JPMorgan Said to Block FT Site on Concern Over Shared Content

  • U.S. bank began preventing access to website last week
  • Bank is reviewing whether employees broke copyright rules

JPMorgan Chase & Co. blocked employees from using the Financial Times website over concerns some may have breached copyright rules by copying and pasting its content, according to people familiar with the matter.

JPMorgan prevented access to the newspaper’s site because it didn’t want the FT to get the impression that it was encouraging copyright abuse on an institutional scale, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter.

A journalist at The Financial Times posted a screenshot of a conversation from the Alphaville Markets live blog, where editors discussed the move to block the website at JPMorgan.

The bank blocked the site last week over “a potential copyright concern,” JPMorgan said Wednesday in an e-mailed statement. Employees can still access it through personal devices, provided they respect intellectual property rights in line with the bank’s code of conduct, according to the statement. A spokeswoman for the bank declined to comment further.

The Financial Times, which competes globally with Bloomberg News and other financial news publishers, was acquired last year by Japan’s Nikkei Inc. for $1.2 billion. Publishers are increasingly limiting access to their content to paid subscribers to make up for a decline in print revenue. The FT has orchestrated one of the more successful digital transitions, with more than 70 percent of circulation online, according to its website.

A representative for The Financial Times Ltd. declined to comment.

The FT’s copyright policy, available on its website, indicates that republishing or redistributing full articles is prohibited except with its sharing tools, though readers are allowed to pass along abstracts of 30 words from FT articles under certain conditions. The FT notifies customers if it believes they are “creating, republishing or redistributing summaries outside of these parameters,” according to the policy.

The London-based newspaper The Times reported earlier on JPMorgan’s blocking FT access.

— With assistance by Hugh Son, and Stephen Morris

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