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Laws and Legalities

Hoop Messenger already banned?

Hoop Messenger already banned?

Hoop Messenger, an underrated messaging application is already banned upon launch. Based on daily ranks, Hoop Messenger was on its way to gain popularity among Iranian users. Even though applications like Telegram and WhatsApp are still operational and preferred in Iran, Hoop offers different sets of features which differentiates itself from other messaging applications. For example, their Proxy Browser, this allowed users to visit any site of choice anonymously and securely. Vault, an encrypted portion of Hoop which allows users to encrypt photos, videos and other files in one application. These are just two features of many that lead Hoop to its blockage in Iran.

We believe the Iranian government realized this application may be the replacement of Telegram; the application of choice by Iranians and Hoop may be a threat of taking its place. For this reason, during its three-week marketing campaign, the Iranian officials took notice of this application and banned its outgoing connections to Hoop servers.

Raised red flags

How can other applications like WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram be available in Iran for years, but Hoop Messenger is banned within 3 weeks? This ban has raised major flags. This shows other to be claimed “secure applications” have made secret deals with the Iranian government to spy on its users by providing backdoor access. If this wasn’t the case, Hoop wouldn’t be banned in 3 weeks. Since the Facebook scandal its great to see there are startup companies that actually care about user’s privacy and data.

Resolution

We have recently spoken with the Hoop team and they have mentioned that they are currently working on a robust in house “Anti-Filter System” (AFT) to prevent their application from getting banned once again. Of course, fighting the world’s governments may be tricky but the Hoop team is dedicated protect users and to be the true leader of digital resistance.

Key features of Hoop Messenger

  • End to End Chat encryption in Vault
  • End to End Calls
  • Encrypted multiple Alias accounts which are separated and untraceable to master account
  • Proxy browser
  • Unrecognizable location
  • Shred files after deletion, (to prevent data recovery once deleted)
  • Remote delete account from anywhere

And many more

To download Hoop Messenger click here

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The Iso Zone shuts down over copyright infringement lawsuit

The Iso Zone shuts down over copyright infringement lawsuit

Nintendo’s copyright lawsuit actions push the retro gaming site, The Iso Zone to shut down

Last month, we had reported that Nintendo, the Japanese gaming company behind the popular game like Nintendo Switch, had filed lawsuits against two ROM-hosting websites, LoveROMs.com and LoveRETRO.co for copyright and trademark infringement. While LoveROMs closed down completely, LoveRETRO decided to “shut down until further notice”.

Meanwhile, The ISO Zone, another retro gaming site, too decided to follow the footsteps of the above two ROM-hosting websites and pull-down curtains on its site, reports TorrentFreak.

In fact, last week, EmuParadise, one of the web’s longest standing emulator and ROM (Read Only Memory) download portals, announced that it will no longer offer ROM downloads in light of Nintendo’s lawsuit against retro video game emulator sites. EmuParadise had been serving the retro-gaming industry for the past 18 years.

In a statement released on its site, The Iso Zone said it wanted to “address the elephant in the room”. The statement by the company read:

Hi folks,

We thought we would issue a statement regarding speculation so everyone has the full picture.

First of all, we would like to address the elephant in the room:

Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement laws vary from country to country, but the premise in a nutshell is that copyright infringement is the cause of monetary loss or damage to the copyright holder.
With retro gaming, there are no ways of purchasing the games – let alone the systems to play them on – in a way that would still generate the copyright holders revenue. None whatsoever.

This is why retro roms have always been a grey area. The distribution of their works, although frowned upon, were never actioned against as in a court of law that is what they would have to prove – Monetary loss or damages. And they couldn’t – Because it’s simply not true.

Trademark infringement is also another story, however we were also pretty strict when it came to this – as per our list of restricted trademarks. We had this in place long before many retro sites started panicking.

