U.S. Army software pirate: settles suit for $50 million
A small software firm in Texas has a big payday against an unlikely software pirate: the U.S. Army.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the Army settled with Apptricity, an enterprise planning and logistics software firm, for $50 million this week after pressing claims that the Army had installed its applications on many thousands more computers than the Army had contracted to use.
While the Department of Justice has not commented on the settlement, Apptricity’s chief financial officer Randy Lieberman told the Dallas Morning News that the settlement is “a multiple of our annual revenues.”
Apptricity began working for the Army as a subcontractor in 2004, brought in by Computer Sciences Corp. to provide software to help the Army keep track of its widely scattered people and equipment. The firm appears to have been a victim of its own success. Its software automatically integrates from upgrade to upgrade, which in the diffuse technology environment of the Army means that it may often be the only thing that works consistently from base to base, both at headquarters and in the field.
As a result, individual IT managers began installing the software at forward operating bases and at new stations without regard for the number of client licenses Apptricity sold to the Army.