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Java Oracle Businesses

Oracle Begins Aggressively Pursuing Java Licensing Fees (theregister.co.uk) 295

Java SE is free, but Java SE Suite and various flavors of Java SE Advanced are not, and now Oracle "is massively ramping up audits of Java customers it claims are in breach of its licenses," reports the Register. Oracle bought Java with Sun Microsystems in 2010 but only now is its License Management Services division chasing down people for payment, we are told by people familiar with the matter. The database giant is understood to have hired 20 individuals globally this year, whose sole job is the pursuit of businesses in breach of their Java licenses... Huge sums of money are at stake, with customers on the hook for multiple tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Slashdot reader rsilvergun writes, "Oracle had previously sued Google for the use of Java in Android but had lost that case. While that case is being appealed, it remains to be seen if the latest push to monetize Java is a response to that loss or part of a broader strategy on Oracle's part." The Register interviewed the head of an independent license management service who says Oracle's even targeting its own partners now.

But after acquiring Sun in 2010, why did Oracle's License Management Services wait a full six years? "It is believed to have taken that long for LMS to devise audit methodologies and to build a detailed knowledge of customers' Java estates on which to proceed."
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Oracle Begins Aggressively Pursuing Java Licensing Fees

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  • Oracle (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 18, 2016 @03:40AM (#53506895)

    Larry Ellison is the greediest man on earth and Oracle is his prophet.

    • Re:Oracle (Score:5, Funny)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday December 18, 2016 @04:34AM (#53506999)

      Larry Ellison is the greediest man on earth and Oracle is his prophet.

      Many believe that Larry is a Sith Lord. If he is indeed a Sith Master, then who is his apprentice?

      • Re:Oracle (Score:5, Funny)

        by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Sunday December 18, 2016 @06:58AM (#53507263) Homepage Journal

        Many believe that Larry is a Sith Lord. If he is indeed a Sith Master, then who is his apprentice?

        The clue is in the question.

        • I don't get the joke. Could you please explain it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Cmdln Daco ( 1183119 )

        Ellison isn't anything magical or mystical.

        It's a mistake to give what he is that kind of an aura.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 18, 2016 @05:02AM (#53507049)
      The overall story: Java is dead.

      Java will die at a speed limited the by ability of large corporations to move away from using it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hylandr ( 813770 )

        Java will die at a speed limited the by ability of large corporations to move away from using it.

        This is hugely accurate.

        It will probably stick around for a while in small shops, but any large corp that gets a bill will ditch Java in favor of the bottom line.

        • Ditch java in favor of what? The body shops will need some re-training time to converge all their marginal resources into the new tech so they're ready to feed at the corporate trough.

      • Most computing devices sold in the last few years run Android, and are therefore programmed primarily in Java. As a result we now have a whole new generation of programmers raised on Java.

        One can certainly make the argument that Java SHOULD die, but half of young programmers are below average and therefore would have difficulty switching to a new language built around a different paradigm. They'll stick to Java.

      • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

        How is this insightful? Oracle is not the end all be all of java.

  • by rholtzjr ( 928771 ) on Sunday December 18, 2016 @03:40AM (#53506897) Journal
    Having worked with both Java from Sun and Java from Oracle, there is a vast difference in ideology . It still seems that Oracle does not want to give up that the Database Engine is application and not just a data store. This is the reason I avoid any ADF type work. The database is just that a data store not the application.
    • The database is just that a data store not the application.

      Oracle also sells an enterprise application suite and they are the most gawdawfully unusable, clumsy, slow applications I have ever had the misfortune to be subjected to. Oracle application superpower: throwing away user's data part way through an unbelievably tortuous chain of slow loading screens.

  • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Sunday December 18, 2016 @03:41AM (#53506903)
    I don't much care for Java and now Oracle is trying to kill it.

    I never thought I would be on the same side as them.

    • Worth mentioning that if Java dies, the thing that will replace it will be C#. So pick your poison.
      • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

        According to most developers who know both C# and Java, C# is the better one.
        The only problem is that only Windows get first-class support.

        • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday December 18, 2016 @07:16AM (#53507293) Journal

          According to most developers who know both C# and Java, C# is the better one.

          That's like saying you prefer drinking the water from the Pacific ocean over water from the Atlantic ocean. For th emost part, both languages are the same......enough so that you can accidentally be looking at one and think you are looking at the other.

          C# programmers will say they prefer C# over Java, and the reasons they give are usually syntax-sugar related. Properties are kind of cool, I agree, but that misses the point of the purpose of Java:

          Java exists to make things very simple, so that even incompetent programmers can work in it without messing things up too badly. By adding extra features, although they are fun features, C# messes that up, allowing programmers to do really stupid things. That's not the worst insult I have for C# programmers, but I ought to keep it polite.

