Download Card: 0, Bon Jovi: 1
Download Card , which specializes in providing Personal Identification Number (PIN) technology to be used with online promotions, filed a complaint against UMG last month, charging that UMG lifted its PIN-based technology and trade secrets and decided to go it alone with the promotion.
It also sought an injunction against UMG using PIN-based technology with the Bon Jovi promotion. But a federal judge ruled that Download Card had not been "irreparably harmed", or harmed beyond what money could replace in its bid to halt the promotion.
"The record is out, the damage is done," said Stephen M. Kramarsky of Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky, the law firm representing Download Card. "But we will continue our push to protect the intellectual property rights of Download Card and (to get) whatever compensation is appropriate."
In a statement about the ruling, UMG said it was pleased the court denied Download Card's request for an injunction. "Downloadcard's claims are completely without merit and should never have been brought in the first place. We look forward to releasing Bon Jovi's album 'Bounce' on October 8th as scheduled and we remain committed to launching the serialization program, 'American XS,' which rewards consumers with an ongoing menu of exclusive opportunities on a global basis."
UMG's "American XS" promotion includes a PIN number inserted in Bon Jovi's new CD "Bounce." When CD owners enter the number on the band's Web site they get special cuts not on the CD and other free content extras. The anti-piracy technology is seen as a friendly way to entice music lovers to pay for a CD instead of going to online music swapping sites.
"Members get access to exclusives like unreleased music, messages from the band, and, best of all, the chance to buy Bon Jovi concert tickets through Ticketmaster," the online promotion about the PIN numbers said.
"Remember, membership is completely free and open to anyone who purchased a copy of 'Bounce.' If you haven't purchased 'Bounce' yet, then go get it now so you can join!"
Download Card has pioneered the use of PINs in online promotions and had worked extensively with UMG before the music company, a division of media giant Vivendi Universal, decided not to contract with it for the "American XS" promotion.
The company argued in its complaint that its PIN technology is "novel, original and unique." In addition to its bid to halt the promotion, Download Card is still seeking in excess of $750,000 in financial damages.
Universal is now expected to respond to the complaint by Download Card. An attorney for the music division was not immediately available to comment.