The US government this week agreed to pay $50 million to a Texas-based company that accused the military of pirating its software.
The company, Apptricity, struck a software licensing deal with the Department of Defense in 2004, but filed a copyright infringement claim against the government last year, after it discovered that the military had distributed thousands of unauthorized copies among its ranks.
The Dallas Morning News first reported the settlement on Monday, before Apptricity announced it one day later. According to the Dallas Morning News, the licensing agreement authorized the US Army to use its software on five servers and “several thousand” workstations. The government paid $1.35 million for each server, and used the software to track the movements of troops and supplies.
In February 2012, Apptricity filed a suit against the government, asking for $224.5 million in damages, after it discovered that the Army had installed its software on nearly 100 servers and 11,000 workstations — about 9,000 more than the authorized limit. Department of Justice lawyers who defended the Army have not commented on the settlement, though it certainly puts the government in an awkward situation.
The Obama administration has spoken out against piracy in recent years, and launched an aggressive campaign to combat it in 2010.
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