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Case 1:13-cv-04347-AJN Document 55-4 Filed 05/27/14 Page 1 of 24

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1 A. Hudson
2 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
3 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK ~~~r~~~~~
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5 ------------X -------------------
AULISTAR MARK, et al.,
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Plaintiffs,
~ Civil Action
vs.
No. 13-CV-Q4347
e (AIN)
~ GAWKER MEDIA
10 Defendants.
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7.3
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~5 DEPOSITION OF .ANDREW HUDSON
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New York, New York
l~ Tuesday, April 8, 2014
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ai
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2~ Reported by:
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THOMAS A. FERNICOLA, RPR
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JOB NO. 71500
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1 A. Hudson
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6 April 8, 2014
~ 9:50 a.m.
s
9 Deposition of ANDREW HUDSON, held at
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the law offices of Proskauer Rose, LLP, Eleven
7.1 Times Square, New York, New York 10036, New
~2 York, New York, before Thomas A. Fernicola, a
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Registered Professional Reporter and Notary
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Public of the State of New York.
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A. Hudson
A P P E A R A N C E S:
LTDDLE & ROBINSON
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
800 Third Avenue
New York, New York 10022
BY: ANDREA PAPA.RELLA, ESQ.
1~ PROSKAUER ROSE
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Attorneys for Defendants
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Eleven Times Square
1~
New York, New York 10036
l~ BY: MARK BATTEN, ESQ.
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ALSO PRESENT:
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Heather L. Dietrick, Gawker Media, LLC
In-House Counsel
as
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AUL I S TAR MARK .
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1 A. Hudson
2 A N D R E W H U D S 0 N,
3 called as a witness, having been duly sworn
4 by a Notary Public, was examined and
5 testified as follows:
6 BY THE REPORTER:
~ Q. Please state your fu11 name and
8 address for the record.
9 A. .Andrew Hudson, 37 Angell Court, with
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two 1's, Apartment 310, Stanford, California
~l 9430 .
12
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EXAMINATION BY MR.. BATTEN:
z~ Q. Good morning, Mr. Hudson.
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A. Good morning.
z6 Q. Have you ever been deposed before?
x~ A. NO.
is
Q. Okay.
~9 I'm sure Ms. Paparella explained the
20 process to you, but just so it's clear on the
21
record, I'm going to ask you questions today,
22 you're going to give me oral answers so that
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the court reporter can take them down, because
2~ he can ~ t record a nod of the head, al.~.hough he
z5
is very good at that sort of thing.
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A. Hudson
2 below the minimum wage.
3 Q. Do you believe that current interns
~ are paid below minimum wage?
5 A. I don't know. T think I've heard
6 that they pay their interns now, but --
'~ Q. You don't know one way or the other?
8 A. I don't know one way or the other.
9 Q. So does that mean that you don't
~o know whether you're representing the current
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interns or not; is that fair to say?
12 A. Yes .
13 Q, And you say your role is to
1~ represent this class.
1s
What does that involve?
16
A. I'm a named party and Tim not a
17 lawyer, so Z don't -- I'm not able to explain
~$ it Like a lawyer would, but --
i9 Q, I'm just asking for your
20 understanding.
21
A. Yes .
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I'm someone who has been willing to
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attach their sort of personal name and record
~4 and experiences to phis class of people who
25 have all had similar experiences.
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A. Hudson
2 Q. And how do you know that anyone else
3 has had a similar experience?
4 A. T wasn't the only unpaid intern.
5 Q. Beyond the fact of nonpayment, was
6 your internship similar to anyone else's?
~ A. It was probably similar to the other
a interns that worked on at io9 at the time.
9 Q. Why do you think so?
~-o A. We all applied to the same job
~l posting for that summer session, Z think.
1z Q, Any other reason that you think your
1~ internship was similar to others at io9?
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A. Working for the same blog, producing
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the same kind of content, working under the
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same people.
~I i~ Q. .Anything else?
i8 A. Nothing I Can think of.
~9 Q . A11. right .
20 .And how about beyond io9, you
2J- understand there are other Gawker websites
22 involved in this case; right?
23
A. Yes .
24 Q. Do you know anything about the
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experiences of interns at other websites?
