Java SE users at risk

Time to pay up: Oracle is supposedly going after Java clients

Gabriela Motroc
Java SE

Close-up Of Businessman Hand image via Shutterstock

The Register is painting a bleak picture of Java clients’ financial future — it appears that Oracle has decided to approach both clients and partners who are out of compliance on Java.

Java SE users who are out of compliance on Java are in for a surprise next year, according to The Register. The news website has reasons to believe that Oracle’s License Management Services division is letting clients and partners know the time has come to pay up — and some might have to give the database giant tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Register is citing sources as saying that people should be careful when they download Java SE and those who have already done that should consider reviewing their use. Craig Guarente, founder and chief executive of Palisade Compliance told the news website that Oracle is also targeting its partners. The problem stems from the fact that most people are under the impression that Java is “free.” Although this used to be (partly) true —under Sun Microsystems, only the likes of IBM and Blu-ray players makers had to pay a license fee— Java SE Advanced Desktop, Advanced and Suite are not free of charge. Since Oracle does not offer separate installation software, one cannot separate the paid Java SE sub-products from the free Java SE umbrella at download, The Register claims.

Reddit reacts — Take it with a grain of salt

Although The Register advises Java SE users to  make sure they only install the components they are entitled to, Reddit users claim that “unless you using the commercial features in production without licensing them or using the ARM embedded JVM in devices, you have nothing to be concerned about.” Plus, according to Omikron23, one should remove the following components when using Oracle distributed Java in production: Java Flight Recorder, Java Mission Control and JRE Usage Tracking.

stormcrowsx opined that even though avoiding licensing is an easy thing to do, the problem lies elsewhere — “Oracle is destroying faith people have in Java and I could see this as an argument for new products to be done in some other language that is not owned by sue happy Oracle. I don’t think jobs will run out quickly but over the course of 10 to 15 years if Oracle continues to get bad press we could see Java jobs degrade. As Java developers, we should be concerned about the hits to Java’s reputation.”

It remains to be seen if Oracle is indeed coming to collect its money from Java non-payers.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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