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Canonical Targets Ubuntu Privacy Critic

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the probably-should-have-thought-that-through-a-bit-more dept.

Ubuntu 259

New submitter bkerensa writes "A member of Canonical's Legal Team recently sent a email to a critic of Ubuntu's privacy settings to insist he stop using the Ubuntu name and logo, even though it falls under 'fair use.' Micah Lee is the CTO of the Freedom of the Press Foundation and maintainer of the HTTPS Everywhere project. When Ubuntu began adding commercial results in its Dash search software, Lee wrote about the privacy concerns and created a site called Fix Ubuntu to show people how to turn it off. Canonical's legal department has now sent him a letter asking him to 'remove [the] Ubuntu word from you[r] domain name and Ubuntu logo from your website.'"

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Dickish move... (5, Insightful)

jddeluxe (965655) | about a year ago | (#45367297)

....but what would you expect???

Re:Dickish move... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367345)

That's exactly what I've been telling people. Mark Shuttleworth is a South African. It's not even a secret, yet people still trusted him. Boggles the mind.

Re:Dickish move... (-1)

greenfruitsalad (2008354) | about a year ago | (#45367495)

Just like with every other company, canonical's lawyers have little choice. The general rule with trademarks is "use it or lose it". Once they start turning a blind eye to this behaviour, it'll be hard to defend in court should the need arise.

At FOSDEM 2013 I talked to guys at ubuntu booth and they explained to me how they were unable to make and sell/give away plain Ubuntu t-shirts. Canonical would only allow them to have "ubuntu.be" ones.

Re:Dickish move... (1, Informative)

Wootery (1087023) | about a year ago | (#45367595)

Did you reply to the wrong comment, or are you intentionally hijacking it because it's high up the thread?

Re:Dickish move... (4, Insightful)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about a year ago | (#45367709)

He probably meant to reply to the grand-parent (founder of this thread), but instead misclicked on the racist reply (which is no longer as high up as it used to be, given the obvious moderation it received...). His post is relevant to the thread ("it is a dickish move" => "lawyers have to be dickish, or they lose their trademark"), just not to the immediately preceding message (that racist bullshit)

Or are you just annoyed at the tangent/personal experience (Ubuntu T-Shirts)? That's stuff that just happens in a conversation, that's how conversations evolve and stay lively and interesting!

Re:Dickish move... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367801)

Mod parent down for hijacking the thread to promote his comment.

Re:Dickish move... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45367875)

those fosdem guys could easily have been given a permission to do it - if they were given an excuse by ubuntu it was just another dick move. they have the trademark and they can give exceptions for using it if they want. obviously they didn't want to. they wanted to sell their own t-shirts.

and fair use doesn't count as losing the trademark..

and for example I can say that I like coca cola, the one with the logo like so and so, without it giving any chance for coca cola company to lose the trademark..

and by that logic the guys running ubuntu.be should be getting a letter too to stop using ubuntu name on their site.

Re:Dickish move... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367889)

Fair use, no dilution, just like a website that might say "www.applesucks.com" - courts everywhere allow it because it's free speech protected fair use.

Re:Dickish move... (3, Insightful)

beltsbear (2489652) | about a year ago | (#45367925)

This 'little choice' thing is untrue and bullshit yet it keeps being repeated. Ubuntu's lawyers can explicitly offer licensed use of their trademark to anyone they please with or WITHOUT fee. They could easily allow use of the shirts with an email. They could attach conditions as needed and even set it up so they can ask the user of the logo to stop at any time.

Re:Dickish move... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year ago | (#45368085)

And if that bullshit were true, why not target all the other sites that talk about ubuntu displaying the logo? (free publicity)

Anyway IANAL but I agree, if third parties were simply asked to enter a short agreement and put "Ubuntu logo by Canonical ltd. used with permission" the trademark would be safe.

Re:Dickish move... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#45367519)

It's not even a secret, yet people still trusted him. Boggles the mind.

Perhaps they did it because...he's a pal and a cosmonaut?

