L.M. Communications Fires Back With Answer To Arbitron Suit
September 24, 2013 at 4:28 AM (PT)
L.M. COMMUNICATIONS has filed its answer to ARBITRON's lawsuit claiming that the company used its ratings without paying for them (NET NEWS 8/9), denying copyright infringement and raising the affirmative defense that ARBITRON does not have and cannot own copyright rights to the data.
The answer says, "Plaintiff... has known, or should have known, that it does not, and cannot, own any copyright rights in any data, information, rankings, or other factual listings, and that it cannot prevent third parties including radio stations from receiving in using this unprotectable data. Despite this knowledge, Plaintiff has attempted to impermissively extend the scope of any copyright rights it may have, in a calculated campaign to maintain its monopolistic stranglehold on the radio ratings market. Plaintiff has done so through threats and filing of multiple lawsuits and by improperly manipulating its data to punish nonsubscribers. This improper manipulation includes, among other things, threatening to gerrymander radio station markets to improperly force subscription to ARBITRON's services, and outright exclusion from the data rankings of non-subscriber stations is if they do not exist at all. ARBITRON has announced plans to implement additional discriminatory practices in the future including combining simulcast data for only subscribing stations to give them an advantage over nonsubscribers. In doing so, plaintiff has made a mockery of the very 'facts' and 'data' it seeks to protect. Plaintiff's misconduct in engaging in acts of copyright misuse has the effect of rendering Plaintiff's copyrights, to the extent valid at all, unenforceable."
U.S. District Judge KAREN K. CALDWELL has issued an order that the parties meet within 21 days of SEPTEMBER 18th to try and negotiate a settlement, and file a report within 10 days after the meeting.