HOWEVER – That stated – Times are changing. There are now growing ways of obtaining these retro titles through avenues which DO benefit the copyright holders and it seems clear due to recent events, that there are a lot more avenues in development.

This is why we decided to throw in the towel of our own accord. It was a good ride and it was a just ride, however, it is clear that in the not so distant future, distributing retro titles could be a serious case of copyright infringement.

That doesn’t mean they will get it right though – Chances are they wont. We have ideas on how the archiving of retro titles and the pleasing of the copyright holders should be done and would love to pursue it eventually.

We think the webmasters of retro rom sites should come together and work with the copyright holders. It does not have to be this hard – And criminals should not be made out of passionate enthusiasts.

Take Spotify for example. Spotify has dominated the music industry and they started with scene release MP3 files. Their affordability, selection and ease of use then pretty much stopped all serious cases of online music piracy.

The similarities are astounding. It’s time there was a happy medium like Spotify for retro gaming.

Moving on…

We would like to explicitly state that we are not re-branding or moving, despite the general consensus.
There is a new project underway by retro gaming enthusiasts to rebuild our original archive. And we wish them well.

Thanks for playing!
TiZ

In other words, TiZ is hoping to see a medium like Spotify for retro games. Also, with retro gaming enthusiasts coming together for a new project, one could see The ISO Zone’s ROM archives getting rebuilt and made available to the public.

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EU slaps Google with record $5 billion fine in Android Antitrust Case

EU slaps Google with record $5 billion fine in Android Antitrust Case

Google fined $5 billion fine for illegal restrictions on Android use

The European Union Commission on Wednesday imposed on Google a record $5 billion (4.34 billion euros) fine for illegally abusing the dominance of its Android operating system.

Margrethe Vestager, EU Antitrust Chief who is in charge of the competition policy, said that the U.S. tech giant has been unlawfully using Android’s near-monopoly since 2011 to improve usage of its own search engine and browser and to strengthen its dominant position in general Internet search.

“Today the commission has decided to fine Google 4.34 billion euros (USD 5 billion) for breaching EU antitrust rules,” Vestager told a press conference in Brussels. “Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere.”

Vestager said Google “must put an effective end to this conduct within 90 days or face penalty payments” of up to five percent of the worldwide average daily revenue of its parent company, Alphabet.

“Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine,” said Vestager.

Particularly, Google required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome), as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store).

The search giant ultimately gave “financial incentives” to manufacturers and mobile network operators, if they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices, the commission said.

The Commission also found that Google used the so-called anti-fragmentation agreements to stop phone makers from selling modified versions of Android.

Google said it would be appealing against the fine imposed by EU. “Android has created more choice for everyone, not less. A vibrant ecosystem, rapid innovation, and lower prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition. We will appeal the Commission’s decision,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

This statement was backed by Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai on Twitter, who said that Android’s existence has led to robust competition in a blog post on the subject.

It would be interesting to see how does the EU’s decision affect Google’s advertising business, as well as mobile phone manufacturers and app developers.

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Email Marketing: Its Laws and Regulations

In order to reduce the serious effects of electronic spamming and e-commerce-related threats, a number of rules and regulations to email marketing were established. Most states have formed different laws that are diversely set to ensure that effective email marketing still works.

In the United Kingdom, they have instituted a set of laws referred to as the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations of 2003. In Canada, they also have the CASL laws. However, the most commonly followed law is the CAN-Spam Act established in the United States of America.

While the law favorably targets spammers, it still comprises few nuances that even legitimate marketers can accidentally violate. Thus, it is worth to note and learn these rules and regulations so that you will know how to be compliant. Included here is the rundown of the main requirements in the Can-Spam Act.

Provide Proper Header Information

Using misleading or false heading details is not allowed. Routing information and other headlines that include “reply-to, from, and to” should involve the originating email address and domain name. It must be accurate and should specifically identify the business or person that initiated the message.