Re:Dickish move... (2)

auric_dude (610172) | about a year ago | (#45367365)

OMG! Ubuntu Criticized?

Re:Dickish move... (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year ago | (#45367401)

No, OMG! Ubuntu! seems to not have been targeted. Then again, they don't use the Ubuntu logo for their site, only to illustrate specific stories. Wouldn't make a difference to me, but I can see how lawyers would make a distinction.

Re:Dickish move... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367653)

OMG! Woosh!

Re:Dickish move... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367725)

I hope you checked that "Whoosh" is not trademarked (no, omitting the "h" doesn't help, it's still too similar).

Not so dickish move... (2)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about a year ago | (#45367521)

No, not really "dickish"?

Aren't they obligated (by law) to protect their trademark, or risk loosing it?

IANAL but as I recall it, you can only keep a trademark if you actively protect it. If you don't, you may loose your right to keep it.

- Jesper

Re:Not so dickish move... (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#45367667)

Aren't they obligated (by law) to protect their trademark, or risk loosing it?

Of course. You're supposed to screw your trademark real tight. What if it falls off and bashes a customer entering or exiting your shop's premises on the head? You'd be liable for that.

If you are still using Ubuntu... (3, Insightful)

bazmail (764941) | about a year ago | (#45367313)

..then there is something more serious broken in your decision making that command can fix. There are far better distros out there, no matter what you're looking for.

Re:If you are still using Ubuntu... (1)

bazmail (764941) | about a year ago | (#45367325)

* that no command can fix. god dammit.

Re:If you are still using Ubuntu... (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#45367523)

Incorrect. echo "import common.sense" | python -i

Re:If you are still using Ubuntu... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367383)

There are far better distros out there, no matter what you're looking for.

Suggest something better please, for those of us who don't know yet.

Re:If you are still using Ubuntu... (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#45367409)

I have Slackware and Mint installed. Each has benefits and drawbacks.

Search for "best linux distros", and take a look at what's out there.

Re:If you are still using Ubuntu... (4, Informative)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#45367489)

Mint.

It is (or used to be, I haven't looked at it for a while) based on Ubuntu. So, you can use most things that are designed for said most popular Linux distro, while also actually having a pleasant default desktop setup to start from.

Re: If you are still using Ubuntu... (0)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#45367697)

Elementary OS is the best distribution around right now IMHO. It's based on Ubuntu, but you'd never know it. Give it a spin, check out the g+ community, make sure you check out their top to do after install page. You'll be hooked.

Re: If you are still using Ubuntu... (3, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#45368039)

g+ ?

fuck that! seriously, its why I will NOT care about 'elementary os'.

if you have to use a google product to interact with the developers, they totally don't 'get it' and are not worth dealing with.

now, if they switch to some vendor neutral forum (even a website would be better) than I'll reconsider, but their whole 'support' notion is laughable.

You AMERICAN idiot... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45368111)

Did you REALLY just write "THAN I'll reconsider"?

So you're actually so stupid that you don't know what the words 'than' and 'then' mean?

You fucking idiot.

Re:If you are still using Ubuntu... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367459)

>There are far better distros out there, no matter what you're looking for.
Ok, name these "better distros"
...that are lightwieght (ala' Lubuntu)
...that have automatically installed proprietary drivers (or nearly so -again, Lubuntu), as opposed to Fedora
...are reasonably stable (which rules out Fedora)
...have good package management (rules out gentoo, slackware and arch).

gogogogogogo!

Re: If you are still using Ubuntu... (1)

corychristison (951993) | about a year ago | (#45367601)

I use Gentoo, and find its portage system much more superior to most distro's.

With that said, I typically recommend Mint Linux to people who are interested in getting started with Linux.

Re: If you are still using Ubuntu... (1)

emj (15659) | about a year ago | (#45367781)

I use Gentoo, and find its portage system much more superior to most distro's.

While portage is a nice idea and I really support what it tries to do, it's optimzes for fiddling with it instead of using it. You need to have both, but if you don't have usablility you have a long way to go.

