Arbitron Sues Saga Over Illegal Use Of Copyrighted Data
May 28, 2013 at 4:36 AM (PT)
ARBITRON has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court For The District Of DELAWARE against SAGA COMMUNICATIONS.
ARBITRON writes that their "audience estimates provide detailed pictures of the listening habits of various demographic segments of the listening audience at given times and are used by radio stations and advertisers to determine the rates to charge advertisers for commercial time on a particular station and by radio stations to make programing decisions and to make compensation and bonus decisions." And notes, "Defendants have willfully and intentionally infringed ARBITRON’s copyrights by copying and distributing copyrighted audience estimates obtained from the ARBITRON Reports and Databases without authorization from ARBITRON."
They explain to the court that, "beginning in or about SEPTEMBER, 2010 and continuing throughout at least the years 2011 and 2012, Defendants’ management and employees regularly obtained copies of ARBITRON’s copyrighted audience estimates which were reproduced and circulated among its personnel. These unauthorized copies were then used on a regular and systematic basis by Defendants for various purposes including setting advertising rates charged by Defendants’ radio stations and making programing decisions."
ARBITRON's claim goes on to say that the use of the copyrighted data "was so widespread, open and notorious at Defendants’ radio stations, that station personnel including senior management commonly referred to the system as the 'ARBITRON Bonus.' An employee’s 'ARBITRON bonus' was determined by how well or poorly a particular radio program fared in the ARBITRON audience estimates regularly obtained and used by Defendants’ stations without authorization."
ARBITRON is seeking an award of damages "in an amount not less than $150,000 per act of infringement, the exact amount to be determined at trial, plus an award of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, plus an award of enhanced damages."