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US Army to pay £31m for pirated software

A small software firm has settled a lawsuit with the US Army after it was revealed that its programs had been installed on thousands of unlicensed military work stations.

Apptricity Corp, an 80-employee firm based in Texas, first discovered that its biggest client had been pirating software last year when it realised its programs had been installed on more computers than had been licensed.

The US military had been the company's largest client since 2004 and the lawsuit was seen by some as a gamble that could jeopardise their working relationship.

"It's like a marriage. Sometimes you really don't want to be around each other, but it doesn't mean you are going to break it off," Apptricity's president and co-founder Tim Garcia told Dallas News.

"What you have is two parties that basically need each other. We recognize that you are dealing with people's lives in areas where most of us have never even been to. So there was a realization that a mistake had been made, and it needed to be fixed."

Having agreed to pay Apptricity $50 million (£31 million), the US Army will continue to use the company's software. Garcia has said that the money will go towards expanding the company, adding 70 new employees in order to develop further and compete with the larger corporations in its field, like Oracle and PeoplSoft.

"It's nice to see this happen to an entrepreneurial company," Garcia said