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Mark Shuttleworth Apologizes for Trademark Action Against Fix Ubuntu

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the great-start-to-your-career dept.

Ubuntu 196

A few days ago, the operator of Fix Ubuntu received a threatening letter from Canonical commanding him to cease using the Ubuntu name or logo. Last night, Mark Shuttleworth posted an update noting that it shouldn't have happened, and also apologizing for calling opponents of Mir the open source tea party. "In order to make the amount of [trademark related] correspondence manageable, we have a range of standard templates for correspondence. They range from the 'we see you, what you are doing is fine, here is a license to use the name and logo which you need to have, no need for further correspondence,' through 'please make sure you state you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the company or the product,' to the 'please do not use the logo without permission, which we are not granting unless you actually certify those machines,' and 'please do not use Ubuntu in that domain to pretend you are part of the project when you are not.' Last week, the less-than-a-month-at-Canonical new guy sent out the toughest template letter to the folks behind a “sucks” site. Now, that was not a decision based on policy or guidance; as I said, Canonical’s trademark policy is unusually generous relative to corporate norms in explicitly allowing for this sort of usage. It was a mistake, and there is no question that the various people in the line of responsibility know and agree that it was a mistake. It was no different, however, than a bug in a line of code, which I think most developers would agree happens to the best of us. It just happened to be, in that analogy, a zero-day remote root bug. ... On another, more personal note, I made a mistake myself when I used the label “open source tea party” to refer to the vocal non-technical critics of work that Canonical does. That was unnecessary and quite possibly equally offensive to members of the real Tea Party (hi there!) and the people with vocal non-technical criticism of work that Canonical does (hello there!)."

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"The new guy" (5, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#45382941)

Sucks to be "the new guy"; you always get blamed for dumb mistakes by "the experienced guy".

Re:"The new guy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383121)

Sucks to be "the new guy"; you always get blamed for dumb mistakes by "the experienced guy".

Only by the stupid and small-minded.

Re:"The new guy" (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45383389)

Sucks to be "the new guy"; you always get blamed for dumb mistakes by "the experienced guy".

Guy comes into office and finds a letter offering him advice. It says: First time you screw up, blame everything on me. Second time you screw up, sit down and write an advice letter...

Re:"The new guy" (1)

Yebyen (59663) | about a year ago | (#45384115)

I think I've heard this one... it ends like "the third time, make up three envelopes..."

Re:"The new guy" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45384247)

I always blame the last person that left or got fired...

I'm sorry you're ugly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45382945)

What a lame dodge at an apology.

Apology not accepted, you meant it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383003)

He didn't expected such a fuss about it, right now we can see the one and only Mark Shuttleworth doing damage control.

Way to throw the new guy under the bus. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383021)

Poor guy has to take blame for your dumb policies.

At least you've (hopefully) learned.

Barbara Streisand says: (1)

Zanadou (1043400) | about a year ago | (#45383029)

"My work here is done."

shutterworth rage (1)

chrisgaza (3426623) | about a year ago | (#45383035)

oh my, shutterworth rage, thats odd, well u gotta defend what u made

Re:shutterworth rage (5, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#45383589)

"u gotta"? Jesus, kid, that's annoying. Please stop posting from your phone.

Re:shutterworth rage (0)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year ago | (#45384479)

"u gotta"? Jesus, kid, that's annoying. Please stop posting from your phone.

Come on, cut the apple users a little slack. Granted, they're the online equivalent of the tea party.. but what can they do?

Fine (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383039)

Seems fair. Apology accepted.

Bridge (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#45383157)

I have one to sell you if you believe him. And i will toss in a bag of extremely rare muffler bearings.

Re:Bridge (5, Insightful)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year ago | (#45383305)

I believe him. He's a smart guy (multi-millionaire businessman and all that), I'm sure he knows and knew beforehand what an unholy row a trademark cease-and-desist letter would cause. And I'm 99% sure he isn't the one in charge of sending out legal letters- I'm certain Canonical employs people for that.

So yeah, I'm willing to believe that he thinks sending out the letter was a mistake.

Re:Bridge (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year ago | (#45384497)

He was a bit lagging though, I would not rule out that the negative reaction of the web played a role. Anyway, he did the right move.

