The Campaign for Clear Licensing is an independent, not-for-profit organization campaigning for clear licensing, manageable license programs and the rights of business software buyers. The Campaign for Clear Licensing will on behalf of its members work with software publishers and the reseller community to reduce the indirect costs of using commercial software by improving the clarity and usability of software license terms and conditions.

“Where there’s mystery there’s margin”

"Where there's mystery there's margin." The role of the CCL is to bring clarity and openness to the world of software licensing and audits.
“Where there’s mystery there’s margin.” The role of the CCL is to bring clarity and openness to the world of software licensing and audits.

There is an old saying “where there is mystery and fear there’s money to be made” and unfortunately this is a common mind set in the world of software publishers and their channel when dealing with their customers leading to relationships becoming poisonous and combative.

Most businesses are enthusiastic about technology and are happy to pay a fair price for it. However, software licensing is complex and in some cases has become a hindrance to the adoption of new transformative technology.

Software publishers are well represented by the likes of FAST and BSA – and quite rightly so. But it is amazing that no one does a similar job on behalf of the end-user. We believe it is critical that this changes – when you are faced with complex licensing models you don’t understand and looking down the barrel of an audit it is a lonely career limiting world.

This is why the Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL) exists to address issues with overly complex license agreements, sharp practice and aggressive auditing activity.


The Campaign for Clear Licensing will provide:

  • Clarity to the software licensing market
  • Highlight absurd, confusing uncompetitive or unrealistic licensing terms
  • Stamp out unprofessional selling tactics
  • Promote and reward clear licensing terms


  • Worldwide
  • All software (on premise, service, cloud)

Guiding Principles

  • Not-for-profit organization, Software publisher independent
  • Constructive and Positive – emphasis on building positive vendor relationships

Key Issues

Organisations typically face the same licensing problems with the same vendors the world over and here are some examples that highlight the importance of the Campaign for Clear Licensing:

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