          • Java makes things simple so that any competent programmer overcomplicate things to get around the simpleness of Java's design.
            • nonsense, the standard java EE libraries absurdly over-complicate simple tasks, java libraries are not for the 99% use case

          • by JcMorin ( 930466 ) on Sunday December 18, 2016 @07:42AM (#53507369)
            Java is lagging behind C# for years now on every new features: enum (2004 vs 2002), generic (2004 vs 2002), anonymous function, lambda (2011 vs 2008).. pick your own and compare. Java is still lacking of 64-bit addressable arrays, async code as of Java SE9. Regarding poison pill worth mentioning that C# language is an open source Ecma and ISO standard... something Java is not. The compiler is open source so the whole framework. Microsoft repeatedly said that they want interoperability with other implementations such as mono... they even helped them at some point. During that time Java user get sue and now fine. I don't think we can say both C# and Java are the same at all.
            • During that time Java user get sue and now fine. I don't think we can say both C# and Java are the same at all.

              Java and C# are protected by the same kinds of licenses, so you're deluded if you think the kinds of things happening to Java users can't happen to you.

              • Java and C# are protected by the same kinds of licenses, so you're deluded if you think the kinds of things happening to Java users can't happen to you.

                Can you cite those licenses? I don't believe Java is protected by anything akin to Microsoft's legally-binding Community/Open Specification Promises (covenant not to sue), hence the Oracle V Google litigation.

                • I don't believe Java is protected by anything akin to Microsoft's legally-binding Community/Open Specification Promises (covenant not to sue)

                  Check it [oracle.com]

                  • I don't believe Java is protected by anything akin to Microsoft's legally-binding Community/Open Specification Promises (covenant not to sue)

                    Check it [oracle.com]

                    That's the license for the JDK and isn't a covenant not to sue.

                    • Yeah, notice that it's an actual license, with legal weight, not some kind of novel legal concept that has never been tried in court.

                      You're better off with the license, legally speaking, than some vague 'promise.' Note also, if you read the actual 'covenant not to sue', it has loopholes. They can still sue you, or they can change the terms at any time.
      • Worth mentioning that if Java dies, the thing that will replace it will be C#. So pick your poison.

        Never thought I'd say this, but leaning towards C# to fill the role of training wheels for the internet and fountainhead of crappy applications. The devil we don't know, you see. Or do we?

        • but leaning towards C# to fill the role of training wheels for the internet and fountainhead of crappy applications.

          Why, specifically? I've done both, I can give you advice, maybe.

          • but leaning towards C# to fill the role of training wheels for the internet and fountainhead of crappy applications.

            Why, specifically? I've done both, I can give you advice, maybe.

            Demonstrated legal minefield for Java, in the form of troll Ellison.

            • Nah, that's not a reason for switching to C#. Unless all your projects are short term, because anything that Oracle is doing now is something that Microsoft's buyer might do in the future.
              • anything that Oracle is doing now is something that Microsoft's buyer might do in the future.

                Seems like a pretty far-fetched theory to me.

                • That's what everyone said about Sun, too, when they started using Java.
                  It doesn't have to be a buyer, Microsoft could just get a new CEO.
                  • It doesn't have to be a buyer, Microsoft could just get a new CEO.

                    No. You have no idea what you are talking about. Microsoft's "promise" carries considerable legal weight and cannot be undone by a new CEO on a whim. There may indeed be questions to ask about the coverage and durability of Microsoft's promises, but such questions lie well beyond your limited comprehension of the situation.

                    • No. You have no idea what you are talking about. Microsoft's "promise" carries considerable legal weight and cannot be undone by a new CEO on a whim.

                      What legal cases have addressed this question before? The real truth is you have no clue what you are talking about, because 'promises' not to sue are paper thin.
                      A good lawyer can always find a way around 'promises'.

  • I honestly don't know. At which point do you need to pay for Java?
    Is it you need to buy a licence to write code in Java? Run the code you've written? Distribute your Java code to others?

    • I guess if its after oracle, you'll already have to pay them if you are asking these questions on slashdot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by phantomfive ( 622387 )

      I honestly don't know. At which point do you need to pay for Java?

      You don't need to pay for Java. Java is open source, and there's some question of whether a language is even copyrightable at all.

      You have to pay Oracle if you start using J2EE, or other proprietary libraries. This is the same as it's been for a long time now.

    • by burnetd ( 90848 )

      You have to pay if you need to use this flag...

      -XX:+UnlockCommercialFeatures

      ...which is a damn sight clearer than most of Oracle licensing which can be literally a user selected from the wrong table.