Re:If you are still using Ubuntu... (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about a year ago | (#45367625)

I'm using Kubuntu as I type this. It doesn't seem to suffer at the hands of Canonical the way Ubuntu does.

Re:If you are still using Ubuntu... (1)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#45368097)

Apparently your idea of "good" package management is a system that is needlessly complex and therefore needlessly brittle. Personally I like package management that just works without needless fuss and breaking other things. Nice to have a choice.

Re:If you are still using Ubuntu... (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#45367613)

I'm looking for a distro that I can install unattended by simply doing "apt-get install notubuntu".

But as there is no easy fix and any change of distro will likely take up my weekend plus a week or two of sorting through bugs as my config files are unlikely to transfer well between distros, I'm still using ubuntu.

Re:If you are still using Ubuntu... (2)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#45368075)

That's just a bad way to install period.

Backup ~/, format the drive, do a clean install.

Re:If you are still using Ubuntu... (2)

umafuckit (2980809) | about a year ago | (#45367623)

..then there is something more serious broken in your decision making that command can fix.

And what exactly is broken broken in Ubuntu people's decision making? Perhaps it's just that Ubuntu users have different opinions and priorities to you and that makes their choice of OS wrong? I really don't see the big deal here. Everything is open source, you know what Ubuntu is doing. Simply not using Unity will avoid the phoning home. Get over it.

Re:If you are still using Ubuntu... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45368053)

Linuts is stupid and broken. As is Unicks in general. Run Plan9 or Inferno, decent OSes not broken by gnu nurd turd nonsense.

ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367315)

ueviltoo

How do people defend Canonical? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367335)

They've long since abandoned the values of the FOSS community... if they ever had them.

Re:How do people defend Canonical? (0)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45368067)

I defend Canonical because of the dream of providing one "de facto" Linux desktop (Unity) and thus more or less sorting out the Linux desktop mess.

And the response is... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367353)

https://micahflee.com/2013/11/canonical-shouldnt-abuse-trademark-law-to-silence-critics-of-its-privacy-decisions/

Ubuntu just lost a lot of street cred. Not only is the response appropriate (remove the logo, nothing else), attacking a site dedicated to fixing your product via legal means is not the way to get the Open Source community on your side. When your main product is based on Open Source, that's kind of like shooting yourself in the leg and wondering why the gun is making you bleed out.

Re:And the response is... (-1, Flamebait)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year ago | (#45367475)

Well, YMMV on what constitutes an appropriate response. Me, I'd just swap the original logo for something like this: https://twitter.com/voodooKobra/status/398602765405917185/photo/1 [twitter.com]

Re:And the response is... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about a year ago | (#45367767)

Excellent... too bad the Ubuntu site doesn't have an SQL injection to patch the logo that's displayed on their own site!

Re:And the response is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367533)

Is it really surprising? Its "owner/founder" has a ego that matches Mr.Gate's arrogance. This is turning out to be another Oracle debacle "were open source but god forbid you point out anything bad about us, or use are software to surpass us", sad, sad times ahead for "open source"!!

Re:And the response is... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367585)

But they aren't silencing critics.

I know that's going to be the popular meme in this discussion, but they aren't. They are asking that their trademarked name be removed from the url and that their trademarked logo be removed from the site. That's entirely reasonable defense of their trademark (*) and in no way prevents the author from still posting the _content_ of the site.

* Trademark law, unlike copyright, must be defended or you weaken your trademark to the point of losing it. Look at Kleenex and Xerox for examples. If you become aware of infringement of your trademark and allow it to persist, you weaken your ability to defend it in the future. Thus, if they don't defend the trademark infringement that is happening, they risk losing it. Pure and simple.

Re:And the response is... (5, Insightful)

umafuckit (2980809) | about a year ago | (#45367711)

But this isn't a site promoting an alternative distro or selling a product. It's site about Ubuntu. So how does its presence weaken the Ubuntu trademark? It's like saying that this post weakens the trademark because it uses the term "Ubuntu". I bet Canonical won't bother going after http://ubuntu-artists.deviantart.com/ [deviantart.com] or http://podcast.ubuntu-uk.org/ [ubuntu-uk.org]

Re:And the response is... (4, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#45367745)

But they aren't silencing critics.

