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## Problem

Using Confluence version earlier than 3.2, Confluence fails to start despite the fact that it was able to start previously. This error is visible in the browser:

The following stack trace appears in the logs:

2009-12-21 09:52:15,421 ERROR [main] [atlassian.license.decoder.LicenseDecoder] error com.atlassian.extras.common.LicenseException: java.security.SignatureException: invalid encoding for signature
java.lang.NullPointerException


## Cause

Note that while the error message suggests an upgrade, this is not due to an upgrade problem.
You will see this message if using Confluence version earlier than 3.2 The message is misleading. Refer to CONF-16578.

It is possible that your license details are corrupted. This can cause Confluence to refuse to start.