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Mr Ballmer goes to Washington for China pirate gripe

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Big name bosses at 12 tech companies are meeting with US lawmakers and White House officials to complain about illegal software copying in China.

According to the Business Software Alliance lobby group, 79 per cent of China's computers ran on counterfeit software in 2009.

"We were seeing progress over a number of years... but that has essentially stalled and the [piracy] rate has been roughly flat for the last three years," BSA President Robert Holleyman told Reuters.

Concerns have been expressed by the likes of Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Adobe's Shantanu Narayen about China's planned "indigenous innovation" guidelines on Intellectual Property transfers, that could be bad for the US economy.

The software bosses are meeting with US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Attorney General Eric Holder, among others to gripe about China's pirates.

Holleyman said the BSA is trying to convince US lawmakers to make illegal software copying a top priority in dealing with China.

Despite all that, Microsoft and other key software players still do business in the People's Republic. ®

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