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I am wondering which license the current JDK 7 (NOT the OpenJDK) is using as I know it was once under GNU GPL but with the change of the Distributor License for Java I would like to know whether they changed the allover license, too.

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Reference to the current Java and JavaFX license agreement here. Unfortunately they only seem to have the current license publically available however this in no way states that it is GNU GPL. – maple_shaft May 4 '12 at 18:04
Do you mean OpenJDK or Oracle's Binary? – Martijn Verburg May 4 '12 at 18:07
I mean Oracle's version NOT the OpenJDK. – Christian Ivicevic May 4 '12 at 18:08
The Sun JVM has never been under GPL and the Sun JDK have never been redistributable - only the JRE. The GPL'ed version was named OpenJDK. – user1249 May 4 '12 at 18:20
@ThorbjørnRavnAndersen: Do you agree with maple_shaft, that the JDK is under BCL? – Christian Ivicevic May 4 '12 at 18:29
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Both JDK and JRE download sections link to this license. The same license seems to apply to both JDK and JRE.

I'm not a lawyer but the following extract looks like they (not only JRE but also JDK) could be fairly freely redistributed as parts of your own programs:

Oracle grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited license without fees to reproduce and distribute the Software, provided that (i) you distribute the Software complete and unmodified and only bundled as part of, and for the sole purpose of running, your Programs, (ii) the Programs add significant and primary functionality to the Software, (iii) you do not distribute additional software intended to replace any component(s) of the Software, (iv) you do not remove or alter any proprietary legends or notices contained in the Software, (v) you only distribute the Software subject to a license agreement that: (a) is a complete, unmodified reproduction of this Agreement; or (b) protects Oracle's interests consistent with the terms contained in this Agreement and that includes the notice set forth in Section H, and (vi) you agree to defend and indemnify Oracle and its licensors from and against any damages, costs, liabilities, settlement amounts and/or expenses (including attorneys' fees) incurred in connection with any claim, lawsuit or action by any third party that arises or results from the use or distribution of any and all Programs and/or Software.

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You can see the JVM both as a software and as a standard. As a software we would like to be able to modify it anytime we want and distribute modified versions, like the recent Gnome to Maté fork.

As a standard, it is a good thing to avoid situations like Javasctipt, where you have often to check what browser you are running on. In my opinion this is the reason why the Oracle JSK 7 is not GPL. This fact avoided to the Java programmers the danger of having to be compatible with Microsoft Visual J++.

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