I know that's going to be the popular meme in this discussion, but they aren't. They are asking that their trademarked name be removed from the url and that their trademarked logo be removed from the site. That's entirely reasonable defense of their trademark (*) and in no way prevents the author from still posting the _content_ of the site.

* Trademark law, unlike copyright, must be defended or you weaken your trademark to the point of losing it. Look at Kleenex and Xerox for examples. If you become aware of infringement of your trademark and allow it to persist, you weaken your ability to defend it in the future. Thus, if they don't defend the trademark infringement that is happening, they risk losing it. Pure and simple.

I don't think they're taking this action because they're concerned that their brand is being diluted or co-opted or made generic. "FixUbuntu" is specifically about fixing problems Lee perceives Ubuntu to have. He's not using the name Ubuntu to mean Linux in general, or all open source operating systems, or operating systems in general. Canonical is acting like United Airlines in their battle vs. untied.com, that is to say, using trademark protection as an excuse to squelch criticism. And they're getting similar results.

Re:And the response is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367759)

Yeah, except for the "little" issue that using a trademark to refer to the trademarked product is NOT infringement. Anywhere.

Re:And the response is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367791)

They're using the logo. That is trademark infringement. Everywhere.

Re:And the response is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367831)

So why are they C&Ding him for the WORD MARK again?

Re:And the response is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367837)

How can you reasonably critizize Ubuntu if you are not allowed to use the name "Ubuntu" in you critique?

Also, AFAIU you only need to defend your trademark in situations where the use constitutes a trademark violation. Which this is not.

Re:And the response is... (3, Insightful)

rmstar (114746) | about a year ago | (#45367979)

But they aren't silencing critics.

Correct.

Also, the letter they sent him is extremely nice, especially considering the usal tone of this type of document. It really is very different from the standard "nastygram".

Please, people, keep it real. Also, don't be such fucking ingrates. Without ubuntu, linux would not be in such a good shape.

Disclosure: I use xubuntu and don't plan to switch.

Re:And the response is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45368047)

"take Sid and throw a bunch of half-baked shit on top" ... yeah, we really needed that.

Re:And the response is... (2, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#45368063)

really nice?

what the hell does that matter? the 'request' is a request no matter what wording you use.

the request, itself, is out of line. does not matter if sugar coated or not.

why does 'niceness' matter when you are being told you have to comply??

'the cop pistol-whipped me, but he sure had a nice smile while doing it, so I didn't mind'

yeah, right.

Fair Use? (0)

DeathToBill (601486) | about a year ago | (#45367371)

Fair use... of a trademark? Someone is confused. I think you'll find fair use is a copyright concept, not applicable to trademarks.

Re:Fair Use? (3, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#45367403)

You're the one that is confused.

The fair use concept also applies to trademarks. You seem to be laboring under the false "virtual property" notion that much of the current pro-corporate propaganda focuses on these days.

Re:Fair Use? (1)

DeathToBill (601486) | about a year ago | (#45367555)

Sorry, mis-spoke there. What I meant is that the sort of de minimis fair use that TFS seems to be claiming is a copyright concept. Trademark fair use is something different; you have to show that the use is purely descriptive, using only the primary meaning (ie the everyday English language meaning), not the secondary meaning (ie identifying the product). Pretty hard to argue in this case.

Re:Fair Use? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367659)

Trademark fair use is something different; you have to show that the use is purely descriptive, using only the primary meaning (ie the everyday English language meaning), not the secondary meaning (ie identifying the product).

Wrong, trademarks can be used to identify the product or service. There is even case law to support this. See New Kids on the Block v. News Am. Pub., Inc., 971 F.2d 302 (9th Cir. 1992) [harvard.edu] where USA Today's use of the New Kids on the Block trademark was upheld because it was used only so much as to identify them.

