Oracle retires licence for distributing its Java with Linux
With a brief news item, Oracle has retired the "Operating System Distributor License for Java" (DLJ) that was created by Sun in 2006. The non-free licence had allowed Linux distributors to package and distribute Sun's, and later Oracle's, Java versions in their Linux distributions. Sun made this licence available after releasing Java as open source at the JavaOne conference in 2006. It was designed to ensure that users had easy access to packages containing the well-tested Sun Java during the development of the free OpenJDK.
When asked by Debian maintainer Sylvestre Ledru, who maintains the Sun Java package, Oracle employee Dalibor Topic explained the reasons for Oracle's decision on his blog. Topic said that the need for Oracle's Java implementation has steadily decreased since the release of the OpenJDK 6, adding that the OpenJDK is proven and mature and is the chosen package of most Linux distributors. The current version is OpenJDK 7, which is serving as the basis for Oracle's own JDK 7 releases.
Ledru noted that some packages are hardwired to depend on the Oracle binary release and that there are still some issues with fonts, applets and support from other software developers for OpenJDK; he asked that users report OpenJDK-only problems so that they can be fixed upstream and bring the OpenJDK packages up to the quality of the Oracle JDK. Topic also pointed out that users who want to use Oracle JDK 6 or 7 instead of the OpenJDK can still download the JDK from Oracle's web site and use that under the terms of the Oracle Binary licence.