Use Clear and Certain Subject Lines

The subject line should clearly point the content of the message. Any deceptive and misleading subject line information is a violation of the law.

Establish the Message Firmly as an Ad

If you are going to send a message in a form of an advertisement, it is crucial that you will identify and disclose it clearly.  The law provides you a huge leeway in doing this; thus, abiding it is a must.

Disclose Your Location to The Recipients

Your message must contain information on your physical and valid postal address. It can include your post office box with the U.S. Registered Postal Service, private mailbox, or current street address. If you are sending it with a private mailbox, you need to ensure that it is registered with a mail drop or a CMRA recognized under the Postal Service Regulations.

Discuss How the Recipients Can Opt-Out in Your Future Email

Your recipients must be disclosed with a conspicuous and clear explanation about how they can opt out receiving future email from you. Devise the notice in a manner that an ordinary person can easily read, recognize, and understand. Proper use of location, color, and type size can improve the message clarity.

Provide a return-path address to allow people to deliver their choice and response to you. You may construct a menu that allows the recipient to opt out of a particular type of messages. Correspondingly, it must include an option that can cease all your commercial messages. You should also ensure that your spam filter does not block any opt-out requests.

Promptly Recognize Opt-Out Requests

Your opt-out mechanism must be able to process the request for a minimum of 30 days after your message has been sent to the recipients. Any opt-out requests must be recognized promptly within the 10 business days. You are not allowed to require recipients from giving you their personal identification details nor charge them a fee for honoring their opt-out request.

Ending Note

Email marketers are subjected to follow these laws and the variety of conditions accompanied by it in order to avoid substantial fines. Most legitimate businesses that are utilizing an email marketing tool and are sending valid and authentic email campaigns usually comply with the laws. Apparently, the rules and regulations are highly focused on spammers. It was specifically designed to prevent them from procuring email addresses without the owner’s consent and to avoid the spamming of unsolicited emails.

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PUBG Corp. files lawsuit against Fortnite in Korea for copyright infringement

PUBG Corp. files lawsuit against Fortnite in Korea for copyright infringement

Fortnite in South Korea accused of copyright infringement by PUBG

PUBG Corp. and Epic Games, the developers of two of the most popular battle royale video games, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite respectively have embroiled themselves in a legal suit over copyright infringement.

According to The Korea Times (via GameInformer), the Korea-based PUBG Corp had filed a lawsuit way back in January with the Seoul Central District Court against the Korean unit of “Fortnite” developer Epic Games alleging that the latter copied “Fortnite” from “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG).

“We filed the suit to protect our copyright in January,” a PUBG official informed the Korea Times to determine whether Fortnite has copied PUBG. The company last Friday requested an injunction at the Seoul Central District Court, hoping to stop the alleged infringement.

Back in September 2017, when Epic Games had released Fortnite’s free-to-play Battle Royale mode, PUBG Korea, a subsidiary of publisher Bluehole, had contemplated similarities between Fortnite’s free-to-play battle royale mode and PUBG in September.

“We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of UE4, the engine we licensed for the game,” Bluehole VP and executive producer Chang Han Kim said. “After listening to the growing feedback from our community and reviewing the gameplay for ourselves, we are concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.”

Back then, the company said that it would “contemplate further action” against Epic Games. The Korean firm added that it was unfortunate that Epic Games, which was a partner of Bluehole, had released a similar game.

A Bluehole representative back in September 2017 had said that it was not Fortnite’s inheritance of the Battle Royale mode that was worrying them.

“We just want to emphasize this is only a problem because Epic Games is the company that makes the engine we use and we pay a large amount of royalties to them. And we had this business relationship and we had trust that we would be getting continued support, and we were looking forward to working more closely with them to get technical support, maybe develop new features.

“But our name was used to officially promote their game without our knowledge. There was no discussion. It was just a bit surprising and disappointing to see our business partner using our name officially to promote the game mode that is pretty similar to us and there was misunderstanding in the community that we’re officially involved in the project.”