To be sure, this is not the classic fair use case where the defendant has used the plaintiff's mark to describe the defendant's own product. Here, the New Kids trademark is used to refer to the New Kids themselves. We therefore do not purport to alter the test applicable in the paradigmatic fair use case. If the defendant's use of the plaintiff's trademark refers to something other than the plaintiff's product, the traditional fair use inquiry will continue to govern. But, where the defendant uses a trademark to describe the plaintiff's product, rather than its own, we hold that a commercial user is entitled to a nominative fair use defense provided he meets the following three requirements: First, the product or service in question must be one not readily identifiable without use of the trademark; second, only so much of the mark or marks may be used as is reasonably necessary to identify the product or service; [FN7] and third, the user must do nothing that would, in conjunction with the mark, suggest sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder.

Re:Fair Use? (4, Insightful)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about a year ago | (#45367787)

You can says that Ford sucks without infringing on Ford Motor Company's trademark.

You cannot just build a better car, and call it a Ford...

Now, the question is: is this guy selling/providing a better Ubuntu (not allowed...), or is he just criticizing Ubuntu (allowed).

Re:Fair Use? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45368073)

No, but he is running a site using the Ubuntu name:

Lee set up a website called "Fix Ubuntu," which provides instructions for disabling the Internet search tool.

Re:Fair Use? (4, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#45367501)

Is there a chance that somebody might mistake his website for Ubuntu, or is it clear that his website is talking about Ubuntu?

If Canonical is selling out its users' privacy for paid placement of results, then criticism is fair and use of the term "Ubuntu" is unavoidable (unlike actually using Ubuntu, which is completely avoidable). If Canonical is using legal threats to silence its critics who have truthful complaints, then all the more reason to do so.

People use trademarked terms and logos *all the time* when talking about the respective products. Sometimes they have a "duh" disclaimer when they do. I'm not sure if this disclaimer, currently on the site, is new or not, but it's clear:

Disclaimer: In case you are either 1) a complete idiot; or 2) a lawyer; or 3) both, please be aware that this site is not affiliated with or approved by Canonical Limited. This site criticizes Canonical for certain privacy-invading features of Ubuntu and teaches users how to fix them. So, obviously, the site is not approved by Canonical. And our use of the trademarked term Ubuntu is plainly descriptiveâ"it helps the public find this site and understand its message.

nominative fair use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367545)

Google it.

As long as he's using Ubuntu to refer to Ubuntu, he's good.

You need to learn to play lawyer better.

they can ASK him to change it (3, Insightful)

Maow (620678) | about a year ago | (#45367381)

They can ask him to change the domain name and remove the logo, and it could be argued that they're just doing basic trademark defence, but they ought to know that he's under no obligation to make the changes. Of course, they ought to have known about and also considered the Streisand effect.

At least they were polite and not bumptious, censorious douche nozzles about it.

Re:they can ASK him to change it (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#45367415)

Of course, they ought to have known about and also considered the Streisand effect.

There are paid results in Dash now? I didn't know that, but now I have something else to talk about when people ask "why not Ubuntu?".

(seriously, not just playing along)

Re:they can ASK him to change it (1)

Vaphell (1489021) | about a year ago | (#45367961)

unity has these lenses, right? If you have them enabled they query the internet for answers. Some of these lenses like the Amazon one allow you to buy stuff and in case of these purchases done from the dash Canonical gets a cut as the partner or whatever. You don't like it, you disable it and the drama is over.

Re:they can ASK him to change it (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about a year ago | (#45367851)

And yes, giving them an official authorization to use the trademarks (within the limited scope of discussing certain Ubuntu (mis)features and their workarounds) would also be a valid protection of their mark.

Trademark law doesn't force the trademark holder to litigate any use by third parties. It only forces them to react to such use (rather than silently ignore it). But the nature of the reaction does not need to be forbidding, it may be authorization as well. So the excuse "the law forces us to be dicks, or else we'd lose our marks" doesn't fly.

Dear Canonical (1, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | about a year ago | (#45367387)

please quit using Linux and GNU licensed software because you people are a pariah to the entire FOSS community, you are like a rotten apple in a barrel of good apples, you need to be removed from the barrel and develop your own software independent from GNU/Linux, nobody loves you anymore so please go away

wait (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367453)

wait, couldnt a counter arguement be that Ubuntu doesnt protect its rights to this name due to all the other *ubuntu stuff. They cant pick and choose.