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A. Hudson
2 A. Not nearly as much, no.
3 Q. what do you know?
~ A. T've read the declarations of the
5 other named parties and a little bit about it;
~ so, I know a little bit about their
~ experience. And I~ve -- yes.
8 Q, well, so you know what they~ve saa.d
9 about their experience in their declarations;
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right?
17- A. Yes .
~2 Q. And you~ve noticed that their
~3 declarations are quite similar to yours?
1~ A. Yes .
~-~ Q . Correct?
16
A. Yes.
17 Q. Down to some of the wording; right?
18 Do you have any personal knowledge
~9 of what their internships were like?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Do you have an.y personal knowledge
22 about any -- the experience of any intern at a
'23
site other than io9?
24 A. No.
25 Q. So how do you know that your
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~
A. Hudson
2 Q. What's your understanding of what is
3 required for an individual to have a lawful
4 unpaid internship? I understand you're not a
5 lawyer. I'm just asking for your,
6 understanding.
~ A. I've read the Department o~ Labor
8 guidelines. The -- there are six of them, I
9 believe. I don't recall all of them, but it
~o has to be training, it has to be an
1~ educational experience, it has ~o be for the
~2 benefit of the intern, and that the employer
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cannot derive immediate benefit from the
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intern.
~-~ In fact, it may hamper productivity
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having an intern around. It can't displace
~~ other -- it can't displace paid employees.
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I think there are a couple of
1~ others, but I don't recall, or similarly
20 worded, differently worded manifestations of
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those .
22 Q. Do you think that you ever hampered
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productivity at io9?
24
A. Minimally. But, Z mean, talking
25 with someone takes a couple minutes out of
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A. Hudson
2 your day that you wouldn't otherwise be
3 spending.
4 Q. Do you think that your internship
~ displaced paid employees?
6 A. I think if I hadn't been doing the
~ work I had been doing for them, the editors
$ would either have to have done it themselves
9 or hired an entry-level employee to do that
~o kind of research. And i.f they had to do it
~~ themselves, they would have been less
i2 productive, put less on the site, made less
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money, attracted fewer readers.
14 Q. How many -- how many fewer articles
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would they have been able to post if you had
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not been around?
i~ A. z couldn't say. Probably I, myself,
~$ got two bylines I recall; but there were
~9 others that 1 contributed a large amount of
20 research to. Probably in the -- probably a
21 dozen. More than a dozen. At least.
22 Q. And i.f those posts had just not made
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it to the site, what would the consequence of
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that have been?
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A. It probably would have meant less
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i A. Hudson
z content on the site and fewer readers going to
3 io9 and looking at the advertisements. That
~ is how Gawker earns their money. I~ would
5 have -- or the editors would have been working
6 longer hours and getting -- getting paid for
7 those. s donut know what they were paid, but
a they would have had to do a lot more.
9 Q. What makes you think that if without
~o your contributions there would have been fewer
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readers?
12 A. I contributed to promoting content
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and creating content that got read. Those
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readers wouldn't have read that page if it
x5 didn't exist.
~6 Q. But they may have visited Gawker
x7 anyway, visited io9 and viewed -- and read the
~8 posts that were there; correct?
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A. They could have. But many of our
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readers at the time weren't necessarily people
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that checked the websites on a regular basis
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but saw links on social media or news
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approbation sites.
24 Q. How do you know that?
2s A. Because ~ worked in promoting our
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A. Hudson
2 links on those sites.
3 Q. But how do you know that the people
4 who responded to your promotions were not
5 otherwise regular readers of io9?
6 A. I have no way of knowing their web
~ browsing habits of, you know, however many
8 thousands of people.
9 Q. Right.
10
So that brings me back to how do you
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know that absent your work there would have
~2 been fewer readers visiting Gawker and seeing
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the advertisements?
~4 A. I have no way of knowing what those
7.5 people would have done were reality different;
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but I was a part of a larger effort to promote
~~ Gawker's content and create content that would
18 attract readers. And that's the business.
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.And the more you do, the more people will come
20 to you, so...
21 Q. 2s that the way i~ works, that the
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more content, the more readers?
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A. Obviously, not always. But, you
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know, quality has a lot to do with it.
25
But certainly you have to --
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1 A. Hudson
2 certainly a business like Gawker is based on
3 producing a constant stream of new content
4 throughout the day.
