Ten Principles of Fair Software Licensing for Cloud Customers

Launched by CISPE and Cigref, the Ten Principles of Fair Software Licensing are being adopted by organisations to challenge the unfair licensing terms of some legacy software companies. Support the Principles to protect choice, innovation and growth in the Digital Economy.

To date, the Principles have been supported by CISPE, Cigref, CIO Aica Forum, CIONet Italia, CIO Club Italia, AUSED, FIDA Inform, Danish Cloud CommunityDutch Cloud Community and Coadec. Watch this space for more supporters.
Some licences prohibit running software on hardware not 100% dedicated to the customer –eliminating the value of the ‘virtualised’ cloud.
Some software companies have inflexible and non-transparent contracts and subject customers to hostile audits as they move to the cloud.
Costs go up 150% just to run previously purchased licenses on clouds from other providers.
Directory software
By controlling directory software legacy players’ lock businesses into their ecosystems and restrict choice.
Can and cannot do
It should be clear and easy to understand what you can and can’t do with the software you’ve paid for!
Overly complex
Businesses are stung with unexpected and unfair charges from overly complex, difficult to understand licences.
Migrating from on-premise to cloud-based software-as-a-service makes financial sense. But some software companies make it prohibitively expensive to run their software on competing clouds.
Technical and financial barriers narrow the cloud choices available to business users to those offered by legacy software companies.
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Unfair licences limit choice, raise costs and reduce innovation as businesses move to the Cloud.


A template for modern licensing to meet the needs of the cloud sector and digital economy.


Fair software licensing principles to promote a fair and competitive digital sector for all.