Renda Broadcasting wants a U.S. District Court Judge in Florida to dismiss Nielsen Audio’s complaint against the broadcaster. Nielsen Audio wants the case to proceed.
In May, the former Arbitron went to court, saying Renda illegally obtained and used copyrighted data for the Jacksonville, Fla. market.
The case began before Arbitron was acquired by Nielsen. Just before that acquisition closed, the audience research firm told the court it wants the Renda action to proceed, saying it has proved its case.
Nielsen Audio says several months after Renda’s Arbitron licenses for its radio stations in the Jacksonville market had lapsed, Renda “began a pattern of illegally obtaining, copying, distributing and using” Nielsen Audio reports, according to its latest case filing.
From May 2011 to December 2012, Renda regularly obtained copies of the Arbitron data for the market from an advertising agency in the Jacksonville area, reproduced and distributed the data among Renda employees, and used the Arbitron data to set advertising rates and make programming decisions, alleges Nielsen Audio.
“Obviously, having decided that the reports were essential to its business, Renda decided that it was cheaper to steal them than to pay for them. This court should require that Renda bear the responsibility for its actions,” states Nielsen Audio.
Renda has now replied, saying: “We note with great disappointment and chagrin Arbitron’s unseemly resort to gratuitous and vitriolic rhetoric. There is absolutely no basis for its desperate comment.”
Renda argues that the now Nielsen Audio’s claims for relief should be dismissed because they’re not specific enough, with no dates of when reports were received, copied or distributed. The broadcaster also says the claims in general are sparse and Nielsen Audio “mischaracterizes” Renda’s positions and makes “straw man arguments.”
Renda also argued the now Nielsen Audio’s original complaint did not name the ad agency which the audience research firm says was improperly giving Renda its audience estimates. Nielsen Audio responds: “It is incredible that Renda is unaware of which agency was illicitly providing it with copies of Arbitron Reports.”
The next move falls to U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Morales Howard.