Thursday, February 5, 2009

Financial Times for free

Cityboys across um the City will be reeling once more after news broke that their Bible (The Financial Times) has been ripped off. Basically Blackstone (the investment group) had one account for the FT's website, this account allows the user access to numerous features and articles on the site. Naturally each account is meant for just one user however Blackstone gave the login details to all of their staff , according to Out-law:

"It said in court documents that it believes an account set up by a senior Blackstone employee in 2002 was used between 2006 and 2008 to access thousands of articles at the FT website, "far more than an individual would normally access"."

The FT has now issued a claim against Blackstone (and some of it's employee's) for copyright infringement and various offences under the computer misuse and fraud laws. They say:

"Account usage from specific computers is reflected in unique 'cookies'...The number of cookies recorded and the IP addresses associated with the credentials point inescapably to widespread use of the single, individual account on by many different persons on defendant Blackstone's US-based and non US-based network servers."

It seems strange that such cases do not arise more regularly, of course detection and evidential requirements are difficult however such practices are rife (I would think) across the business world and one would expect disgruntled ex employee's to blow the whistle.

"What do you think? Is the FT right to go after Blackstone, or are they over-reacting? Perhaps there is an alternative to the Court in this circumstance?"

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