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Poll_Blind

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 23,862

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Journal Archives

Pay attention: U.S. gov busted pirating $250M in software, settles out of court for fraction of that

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.

--snip--

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.

--snip--

While Apptricity was happy to have the Government as a client, the company was shocked to find out that the army had secretly installed thousands of unlicensed copies of the software. This unauthorized use was discovered by accident during Strategic Capabilities Planning 2009, when the U.S. Army Program Director stated that thousands of devices used Apptricity software.

As it turned out, the army had installed pirated copies of the software on 93 servers and more than 9,000 standalone devices. With license fees of $1.35 million per server and $5,000 per device, Apptricity calculated that the Government owed the company $224 million in unpaid fees.


You can read more at the link. Two points not to miss. The first is, of course, that while the government was using almost a quarter of a billion dollars in unlicensed software, it settled for only $50 million in fines. The second, and something worth noting, is that Apptricity was suing for the absolute minimum possible- merely the difference in licensing fees, not damages, which can run up to $200,000 per infringement.

Now, I'm sure you're familiar with the government settling out of court with big companies who commit grievous crimes against large corporation, often for relatively small percentages of the full fines incurred by such crimes according to law. Here's an example of it working the other way.

So who are these copyright laws designed to really keep in line? You.

The government and the corporations only hurt themselves if they truly go after one another.

It's you that's for dinner. You're their bread and butter.


PB
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