Twelve Tech CEOs Descend on the Capitol

Microsoft’s (MSFT) Steve Ballmer and Adobe’s (ADBE) Shantanu Narayen are among a dozen technology-industry chief executives who will spend the next 24 hours in Washington lobbying government officials there on issues including intellectual-property protection and data protection laws.

The trip is an annual one arranged by the Business Software Alliance, an industry group based in Washington D.C., and the twelve leaders is the most that have ever attended, says Robert Holleyman, the organization’s president. This year, the CEOs will meet with members of President Obama’s cabinet and several members of Congress.

This year, the top issue on the CEOs’ agenda is a familiar one: software piracy in China. Mr. Holleyman says that 79 percent of all software used in the country is illegally copied, and that this costs U.S. software makers $7.6 billion annually. With the number of PCs sold in China skyrocketing, “the piracy rate means that the losses are growing astronomically,” he says.

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