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Nielsen Suit Against Saga to Go Forward

Audience research firm claims Milwaukee cluster copied, shared proprietary data

The earliest a jury trial would be held in Nielsen’s copyright suit again Saga Communications would be July, 2015. A federal judge in Delaware is moving the case forward after Nielsen and Saga failed to reach an out-of-court settlement.

The complaint, originally filed by Arbitron in May, 2013 before it was acquired by Nielsen, arises from Saga’s alleged use of Arbitron’s copyrighted audience estimates. Saga, which owns or operates approximately 61 FM and 30 AM radio stations, allegedly infringed on Arbitron’s copyrights by copying and distributing audience estimates from Arbitron reports without authorization.

Also named in the suit is Lakefront LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saga, which owns stations in and near Milwaukee. In the suit, Nielsen claims that Saga controls the day-to-day operations of Lakefront.

“Beginning in or about September, 2010, and continuing throughout 2012, the defendants’ management and employees regularly obtained copies of Arbitron’s audience estimates, which were reproduced and circulated among its personnel,” according to the complaint.

It its reply, Saga denied the copyright infringement allegations, but admitted that “from time to time third-parties have given [Saga] various excerpts and summaries of facts, information, data or numerical rankings provided to the third parties by Arbitron.”

The most recent judge’s order scheduled a four-day trial beginning in July, 2015, with the exact start date to be determined.

Arbitron Sues Saga for Alleged Copyright Infringement
Saga Doesn’t Take Arbitron Suit Lying Down