Of course, no hiring manager will ever give you feedback.

I swear to god, if I ever get a chance to become a take-over "private equity" guy like Romney was, I won't can all the peons; I'll take out the managers first with the reason that they're not qualified, their skills are out of date, and they show a serious lack of planning.

I will then instruct them to get "re-training" in some marketable field.

Re:don't freelance for free (1, Interesting)

oGMo (379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537521)

There's a very simple lesson here: If you think your work is worth something, don't give it away for free.

Yeah wouldn't want to give anything of value away for free. Just think what would have happened if Linus had given away Linux all those years ago. Wait...

Better lesson: If you do something without charge, don't be a cheap bastard and turn around later demanding compensation.

If nothing else, especially in a case where something becomes hugely popular/profitable/etc, you can use the popularity in a self-promotional manner, which is probably more valuable than any other compensation in the long run anyway. Good luck doing that after something like this.

Re:don't freelance for free (2)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537533)

Did you try reading the whole comment? Even just the second sentence?

Re:don't freelance for free (5, Insightful)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537553)

They didn't give it away for free. They were paid with exposure.

Toyota (or any advertiser) pays dearly for that same exposure.

Today the Final Four games are on TV. Each of these athletes works for free and for exposure and hopes that they benefit directly from that exposure. It might be the knowledge the scholarship provided them, or it might be an NBA draft day paycheck followed by a healthy career. Ask Michael Phelps how much he was paid to attend swim meets before he found a way to monetize his career.

Nobody owes these people anything and this lawsuit was folly.

Re:don't freelance for free (2)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537955)

This. Exposure on a popular website is potentially worth more to a writer than anything they could reasonably expect to be paid. That was the deal going in, and they don't have a legal leg to stand on just because it didn't work out.

Re:don't freelance for free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39542011)

NCAA athletes don't work for free. They (at least) get a free education and room and board worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Re:don't freelance for free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537709)

"Donating your time and the fruits of your labor to an open-source project or to a non-profit as charity work is one thing. But the harm that comes to a person from giving their work to a for-profit corporation is a self-inflicted injury"

What is the difference that makes one injurious and the other not?

Re:don't freelance for free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39538573)

Don't be a fucking idiot. One is a gift to help other people. The other is just stupid and naive.

Re:don't freelance for free (1)

bdabautcb (1040566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538071)

If you are doing professional work that is being undercut by people doing it for free, you are in the wrong business. The story of entitlement.

Re:don't freelance for free (1)

hawkingradiation (1526209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39545725)

They've finally realized what has been missing in their lives.
Structure.
And at Huffington Post they're getting things done.
They are TCB.
You know taking care of business.

Awesome, simply Awesome (3, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537649)

Since the general slant of HuffPo is a self righteous rich white liberal rage against the Cul de Sac smash the capitalist machine but give me a free iPad give me a bailout because I can't afford the school loan for my $250,000 MFA in post modern lesbian Marxist fiction I just love it that they're mad they're not getting paid MONEY for their ravings.

You can't make this stuff up.

Re:Awesome, simply Awesome (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39538145)

...the school loan for my $250,000 MFA in post modern lesbian Marxist fiction...

Not sure where you're coming from there, sport. I'm fairly certain that an MFA in post-modern lesbian Marxist fiction tops out at $200,000.

Re:Awesome, simply Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39542999)

Second time today I've seen a commenter use "rich" and "white" together for no reason at all.

Legal perspective on this: (5, Interesting)

bdabautcb (1040566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537839)

I run a small business in which I provide legal services for small law firms, including process service, depositions (in my state, as a notary I am an officer of the court and may swear people in and record depositions with a/v equipment), and transcriptions. My business works because in many cases, I can offer said services cheaper than national companies. Sometimes, I will discount or even provide for free service for a new client. I do, however, invoice them for the service and write it down as paid. I discuss their finances before hand, let them know that they will recieve a non-collectable paid out invoice, and I do not account for it in my business income/taxes/whatever. I have garnered several new clients by showing them what I do, and after that they happily pay for my services. I guess the point is, if you are going to do something for free and expect to be paid for it later on, do it on your own terms. No sympathy for folks who sign a contract to do free work and then sue later for damages. Although, that helps me in the long run because it gives lawers more bullshit to take to court, and I get paid when they do that. Keep suing everybody, America.

If, then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537857)

Maybe I shouldn't be writing this.

Baseball Parallel (4, Interesting)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538473)

There's a guy who did sabermetrics in baseball who came up with a completely revolutionary way of evaluating pitchers and spread his knowledge for free: http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201101/sabermetrician-exile [thepostgame.com]

It's affected millions of dollars worth of salaries. He now refuses to do any work for free.

It's the Web (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538863)

How is it different from Slashdot, Google, Facebook, Youtube, etc?

Re:It's the Web (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538965)

How is it different from Slashdot, Google, Facebook, Youtube, etc?

On Slashdot, I own the comments I write. It says so right on the bottom of every page.

Re:It's the Web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39539945)

penis.

Re:It's the Web (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39540303)

How is it different from Slashdot, Google, Facebook, Youtube, etc?

Not much. But I would not pay for the stuff I post, so I have no expectation of other paying for it either. Neither would I pay to read /.
The fact that some people may make a profit out of it does not bother me. I get to have some fun and occasionally read some interesting stuff.
If whoever owns /. were to sell it for a gazillion of dollars and I was annoyed by that, I would simply stop posting/moderating. That would teach them a lesson! ...or maybe not.

wait til wikipedia is sold to a corporation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39539241)

and the wikipedia website goes paywall and all the data dumps go dark.

Re:wait til wikipedia is sold to a corporation (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39540311)

What is there to sell?
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