U.S. government settles software piracy case

The Army used thousands more copies of a system than what they paid for, and tried to hack the software to get around the licenses, the software company alleges. The government is paying $50 million to make the case go away.
Written by Larry Seltzer, Contributor

The US government has paid $50 million to settle a software piracy case. The vendor is enterprise software company Apptricity.


Apptricity had supplied software to the US Army logistics software for managing and tracking the locations of troops and supplies around the world.

In their complaint against the US, filed in February of 2012, Apptricity said that the Army had installed their software on to thousands of servers and other devices for which they had no license. Apptricity claimed $224 million in damages for approximately 100 server and 9,000 device licenses the U.S. Army installed and fielded globally, but did not procure.

Apptricity says that their software allows tracking in real time across multiple time zones. Individual items can be tracked, including what container or vehicle they are in.

In their complaint, Apptricity alleges that in addition to using more copies than they were entitled to, the Army tried to get out of paying by tampering with the software:

"During fiscal year 2010 if not earlier, the Army had engaged another contractor, Future Research Corporation of Huntsville, Alabama, to reverse engineer a portion of Apptricity's software application suite ... to replace certain infringed intellectual property rather than pay for the license shortfall."

Hat tip to the Washington Post.

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