A year and a half into being sued by Nielsen Media Research for copyright infringement, the CEO of Truck Ads LLC denies that Nielsen owns the rights to its DMA maps and claims his company is being “unfairly burdened and harassed” by the TV ratings company.
Nielsen sued Truck Ads in 2008 after demanding since 2005 that the company stop using Nielsen television market DMAs to market its mobile advertising on the side of truck fleets. Truck Ads denies that Nielsen has any proprietary claim to the 210 DMAs and insists that the market definitions are not copyrightable.
“We stand firm in the belief that Truck Ads has not violated any Copyright Laws of the United States because by definition, copyright law does not protect ‘facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation’,” said Truck Ads CEO Rod Harris in a recent web posting.
“Although Truck Ads has been unfairly burdened and harassed by Nielsen Media Research for over five (5) years, we are committed to persevering because a favorable ruling in this landmark ‘David vs. Goliath’ lawsuit will bring an end to the monopolistic arrogance that a large corporation can claim ownership to factual information in the public domain. A win for Truck Ads will also be a win for every newspaper, radio station, advertising company, broadcast, satellite and cable TV station, and our individual rights to use DMA maps and Designated Market Area maps and data freely,” Harris concluded.
Nielsen, of course, takes quite a different view, claiming that Truck Ads has infringed on its copyright property and has continued to do so despite demands from Nielsen that it cease and desist. Nielsen is seeking a jury trial to award it damages for the infringement. It has not specified a dollar amount for the damages.
“Nielsen, like any other owner of intellectual property, is entitled to protect that property against unauthorized use, which is the case here. It’s no different than if TVBR found a website reproducing its pieces and getting ad revenue that should rightfully go to it,” said the company in a statement Monday to RBR-TVBR.
RBR-TVBR observation: We find it interesting that Truck Ads has its own copyright claim on each of the DMA maps posted on its website.