5 Q. How many posts on average appeared
6 on io9 per day during the time you were
~ interning there?
8 A. I don't recall.
~ Q. Can you give me a ballpark?
10 A, Probably dozens may -- a dozen or
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maybe several dozen. I don't recall. I think
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it was something like, you know, multiple
i3 posts every hour for the workday.
~4 THE WITNESS: I'm going to run to
~5 the restroom, if that's okay.
~6 MR. BATTEN: Sure.
17 (Recess taken from 11:00 a.m. to
~-~ 11:05 a.m. )
~g BY MR. BATTEN:
20 Q. How did you first hear about
z1
internships at io9?
22
A. My roommate at the time, Fred Tann
~3 (phonetic), had been a regular reader of io9,
2~ and he saw a posting on the blog mentioning
z5
that they were looking for summer interns and
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1 A. Hudson
2 he passed it on to me.
3 Q. Were you a reader of io9 at the
~ time?
s A. I had seen it a couple of times, but
6 T wasn't checking it every day at the time.
~ Q. You wouldn't call. yourself a regular
8 reader then?
9 A. No.
io
Q, Okay.
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I take it you were interested in the
12 posting when you saw it?
13 A. Yes .
14 Q , why?
15 A, I was a fan of science fiction and
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pop culture and science and all those sorts of
17 things that they covered. And I saw the
18 posing, Z read a number of their posts,
'', 19
thought it was -- would be an interesting --
2o
an interesting kind of a field to work in, an
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interesting niche to write about.
z2 Q. Uh-huh.
23
So what did you do?
24 A. z replied, sent an email to the, you
~5 know, address mentioned in the posting, my
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~. A. Hudson
2 Charlie Jane Anders that appears at the top of
3 Exhibit 2 --
~ A. Uh-huh.
s Q. -- did you have any phone
6 communications with io9 editors --
~ A. Yes.
e Q. -- before the internship?
~ A. Yes.
io Q. Who did you speak to?
~-1 A. I was interviewed by either Charlie
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or .Annalee Newitz. It was -- T think it was
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probably Charlie, but I'm not positive.
14 Q. Okay.
15
You don't remember which of them
~6 interviewed you?
1~ A. No. I think it was -- I think it
18 was Charlie. She does say, "It was great
~9 speaking with you the other day," so...
ao Q. Okay.
2~ And what do you recall of the
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interview?
23 A. Tt was like a job interview. She
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asked me about the work T had been doing for
'~,2~ The Observer, the classes z had taken, my
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~ A. Hudson
2 experience, my skills, my interests, those
3 sort of things.
4 Q. So, in any case, you knew before you
5 stared the internship that it was going to be
6 unpaid; correct?
~ A. Yes.
8 Q. Did that trouble you at the time?
9 A. T certainly would have preferred a
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paid internship, but it was a -- it didn't
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seem like the -- it didn't seem like the
~2 biggest deal, but T thought it was going to
i3 get a good experience out of it.
14 Q, So it didn't seem exploitive to you
1~ at the time?
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A. At the time I was not as conscious
l~ of the problematic nature of unpaid
~8 internships and the effects they have on the
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workforce and the people that take them and
20 sort of society in general.
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And I guess I thought T was going to
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get a good training experience out of it. And
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T just -- I wasn't as aware off, you know, some
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of the basic ideas of people should be paid
2~ for their labor.
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i A. Hudson
2 I mean, I think I probably believed
3 that, but it wasn't something that was at the
~ forefront of my mind.
s Q. Was academic credit discussed in
6 these conversations before your internship
~ began?
8 A. I don't recall. It may have. But
9 if it was, it was brief, because it didn~t
10
seem like something that -- like we were going
1~ to be able to arrange academic credit and,
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anyways, I didn't need any more credits to
~3 graduate.
~~ And I wasn't sure how taking
~5 academic credit would -- for an internship
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would play into my scholarship at Fordham,
le Q. Did Fordham offer credit for
19 internships as a general mater?
20
A. I think they definitely did offer
2~ credit for internships, but I think that the
22
broad spectrum of universities, they were more
~3 stringent about what qualified for credit and
2~ the requirements you had to -- the hoops you
~5 had to jump through to get credit for them.
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