This is just not a good year for the US Government when it comes to public relations. In the past year alone, revelations from attack drones around the world to the media leaks with Edward Snowden have done everything but bolster faith in the US Government. If anything, these stories have crippled a people’s already mangled faith in their own government. Some are afraid of using their cell phones, while others are hesitant to open their emails for fear of prying governmental eyes. I wish I could report that it gets better, but alas, there is more bad news.
It has been recently reported by the BBC News that the US Government is being fined $50 million due to pirating computer software. This comes after the government stated in 2010 that they were going to do everything they could to prevent piracy. Perhaps Vice President Joe Biden remembers what he said back then: “Piracy is theft, clean and simple…” It sure seems like someone is guilty of a massive software theft.
Wow…That’s Quite The Difference In Numbers…
Since 2004, the US Army has used the software Apptricity to keep track of logistics information such as supply and troop movement. When they first started using Apptricity, the Army paid for 500 licenses of the software. It was later reported in court documents dated from 2012 that the software was being used by some 9,000 people. That means approximately 8,500 people were using software that was not legally purchased.
So, how did Apptricity even find out what the US Government had done? According to the BBC, an Army soldier was giving a presentation and mentioned that thousands of computers were using their software. That soldier has most likely been given a different job now.
When Apptricity discovered the misuse of their software, they filed a lawsuit against the US Army and they won the suit, although they did not win all of the damages they sought. Apptricity asked to be rewarded $224 million in damages, of which they were awarded $50 million.
Hey, at the end of the day, $50 million is still a lot of money.
What do you think of this story? Does it surprise you?
[Image via theinquirer]