Re:wait (1)

Vaphell (1489021) | about a year ago | (#45367887)

how do you know these people didn't get the consent from Canonical to use the *buntu umbrella? You don't.

They can always ask? (3, Insightful)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about a year ago | (#45367491)

TFA does not mention threats being made ... so if all they're really doing is "asking", what is the problem?

Let them ask, and just answer "no"?

I see no story here until threats are made.

- Jesper

Welp, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367507)

That's it, I'm done with Ubuntu. Debian anyone?

Ubuntu... (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about a year ago | (#45367511)

Now just another Lindows [wikipedia.org]

Silly is.... (0, Troll)

b1tbkt (756288) | about a year ago | (#45367583)

...calling this fair use. Google your legal jargon before making an a** of yourself, chucklehead. ...the seemingly mathematically certain linux fanboy responses. These come in the form of an invariable insistence upon uprooting your entire work/play environment to switch to a different distro which will be chock full of its own warts (this is the voice of experience speaking). This being, by fanboy logic, the only reasonable solution to any problem. I wonder if anyone has submitted a proof on this yet? I've been working intimately with FOSS for almost fifteen years and this sort of 'solution' has always come across as boneheaded. Unfortunately, it always comes across, too. ...deriding a company for trying to find a way to feed their employees and their employees' families. We all know that Ubuntu has been unprofitable to date. If your only contribution to the larger discussion is to throw grenades and run then you're a very real detriment to the FOSS community. ...deriding a company for the occasional affront without acknowledging their contributions. Ubuntu has contributed significantly to the visibility of linux-based solutions through both marketing and refinement of the UI (it's not to my liking but they're trying hard, at least, to find some common ground). Silly is you.

Re:Silly is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367637)

so how long have you been working for canonical?

Hey genius (3, Interesting)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about a year ago | (#45367687)

Maybe you didn't see the letter from the EFF's lawyer to Canonical yet because you didn't RTFA:

https://micahflee.com/2013/11/canonical-shouldnt-abuse-trademark-law-to-silence-critics-of-its-privacy-decisions/ [micahflee.com]

You have NO IDEA what you are talking about, specifically in the legal aspect. This is a prime example of fair use.

Re:Silly is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367941)

Fine, nominative use.
Now what?

The Sphinx's Riddle (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#45367605)

Are you ready for a riddle for the ages? If Linux is open source and Ubuntu is open source then why can't a volunteer coder just remove that stupid crapware feature? (scroll down for answer)







Because it's not open source anymore. It's corporate garbage.

Re:The Sphinx's Riddle (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#45367641)

Of course you can change it but then that will onlyt apply to your distribution of Ubuntu, not upstream Ubuntu.

Re:The Sphinx's Riddle (3, Insightful)

Kardos (1348077) | about a year ago | (#45367853)

It's still open source, you can remove whatever you want. That is the short-term immediate solution - and many have done so -- search how to remove the dash.

That said, it's a clear sign that Canonical doesn't value the privacy of its users. Their default is moving to "privacy disrespecting" and that means users will need to actively keep up on the latest "how to fix the privacy flaws in Ubuntu", a.k.a, it's broken by default. If Canonical continues down this path, more "features" will be incrementally added, and the removal will get harder as they'll get integrated in ways that cause other things to break when removed, etc.

Sold Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367611)

I saw the writing on the wall and quit using Ubuntu some time ago.
I used Ubuntu but things started to make me uneasy.
I didn't like ware it was going so I dumped it.
Just a sell out or worse a commercial endeavor hiding under the guise of of an open source project just leaching off the open source community and its users for profit.
The world has become a bunch of voyeurs leaching on everyone's personal information and monetizing it for profit.

Re:Sold Out (1)

dosius (230542) | about a year ago | (#45367665)

I used Ubuntu for one version - 05/10, I think it was - then went back with Debian, the previous Linux distro I had used.

