News & Insights

The Coalition for Fair Software Licensing, Industry Groups Call on Congress to Pass the Software Assets Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act

March 23, 2023

The Coalition for Fair Software Licensing, NetChoice, CCIA, Alliance for Digital Innovation, and TechNet Call on Congress to Pass the Software Assets Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act

These groups, representing a cross-section of U.S. businesses, urge the passing of this essential legislation to protect taxpayer dollars.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing joined NetChoice, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the Alliance for Digital Innovation, and TechNet in a letter to U.S. House and Senate leadership, urging the inclusion of the Strengthening Agency Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act as part of any must-pass legislation in 2023 to protect taxpayer dollars.

This bipartisan legislation – first introduced in the 117th Congress and reported out of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in September 2022 – was reintroduced yesterday by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), as well as Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) and a bipartisan group of 10 House members. If enacted into law, all federal agencies would be required to conduct a comprehensive assessment of their respective software licensing contracts – offering key insights on costs, management, and cybersecurity risk.

“The complexity of federal software purchasing and management, along with restrictions placed on how the software is run, prevents federal agencies from using the most innovative, cost-effective, interoperable and secure software and cloud services of choice,” the group wrote. “Further, hidden fees and unnecessary spending deplete government resources and put hard-earned taxpayer dollars at risk of waste, fraud, and abuse. These reports will help to inform ongoing efforts to modernize the federal government and improve the value of federal IT.”

According to a recent report by Michael Garland, the U.S. government could save $500 to $750 million annually by addressing systemic issues and embedded restrictions with their software licensing agreements. The reintroduction of the Strengthening Agency Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act is a major first step in the right direction.

“The Coalition for Fair Software Licensing applauds Senators Peters and Cassidy, as well as Representative Cartwright, for their continued, bipartisan leadership on this pivotal issue,” said Coalition for Fair Software Licensing Executive Director Ryan Triplette. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that Congress prioritizes the passage of the Strengthening Agency Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act to ensure that taxpayers’ dollars are spent effectively and our federal agencies are not constrained by restrictive software licensing tactics.”

“Passing the Strengthening Agency Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act will be integral to building a healthier, more responsible, and more efficient federal government,” said NetChoice. “The requirements of this bill will help eliminate wasteful federal spending that is currently pervasive in the U.S. government from restrictive, anticompetitive software licensing practices.”

“We encourage policymakers to recognize the far-reaching positive impacts of this bill,” said Josh A. Rogin, Vice President of Federal Affairs for the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA). “A comprehensive overview of federal software licensing will increase agency coordination and help realize new ways to advance projects which directly benefit U.S. taxpayers.”

“The government needs to know what it’s buying as agencies move rapidly to modern, secure cloud based solutions,” said Ross Nodurft, Executive Director of Alliance for Digital Innovation. “We support providing agencies with the knowledge they need to make the most informed technology decision possible to support their missions.”

The full text of the letter can be read here.

Sens. Peters and Cassidy were joined by Sens. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joni
Ernst (R-IA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) in introducing the legislation.

Rep. Cartwright was joined by Reps. Andre Carson (D-IN-7), Ed Case (D-HI-1), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-37), Pat Fallon (R-TX-4), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), Nancy Mace (R-SC-1), Daniel Meuser (R-PA-9), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-At Large), Katie Porter (D-CA-47), and Jill Tokuda (D-HI-2) in introducing the House legislation.

About the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing
The Coalition for Fair Software Licensing is a North American-based initiative seeking to unlock greater customer choice, innovation, and security in the cloud by advocating for the Principles of Fair Software Licensing. Our members span a cross-section of key industries, including healthcare companies, financial services businesses, as well as cloud and cybersecurity providers – each one has experienced or been exposed to anticompetitive and abusive software licensing practices in the cloud. Together, we are taking a stand against these predatory practices by advocating for the Principles of Fair Software Licensing to ensure more choice, innovation, and security in the cloud.

As a healthcare software provider, our ability to utilize the cloud provider of our choice impacts more than just our business – it affects the health and well-being of patients everywhere. Restrictive software licensing imposes real-world threats like pricing increases that directly influence how we are able to assist healthcare providers and the patients they serve. We support the Principles of Fair Software Licensing to protect both cloud customers and the communities they serve.

Healthcare Technology Company

Cloud computing has brought low-cost, on-demand IT services to every corner of the economy, raising productivity and innovation levels at enterprises of all sizes. And intense competition and innovation among cloud providers continues to drive costs down while adding new customer capabilities.

But some incumbent IT vendors are imposing restrictive software licenses to limit how customers can take advantage of competing cloud offerings.

NetChoice supports the Principles of Fair Software Licensing as a roadmap to drive innovation, serve customers, and promote competition in IT services.


Frustration, use limitations, threatened audits, and significant additional expenses. That has been our experience with unfair software licensing. Organizations need transparency from their software providers.

We support the work of the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing to protect customers and ensure IT spend is effective and free from surprises.

Global Building Materials Supplier

Unfair software licensing practices in the cloud are a global issue, and CISPE is pleased that the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing is taking the Principles to North America.

