The US Federal Court of Claims issued a ruling ordering the US Navy, a German company that develops visualization and 3D graphics software suffering from piracy by the military, to pay a large settlement.
The court found the US Navy guilty of copyright and related rights infringement and ordered it to pay $154.4,000 for software “borrowed” from the German company Bitmanagement Software. The lawsuit was filed back in 2016, but the court only now came to certain conclusions. The German side claimed to have sold 38 copies of the BS Contact Geo software to the Navyin connection with visualization systems for virtual reality. From 2013 to 2015, the US military installed said software on at least 558,000 vehicles.
According to the lawsuit, the software was installed without Bitmanagement’s notification and consent, the purchase of licenses or permissions to use the product, and no financial compensation for use. The company sought to sue the Navy for approximately $600 million for willful copyright infringement of software that is a 2D/3D content visualization and interaction tool based on digital data obtained from a variety of sources, including ground surveys, CAD models, satellite images, aerial laser scanning, etc.
The document said the military had removed the software from hundreds of thousands of computers since the lawsuit was filed in 2016, and then reinstalled 34 copies “for inventory purposes.” The company emphasized that the authorities knew or should have known about the need to obtain licenses, but did not do so. The Navy itself stated that the licenses purchased allowed additional copies to be installed at no additional cost.
The company calculated that the cost of the software was $1067.76 per copy, but an independent expert invited by the Navy stated that the cost of each license was $200. The expert evaluated both the agreement itself and the intensity of use of the program, among other things, and the U.S. Federal Court of Proprietary Claims against the Federal Government recognized its conclusions as “honest and reasonable” and issued a decision ordering the plaintiffs to pay $154,400 .