Kabrich V. Arbitron -- Call In The Lawyers
August 11, 2009 at 7:28 AM (PT)
ALL ACCESS first reported about ARBITRON PPM equipment that had been posted for sale on eBAY (NET NEWS 7/28 and NET NEWS 7/29), and reported last week (NET NEWS 8/5) that consultant and PPM watchdog RANDY KABRICH had bought the PPM device and encoder, despite ARBITRON's efforts to have the items removed from the site.
Not suprisingly, KABRICH has heard from ARBITRON's Associate General Counsel & Chief Intellectual Property Officer JAMES DERRY in the form of a letter saying, "You are not an authorized user in any manner whatsoever of any ARBITRON equipment. As such, we must insist that you return any and all ARBITRON equipment that you have possession or control over, including but not limited to ARBITRON’s PPM’s. ARBITRON must also insist that you immediately cease and desist any and all activities to reverse engineer, decompile, test, disassemble or any other activities related to any ARBITRON equipment."
Arbitron has spent the last three years claiming transparency, What are they scared of?
So, think KABRICH is heading to the UPS store?
"ARBITRON has spent the last three years claiming transparency," said KABRICH. "What are they scared of? This would have never happened if they had taken broadcasters requests to have a PPM that could be used by the GM, PD, DOS, etc, with a printout to show what they listened to in order to build confidence in the unit and its capabilities, yet ARBITRON has resisted doing that."
ARBITRON's letter threatens, "Any such ARBITRON equipment in your control or possession must be received by no later than 5p EST, AUGUST 13th, 2009. If we have not received the ARBITRON equipment by that date, we will assume that you do not intend to comply with our request and in which case we reserve all rights to pursue our legal remedies."
KABRICH's response? "I am discussing it with attorneys."
Continued DERRY's letter, "You apparently purchased the PPM devices directly from the eBAY seller knowing that you are not licensed nor entitled to own, use, disassemble or test the PPM’s without ARBITRON’s express permission. Among other things, any testing, disassembly, or other use of the PPM’s without a license to do so constitutes an infringement of ARBITRON’s relevant U.S. patents. Your possession of ARBITRON’s property is equally unwarranted."
Added KABRICH, "I’ve funded lawsuits against LOTUS and DAIMER/CHRYSLER that ended up in six figures, winning both, so it's not an unknown path."