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Oracle Java SE Licensing at Cornell University

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As of April 16, 2019, Oracle changed its Java license. This limited Cornell University's ability to use certain versions of Java on university-owned systems.

What Changed in Oracle’s Java SE License?

Oracle changed its Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE as of April 16, 2019. Common products covered under this new license agreement are Java Runtime Environment (JRE), Java SE Development Kit (JDK), and Java Web Start. For more information on the new license agreement, please see the Oracle Java License FAQ.

The new license agreement continues to permit the following use cases at no cost.

  1. Personal Use

  2. Development Use

  3. Oracle Approved Product Use (see Cornell University-specific products below)

  4. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Use

  5. Products from vendors with approval to distribute java (See Cornell University-specific products below) 

Other use cases, such as accessing or distributing production products, are no longer free and require an Oracle Java SE Subscription

How Does This Change Affect Cornell University?

The major risks introduced by Oracle’s license agreement change are:

  • Complying with the new license agreement to avoid future audit flags and penalties
  • Incurring prohibitive subscription costs

We are taking the following steps to mitigate these risks associated with non-compliance use cases:

  1. Minimize or eliminate dependency on Oracle Java wherever possible, including new desktop or server installations.

  2. Migrate to open-source alternatives to Oracle Java (e.g. OpenJDK or Amazon Corretto).

  3. When necessary, purchase Oracle Java SE Subscription.

What Do I Need to Do?

  • Nothing, if your Oracle Java usage is in compliance with the new license agreement. See (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5) above.
  • Uninstall Oracle Java from your computer if you do not need it.
  • Install OpenJDK on your computer if you need Java but not explicitly Oracle Java.
  • Purchase an Oracle Java SE Subscription if you have an explicit need for Oracle that is not in compliance with the new Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE. Cornell University IT departments and other campus departments should use their IT purchasing processes.
  • Cornell Technical support providers, follow these instructions to manage new Java license requirements for computers you support. 

For additional information please contact the IT Service Desk.

This article was adapted from content by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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