Re:Bridge (2)

Goaway (82658) | about a year ago | (#45383417)

Considering that is exactly what I assumed had happened when I first heard about it, I have little reason not to believe it.

Re:Bridge (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#45384083)

I have one to sell you if you believe him. And i will toss in a bag of extremely rare muffler bearings.

My muffler is bearingless, but I keep hearing about these big ferocious cats, like Lions and Leopards. I've a rock that worked wonders on tigers, have you anything like that for, say, iOSX?

Illustration of the issue (5, Informative)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year ago | (#45383051)

To further illustrate the problem with review of trademark concerns at Ubuntu, several years ago I contacted their legal department with a request to be permitted to use the Ubuntu logo, alongside those of several other notable open source Linux and BSD distributions, for printing on the sails of small kites for sale at the cost of production. The objective was to create an opportunity for people to ask "hey, what's that logo represent" and engage youngsters in a discussion on open source operating systems. The request was summarily denied with some hand waving about brand protection and value to the company. Oh well.

Re:Illustration of the issue (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45383119)

The request was summarily denied with some hand waving about brand protection and value to the company. Oh well.

What do you expect? Lawyers ruin everything, including open source. Except, wait, no, actually they don't. Ubuntu is made primarily of open source projects. It's just a pile of packages and standards for organizing the large and growing collection of Linux-related applications and software. They put a sticker on it and say "This particular organization of those things is called Ubuntu."

Well, good news: There's a lot of other things that are pretty much the exact same thing that doesn't have that sticker on it, and you can do whatever you want. Guys, don't let a distribution's "brand identity" trip you up. If they're stupid enough to not engage in reciprocal marketing, move on to the next guys. They're only shooting themselves in the foot when everything else is marked with 50 different distribution badges and names, and Ubuntu isn't on the list. Ubuntu, what's that? Never heard of it. (evil smile)

Re:Illustration of the issue (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year ago | (#45383233)

Your sentiment is well taken, and just for reference I'm a Debian fan of some 13 years (I've run Debian [and various BSD flavors] on all my core infrastructure for ages, and have worked as a senior engineer responsible for hundreds of Ubuntu hosts containing thousands of virtualized Linux guests of varying distros). That said, Canonical has actually done a decent job of promoting Ubuntu, and it's a fact that getting people introduced to Ubuntu first and other distros later (owing to the DFSG, which is a good thing, but only tenable under certain conditions) has been a somewhat easier route than some others in terms of helping kids discover open operating systems.

I am not a lawyer, but I do have extensive experience in contract composition and review, along with extensive experience in trademark protection. This is precisely why I contacted Canonical before printing any kite sails, but I was still disappointed with the outcome. Again, oh well.

Just to make things clear, you're certainly right that alternatives exist. That said, you should be aware that various other projects also enjoy protection under United States trademark laws, although they are far less hostile than Canonical in my experience.

Re:Illustration of the issue (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45383447)

I started on Slackware in the 2.0 kernel days. So to be honest, I don't get the fuss. But then, since Slackware is basically the Ikea of distributions, you shouldn't be surprised at my apathy. Page 246: Now that you've hand-coded the boot loader in assembly using nothing more than the provided hair pin and a resistor, let us discuss how to compile the kernel using the provided mismatched header files and the IT Pro's prayer, which goes a little like this: "Dear God... I know I didn't believe in you before I tried installing Linux using this installer... but I do now. Please, just send me a sign. Let it compile. That's all I ask. Dear god, please let it compile... *click*"

Re:Illustration of the issue (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | about a year ago | (#45383935)

It could be worse. I remember going through this compiling and installing Minix back in the pre linux days.

And that damn thing [i]didn't[/i] compile. On purpose I think, see it was [i]educational[/i]. Hey on the upside I figured out how to write a driver for a hard drive controller nobody used (Wang) on an OS nobody heard of (Minix). Oh well, I passed the course.

Re:Illustration of the issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45384231)

Kinda funny, but I don't think your comment is grounded in reality.

Started with Slackware in the 0.9 kernel days (1993), and it was an easy peasy install where stuff just worked (downloading all those floppies though...).

