There are lots of reasons to blog; sharing your passion, increasing your online profile or helping hone your writing skills, but, should you be paid for your blogs if it increases the value of the site you post on?  For most bloggers, the act of blogging is enough for them, but some of the unpaid bloggers for the Huffington Post are up in arms after the Huffington Post was bought by AOL for $315 million.

Can You Be Paid For Services After The Fact?

Here, the bloggers agreed to blog for free, but now that the Huffington Post has been sold, they want part of the profits.  However, when you agree to perform services, whether it’s blogging, landscaping, or baking the best cupcakes in the world, you usually come to an agreement with the other party for a certain amount of money (whether on a per hour, per tree, or overall basis).  But what if you want to charge, or charge more, after the service has been complete? This is usually considered trying to impose new conditions on a contract after the fact (the fact being the initial contract itself).  In general, you cannot try to change your contract after the services have been completed unless both parties agree, or the job significantly changes.  For example, if you agree to repair a roof for a certain amount of money and a tornado comes through ripping off the roof, the roofer would probably not be expected to rebuild the entire roof at the original contract price.

What Is The Theory Of Unjust Enrichment?

The bloggers are making one more argument in favor of being paid: unjust enrichment.  Unjust enrichment is a legal theory based in common law which is usually used to prevent a person from receiving something (usually property) because they would be “unjustly enriched” at the expense of the other person.  For example, if you agree to dog sit for a person for a week, but the dog owner picks up the dog after only 5 days and refuses to pay you for the week.  The court would not let the dog owner get away without paying you for the 5 days of dog sitting because they would be unjustly enriched for receiving your services for free.

What do you think, should Huffington Post bloggers who originally agreed to work for free be paid part of the $315 million purchase price?