Jonathan Tasini's lawsuit against the Huffington Post hinges largely on the idea that the site, and Arianna Huffington herself, were "unjustly enriched" in the $315 million sale to AOL because bloggers like him worked for free. Huffington and her supporters have written screed upon screed pointing out that Tasini, and everybody else who has posted on the site, did so "of their own free will" and knew up front that they would not get paid. Tasini says that's beside the point.
In a PaidContent interview that ran last night, Tasini told Joe Mullin, "the whole legal theory is clear. For unjust enrichment it's almost irrelevant what agreement was done up front. Unjust enrichment is irrelevant to whether I blog for free or not."
This is the most lucid Tasini has been in defending his suit. He took to his blog yesterday to refute Huffington's response to the legal action, but his post turned into more of a call to arms than a studied defense of his legal case:
It’s as old as the quill pen. For decades, creators have been told that they should just be happy that someone—whether it be Rupert Murdoch or Arianna Huffington—gave them a place to be published or heard. And the Murdochs and the Huffingtons are one and the same—they use fear to impoverish YOU.
His conversation with Mullin is far more focused, though he still manages to supplant clear answers with his own rhetoric. Here's what Tasini had to say about some of the big questions that have been raised about his suit., and the people raising them.