Serial license abuser raided and to face trial
IT Compliance Association (ITCA) client Tekla Corporation, which specializes in highly sophisticated modeling software for the construction, infrastructure, and energy industries, has launched legal proceedings against VM Informatics in connection with wide-scale software licensing fraud, following a raid on VM Informatics’ offices in New Delhi.
The raid, in July 2011, by anti-piracy investigators working in conjunction with the police and Tekla under the ex-parte order passed by the Honorable High Court of Delhi discovered that VM Informatics was unlawfully using Tekla software with a licensed value of over $176,000.
This latest crackdown in the global battle against piracy followed a lengthy investigation by ITCA agents which revealed that VM Informatics was knowingly using unlicensed Tekla software – in this case a product called Tekla Structures.
Tekla Structures is used in Building Information Modeling (BIM) that enables the creation and management of 3D structural models regardless of material or structural complexity. Although VM Informatics had ordered two licenses in the past, the company never fulfilled their payment obligations, and the temporary license keys they received quickly expired. During the raid, the company was found to have several illegal copies of the software installed and in use on its computers.
Initially, VM Informatics attempted to physically resist the court commissioners’ attempts to ascertain what legal and illegal copies of the Tekla Structures software were being used by the company. VM Informatics cut the power to their offices and tried to block the entrance to the building. Following subsequent violent attempts by VM Informatics management to prevent the court commissioners and forensic experts from completing their duties, the police intervened and subsequently, the true extent of piracy became clear.
VM Informatics now faces prosecution in the High Court in New Delhi for unlawful unlicensed use of Tekla software and will stand trial on November 30th, 2011. ITCA’s customers lose
hundreds of millions of dollars annually due to the software theft that occurs worldwide in terms of lost sales and damaging future research and development of products.
ITCA remains committed to relentlessly uncovering software theft and piracy, wherever it happens globally, to protect its clients.
Commenting, Chris Luijten, CEO of the IT Compliance Association said:
“While we are delighted to have helped, through our efforts, to bring VM Informatics to justice, the problem of software piracy remains widespread and serious. Our message to those who chose to knowingly use or sell illegal software is simple – we shall be relentless in bringing the full force of the law to bear upon any transgressors.”
Andre Corniere, director of the steel segment at Tekla added:
“This investigation and the evidence it uncovered represents a significant victory against piracy in the Indian sub-continent. Working with the ITCA we were able to ascertain the extent of the illegal use of our software and identify VM Informatics as the perpetrators of the software piracy against us.
Piracy weakens the competitiveness of licensed customers and additionally harms developers like Tekla who invest large sums of money in their products. It’s important that those who steal and illegally use our software are identified and dealt with through the courts.”
Photographs taken during the raid on VM Informatics’ offices are available to journalists upon request.
ITCA seeks to create an economically sound and competitively fair playing field for the entire software community by educating clients in software use, licensing, and compliance. ITCA locates companies engaged in the improper use of its clients' software, negotiates agreements for immediate compliance on their behalf, and aids companies in maintaining software compliance to avoid possible action brought upon them by software vendors. For more information please visit www.itca.com.
With its software, Tekla drives the evolution of digital information models and thus provides a competitive advantage to the construction, infrastructure, and energy industries. Tekla's net sales for 2010 were nearly 58 million euros. The company was established in 1966, and today it has customers in 100 countries, offices in 15 countries, and a global partner network. Tekla Corporation became part of Trimble in 2011. www.tekla.com