The idea of a FOU restriction is an "anathema" to open-source use, Jagielski said. It also brings into question the organization's work on Project Harmony.
"All software we develop and code is under the Apache License, which is an open-source software license," said Jagielski. To continue to manage Project Harmony with the restrictions in place, "We would be developing code we couldn't release under the Apache license," he said.
As a result of this, "The biggest issue for us right now is if Harmony has a future," Jagielski said. In turn, without Project Harmony, Apache's involvement in the JCP would appear meaningless at best, and misleading at worst.
Oracle clearly sees value in the commercial licensing of Java. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has called Java the biggest asset in the purchase of Sun.
In August, Oracle sued Google for its use of Java in Android. It was thought that Google engineers used some of Project Harmony's code for the project, but the ASF has subsequently debunked this notion.
While the ASF doesn't want to hold back the development of Java, voting for Java 7 with the Oracle restrictions in place would put the ASF in an untenable position, Jagielski said.
"We wouldn't have joined an entity that would have stopped us from developing software that couldn't be released under the Apache license. The restriction of distribution is just not compatible. That is the core of the problem for Apache," he said.
The decision of whether to stick with the JCP will come down to how much support the ASF gets.
"Should Java 7 get voted down, then it means there is still some fight in that, that the JCP process is still a community process, in which case we'll stick with it and keep the good fighting going," he said.
Oracle declined to comment on the matter.