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German company brings $600 million lawsuit against US Navy for allegedly pirating its 3D VR software

By midian182
Jul 25, 2016
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  1. Dealing with pirates is a regular occurrence for the US Navy, but the naval warfare branch of the armed forces is now facing piracy accusations itself - and not ones of the maritime kind.

    German company Bitmanagement Software has brought a federal lawsuit against the Navy that claims it made more than 558,000 unlicensed copies of the firm’s 3D virtual reality software.

    According to the complaint, the Navy agreed to license the BS Contact Geo software on a limited and experimental basis in 2011 and 2012. The trial involved installing the program on 38 computers for testing and integration into the Navy's systems.

    The military arm was impressed with the software, and began negotiations with Bitmanagement to secure a licensing deal for a wide-scale rollout. However, as these talks continued during 2013, the Navy was allegedly “simultaneously copying and installing that software, without Bitmanagement's advance knowledge or authorization, on a massive scale."

    The company claims to have discovered that its software had been surreptitiously installed on 558,466 Navy computers. But in 2014, the Flexwrap software that tracked the number of duplications was disabled, meaning Bitmanagement wasn’t able to know the scope of the deployment or limit its use - so that number could be even higher.

    With the licensing fees for each piece of software being around $1067 at the time, the company is seeking copyright infringement damages of more than $596 million. As pointed out by Ars Technica, the amount of damages could go up substantially if the Navy loses. With aded interest, punitive damages, legal costs, attorney fees, and statutory damages, it could total $150,000 per infringement.

    Image credit: Axel Alvarez / Shutterstock

    Permalink to story.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2016
  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,752   +1,106

    Makes sense to me - steal something worth $1000, pay $600,000,000.

    Seems like these lawsuits have more to do with how much money the offending party has than any sort of compensation for actual losses.
     
    AnonymousSurfer and stewi0001 like this.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,904   +951

    I doubt they'll see a dime
     
  4. alabama man

    alabama man TS Maniac Posts: 216   +127

    Strange that USA is leader in war against pirates but their military use pirated software themselves.
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 422   +48

    VW will cover the loss....
     
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,193   +585

    Yep, more or less. No company selling this volume of copies is going to charge a company anywhere near retail. Big OEMs like dell pay less than $20 for their copies of windows and schools get theirs for around $10.
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  7. derpentine

    derpentine TS Rookie

    Why is there ALWAYS someone like you commenting on these articles? Dude. $1000 x 558,000 licenses is nearly $600 million. If you cant multiply two numbers together you are absolutely NOT qualified to speak about the law...
     
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,752   +1,106

    The article specifically says 'With added interest, punitive damages, legal costs, attorney fees, and statutory damages, it could total $150,000 per infringement.'.

    $150,000 for each $1000 infringement. So the logic here is - you owe me some money, please pay me 150 times as much. That'd be like suing a car thief $3,000,000 for stealing and trashing a $20,000 car. $150,000 x 558,000 = $84.7 BILLION by the way.

    So again - Seems like these lawsuits have more to do with how much money the offending party has than any sort of compensation for actual losses.
     

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