As promised in a previous blog post: Which Software Licensing Policy Is The Unfairest Of Them All? , we've launched a survey to find out what sourcing and vendor management professionals think about some common software licensing policies.  This isn't about bashing powerful software companies, but about building a consensus behind a campaign to bring software licensing rules up to date – i.e. protection of innocent buyers, rather than regime change.  I've narrowed an initial list of 30 questionable policies down to this Foul Fifteen of candidates for the (un)coveted "Unfairest" award:

1.       Double charging for external users

2.       Prohibiting or overcharging for anonymous users

3.       Maintenance on shelfware

4.       Counting cores instead of processors

5.       Counting all processors in a server, even if partitioned

6.       Upfront license purchase only, not phased in line with project milestones

7.       Maintenance repricing

8.       Insisting on purchase of all licenses before implementation starts

9.       Product enhancements packaged as new SKU’s

10.   Licensing by deployment, even if unused

11.   Charging for use of modules that customers cannot control or track

12.   Retaining right to change licensing policies at any time

13.   Multiplexing – definition is unclear or too wide

14.   Pricing and contract terms are confidential

15.   Charging for bug fixes

Here's a link to our survey, which includes more detail on the candidate policies:

Please help us, by giving us your votes on each of the items in our list. Which ones do you really resent, and which ones can you, reluctantly, accept? Which are the top 5 that we should work hardest to improve? The more responses we get, the more powerful will be the message we can send to the software providers. We're asking for you to leave us some contact details, but only so that we can verify that all the responses are genuine, from real IT sourcing professionals. Unfortunately, we'll have to ignore votes from made up names with invalid email addresses, to avoid devaluing the results. We look forward to getting your opinions.