Originally launched and jointly conceived by customers and cloud providers in Europe, we encourage customers around the world confronted with unfair software licensing practices to consider the Principles as a powerful framework for positive change.


As start-ups, it is essential that we retain flexibility to use the cloud infrastructures that fit best our aspirations and those of our customers. The Principles of Fair Software Licensing help the next generation of software and service providers to avoid lock in and ensure a fair playing field for all. Seeing their adoption in North America adds weight to this important movement for innovators in Spain and worldwide.

Carlos Mateo Enseñat

President, Asociación Española de Startups (AES), and Promoter of the NUBES Initiative in Spain

Developed in Europe by CIOs and cloud providers, the Principles of Fair Software Licensing are supported by digital organizations in Italy such as Assintel. Assintel welcomes the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing’s embrace of the Principles in North America. Fair licensing of software in the cloud is a global issue for businesses of all sizes. In Italy, our government recognises this challenge and just updated its antitrust bill to put an end to unfair software licensing practices.

Businesses in North America can benefit just as well as those in Italy from a best practice framework for software licensing.

Paola Generali

President, Assintel

As a longtime advocate for open systems and open networks, CCIA supports the competitive ideals reflected in the Principles of Fair Software Licensing for Cloud Customers as the Coalition embarks upon its efforts in North America.

Matt Schruers

President, CCIA

Some legacy software providers are attempting to extend their current on-premise market dominance into the cloud market through aggressive and restrictive contracts, licensing terms, and software audits.

While many promote ‘cloud freedom,’ in actuality they are employing tactics designed to lock out competition and innovation while increasing profits for themselves at the expense of their customers. No longer can legacy software providers be allowed to disguise their predatory practices.

I am proud to align myself with the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing in shining a light on these issues and putting forth actionable solutions.

Craig Guarente

Founder and CEO, Palisade Compliance

Despite the current spotlight on antitrust issues in Washington, behemoth software providers continue to misuse their legacy status and market power to target business customers with predatory audits and trap those customers in restrictive licensing agreements.

Through our practice — dedicated to representing software licensees against these very tactics — we have seen first-hand the real world effects of such licensing practices. Both growing and established companies are routinely kneecapped by unexpected costs, forced to waste immeasurable resources in spurious audit defense, and stymied in their efforts to make the technology changes they believe are necessary for their business.

We support the Principles of Fair Software Licensing and believe they represent an excellent and necessary step towards much needed business consumer relief and will help open the market to smaller providers in the cloud ecosystem.

Arthur S. Beeman & Joel T. Muchmore

Founding Partners, Beeman & Muchmore, LLP

Consumers benefit from a competitive, dynamic information technology marketplace. Competition drives innovation and ensures that customers get the benefit of fair pricing.

Overly restrictive, abusive licensing agreements from IT companies with market power, on the other hand, impose costs on government and corporate customers of reduced innovation and long-term price increases. We support the Principles of Fair Software Licensing and policies that encourage innovation, competition, and licensing practices that give customers the freedom to mix and match solutions from a wide variety of vendors.

This is particularly critical in the market for cyber security solutions since hackers are innovating every day, leveraging new strategies, new tactics, and new technologies to support their illegal campaigns. The only way to defeat nation states and trans-national criminal organizations is for the government to ensure that the IT market for cyber security is as competitive as possible and customers have the freedom to choose.

Cybersecurity Provider

The Alliance for Digital Innovation supports the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing’s efforts to protect customer choice and advocate for access to modern, secure commercial solutions.

As advocates for public sector customers, we think that government mission owners and enterprise information technology and cybersecurity leaders should have access to as many modern commercial solutions as possible.

These solutions are critical components to driving digital innovation and security in the public sector, and ADI supports removing barriers that slow adoption of those solutions, including restrictive licensing practices.

Alliance for Digital Innovation

As an attorney, I have represented enterprise software customers for years and have routinely seen enterprise software companies deploy predatory business practices, including falsely inflating alleged non-compliance gaps, to increase profits and limit customers’ ability to go elsewhere.

These practices produce causal effects throughout the economy including increased prices, as businesses across various sectors are forced to spend resources dealing with these unforeseen issues. I support the work of the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing to help my clients and enhance an economy that provides opportunities to all.

Pam Fulmer

Founder and Partner, Tactical Law Group LLP

We believe licensees should be able to deploy licensed software in a way that best suits their business, including their choice of cloud provider at no additional cost. Having experienced licensing practices inconsistent with the Principles of Fair Software Licensing, we support the Principles and urge others to support both them and the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing.

Insurance Industry Business

Startups, often operating with limited resources, need the freedom to assemble the technology infrastructure that best suits their needs.

Cloud computing infrastructure is central to startup growth, and the Principles of Fair Software Licensing will help maintain accountability, mitigate unnecessary costs, and promote innovation in this environment.

Industry-wide adherence to these principles will level the playing field for startups.


Get Involved

Learn more about joining the Coalition or expressing support for its Principles