For the last several years we have observed a huge
uptick in activity by Oracle Sales Teams concerning the licensing
of Java SE. As we have watched how Oracle has approached its
customers concerning licensing Java, at times it felt like Oracle
was making it up as they went along. Now with one fell swoop Oracle
has completely changed the rules and the pricing around licensing
Java by changing its Oracle Java SE Universal Subscription Global Price
List. The changes virtually eliminate the processor metric in
most instances (it appears a company would need
more than 50,000 Processors, not counting desktops, on which Java
is installed and/or running to license by processor)
and instead have changed the metric from "Named User
Plus" to "Employee". Now companies licensing Java
must count "all of Your full-time, part-time, temporary
employees", AND "all of the full-time employees,
part-time employees, and temporary employees of your agents,
contractors, outsourcers, and consultants that support Your
internal business operations." This means all of these people
must be counted for licensing purposes even if they are not using
Java software. The result is potentially a massive price increase
for those companies using Java SE. The change will especially
negatively impact large companies with numerous employees, but it
will also have a big effect on medium sized companies as
For example, as one well known Oracle expert consulting firm has noted, under the new rules a medium sized company with a small Java footprint could see their annual Java cost increase by up to 1,452%. According to House of Brick, a company with 250 employees with 20 Desktop Users and 8 Java installed processors would pay $2900 annually under the old model and $45,000 a year under Oracle's new model. The potential impact on Oracle customers is staggering.
The new rules also seem to be a fertile ground for licensing disputes as companies scramble to figure out "all of the full-time employees, part-time employees and temporary employees of your agents, contractors, outsourcers and consultants who support your internal business operations". And of course, Oracle will no doubt attempt to sow more confusion and chaos where companies are using VMware virtualization software.
Tactical Law is reviewing Oracle's recent changes and analyzing how it will impact our clients. But one thing is for sure--Oracle has ramped up the audits and we predict that Java will be a huge part of Oracle's audit activity in 2023 and beyond.
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