Since its launch, “PUBG” has reportedly sold over 30 million copies; however, its player base on PC is declining. On the other hand, Fortnite is not only dominating the PC platform but also mobile as well.

While it’s unclear when court proceedings will begin, we will keep you updated as this is a developing story.

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4.4 million iPhone users sue Google for secretly collecting data

4.4 million iPhone users sue Google for secretly collecting data

Google may face £3.2 billion claim in UK iPhone privacy lawsuit

iPhone users in the UK have sued Google in the High Court for as much as £3.2 billion pounds ($4.29 billion) for the alleged “clandestine tracking and collation” of personal information of 4.4 million users.

The secret collection of data was discovered by a Ph.D. researcher in 2012, who termed it as “Safari Workaround”. The lawsuit claims that Google had bypassed privacy settings of Safari browser on Apple iPhone devices between August 2011 and February 2012. The campaign group representing iPhone users – Google You Owe Us – which is being led by Richard Lloyd, a former Executive Director of the consumer watchdog publication Which?

According to The Guardian, the information collected by Google included data about race, physical and mental health, financial data, sexuality, social class, political leanings, shopping habits and location data to divide people into categories for advertisers.

Lloyd before the hearing said: “I believe that what Google did was quite simply against the law. Their actions have affected millions in England and Wales and we’ll be asking the judge to ensure they are held to account in our courts.”

Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing Lloyd, said information was then “aggregated” and users were placed in groups such as “football lovers” or “current affairs enthusiasts” for the purpose of advertising.

However, Anthony White QC, for Google, claimed that no personal information was disclosed to third parties through the Safari Workaround, and that there is no way to find out if any individuals were affected by the aggregation. White said that the purpose of Lloyd’s claim was to “pursue a campaign for accountability and retribution” against the company, rather than finding justice for individuals.

He said: “The court should not permit a single person to co-opt the data protection rights of millions of individuals for the purpose of advancing a personal ‘campaign’ agenda and should not allow them to place the onus on individuals who do not wish to be associated with that campaign to take positive steps to actively disassociate themselves from it.”

The Google UK communications director, Tom Price said: “The privacy and security of our users is extremely important to us. This case relates to events that took place over six years ago and that we addressed at the time.

“We believe it has no merit and should be dismissed. We’ve filed evidence in support of that view and look forward to making our case in Court.”

In the past, Google has already paid $39.5 million to settle claims in the U.S. relating to the Safari Workaround practice. In 2012, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission had fined Google $22.5 million for this practice and a year later, they were asked to pay $17 million for settlement with 37 states and the District of Columbia.

Source: The Guardian

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Facebook to face class action suit over its facial recognition tool

Find Out What Facebook Knows About You With This Chrome plugin

Facebook to face class action suit over its facial recognition tool

Facebook must face a class action lawsuit over its unlawful use of facial recognition technology on photos without user permission, a U.S. federal judge in California ruled on Monday.

According to the lawsuit, Facebook violated an Illinois state law by incorrectly using photo-scanning and face recognition technologies on users’ uploaded photographs and gathered biometric information without their explicit consent.

The case dates back to 2015, where three Illinois residents, Nimesh Patel, Adam Pezen, and Carlo Licata had sued Facebook for violating a state privacy law on protecting biometric privacy.

U.S. Judge James Donato in his ruling on Monday said the claims by the three plaintiffs were “sufficiently cohesive to allow for a fair and efficient resolution on a class basis.

The judge also noted that there is enough proof to show that Facebook violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), passed in 2008, which prevents companies from collecting and storing the biometric data of people without their consent.

Under the Illinois Act, Facebook can be fined $1,000 to $5,000 each time the company’s “Tag Suggestions” feature was used on a person’s image without permission. Tag Suggestions is a feature that recommends people to tag after a Facebook user uploads a photo.

