Pittsburgh-based Renda Broadcasting Corporation is the defendant in a federal lawsuit claiming its radio stations in the Jacksonville, Fla., market committed copyright infringement.
The June 18 complaint states the stations illegally obtained market ratings data from Arbitron, an international media and marketing research firm.
Arbitron's subscription-based audience measurement data is used by radio stations to help set advertising rates. It argues that another client -- an unnamed advertising agency -- was supplying data to Renda's Jacksonville market manager, Bill Reese.
Arbitron claims this went on between May 2011 and December 2012, first in the form of paper copies, then by email.
Renda operates four Jacksonville FM stations: WEJZ (96.1), WGNE (99.9), WSOS (94.1) and WMUV (100.7). The suit claims the Jacksonville stations have not been Arbitron subscribers since 2010, although Renda stations in other markets are.
At the same time, Marcia Morales Howard, a judge in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, has called the complaint an "impermissible shotgun pleading" containing "irrelevant factual allegations and legal conclusions." She has requested an amendment be filed by July 26 or the suit faces possible dismissal.
Jacksonville law firm Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart filed the suit on behalf of its client Arbitron.
The plaintiff asks for at least $150,000 per infringing act, plus attorney fees and enhanced damages, along with injunctive relief and at least $500,000 for inducement of the agency to infringe on the copyright.
Renda Broadcasting was founded by Tony Renda Sr. in 1974. It owns and operates three radio stations in Pittsburgh -- WSHH-FM (99.7), WJAS-AM (1320) and WMNY AM NewsTalk (1360).
It has 19 stations in six markets, including four in Indiana, Pa., three in Punxsutawney and one in Greensburg.
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