Siemens NX Lawsuit image from Siemens's website

Siemens Software Case IS a Bittorrent Case

This is a follow-up article to the “What to do about the Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. Does case (TX)” article I wrote last week.

I did a bit more digging into the Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. Does 1-100 (Case No. 4:16-cv-01422) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and I learned more about their software, and more about where some of the John Doe defendants are coming from.  What I also learned was that this is not the first time they have sued defendants for copyright infringement.

The Siemens Product Lifecycle Management (“PLM”) software being sued over is known as the Siemens NX software.

According to Wikipedia, “NX, formerly known as NX Unigraphics or usually just UG, is an advanced high-end CAD/CAM/CAE software package originally developed by Unigraphics, but since 2007 by Siemens PLM Software… NX is a direct competitor to TopSolid, CATIA, Creo, Autodesk Inventor, and SolidWorks.”

The Pirate Bay shows 9 torrent files for “Siemens NX” software (below).

062016 Siemens PLM NX

Surprisingly, for version 9, there are only 3 seeders (uploaders).  For all others, there is only one seeder.  For a program that takes on average 1GB-5.7GB to download, a download like this could take forever to complete.

Looking at version 10 (the current stable release; version 11.2 is probably a fake), there is one seeder (uploader) and one leecher (downloader).  See attached.

062016 Siemens PLM NX 10

As dry as this post may be, the point is that my suspicions were correct — even though the bittorrent file provides a serial number (probably a valid, but likely an OLD registration code), and even though there is an “activator” which modifies or “cracks” the pirated file to allow the software to accept the old serial number [it likely does this by blocking the “authentication” feature when the software checks with the server to verify the registration key], the software looks to the user as if he has successfully registered the software.

However, through the CASUAL USE of the software, the activator software is likely not persistent, which means that after the software is registered using the old key, it restores the software’s executable (.exe) file to its original state.  Then, when using the software, it connects to Siemens’ servers for whatever purpose (to download an update, to check for new features, etc.), and this is how their copyright enforcement / IT department can identify the IP address of the individual using a pirated copy of the software.

In sum, what this means is that Robert Riddle and the Siemens copyright holder likely knows how long the software has been in use, and which IP addresses have been using an old or invalid serial number.  This will likely be a consideration when discussing the matter with the plaintiff attorneys on behalf of my clients.

What all this means for you — 1) June 22nd appears to be the date that Comcast will be ordered to hand over the names and addresses of the 100 accused John Doe defendants, so there is no anonymity and the John Doe defendants will be exposed to being named and served as defendants in the lawsuit. 2) If you have been using the software, they likely know more details than you would like as to what you have been doing with it.  3) Speak to an attorney (me, or anyone else) about what options you have to get out of this, whether you were the downloader, the purchaser (of a pirated copy of the software), or whether you have absolutely no idea why you have been implicated as being one of the John Doe defendants in this case.

OTHER ARTICLES ON THE SIEMENS PLM SOFTWARE CASES:

How an attorney should handle a Siemens PLM Software, Inc. lawsuit, on 1/11/2017.

Siemens PLM NX-based lawsuits – converting accused engineers into loyal customers, on 1/9/2017.

Software Developers are now tracking piracy through the USE of downloaded software, on 9/9/2016.

Siemens Software Case IS a Bittorrent Case, on 6/20/2016.

What to do about the Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. Does case (TX), on 1/16/2016.


CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

6 thoughts on “Siemens Software Case IS a Bittorrent Case”

  1. So this will end up being very messy.
    From the limited information it appears that there might be ‘innocent’ infringers, they didn’t set out to “steal” the program just were looking for a deal and were screwed by another party.
    While one can offer up all sorts of platitudes of, if it sounds to good to be true… There are many cases where software is legally available for a very reduced price.
    One also would be curious to see the data & methods used to verify “proof” of the infringement, it would be very bad were there to be a flaw that lead them to name perfectly innocent people who legally had the software.

    It appears that those targeted will need to retain good representation & be forthcoming about everything.

  2. Nobody “likes” PLM. Its is a clunky, erratic, and difficult piece of software to use. HOWEVER, if you would like to keep a job as a CNC programmer, you MUST know it, or you simply won’t get a job, period.

    The academic version is 95 dollars, so, anyone who is in school could get it. Unfortunately, many people are out of work cannot AFFORD to go back to school.

    I say charge folks the 95 dollar academic licensing unless you can prove that they “materially and economically benefitted”, otherwise, this case requires a learned user, its not a passive item as in a movie, etc.

    They hold the gates to the plebes ability to feed themselves and remain employed, so, I see the use of this software tantamount to stealing bread to remain employable. Anyone who hasn’t gone through engineering school in the last 6 years likely did NOT learn NX, nor would they really WANT to do so unless needed, its a clunky bit of code to use. I know folks who lost their jobs over the issues and data loss associated with the instabilities with release 10.

    They are exploiting the lean job situation and the sudden shift to NX to go after LEARNERS and HOBBYISTS who NEED A JOB.

    1. That was great feedback. They do the same thing to law students as well. Competing companies get students hooked on “easy” legal research, they provide the world to them and get them habituated to use their software multiple times a day (even offering reward points for each case look-up, etc.), and then once the student graduates, what was free the day before becomes an annual licensing fee of a few thousand dollars (and more for additional modules). I’m obviously not “knocking” the companies who do this because they provide a good product, but it’s still a marketing ploy to make something dirt cheap for students, only to charge them an arm-and-a-leg after graduation.

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