“Consequently, the case will proceed with a class consisting of Facebook users located in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011,” he said, according to the ruling.

However, according to Facebook, the photo tagging tool provides the option to users to turn the feature off and prevent themselves from being suggested in photo tags, which the company says is available since its inception.

Shawn Williams, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said it’s unclear as of now if the lawsuit might prompt changes in the way Facebook uses biometric data.

“As more people become aware of the scope of Facebook’s data collection and as consequences begin to attach to that data collection, whether economic or regulatory, Facebook will have to take a long look at its privacy practices and make changes consistent with user expectations and regulatory requirements,” said Williams.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the company was reviewing Monday’s ruling that certifies the class action. “We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously,” she said.

Monday’s ruling is certainly not good news for Facebook, as the Silicon Valley giant is currently caught in a privacy scandal over the mishandling of 87 million users’ personal data and sharing with a third party.

Source: Bloomberg

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PUBG Corporation sues NetEase for cloning its game

pubg picture

PUBG Corp. Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Mobile Developer NetEase

PUBG Corp. has filed a 155-page lawsuit against NetEase, the developer of mobile games, Knives Out and Rules of Survival in the U.S. District Court – Northern District of California, in an effort to lock down the ripping off of PUBG assets. The company has accused NetEase of copyright infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition, according to TorrentFreak.

PUBG Corp. argued that NetEase released two clones of its popular multiplayer online battle royale game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) for mobile games, Rules of Survival and Knives Out. The PUBG team had made it very clear that anyone who tries to make their own Battle Royale game, should not be based on the original.

For those unaware, PUBG was released last year and had become a sensational hit with the global gaming community. Over a million beta copies were sold just in a month into the release, with up to 28 million copies sold for PC alone. The company earned millions of dollars due to the success of the game and believe that they could have earned more if no clones were made.

PUBG Corp. contended that the mobile games, Rules of Survival and Knives Out, have openly copied the complete look and feel of the PUBG game. The mobile games have intentionally copied crucial specific elements from Battlegrounds that could cause the consumers to believe incorrectly that it has been developed by the original creator of the PUBG game, claims PUBG. Even copyrighted things, like landscapes, weapons, clothing and buildings have been copied from the Battlegrounds property, causing irreparable monetary damage to the company.

The iconic “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” statue of PUBG has also featured in the allegedly copied game. Besides this, both the games, Rules of Survival and Knives Out, have also made passing references at the phrase in separate advertisements.

“On information and belief, Defendants copied PUBG’s expressive depictions of the pre-play area where other depictions could have been used for the purpose of evoking the same gameplay experience depicted in BATTLEGROUNDS,” one section of the complaint reads.

By filing a lawsuit, PUBG Corp. has made it clear that it wants its assets to be removed from the clone games and ensure that no one’s trying to take advantage of their consumers. Also, PUBG Corp has recently launched the mobile version of Battlegrounds for iOS and Android devices.

“PUBG has suffered irreparable harm as a result of Defendants’ infringing activities and will continue to suffer irreparable harm in the future unless Defendants are enjoined from their infringing conduct,” the suit reads.

Specifically, PUBG asks the court to order NetEase “to remove each and every version of the games Rules of Survival, Knives Out, and similarly infringing games, from distribution and to cease developing and supporting those games.”

The plaintiffs say they contacted Apple in January regarding their issues with the games, and that complaint was sent along to NetEase.

“On or about February 14, 2018, a representative of PUBG Corporation emailed NetEase Games and Apple stating, ‘Since it is very clear that NetEase Games disagrees with PUBG Corporation’s claims, PUBG Corporation has decided to take legal actions against NetEase Games.’ On or about February 15, 2018, a representative of NetEase Games responded to PUBG Corporation and Apple, asking Apple ‘to withdraw this case until any valid judgments are received.’ Thus, after receiving repeated notice, NetEase continued to willfully infringe PUBG’s rights.”