Moved on to Debian mid-90s since they had well thought out pretty much everything (still have boxes that started out running potato that have just been dist-upgraded to wheezy without any issues; migrated to newer hardware along the way.). Deb also has the advantage of a large group of folks sharing the work rather than most of the work being done by a single (awesome) guy, Patrick V.

Re:Illustration of the issue (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#45383229)

Seems reasonable in this case. You have no affiliation with Canonical, and were not doing anything Ubuntu specific outside of simply printing the logo. I would kinda expect lawyers do be concerned that allowing that would result in trademark dilution.

The funny thing is, if you'd added the words "The Ubuntu Operating System Sucks" underneath the logo, there's a very good chance the lawyers would have felt they couldn't actually stop you from using it. And on that note, "The Ubuntu Operating System is Awesome You Should Check It Out" would have, likewise, resulted in the lawyers feeling they couldn't stop you. At that point, you're (1) using the trademark in its proper context, and (2) using it in protected commentary.

Re:Illustration of the issue (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year ago | (#45383275)

It's not reasonable at all. Canonical could easily grant a narrow use license for the trademarked logo on grounds of promotional value, with the value specifically being talking to kids about an operating system they can control and contribute to themselves. They simply chose to default to the policy of ignoring the potential value without any further discussion on the matter. Then again, what do you expect of a distribution that rides on the coattails of Debian with every release, right?

Re:Illustration of the issue (2)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year ago | (#45384007)

Did you have something on the kite stating that the kite was intended for use only to stimulate kids to talk about operating systems? Something that would clearly show that the kites were not to be used in any other way that might damage Ubuntu's corporate image or dilute the brand? The only place where you talked about the context in which the branding would be used was in your request. You asked Ubuntu to give you a blank permit for use on the basis of them just trusting that you would never screw them over.

Lawyers are paid to identify this kind of risk to their clients.

As to Ubuntu "riding on the coattails of Debian", that's exactly why I encourage Ubuntu's use, and use it myself. Ubuntu does a much better job than I could myself at identifying the pieces that can be put together to make a powerful distro, and doing what it takes to get those pieces to work together and play nicely with each other. Debian is a great package, but it does not provide everything I want, including the automatic update features of Ubuntu that do so much to cut down on the support I am obligated to provide to friends and family.

People have different mindsets. Perhaps your mindset is not well suited to using something like Ubuntu.

Re:Illustration of the issue (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45384109)

Seems reasonable in this case. You have no affiliation with Canonical, and were not doing anything Ubuntu specific outside of simply printing the logo. I would kinda expect lawyers do be concerned that allowing that would result in trademark dilution.

Which is not how trademark dilution works especially not in the US since 2006 due to H.R 683 [wikipedia.org] . With that statute, the plaintiff actually has to prove that trademark dilution happened not merely suggest it might as a means of proving trademark infringement. So the hypothetical lawyer you refer to would be an idiot for not even knowing current statutory law.

Re:Illustration of the issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45384319)

No, you're the idiot. The person made a request. The Ubuntu lawyer knew it would result in trademark dilution so they turned it down. When someone makes a request, they most certainly don't have to prove anything, merely consider whether the affect of granting the request will be to dilute the trademark.

Proof is for courts. And the lawyers blindly granting licenses would undermine future court cases.

Ubuntu T-shirts & Shirts .. (1)

codeusirae (3036835) | about a year ago | (#45383237)

"several years ago I contacted their legal department with a request to be permitted to use the Ubuntu logo .. for printing on the sails of small kites for sale at the cost of production"

Ubuntu T-shirts & Shirts [zazzle.com]

Re:Ubuntu T-shirts & Shirts .. (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year ago | (#45383327)

That just pisses me off, since I was calling my "cost of production" $10/hour for designing, purchasing, printing, and assembling the components of various kite designs (and some were pretty nifty designs) on a part time / evening hours basis. The end result would have cost about USD $2-3/unit for kids. The t-shirts you linked to probably cost about $2 to produce, and are being sold at > $20 apiece. Lovely.

Re:Illustration of the issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383351)

Why promote Ubuntu? It is just a repackaged and rebranded version of Debian, which is just a repackaged and rebranded version of GNU and Linux progams. So, just make your own distribution and promote that.

Re:Illustration of the issue (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year ago | (#45383923)

Reference the other comment [slashdot.org] .

