The Financial Times is suing private equity firm Blackstone over the alleged use of shared web log-in details for premium content.
It is alleged that a Blackstone staffer shared user ID and password details to paid-for FT content among a number of other Blackstone employees to cut costs.
The case may have implications for many other media outlets looking to maxmise revenue during the credit crunch. Companies using such content may also want to check how their staff are accessing it, to avoid similar court action.
The FT has a writ in a federal court in New York. It claims a single FT account was responsible for accessing thousands of articles between February 2006 and June 2008.
It says this is something "far more than an individual would normally access".
It is believed the writ has taken Blackstone by surprise, as it is said to have been in settlement talks with the FT since being alerted of the alleged account abuse last year.