US Navy is Liable for Mass Software Piracy, Appeals Court Rules
The United States Navy is liable for a mass copyright infringement. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sided with the German software company Bitmanagement, which accused the Navy of copying software without permission. Bitmanagement claimed more than $500 million in damages, but the final amount has yet to be determined. From a report: The dispute started when the US Navy decided that it would like to run the software across its entire network. This meant that it would be installed on hundreds of thousands of computers, with "Flexera" software keeping track of the number of simultaneous users. Bitmanagement didn't offer such a license by default, so the Navy requested this option separately. These requests took place through a reseller, Planet 9 Studios, which complicated matters. After several back and forths, the Navy was convinced that it had permission, but Bitmanagement later disagreed. The problem for the Court was that the Navy and Bitmanagement didn't sign a contract, so there was no direct permission given. This meant that the Court had to review the conversations and exchanges that took place, to determine which side was right. After reviewing all evidence, the Federal Claims court eventually sided with the US Navy, dismissing the copyright infringement claim. However, this wasn't the end of it. Bitmanagement maintained that the Navy clearly committed mass copyright infringement and the company took the matter to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, with success. In an order issued a few days ago, the Appeals Court agrees with pretty much all conclusions of the Federal Claims Court. The evidence indeed shows that Bitmanagement 'authorized' the U.S. Navy's copying of BS Contact Geo across its network. While this wasn't formalized in an official contract, the Navy had an "implied license." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.