Remember when the Huffington Post was sold to AOL — and all the bloggers who had been writing for free got, well huffy? They said that because their contributions was part of the value of the product, they should get some of the proceeds. Unfortunately, the judge didn’t agree. According to an article in The Guardian:
John Koeltl, who presides over a US district court in New York, rejected the argument outright. He ruled that the bloggers had been fully aware that their work was to be unpaid when they signed up for it, and so any compensation would be to rewrite the terms of their engagement retrospectively.
via The Guardian
Much as I feel for all those disappointed writers, and sympathize with their feeling of betrayal, I can’t help but consider that they voluntarily worked for HuffPo without an expectation of payment. The moral of the story, I think, is that if you want to be paid for your work, make sure that it’s part of the deal in the beginning.