Media-monitoring firm Isentia today announced it has filed a lawsuit against Meltwater Australia for allegedly free-riding on its print monitoring services.
The proceedings, filed at the Federal Court in Sydney, claim that Meltwater Australia’s managing director, Shasank Mohapatra, and his wife, provided Isentia’s print-monitoring services, such as Slice and Mediaportal, to Meltwater clients, in direct breach of its contract with Isentia.
Sydney-based Isentia also alleges that Meltwater, headquartered in San Francisco, has breached its contract terms regarding use of Isentia’s technology, copyright licences and rights to distribute press clippings.
“Isentia is concerned that Meltwater’s unlawful conduct in relation to its contract with Isentia may be even more extensive than Isentia has been able to identify to date,” the company said in a statement.
“Evidence was filed indicating that Meltwater has connections to an organisation located in India which appears to be systematically scraping content from Isentia’s services.”
Isentia alleges that Meltwater’s actions may also have defrauded publishers, including News Corp and Fairfax Media, of copyright revenue on the content involved.
The complaint also claims Meltwater is in breach of undertakings given in 2016 following a prevous Isentia challenge regarding suspected breach of contract.
In a statement, Meltwater Australia says it is aware of the allegations and “intends to strenuously defend the matter”.
“Meltwater does not condone or promote activities such as claimed by Isentia. We greatly value our relationship with, and responsibility to, the publishers and our customers. As in all court proceedings, it is inappropriate to litigate the matter by press release, and Meltwater will make no further comment at this time.”
Court proceedings begin on 20 June.