Earlier this year the hardworking staff noted that two Democratic Party apparatchiks – Peter Daou and James Boyce – had filed a lawsuit against Arianna Huffington, accusing the Blogeteria Queen of stealing the idea for the Huffington Post from them back in 2004.
From the February, 2011 edition of Vanity Fair:
Daou and Boyce say that they were the ones who conceived of “a Democratic equivalent of the Drudge Report”—a shorthand description of what the Huffington Post is all about—and called it http://www.fourteensixty.com (for the number of days between presidential elections). According to their 15-page November 14, 2004, memorandum about “1460,” which Boyce gave Huffington before the December 3 meeting, the core objective of the Web site was to “use the potential of the Internet to the fullest extent possible to continue the momentum started during the [2004 presidential] campaign and re-organize the Democratic Party from the outside in, not the inside out.” Daou and Boyce say that they presented their general thoughts about 1460 at the December 3 meeting.
Arianna huffed back in an email to Daou and Boyce:
We never entered into any partnership or other agreement with you—either written or oral—concerning ownership of the Huffington Post. During all these years, you never shared in any financial obligation or risk relating to the Huffington Post. You never participated in any kind of management at the Huffington Post. You never shared in or asked for any financial or management information. Hardly a partnership.
Huffington subsequently told Politico, “We have now officially entered into Bizarro World.”
She has also officially entered the next stage of the lawsuit. From paidContent.org:
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 . . .
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.
The Huffington Post is both, the judge ruled, based in part on Huffington’s 2006 statement to Playboy that “There’s a tremendous advantage in being the first with something .. We were the first hybrid of news and group blog.”
The judge actually tossed seven of the eight claims the plaintiffs filed. Whether the remaining might precipitate a settlement remains to be seen.