The document states in paragraph 115, that “Once it became apparent that NetEase was unwilling to acknowledge PUBG’s intellectual property rights, PUBG determined that legal action would be necessary to enforce its rights.”

PUBG Corp. is seeking $150,000 USD per infringed work for statutory damages. The court has yet to pronounce its verdict.

You can read the 155-page document lawsuit against Rules of Survival (Knives Out also have similar infringement).

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Oracle wins legal battle against Google over use of Java code in Android

Appeals court revives Oracle’s lawsuit over Google’s use of Java in Android

Oracle wins appeal against Google in landmark copyright case

The never ending legal battle between Oracle and Google took a new twist on Tuesday when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington ruled that Google’s use of Java shortcuts to develop Android “went too far” and was “a violation of Oracle’s copyrights”. This decision could see Google pay Oracle billions in damages, as the eight-year-long dispute between the two software giants draws near a close, reports Bloomberg.

For those unaware, Java was created by Sun Microsystems back in the 1990s and Oracle acquired the company in 2010. The legal battle between Oracle and Google formally started in 2010 over bits of Java code called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) – a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. APIs are useful as developers don’t have to write new code from scratch to implement every new function or change it for every new type of device.

Eight months after the purchase, Oracle accused Google of using its copyrighted APIs in its Android mobile operating system and filed a lawsuit. Since then, both the companies have gone through federal trials and multiple appeals courts in the U.S.

In May 2016, Oracle lost the plagiarism case it had filed against Google, as the search giant had argued that the copying fell within the “fair use” provision of copyright law, which meant it was free to use. At that time, a jury of 10 unanimously agreed with Google who found that the search giant’s use of declaring code, and the structure, sequence, and organization of Java APIs was fair use.

Google at the time, said that its victory at trial was “a win for the Android ecosystem; for the Java programming community and for software developers who rely on open and free programming languages to build innovative consumer products.”

However, Oracle went ahead and appealed the ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and asked them to overrule the federal jury’s decision taken in May 2016 that says Google’s use of Oracle software didn’t violate copyright law. As of 2016, Oracle sought $9 billion in damages as part of the lawsuit it first filed in 2010.

Finally, the U.S. Court of Appeals in its decision on Tuesday (March 27, 2018) ruled that Google’s use of APIs was “unfair as a matter of law.”

“[T]he fact that Android is free of charge does not make Google’s use of the Java API packages noncommercial,” the three-judge panel wrote in its decision. It also pointed out that Android has made more than $42 billion in revenue from advertising and that Google had not made any changes of the copyrighted material.

“There is nothing fair about taking a copyrighted work verbatim and using it for the same purpose and function as the original in a competing platform,” it stated.

Oracle said its APIs are freely available to those who want to build applications for computers and mobile devices, but draws the line at anyone who wants to use them for a competing platform or to embed them in an electronic device.

Welcoming the ruling, Dorian Daley, an Oracle executive vice president and the company’s general counsel, in a statement said, “The Federal Circuit’s opinion upholds fundamental principles of copyright law and makes clear that Google violated the law. This decision protects creators and consumers from the unlawful abuse of their rights.”

On the other hand, Google and its supporters said that extending copyright protection to APIs, would threaten innovation and lead to higher costs for consumers.

“We are disappointed the court reversed the jury finding that Java is open and free for everyone,” Google said in a statement. “This type of ruling will make apps and online services more expensive for users. We are considering our options.”

Google is likely to ask the three-judge panel to reconsider its decision or ask the full appeals court to review the decision. The case could even go all the way to the Supreme Court of the U.S.

The case has been closely followed by the tech industry because of its extensive implications for software innovation and copyright law.

Source: Bloomberg

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U.S. Navy Caught In Mass Software Piracy Lawsuit

U.S. Navy sued for software piracy; software vendor asks court for partial summary judgment

Bitmanagement, a German software company, has asked the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for a partial summary judgment against the U.S. Government for installing its software on hundreds of thousands of computers without permission leading to copyright infringement on a “massive scale”, reports TorrentFreak.

