The United States military employed pirated copies of critical software for many years. This was to ensure that its soldiers and overseas deliveries remained secure on a worldwide level. Apptricity, the company that manufactured this software in the first place, sued the government for the blatant copyright infringement.
The result was a court case where the software maker claimed to deserve a quarter of a billion dollars in damages. Yet ultimately only $50 million was agreed upon by the Obama administration. This is strange since it is the government itself which has been so tough on copyright issues since it came to power. And piracy is the most insidious form of theft.
It was almost a decade ago that Apptricity signed a bond with the US army regarding some of its software. The software really helped governmental efforts in the Middle East as well as during the earthquake which took place in Haiti three years ago.
However, Apptricity’s dream of having bagged a client became a nightmare. It discovered to its dismay that the military was covertly planting unlicensed copies of the software anywhere and everywhere it could. Over 93 servers and 9000 devices had the software installed on them. The charges that the government owed, after it was caught red-handed, amounted to $224 million.
The government was put on trial for this extreme case of mismanagement. It accepted its complicity and after much bargaining and negotiation a settlement was finally reached. While $50 million is not what Apptricity was expecting, as the saying goes, “something is better than nothing.”