U.S. Government Caught Pirating Military Software, Settles For $50 Million
For years the U.S. military operated pirated copies of logistics software that was used to protect soldiers and shipments in critical missions. Apptricity, the makers of the software, accused the military of willful copyright infringement and sued the Government for nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in unpaid licenses. In a settlement just announced, the Obama administration has agreed to pay $50 million to settle the dispute.
In recent years the U.S. Government has taken an aggressive stance towards copyright infringement, both at home and abroad.
“Piracy is theft, clean and simple,” Vice President Joe Biden said when he announced the Joint Strategic Plan to combat intellectual property theft.
However, at the same time the Vice President was launching the new anti-piracy strategy, software company Apptricity was involved in a multi-million dollar piracy dispute with the Government.
In 2004 Apptricity signed a contract with the U.S. Army to license enterprise software that manages troop and supply movements. The deal allowed the Government to use the software on five servers and 150 standalone devices, and since then it has been used in critical missions all over the world.
“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 explains.