Rob McKenna Discusses Efforts to Combat Software Piracy

March.17.2014

Rob McKenna discussed his efforts on behalf of Microsoft to organize a group of state attorneys general to collect payments from software pirates in China and other emerging markets with the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Wall Street Journal, attorneys general don’t typically get involved in overseas disputes involving companies from outside their state borders. But Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., has helped persuade attorneys general that overseas software piracy leads to job losses at manufacturing companies in their states.

“It wasn’t until we made the connection between stolen software and manufacturing that we got traction,” said McKenna, who also serves as president of the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation.

In addition, McKenna stated about two years ago, when he was still attorney general of Washington state, Microsoft provided evidence to him that Embraer SA, a Brazil-based maker of airplanes, used Microsoft software without paying full licensing fees. Mr. McKenna sent two letters to Embraer in 2012, threatening legal action. His successor announced in April 2013 that Embraer settled the dispute with Microsoft and was “in full compliance with the law.”