Angie's List did the same thing to me (2)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about a year ago | (#45367629)

Large companies love to abuse their trademark and copyright protections to silence critics. It's unfortunate that there aren't SLAPP laws in every state. Angie's List was particularly scummy in that they threatened to come after me for reposting a review on a noncommercial blog so I could refute it outside of Angie's List. "Our reviews are copyrighted by us and we will sue the fuck out of you." That's how it works, and what's a small fry to do about it? In America, the person with the most money always wins, even if they ARE total assholes who are wrong in the eyes of the law.

Re:Angie's List did the same thing to me (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#45367727)

In America, the person with the most money always wins, even if they ARE total assholes who are wrong in the eyes of the law.

This is simply the case everywhere. Please do point to these fabled countries that somehow provides a perfectly egalitarian system where the wealthy and powerful have no imbalance of power over everyone else.

Re:Angie's List did the same thing to me (1)

Vaphell (1489021) | about a year ago | (#45367849)

how was he silenced? He was asked to remove branding not to shut the whole thing down.
If you ran a company, would you like it if somebody had a www.fix<your_product/companyname>.com with your logo all over the place? Try that with Apple and you can watch your inbox fill with C&Ds in real time.
It's entirely different from someone running the critical article with the url "ubuntucritic.blogspot.com/how_to_fix_privacy"

You can criticize MS and Canonical for many things, but for this? Come the fuck on.

Re:Angie's List did the same thing to me (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#45367949)

That a company does not "like" something is not a legal reason get it taken dow. "Nominative use" has been upheld by the 9th Circuit as being acceptable use of a trademark back in the 90s.

Re:Angie's List did the same thing to me (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#45368033)

Oh and the logo was not "all over the place". It was used only at the very top of the page.

bkerensa (1)

Shirgall (110235) | about a year ago | (#45367695)

When it comes to writing about Ubuntu (and Canonical) bkerensa may be a new submitter to Slashdot, but is an established writer in the area.

Don't complain about it (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#45367717)

Change distros. Vote with your feet.

Hard to do (2)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#45367785)

I have never been able to stand running Ubuntu for more than a few minutes to begin with.

Now it's gone from technically awful to actively evil, it would be nice to be able to switch away as a statement, but that would require actually using it to start with.

Re:Hard to do (2)

SIGBUS (8236) | about a year ago | (#45368057)

My own opinion is that Ubuntu jumped the shark when they flipped the window buttons over to the left side and started in with the Apple-esque "we know what's good for you" attitude. The window buttons were fixable, but they should have never needed fixing in the first place. Now they're on pace to jump every shark in the ocean multiple times.

I ended up holding on on 10.04LTS until desktop support went away, and then jumped ship to Debian for my Linux desktop (I also have a CentOS box running Asterisk, and an OpenIndiana storage server). On Debian, I'm finding that XFCE has matured a lot since I last used it; I also discovered that I still can't stand GNOME 3, even in Classic mode.

I've tried Cinnamon on Mint, and while it's nice, it uses far more memory than it should, at least on LM14.

Let the competition seize the opportunity (1)

Kardos (1348077) | about a year ago | (#45367733)

So Canonical's reputation is going down the tubes, and their distro is showing some privacy invading warts. What they don't seem to realise is that they have no lock-in that prevents people from dropping them like a bad habit as their versions go out of support. There is ample room for a second contender to pull out in front with the next "easy to use" distro - who's it going to be?

Re:Let the competition seize the opportunity (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about a year ago | (#45367869)

thats already happened, look at http://distrowatch.com/ [distrowatch.com] (right hand column) and ubuntu has not been in the #1 spot for a long time, Mint is #1 and Debian is #2, i guess Mint is okay or they would be falling out of the #1 spot too, i prefer old school distros so i stick with Debian or Slackware (depending on my mood and which one of the two likes the hardware i install it on better)

Re:Let the competition seize the opportunity (1)

Kardos (1348077) | about a year ago | (#45368015)

Hmmmm. I'd agree except that Mint seems to be based on Ubuntu. But they also have a Debian based version. So it's not immediately clear that they are on top. Either way it's a good sign. Goodbye Canonical!