You go right ahead and make your own distribution, including a nice toolchain and community to support it. I'll be over there promoting successful distros and projects that I use on a daily basis.

I strongly suspect you have no idea at all what "make your own distro" means.

Re:Illustration of the issue (3, Interesting)

Kremmy (793693) | about a year ago | (#45384323)

Every time I see this comment I have to wonder if the person has actually used both Debian and Ubuntu.

If you go into Linux considering Debian and Ubuntu to be that similar, you're gonna have a bad time.

Re:Illustration of the issue (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45383393)

To further illustrate the problem with review of trademark concerns at Ubuntu, several years ago I contacted their legal department with a request to be permitted to use the Ubuntu logo, alongside those of several other notable open source Linux and BSD distributions, for printing on the sails of small kites for sale at the cost of production. The objective was to create an opportunity for people to ask "hey, what's that logo represent" and engage youngsters in a discussion on open source operating systems.

How do you know that the kids would have asked "what does that logo represent?" Maybe they would have thought that it's the logo of your kite brand, or just some arbitrary pretty symbol printed on it.

Re:Illustration of the issue (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year ago | (#45383879)

The little pamphlet talking about Ubuntu and other distros would probably have sparked the question if natural curiosity didn't. Just guessing here.

Re:Illustration of the issue (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45384069)

Did you tell the legal team about including a pamphlet?

Seriously dude (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383767)

Could you try any harder to sound like a paedophile?

s/kite/cock/g

Re:Illustration of the issue (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#45384189)

The objective was to create an opportunity for people to ask "hey, what's that logo represent" and engage youngsters in a discussion on open source operating systems.

For the same purpose I've got a large plush rastafarian penguin. [imgur.com]

It works great as a conversation starter into free and open source software and/or legalization and cultivation of herbs, as the case may be. The reddened eyes mirror my own when hacking long into the night, or taking a break therefrom. I also have an Ubuntu tee-shirt serving as my dart board's bullseye for discussing things like TFA, your post, and our new Debian deployment.

The best talking piece was my large terrarium of green anolis for discussing the cycle of life and courtship to a lesser extent, but they didn't survive our discussion of the birds and bees -- The lizards that is; The children are fine... unfortunately.

Hrrrm. (0, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45383073)

That was unnecessary and quite possibly equally offensive to members of the real Tea Party (hi there!)

(hops into asbestos flame-retardant suit) (closes the blast doors) This presumes that very many people give a shit that it's offensive to them. Their politics are not just offensive, but dangerously naive, in the opinion of the majority. Their brand of politics managed to shut down the entire government for several weeks because they disagreed with the details of a single law. So mothers with children and their kids went hungry because no food stamps. Government workers were furloughed by the hundreds of thousands... and by furloughed I mean, they just stopped getting paid. And couldn't get unemployment. So no, please... be offensive.

Re:Hrrrm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383201)

Their politics are not just offensive, but dangerously naive, in the opinion of the majority.

The Spanish Inquisition was beneficial to society and performed a necessary function, in the opinion of the majority. I'm sure that was a great comfort to its victims.

Their brand of politics managed to shut down the entire government for several weeks because they disagreed with the details of a single law.

Naturally the others who wouldn't negotiate constructively with them bear zero responsibility. Yes, we can clearly place all the blame on $GROUP_I_DISLIKE. All of it. None of the blame goes to $GROUP_I_LIKE, obviously. Sounds fair to me!

So mothers with children and their kids went hungry because no food stamps.

I have no children because I know I could not afford to give them everything they deserve. So, it would be a cruelty to them to be so self-centered as to have children anyway, knowing my situation, merely because I want them or think they're neat or think parenthood will fulfill my life or whatever. I have to consider what kind of life the child(ren) would have if I am to be a responsible parent. Maybe one day I'll be ready. I sure hope so.

Those kids went hungry because their mothers were too self-centered, or shallow, or not intelligent enough to make similar decisions. Yeah that does sound harsh. It sounds harsh because I care about children more than I care about playing to this crowd and sounding like a nice inoffensive person. Unless of course you wish to argue that everyone has an unlimited right to taxpayer-funded children in perpetuity. That would be an interesting argument.

So no, please... be offensive.

