The US government has paid $50m to settle a software piracy case with a company called Apptricity after the US Army was found using its software on a huge scale without paying.
The company, which provides software for a raft of business requirements such as asset management and contract management, started providing software to the US Army in 2004. This was primarily used for systems to track the movements of military units to vehicles.
However, Apptricity discovered that over time the software became so embedded in the US Army that 100 servers and 9,000 devices were running around the world without any fees being paid. Tim Garcia, Apptricity’s chief executive, used this fact to underscore the importance of the company’s software.
“Field commanders were focused on the mission-critical nature of Apptricity software and the need to protect warfighters and facilitate mission objectives. Our battle-tested integrated logistics software performed so well that it went viral,” he said.
The case was filed in 2012 after Apptricity sued for $224.5m, according to the Dallas News, but an agreement has been reached through Alternative Dispute Resolution proceedings. This will see the government pay $50m, which includes ongoing use of Apptricity's software by the Army.
The firm said it would use the funding injection to expand its team, according to Randy Lieberman, Apptricity's chief financial officer.
"Apptricity is now incredibly energised to use the settlement resolution as a catalyst for aggressive investment in our team, our solutions and our untapped market opportunities," he said.
The case is embarrassing for the US government as it comes at a time of intense pressure on the pirating of digital content, including software. In Europe this is also high on the agenda, with an EU legal expert ruling earlier this week that internet providers can be compelled to block infringing websites.
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