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Oracle JDK 21 Release & Licence Implications

Oracle JDK 21 was released on September 19th 2023.

It is the Reference Implementation of version 21 of the Java SE Platform, as specified by JSR 396 in the Java Community Process. Production-ready binaries under the GPL are available from Oracle; binaries from other vendors will follow shortly.’

As previously communicated, in September 2021, Oracle introduced a significant change to Java licensing when they announced a new licensing agreement, the NFTC – Oracle No-Fee Terms and Conditions. Which grants free use of the current Long Term Support (LTS) version of Java under the NFTC.

Oracle have set a schedule of release for future LTS versions of every 2 years with the next planned release due September 2025.

The latest release of Oracle JDK 21 means:

  1. Oracle JDK 17 can now be used under the NFTC for the next 12 months. In September 2024 a Java SE Universal Subscription Licence is required.

  2. Oracle JDK 21 can now be used under the NFTC for the next 3 years.

For organisations using Oracle JDK 17, they should look to move to Oracle JDK 21 within the next 12 months, thereby avoiding any licence issues or costs.

To discuss any aspect of Java licensing and risk mitigation, please contact us to speak with an independent Java licensing expert.

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