[A2k] US govt caught using pirated software for military, settles for $50mn

Riaz K Tayob riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Thu Nov 28 14:22:39 PST 2013


  US govt caught using pirated software for military, settles for $50mn

Published time: November 28, 2013 02:28
Edited time: November 28, 2013 05:03
Get short URL <http://rt.com/usa/us-army-pirated-software-413/>
Reuters / Rick Wilking

Reuters / Rick Wilking

Tags

Army <http://rt.com/tags/army/>, Copyright 
<http://rt.com/tags/copyright/>, Crime <http://rt.com/tags/crime/>, 
Military <http://rt.com/tags/military/>, USA <http://rt.com/tags/usa/>

The Obama administration has agreed to pay Apptricity US$50 million for 
pirating the company's logistics software the US Army used beyond 
contracted parameters.

While the Obama administration's has launched efforts against 
intellectual property theft - including the Joint Strategic Plan run by 
Vice President Joe Biden that aims to curb copyright infringement - the 
US Army was concurrently using pirated Apptricity enterprise software 
that manages troop and supply movements. The company sued the 
government, accusing the US military of willful copyright infringement.

The Administration settled with the company, it was recently announced, 
agreeing to pay US$50 million, though Apptricity originally called for 
over four times that amount to cover unpaid licenses, TorrentFreak 
reported.

In 2004, Apptricity agreed with the US Army to license the 
troop-movement software, allowing the government to use it on five 
servers and 150 standalone devices. Despite the deal, the Army has used 
the software worldwide.

/"The Army has used Apptricity's integrated transportation logistics and 
asset management software across the Middle East and other theaters of 
operation. The Army has also used the software to coordinate emergency 
management initiatives, including efforts following the January 2010 
earthquake in Haiti,"/ the company said.

The improper installation of thousands of unlicensed copies of software 
was discovered incidentally, when the US Army Program Director said 
during Strategic Capabilities Planning 2009 that thousands of devices 
had Apptricity software.

Ultimately, 93 servers and over 9,000 standalone devices of the Army had 
the unlicensed software. Apptricity figured it was owed US$224 million 
based on usual fees of US$1.35 million per server and US$5,000 per device.

Apptricity filed a lawsuit at the US Court of Federal Claims, alleging 
the government of willful copyright infringement, all while concealing 
the illegality.

/"The Government knew or should have known that it was required to 
obtain a license for copying Apptricity software onto each of the 
servers and devices,"/ the company told the court, asking for at least 
US$224,543,420.80 in damages, equal to what it lost in licensing fees.

The government went on to admit the illegal use and entered into lengthy 
negotiations with Apptricity to settle.

/"After Alternative Dispute Resolution proceedings, the parties agreed 
to settle for $50 million. The figure represents a fraction of the 
software's negotiated contract value that provides a material quantity 
of server and device licenses for ongoing and future Department of 
Defense usage,"/ Apptricity announced.

Apptricity expects to continue doing business with the US military 
nevertheless.

/"Now that this process is behind us, it is envisioned the Apptricity 
and Army relationship will continue to grow exponentially,"/ says Tim 
McHale, an Apptricity senior adviser and retired major-general.

The Administration has yet to comment on the settlement. But Biden's 
words upon announcing the federal anti-copyright-infringement plan ring 
clear.

"Piracy is theft, clean and simple."




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