Say what you will about HuffPo or its blogging system, it pays to have a Terms and Conditions policy whenever you’re blogging or publishing online. The suit more or less proves that point pretty clearly.
Because Tasini’s case would have more than a little merit to it in lieu of HuffPo’s T&C: simply offering “exposure” as compensation for writing when the company itself if making huge profits is like saying I should work for Kodak for free because it looks good on my resume. That might wash for a college intern, but not for adults.
Still, Tasini agreed to blog for HuffPo and they have a policy that states that there will be no monetary compensation. Having such language in your site’s policy is by no means the end of the road, but it certainly makes the case much more winnable for the defendant.
For the rest of us, careful consideration of just where any random visitor can leave their own thoughts or content – and careful language aimed at mitigating the potential disasters they can inflict – is something no self-publisher can be without. I’m actually surprised that there isn’t more support for such language. That would be an excellent money-making scheme for some enterprising young lawyer. Any takers?