Java licensing

Say No to this “Oracle Java Audit”


Recently, a disturbing trend involving Oracle and its “Java licensing audits” has emerged. Several organizations have reported aggressive audit tactics by Oracle, leading to significant stress and potential financial implications.

This article aims to shed light on these practices and guide organizations in this predicament.

If you did reply to Oracle – Take these seven steps.

The Current Situation: A Step-by-Step Breakdown

  1. Initial Contact: Over the past few weeks, multiple organizations have contacted Redress Compliance. These organizations, either not Oracle customers at all or with a minimal Oracle footprint, have never purchased Java or been in contact with Oracle about Java.
  2. Oracle’s Outreach: Despite the lack of previous contact, these organizations have all received an email from Oracle. The email addresses a C-level executive wanting to discuss the latest Java licensing changes.
  3. Request for Information: The conversation with Oracle begins innocently enough. Oracle requests information about where the organization has Java deployed.
  4. The Conversation Turns: Once Oracle receives the deployment information, the tone of the conversation changes dramatically. Oracle claims that the customer needs to license hundreds, sometimes thousands, of processors due to a few Java installations on VMware.
  5. Oracle’s Licensing Policy: Oracle’s licensing policy stipulates that a license must be purchased for every physical host in all VMware environments, not just where Java runs.
  6. Retroactive Payments: Oracle doesn’t stop at demanding licenses for current installations. They also ask for retroactive payments for the years these Java installations have run.

What This Means

Oracle’s Java sales organization sends emails massively, trying to see which organizations take the bait and reply. They then quickly start a “sales audit” to pressure the customer into paying hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of dollars for a few servers running Java.

For example, one organization had 24 processors running Oracle Java SE, which would have cost them $ 7 200 on the legacy price list. Where being pressured to pay over $ 100 000 due to VMware and “backdated use”

What Should Customers Do

If you receive such an email from Oracle, here are some steps you should take:

  1. Do not reply to the Oracle email at all.
  2. Review your Java licensing (Redress can assist with this).
  3. Optimize your Java installations and reduce the risk associated with this product.
  4. Only engage with Oracle if that is your decision.

What Should Customers Do Who Replied to Oracle’s Email?

If you’ve already replied to Oracle’s email, here’s what you should do:

  1. Stop all communications. You have no contractual obligation to continue any type of conversation.
  2. There’s a good chance Oracle will stop contacting you after a few months and move on.
  3. However, you should conduct a complete review of all your Java installations, not only later versions but also older versions which may trigger licensing.
  4. Once you have a complete picture, you can decide whether to engage with Oracle or simply ignore their sales emails.
  5. Oracle will likely only audit your organization if you have over 10-20,000 employees.


Oracle’s aggressive Java audit tactics are causing significant concern among organizations.

It’s crucial to be aware of these practices and take appropriate steps to protect your organization.

Remember, you have rights and options; resources are available to help you navigate this challenging situation.

If you are in this situation, contact us to get help.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson possesses 20 years of experience in Oracle license management. Having worked at Oracle for 9 years, he gained an additional 11 years of expertise in Oracle license consulting projects. Fredrik has provided assistance to over 150 organizations worldwide, ranging in size and tackling various Oracle licensing challenges, including Licensing Assessments, Oracle audits, Oracle ULAs, and more.