US Navy Accused of Pirating $600M Worth of Software

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Germany-based Bitmanagement Software has sued the US Navy for nearly $600 million for copying "hundreds of thousands" of pieces of content in its 3D modeling software BS Contact Geo.

The suit, filed in the US Court of Federal Claims and reported by The Register, says Bitmanagement inked a deal with the Navy in 2011. During a pilot, Bitmanagement installed 38 copies of its software on Navy computers. By 2013, Bitmanagement says it was in negotiations with the Navy to expand its use of the software, so it disabled copy-protection to allow the Navy to use the software as it wished.

However, the lawsuit claims that the negotiations ultimately went nowhere and additional licenses were not purchased. But the Navy deployed the software to nearly 560,000 government computers in violation of the company's licensing policies; it only paid for 38.

"The government knew or should have known that it was required to obtain a license for copying Bitmanagment software onto each of the devices that had Bitmanagement software installed," the complaint reads, according to The Register. "The government nonetheless failed to obtain such licenses."

So, why such a high damages amount? According to the lawsuit, each license costs approximately $1,067. Bitmanagement used that figure and multiplied it by the number of installs it claims the Navy made to come to $596,308,103. The company is also seeking other damages "the court deems just and proper," and for the Navy to admit it violated its copyright.

The Navy hasn't responded yet to the lawsuit and did not respond to PCMag's request for comment.

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