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Oracle is dealing with an alarming decline in its traditional software revenues and that’s because there are many clients who are using its software without paying. So, starting next year, Java SE users who are out of compliance on Java will be fined by the database giant, and this means that the company will collect tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Many companies are not aware yet that they owe Oracle lots of money for using Java, because everyone believes the software is free to use, so they will have a big surprise when they will find out that they will need to pay a fine because only a part of Java is free.

Java Standard Edition is a popular version of Java that can be downloaded from the Oracle website, but actually, the license price is $300, and customers forget to pay or they don’t know that this software is not free. One of the customers has just received a $100,000 bill, but the retailer has negotiated with Oracle to pay only $30,000.

Soon, more companies will be contacted in order to pay up for using Java for free in the past six years. In addition, Oracle has hired 20 Java specialists to handle the License Management Services (LMS) department and they will do the audits. IBM, SAP and Microsoft are already using a variety of metrics that keep record of how many people are using the software and which features are being used.

Oracle is offering editions of Java that cost between $40 and $300 per user, or from $5,000 to $15,000 per processor on the computer that has the software installed on it.

However, it’s not the first time when Oracle is ramping up audits on customers. Back in 2015, many companies have reported that Oracle had asked for an audit, as an attempt to force them to buy the cloud product.

Developers create apps in the Java programming language, and it’s totally free, but for running these apps, companies need to install the software on hundreds of computers, so that their employees can use it, and this requires using a part of Java called the Microsoft Windows Installer Enterprise JRE Installer, which has a price.