    • Java: Write once, run anywhere.

      Pay everywhere.

    • You pay for it as soon as you use it. You'll pay, you'll see.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Long-time java developer here. I had to search myself as TFA is incredibly vague and the focus seems to be more on generating some sensationalist FUD.
      To me it seems you're in the clear if you use the "standard" java stack for reading/running software such as jre, jdk, java ee,....
      I think Oracle is only ramping up license inspection for clearly marked pay-for products such as http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javaseproducts/overview/java-advanced-getstarted-2249239.html (java desktop, never heard of it)

    • If your software contains this commandline argument you have to pay Oracle:
      -XX:+UnlockCommercialFeatures

      Or if you use something else than the standard edition of Java (i.e. the one for PCs).

      Stick to OpenJDK builds and you should be safe.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 18, 2016 @05:44AM (#53507151)

    I have seen them try to claim license fees for trivial things within my own company. It cost them in the long run, since IT abandoned their software in short order, due to this vindictive approach.
    The crazy API copyright case made Java a non-starter for any new projects, since they effectively want to contaminate third party code bases with their copyright, if you use any Oracle APIs, making it impossible to port/wrap Oracle designed interfaces. It was something our legal people couldn't countenance, resulting in a Java ban. Not a good way to run your business.
    I don't see Oracle having any long term future. Nobody would make a new deployment of any of their products. The Oracle database is still a good product, but for most workloads, open source or commercial alternatives are cheaper/faster. In my opinion Oracle is still a better all round product than nearly all the alternatives. That's not enough any more though. The prohibitive costs, poor support, threats, and contempt for customers are insurmountable barriers. Like Sun, I think Oracle will vanish in the long run.

    • by plover ( 150551 ) on Sunday December 18, 2016 @09:17AM (#53507597) Homepage Journal

      Once the lawsuits were over and SCO was finally unplugged from the life support lawyers, Darl McBride was leaving the courthouse. Ironically, he slipped on a banana peel on the courthouse steps, and as he fell, he dropped the mantle of 'Litigious Bastards'. Larry was walking by, picked it up, and tried it on. It was still warm and comfy! So he brought it back home, had the tailors in the licensing department do some alterations, and now he's going to put it on as everyday wear, just like Zuckerberg and his hoodies.

      "And that, my children, is how the Ghost of Larry Ellison came to haunt the valley. Now, off to bed with you all!"

  • What's wrong with OpenJDK?

  • So, as the article states, the Java SE downloadable comes with the JDK and JRE which are free to use "for general purpose computing", but the one of the key issues is that additional components such as Java SE Advanced Desktop, Java SE Advanced and Java SE Suite are also included in the same software package, but are not free to use without a license. While there is an EULA, there is nothing to warn users that installing those extra components is not free and there is no form of license checking to prevent

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      Why wait? Just remove anything Java from your systems.

      Seriously, when the owner of a technology starts getting like this, there's no clawing back custom.

      Just start planning to leave the entire platform now. Because the situation isn't going to get any better, even if you do win a lawsuit on reasonableness grounds.

  • It's time for a little uninstaller project. A nice piece of software that will make sure that you only have the free bits installed.
  • Don't forget to pay your $6,999,999 licensing fee, you cock-smoking teabaggers!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Java [garbage collection] license [garbage collection] [garbage collection] [garbage collection] audit [garbage collection] [garbage collection] routines were
    [garbage collection] written in [garbage collection] [garbage collection] [garbage collection] java and [garbage collection] [garbage collection] because of the code [garbage collection] [garbage collection][garbage collection] size the gar [garbage collection] [garbage collection] bage collector [garbage collection] [garbage collection] could [gar

  • by Corporate T00l ( 244210 ) on Sunday December 18, 2016 @10:46AM (#53507855) Journal

    I know everyone loves to hate on Java and Oracle, but my understanding is that in order to access the licensed features, you have to deliberately add the command line arg "-XX:+UnlockCommercialFeatures". It doesn't seem like rocket science what this might mean...

  • How about Oracle focus on its' well-deserved greedy reputation, and resolve to actually produce products that have been designed for reliability and verified by competent testers before unleashing bags of bugs on the Internet?

    The whole POINT of Java has been: Make the platform open source, and license the developer half of the project: Developers pay for the tool, and right to run on the freely distributed platform.

    The whole RESULT of Java has been: Customers have to frequently update "free" Java to "fix

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Sunday December 18, 2016 @11:34AM (#53508085) Homepage

    Oracle begins aggressively trying to Kill Java.

    Java is already starting the death phase, and Oracle just wants it to die already by trying to encourage companies to not use it.

  • How bad will anyone feel when they go belly up like SCO.

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr

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