Arbitron Sues McGavren Guild And Longport Media After 'Sting Operation' Discloses Unauthorized Use Of Data
June 12, 2012 at 12:42 PM (PT)
ARBITRON has filed a lawsuit in the NEW JERSEY District Court Camden Office against MCGAVREN GUILD and LONGPORT MEDIA for illegal use of ARBITRON data. ARBITRON wrote, "This is an action for copyright infringement and breach of contract," and continued "claims in this action arise from the Defendants' unauthorized reproduction and distribution of ARBITRON's copyrighted estimates."
ARBITRON noted "Neither LONGPORT nor any of the radio stations it owns, operates and/or controls are ARBITRON subscribers authorized to receive or use the ARBITRON Reports, Databases and/or research services."
In what amounted to a sting operation, ARBITRON enlisted the services of KEVIN PIOTTER, a consultant posing as an advertiser interested in purchasing advertising time on one of LONGPORT's radio stations. ARBITRON's claim says he was given material "which contained copyrighted ARBITRON audience estimates for the LONGPORT RADIO stations from the SPRING 2011 ARBITRON reports using STRATA's NUMATH software."
While MCGAVREN GUILD is an ARBITRON licensee, ARBITRON says their "License Agreement specifies permitted and non-permitted uses of the ARBITRON reports. Among the permitted uses, MCGAVREN is entitled to provide the estimates contained in the ARBITRON Reports to radio stations that are themselves ARBITRON licensees and to use the ARBITRON Reports to solicit advertisers on behalf of current ARBITRON licensees."
ARBITRON is seeking "an award of damages against LONGPORT in an amount not less than $150,000 plus an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, plus an award of enhanced damages." Additionally, they seek "an award of damages against MCGAVREN in an amount not less than $150,000 plus an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, plus an award of enhanced damages," as well as "relief for breach of contract, an award of damages against MCGAVREN in an amount not less than $150,000, the exact amount to be determined at trial; an award of reasonable attorneys fees and costs incurred by ARBITRON."
MCGAVREN GUILD MEDIA Pres./CEO LISA SIROTKA-SONNENKLAR told ALL ACCESS, "We have not answered the Arbitron complaint because ARBITRON has extended our time to do so pending the outcome of settlement discussions we are having with ARBITRON."
LONGPORT MEDIA is asking Judge JOSEPH H. RODRIGUEZ to dismiss the suit, and wants ARBITRON to pay compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorney's fees and costs.