Software license violations could cost Navy millions

Yet another reason to fear shadow IT: A recent case of software license violations could cost the United States Navy hundreds of millions of dollars. 

A dispute over how licenses were used by the Navy could have a huge financial impact. The dispute arises over how the navy distributed copies of software by a German tech company. The Navy paid for 38 licenses, but the 3D virtual reality software was installed on more than 550,000 devices across the Navy.

The Navy argues that its use was covered by the terms and it kept the software developer, Bitmanagement Software, informed of its progress on installations. But the vendor has filed a lawsuit which could result in $150,000 in damages per instance of violation.

Violations are easier than ever

It’s not difficult to imagine a situation in which rampant license violations could happen right under your nose. It’s easier than ever for users to acquire software or services without IT’s knowledge and expertise.

That’s not to say that’s what happened in this specific instance. But it’s a legitimate possibility.

Managing IT services and contracts isn’t easy. So make sure your organization has a plan in place for how to do it safely and effectively.

That should include steps for procurement of services and a clear chain of command, including who can and cannot approve the terms of a contract or the implementation of software.