I didn't say the above for the purpose of offending, though I knew it would. It seems lots of people have this inexplicable sympathy for adults who make selfish and ill-considered decisions, even when said adults cannot confine the consequences of those decisions to themselves. So I told you what I really observe about that and no doubt someone will get upset over it. So, okay, I did "be offensive". I just didn't do it in the precise way you may have had in mind. Do you still want to tell people to do this?

Re:Hrrrm. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383443)

Dude, you are the biggest, most self-centred an inexperienced sociopathic piece of shit I have ever come across. I seriously hope everything start to go wrong for you like your health goes to shit, you get "downsized" and what not, because you have clearly no concept about what real life is outside your protected little cocoon. You are nothing but a god damned fucking spoilt rotten child without concept of how little there actually is you can do when life decides to fuck you over.

Re:Hrrrm. (4, Informative)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year ago | (#45384327)

Just to clarify a point of information:

The Spanish Inquisition and the other Inquisitions of the Holy Roman Church were given a bad rap by 19th and 20th century researchers into medieval history. All because of a failure to recognize that a common type of secular trial at that time was called an "inquisition". These were not religious trials, these were secular courts. A trial by inquisition was different from a trial by jury and was probably similar to the way trials in Small Claims Courts are handled in the USA today.

The religious Inquisitions were nowhere near as large in scope or as influential on daily life as many historians who wrote between 1800 and 1950 believed them to be. It was only when historians were able to use computers to develop databases from original court records that the confusion between a secular trial by inquisition and a religious trial by the Church's Inquisitors was resolved. That work started in the 1970s, but it takes a while to transcribe hundreds of years of handwritten court records into databases, and the effort only began to bear fruit around 2005.

It turns out, for instance, that the "burning times" when witches were persecuted and sometimes executed occurred several centuries later than previously thought, were about two orders of magnitude less than previous estimates, and mostly involved secular courts. In fact, there were Papal edicts barring Church Inquisitors from going after witchcraft of itself. For that matter, a lot of the secular trials by inquisition for witchcraft were dismissed outright or resolved by fines-- as when a midwife was proven negligent or the village herbalist gave somebody foot powder in place of lice-be-gone.

We now return you to your regular Slashdot rantings...

Re:Hrrrm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383309)

Their brand of politics managed to shut down the entire government for several weeks because they disagreed with the details of a single law.

Cool! Which government did it shut down? I mean there was the 18% of the government shutdown a little while ago (which wasn't as long as the partial shutdowns in 1978, you know... part of that period from 1977 to 1988 where there was a non-essential shutdown every year, sans two, nor as long as the 21 day partial shutdown in 1996). So... what country was this "entire government" shutdown in? Because it wasn't in the US. Although the US does a fair number of partial shutdowns, long before the Tea Party Menace appeared.

Government workers were furloughed by the hundreds of thousands... and by furloughed I mean, they just stopped getting paid. And couldn't get unemployment.

You generally don't get unemployment when you're getting paid. And since they got paid despite not working [latimes.com] , that's why they didn't get unemployment. In fact, they got paid in the same monthly pay period.

You're one of those low information voters, aren't you? We'll find out if you try to justify your position in spite of facts not matching what you thought, rather than simply accepting new facts. You don't have to agree with anybody, but you do appear to be very ignorant about this topic. Not a terrible thing, just a current situation.

Re:Hrrrm. (0)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#45383319)

Your ignorance of politics is striking.

Re:Hrrrm. (1, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45383335)

Your ignorance of politics is striking.

Yeah, reading [dailykos.com] causes ignorance. True story.

Re:Hrrrm. (1)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#45383487)

The Tea Party isn't a formal organization. Anyone who claims to speak for the movement is lying. A very large number of those who claim to be part of / support it are simply opportunistic leeches who jumped on a bandwagon as it passed by, and are now shouting their own message. That would be those like Sarah Palin, who actually supported TARP, one of the impetuses for the start of the Tea Party movement.

And, to your point, it takes two to tango - either side of the aisle could have stopped the shutdown at any time. They are equally to blame.

Re:Hrrrm. (1)

masmullin (1479239) | about a year ago | (#45384093)

The Tea Party isn't a formal organization. Anyone who claims to speak for the movement is lying

I speak for the entire Tea Party when I say...

CHANGE PLACES!