Re:Let the competition seize the opportunity (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#45367891)

There are always the old standbys, RedHat/CentOS/Fedora/Oracle Linux, Slackware, and Gentoo. I don't know how they fare in the "easy to use" department (mainly because I tend to do custom installs, so what I consider "easy to use" is not what a newcomer to the Linux world would consider "easy to use".)

I mainly use the RedHat variants because they are the staple in the enterprise (I can prove to the auditors that a few of the commercial distros like RedHat, SuSE, and Oracle Linux are FIPS/Common Criteria certified for example.) However, they may not be as easy to pick up as Ubuntu or Debian.

Re:Let the competition seize the opportunity (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#45368113)

I was using ubuntu at work for a while, doing some C coding work. builds were going thru without errors and things seemed to run ok.

ported my apps to centos and found their compiler was showing some bugs in my code that ubuntu's gcc didn't find. interesting! they were bugs and I was glad to know about them.

given a choice, I'll take the more strict compiler. after fixing the bugs, the code built ok (again) on unbuntu but I felt more confident about it.

selinux sucks. I have to disable that shit or it gets in my way. but once that is done and iptables is turned off (sigh) I can work well with redhat/centos.

I might reinstall my laptop with centos, I'm starting to like it.

(my first redhat experience was 'redhat mothers day' way way back in the old days of linux, so its interesting to try it again after a few decades of ignoring it)

Redhat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367803)

Wouldn't redhat do the same thing? maybe we should spread the frustrations around instead of hatin' on whats hip

Update: (1)

Zanadou (1043400) | about a year ago | (#45367873)

In the bottom-right corner of the above mentioned website [fixubuntu.com] , I noticed what might be a very recent addition:

Disclaimer: In case you are either 1) a complete idiot; or 2) a lawyer; or 3) both, please be aware that this site is not affiliated with or approved by Canonical Limited. This site criticizes Canonical for certain privacy-invading features of Ubuntu and teaches users how to fix them. So, obviously, the site is not approved by Canonical. And our use of the trademarked term Ubuntu is plainly descriptive - it helps the public find this site and understand its message.

DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45367923)

Ubuntu is for dumbshits anyway. Use a real distro.

Their Lawyer hasn't even read their own policy (5, Informative)

Minter92 (148860) | about a year ago | (#45367989)

So now Ubuntu's lawyers don't read their own legal policy http://www.canonical.com/intellectual-property-policy [canonical.com] . I looked into it when I wrote a blog post about Canonical going bankrupt eventually.
Note:
"You can use the Trademarks in discussion, commentary, criticism or parody, provided that you do not imply endorsement by Canonical."

So not only is it fair use it also is ok under their own intellectual trademark policy.. Talk about one hand not knowing what the other is doing.

Wouldn't this solve it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45368003)

He currently calls his site "fix ubuntu".

If he renamed it to "fixubuntu" and changed the heading at the top of his page, i.e. no space, Rather than referencing the existing entity, it creates a new entity.

This would be similar to the difference between "Microsoft Windows" and "xwindows" or the difference between "DOS" and "IOS".

http://www.ehow.com/how_8363335_business-name-exists.html
http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/search/index.jsp#heading-3
http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=0&p=1&f=S&l=50&Query=fixubuntu&d=PG01
http://gpsn.uspto.gov/#/search/q=fixubuntu&sort=score%20desc
http://www.start.biz/smarta/search_results.php?name=fixubuntu

The final straw (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about a year ago | (#45368055)

Aaaand that's it; I'm moving to Mint.

Abandon the use of Ubuntu? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#45368081)

Huh? But why, I'm just expressing that I'm supporting human kindness and using the term that way [wikipedia.org] . It has nothing to do with any operating system. I do not think it's my fault that you called your OS thusly. Despite having really nothing to do with the original meaning of the word, I'd say...

Else I'd consider asking the Roman Catholic Church on what they think about you using the term "canonical".

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