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Arianna Huffington Loses Ruling In Fight Over HuffPo Ownership

Two politicos who sued Arianna Huffington and her partner for stealing their idea for the Huffington Post will get to go forward after a New York judge refused to throw out the lawsuit.

The tale of intrigue amidst the media elite of the Democratic party began last year when Peter Daou and James Boyce, both advisers to the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign, filed a lawsuit against the Huffington Post founders last November. Daou says he penned a memo about a “new kind of Democratic news-reporting website and blogging ‘ring’ or collective” but that Huffington stole the idea and cut him out of the loop before she launched the Huffington Post in May of 2005.

Huffington and co-founder Ken Lerer filed to dismiss the suit but state judge Charles Ramos ruled yesterday that the plaintiffs could continue with their claim under a New York law that allows people to sue if someone steals an idea that is both novel and concrete. In the ruling, the judge noted that Huffington appeared to have conceded that the idea was indeed a new one when she told Playboy in 2006, “There’s a tremendous advantage in being the first with something .. We were the first hybrid of news and group blog.”

Ramos found that the plaintiffs had raised enough questions about the origin of the Huffington Post for the issue to be decided at a trial. This does not means that Daou and Boyce have proved their case but rather that they have overcome an important preliminary hurdle. The ruling may also increase the pressure on Huffington to settle the case before further details about the origins of her site are put before a jury.

Huffington has been dismissive about the claims by Daou and Boyce, saying it was “stunning” and “ridiculous” for them to state six years after the fact that they believed they had been partners all along. The spat was also chronicled by Vanity Fair in a February piece entitled “Huffing and Puffing.”

Huffington did obtain a minor victory after the judge threw out the plaintiffs’ related claims for breach of contract, fraud and unjust enrichment. This is not especially significant, however, because plaintiffs in civil lawsuits will often plead multiple claims while knowing that the case will stand or fall on the basis of the strongest of them. The original complaint by Daou and Boyce asked the New York Supreme Court to grant an unspecified amount in damages.

UPDATE: Mario Ruiz, a spokesman for Huffington Post provided the following statement on Wednesday night: “Seven out of the eight claims were thrown out. To describe this as any kind of victory is as laughable as their lawsuit.”

Partha Chattoraj, the attorney for Daou and Boyce, responded on Thursday morning: “Arianna Huffington and Ken Lerer may say that they find “laughable” the court’s decision to uphold our claim that they stole my clients’ ideas for the Huffington Post, but we are gratified to have the opportunity to bring the truth to light.”

HuffPo Judge Ramos Ruling
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54 Responses to “Arianna Huffington Loses Ruling In Fight Over HuffPo Ownership”

  1. Randy Ranson

    This lady is a monster, she purposely manipulated the news and in effect ran her post as a rag to politically support Barack Obama above all others and tied to destroy Hillary Clinton in every manner and with any device she could, she portrayed her with the worst photos available, cropped and sliced on photoshop to make Hillary look as horrid as possible, and worked over anyone else that dared to oppose her favorite, as if Obama had paid her to do it, a questionable motive to be sure. Arianna banned anyone that questioned Obama, and she not only banished them she sometimes censored material matter submitted for publication, because it differed with her rags policy platform of getting Barack Obama elected. What’s worse is when she started her post she asked the community of contributors who wrote in to build her blog to help out in its design and look, and once completed she turned her back on them and sold out with the new format. At the time the huffington post was listed at a value of $7.5 million, which was considered rather high that time, and shortly after the design change and editorial clean up, she sold it for all that she could get for it, way beyond its basic worth, complaining all the way through all of her deals that she was being hard done by. The news world will be a much better place without the likes of Arianna Huffington.

  2. Chuhyona

    Cicero Marcus
    Tullius – Does this embody the current Democrat Party – I think so
    106-43 BC
    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot
    survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he
    is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those
    within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard
    in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor,
    he speaks in accents familiar to his victims and he wears their face and their
    arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.
    He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to
    undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can
    no longer resist. A murder is less to fear.”

  3. Guest159

    This is nonsense.  I really hope they don’t win the lawsuit.  I’m sure that doing that sort of thing takes an immense amount of work, and all of the parts of the “idea” are NOT novel at all.  The idea relies on very mundane concepts — blogging!  news!  forums!  whoop de doo, these things have been around for more than 10 years.  This is very similar to software patents.  People seem to forget that there is work involved when producing something in software.  Asinine to let freeloaders get away with it.  There is nothing stopping these losers from putting together their own newsblog.  And there are many of them out there!  Why is only this one website targeted?  Do the work or get lost.

  4. Arianna is egotistical and radically liberal and is dragging AOL down. That having been said,  Daou and Boyce only had the most general of ideas, and it’s a bit silly for them to expect to collect now that Huffington Post is suddenly worth money. Why didn’t they complain earlier? Could it possibly be because their “ideas” contained so few specifics they weren’t really worth anything?

  5. Tamerlane123

    As a 1st Gen American Patriot of Greek ancestry, I can tell you I despise this greedy barfly. She believes only in grabbing as much cash and notoriety as she can, while professing her love and concern for the “downtrodden” ;  she is a vile hypocrite!

    • LOL!  “Greedy barfly.”  Love it.  Funny how the lefties do not care about money like the OWS gang.   Then money turns up and they are as greedy as Arianna and her cronies.  The Clintons were “never in it for the money” as Bill pads his Foundation slush fund with hundreds of millions.  Evil frauds.

  6. For a real thrill try posting a conservative comment of any kind on HuffPo.  Doesn’t matter if it’s polite or rude, you will never get it past the censors.  Any that do are never engaged by HuffPosters in a debate over the issues; you’ll just be called a “bagger” and banned.

  7. SteinElise

    @Newthing:disqus It was great for me, I hope the same for you…my neighbor’s step-aunt makes $81 an hour on the internet. She has been out of a job for 7 months but last month her pay was $7805 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read about it on this web site http://crum.bs/l/q6v3

  8. Obama stole Marx’s ideas.

    “…if we don’t work even harder than we did in 2008, then we’re going to have a government that tells the American people, ‘you are on your own,’” Obama told a crowd of 200 donors…

    • MayaAyala

      Good point.  Ariana Huffington doesn’t have a single unique bone in her body.  She simply regurgitates all of the spin and propaganda that DNC talking points gurus release. 

      Less Ariana + Less Huffington Post = Better Country