Apparently, in 2011 and 2012, Bitmanagement had agreed to license its 3D virtual reality software called BS Contact Geo on a limited and experimental basis. According to the trial agreement between the two, the U.S. Navy was allowed to use the program only on 38 computers “for the purposes of testing, trial runs, and integration into Navy systems.”

After testing the application for a while, both parties started negotiating the licensing of additional computers. As licensing negotiations continued in 2013, the software vendor discovered that the U.S. Navy had already installed BS Contact Geo software on 100,000 computers within its network without Bitmanagement’s advance permission or authorization and without paying extra compensation. The Navy eventually rolled out the software onto at least 558,466 computers on its network.

“Even as it negotiated with Bitmanagement over the proposed large-scale licensing of its product, the Navy was simultaneously copying and installing that software, without Bitmanagement’s advance knowledge or authorization, on a massive scale,” read the Federal Claims Court complaint filed by Bitmanagement in July 2016. In the complaint, Bitmanagement demanded damages totaling hundreds of millions of dollars for alleged copyright infringement that caused injury to its business and rights.

Subsequently after the complaint was filed, both parties carried out discovery and the software company filed a motion for partial summary judgment a few days ago, wherein it asked the court to rule that the U.S. Government is liable for copyright infringement.

According to Bitmanagement, they are very certain that the U.S. Government has crossed the line.

“The Navy admits that it began installing the software onto hundreds of thousands of machines in the summer of 2013, and that it ultimately installed the software onto at least 429,604 computers. When it learned of this mass installation, Bitmanagement was surprised, but confident that it would be compensated for the numerous copies the Government had made,” the motion reads.

“Over time, however, it became clear that the Navy had no intention to pay Bitmanagement for the software it had copied without authorization, as it declined to execute any license on a scale commensurate with what it took,” Bitmanagement adds.

In response to the motion, the U.S. Government defended itself by saying that it had bought concurrent-use licenses, which allows the software to be installed across the Navy network. However, Bitmanagement disputes that it is not possible as the reseller that sold the software was only allowed to officially sell PC licenses.

Additionally, the software company points out that the word “concurrent” doesn’t appear in the contracts, nor was there any reference of mass installations.

The Government also disputed that Bitmanagement impliedly authorized it to install the software on hundreds of thousands of computers. The software company argues that this defense also makes little sense.

The company argues that if Navy had licensed an earlier version of the software for $30,000 to be used on 100 computers, then how it could use the later version costing only $5,490 on hundreds of thousands of computers.

“To establish that it had an implied license, the Government must show that Bitmanagement — despite having licensed a less advanced copy of its software to the Government in 2008 on a PC basis that allowed for installation on a total of 100 computers in exchange for $30,000 — later authorized the Government to make an unlimited number of installations of its advanced software product for $5,490.”

According to Bitmanagement, the full motion brings up a wide range of other arguments as well, which clearly shows that the U.S. Government is liable for copyright infringement. Therefore, Bitmanagement asks the court for a partial summary judgment.

“Bitmanagement respectfully requests that this Court grant summary judgment as to the Government’s liability for copyright infringement and hold that the Government copied BS Contact Geo beyond the limits of its license, on a scale equal to the hundreds of thousands of unauthorized copies of BS Contact Geo that the Government either installed or made available for installation,” the company concludes.

Whether or not the Government will be liable for the scale of damages shall be known at a later stage. Bitmanagement had previously claimed that it is entitled to at least $600 million in unpaid licensing fees.

Interestingly, this is not the first time that the U.S. military has been ‘caught’ pirating software. In the past, the U.S. military was indicted in a case for operating unlicensed logistics software, which was eventually settled for $50 million by the Obama administration.

Source: TorrentFreak

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