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Apptricity also managed to keep the Army as a client after the lawsuit

A small, Irving, Texas-based software company recently had a dispute with a client and won the court case. This sort of thing happens all the time, right? Of course, except its client was the U.S. Army. 

Apptricity Corp. filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army -- its largest client -- back in 2012 for illegally installing its software on unlicensed workstations around the globe. It looks like Apptricity came out the winner, as it was just reported by Dallas News that the company received $50 million from the Army

Apptricity took the Army as a client starting in 2004, back when the small firm had about 80 employees. Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) brought the two together, and even after the Army terminated its contract with CSC in 2007, the Army stuck with Apptricity. 

The Army used Apptricity's software to keep an eye on its scattered people and equipment. It paid for five servers and several thousand workstations, plus the annual maintenance.

But by 2008, Apptricity noticed that the Army was using the software at way more bases than it paid for. To be exact, it had installed the software on at least 98 servers and nearly 11,000 workstations.

Apptricity filed the lawsuit in February 2012 and won, although it was originally seeking $224.5 million in damages.

Even better, the small firm was able to keep its largest client despite the settlement. 

“It’s like a marriage. Sometimes you really don’t want to be around each other, but it doesn’t mean you are going to break it off," said Tim Garcia, president and co-founder of Apptricity. 

Source: Dallas News

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By Motoman on 11/29/2013 12:03:58 PM , Rating: 3
...that's not exactly a "piracy" case. That's an example of non-compliance with your vendor contract. Happens in business all the time...which is why many corporations have regular system audits.

RE: Ummm
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/29/2013 12:20:52 PM , Rating: 5
illegally installing its software on unlicensed workstations around the globe

That is called piracy. Unlicensed = not paid for = theft.

RE: Ummm
By Flunk on 11/29/2013 1:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it's definitely piracy.

Unlicensed software is an intellectual property issue, which is civil. It's not the same as theft so you're taking it one step too far.

RE: Ummm
By Just Tom on 11/30/2013 2:02:38 PM , Rating: 2
IP it is indeed, but piracy is not simply a civil matter. There are criminal penalties that may be imposed. You can go to federal prison for 5 years for software copyright infringement.

Frankly, to me this is much more than a compliance issue. The software was installed on almost 20 times as many servers as the Army had license for. They were contacted in 2008 regarding unauthorized use. The Army knowingly used unlicensed software for years, someone should get fired.

RE: Ummm
By Totally on 12/1/2013 6:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
You think someone didn't get fired? Something like this definitely ended and set back quite a few careers. Hopefully those responsible weren't able to distance themselves or weasel their way out before the fallout.

RE: Ummm
By Just Tom on 12/1/2013 3:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
I have no knowledge either way, however I have worked with the government before. It would not surprise me if no one got fired. I read the source story and several others, not a single one mentions any sort of discipline against anyone.

RE: Ummm
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/30/2013 2:24:54 PM , Rating: 2

I think Apple and Samsung (and jsut about any other major corporation) might argue that ;)

RE: Ummm
By Samus on 11/29/2013 2:55:07 PM , Rating: 2
A Texas court favored the smaller company? Shocking...really, I can't say I've ever seen this outcome before.

RE: Ummm
By coburn_c on 11/29/2013 9:18:45 PM , Rating: 2
A Texas court favored the smaller company?

No, the Army settled.

RE: Ummm
By SlickRoenick on 11/29/2013 6:53:52 PM , Rating: 2
It's not like this software was illegally obtained, just a bit late on its true-up by a few years :p

As Moto said, this happens all the time in large businesses. Hence the yearly (or even bi-yearly) audits of every node on the network. In most cases, the unlicensed products get paid for before a lawsuit can entail. Most businesses would rather work with the customer than just slap litigation down.

RE: Ummm
By Just Tom on 11/30/2013 2:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
The company notified the Army of unauthorized use of its software in 2008. It was not caught by any Army audits, this is not the case of someone finding an install disc in a closet or some minor IT guy screwing up. The Army was using software without license for years and was well aware of it. The company should never have had to file a lawsuit to be compensated.

RE: Ummm
By NellyFromMA on 11/30/2013 11:15:32 AM , Rating: 4
I love how the "tech article" failed to even allude to what the software even does altogether. Yes, I could go Google it, but I just read an article about the alleged "piracy" so why wouldn't the reader have a slight clue after reading this? What a waste of time.

RE: Ummm
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/1/2013 11:18:05 AM , Rating: 2
And exactly how does the function of software change the fact that it was used by a U.S. Government Agency illegally license? It doesn't matter if the software calculates ICBM trajectories or measures daily toilet paper usage.

There is nothing alleged about this - the U.S. Army admitted guilt and settled with the company by paying up what it owed -- but not until the software IP's owner gave up trying for the last 5 years and sued.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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