Steve Schwarzman’s Blackstone Group Sued by Financial Times for Not Buying User Accounts

Billionaire Steve Schwarzman‘s Blackstone Group is being sued by the Financial Times for copyright infringement and violation of the computer fraud and abuse act, reports Cityfile.

Mr. Schwarzman is worth about $6.4 billion (according to Forbes), and the Blackstone Group reported revenue of over $3 billion in fiscal year 2007. But it seems that the asset management company didn’t have enough cash to purchase individual FT user accounts, at $179 per year, for its employees. Instead, employees were encouraged to search for articles under one established account–user name: theblackstonegroup, password: blackstone. (The account has since been de-activated.)  

Apparently, officials at the newspaper became suspicious when the Blackstone account was accessing thousands of articles per day. To make matters worse, it had been going on since 2002! (The Blackstone Group can’t even blame their misdoings on the financial crisis.) But it leads one to wonder why the FT never went the way of the Wall Street Journal, which only allows one computer to be logged in under one username at a time. (We know from experience.)

From the court documents: 

FT believes, and therefore alleges, that beginning in 2002, an individual senior employee of defendant Blackstone authorized the initiation and repeated renewal of an individual, personal subscription to using individual corporate credit cards charged to Defendant Blackstone. FT believes, and therefore alleges, that the individual held a senior position in finance and compliance at Defendant Blackstone.

The papers do not specify how much FT is seeking in damages from the Blackstone Group.