The U.S. may be aggressive with enforcing copyright and trademark laws, but it turns out that even the military likes to cut corners when it comes to paying for software. A soldier stationed in Qatar leaked photos to TorrentFreak showing 18 computers in an education center running unlicensed versions of Microsoft Corporation's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows 7 operating system.
The soldier remained anonymous, but reported that he had been in the military for a long time and this was the first time he had seen military computers running unlicensed software. Nothing changed after he reported the situation to his superiors.
The soldier said that he wasn't trying to be “anti-government in any way,” but believes that the military should be kept honest and accountable.
There could be legitimate reasons for using an unlicensed version of Windows 7. The education center could have lost the original keys, for example.
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What is strange is that the Department of Defense signed a $617 million deal with Microsoft to use Windows 8 with Army, Air Force and Defense Information Systems Agency computers. It is unclear why this education center still ran Windows 7, and why it hasn’t been licensed.
This isn't the first time in 2013 that the military has run up against copyright laws. Last month, the Obama administration paid $50 million to settle a lawsuit brought from Apptricity, which claimed that the military had pirated its logistics software.