http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2383472,00.asp A former Huffington Post blogger has filed a $105-million class-action lawsuit against AOL and the Huffington Post media Web site on behalf of fellow unpaid bloggers whom he characterized as "modern-day slaves on Arianna Huffington's plantation." Jonathon Tasini filed the suit Tuesday on behalf of more than 9,000 bloggers in a New York federal court. Tasini blogged for the Huffington Post from late 2005 to Feb. 10 of this year, just a few days after AOL announced it was acquiring the Web site for $315 million. On a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Tasini said Huffington Post "bloggers have essentially been turned into modern-day slaves" and that he and his fellow bloggers "are going to make [Huffington Post co-founder] Arianna Huffington a pariah in the progressive community," according to Forbes. Tasini previously was lead plaintiff in a 2001 lawsuit against the New York Times and other media businesses which involved freelance journalists' ownership of electronic versions of their works following publication in periodicals. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded them $18 million. The class-action suit seeks $105 million in damages for unpaid Huffington Post bloggers, or a third of the price AOL said it will pay for the media site, based on the plaintiff's contention that content and marketing provided by uncompensated bloggers represents a third of the value of the site. "If not for the labor of Plaintiff and the thousands of unpaid Class members on and for TheHuffingtonPost.com, each of who helped make TheHuffingtonPost.com a household name, TheHuffingtonPost.com would not have been an attractive merger target and would have sold for at least $105 million less than the merger price of $315 million," according to the suit, which can be read in full on huffingtonpostlawsuit.com. The suit contends that the Huffington Post "has been unjustly enriched" by its practice of "luring carefully vetted contributors ... to provide valuable content at no cost to TheHuffingtonPost.com, while reaping the entirety of the financial gain derived from such content." Further, the suit claims that the Huffington Post's business model has "the broad detrimental effect of setting an artificially low price" for digital media content and "depressing the market for such content" in general. In both his conference call and in the lawsuit's preliminary statement, Tasini seemed to see his battle against the Huffington Post as having larger implications for profitable Web sites that depend upon labor from unpaid contributors. "If we want to have a society that has a diverse, vibrant culture, we have to make sure the people that create the content, whether it be words, images, drawings, photographsâthose people have to be compensated fairly," he told reporters. The class-action suit "seeks to vindicate the fundamental principle that the creators of value deserve to be compensated." Huffington, her business partner Ken Lerer, AOL and TheHuffingtonPost.com are named as defendants in the lawsuit. A Huffington Post spokesman said the lawsuit "is totally without merit," according to Forbes. "[O]ur bloggers use our platformâas well as other unpaid group blogs across the Webâto connect and help their work be seen by as many people as possible. It's the same reason people go on TV showsâto promote their views and ideas," the spokesman said in a statement.