Re:Hrrrm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45384567)

Takes two to tango? Yeah, sure all it takes to not having a minuscule number of fundies blocking the state apparatus is to just let them get the final say whenever discord strikes. That's exactly how a democracy is supposed to work, right?

Re:Hrrrm. (0)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about a year ago | (#45383321)

As long as even one guy was paid during the "shutdown" (really shutdown theater) to put up Barrycades around open air monuments, and even one guy was paid to imprison foreign tourists in their hotel to prevent them from looking at a monument, then I don't want to hear it. They could have sent that money to the hungry masses.

Your heroes the Democrats decided to make it hurt. They decided what to fund and what not to.

Re:Hrrrm. (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45383383)

As long as even one guy was paid during the "shutdown" (really shutdown theater) to put up Barrycades around open air monuments, and even one guy was paid to imprison foreign tourists in their hotel to prevent them from looking at a monument, then I don't want to hear it.

Fresh from the Department of Bullshit... comes this. First, they're called barricades, and they were put there to keep cars out of certain national monuments, because those places get packed with tourists and require a law enforcement presence so people don't get run over and become speed bumps for the next impatient tourist. Also, with nobody around to watch the tourists... vandalism and people flicking cigarettes into the bush and burning down tens of thousands of acres becomes a very real problem. I don't know if you're aware of this, but tourists are rather destructive, loud, obnoxious... and that's just the international one. The American tourist is a refined form of elemental evil renowned the world over for having lots of money, and not much brains or respect. I feel sorry for the wildlife, honestly. Doubly-so when nobody's there to protect them. Good thing they were barricaded away since there were no babysitters around.

Second... I don't even know on this "imprison foreign tourists" nonsense. That's not just ordinary stupid, that's like weapons grade stupid talking. Seriously, the shit you find on the internet...

Re:Hrrrm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383641)

As long as even one guy was paid during the "shutdown" (really shutdown theater) to put up Barrycades around open air monuments, and even one guy was paid to imprison foreign tourists in their hotel to prevent them from looking at a monument, then I don't want to hear it.

Fresh from the Department of Bullshit... comes this. First, they're called barricades, and they were put there to keep cars out of certain national monuments, because those places get packed with tourists and require a law enforcement presence so people don't get run over and become speed bumps for the next impatient tourist. Also, with nobody around to watch the tourists... vandalism and people flicking cigarettes into the bush and burning down tens of thousands of acres becomes a very real problem. I don't know if you're aware of this, but tourists are rather destructive, loud, obnoxious... and that's just the international one. The American tourist is a refined form of elemental evil renowned the world over for having lots of money, and not much brains or respect. I feel sorry for the wildlife, honestly. Doubly-so when nobody's there to protect them. Good thing they were barricaded away since there were no babysitters around.

Second... I don't even know on this "imprison foreign tourists" nonsense. That's not just ordinary stupid, that's like weapons grade stupid talking. Seriously, the shit you find on the internet...

The WWII memorial is not generally policed. Please try again.

Re:Hrrrm. (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about a year ago | (#45383741)

...they were put there to keep cars out of certain national monuments, because those places get packed with tourists and require a law enforcement presence so people don't get run over and become speed bumps for the next impatient tourist.

Around here, they were barricading parking pullouts along the highway to prevent people from looking at the mountains in a national park. Yeah, I'm sure that was prompted by safety concerns.

Re:Hrrrm. (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#45383431)

Yep. This whole thing was cynical political theater: the Republicans cynically shut down the government and the Democrats cynically tried to make it look worse than it was.

I'm in Washington DC, so there are national parks everywhere -- I live 50 feet away from a little one. All the famous monuments that people crossed the ocean to see? Barrycades everywhere. Glover Park? Nope, since nobody's ever heard of it.

Re:Hrrrm. (2)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about a year ago | (#45383585)

Barrycade (noun):

A parade of people named Barry. The Barrycade originated in Boston's 1837 Barry uprising in which men named Barry marched in support of Barry rights.

Two sides to everything (2)

Elisanre (1108341) | about a year ago | (#45383111)

Ok, so he does not throw their legal team under the bus and that is admirable. The knee-jerk reaction is ussualy to kick some dunce and put the blame on them. But the main point is not being adressed, why is this "feature" turned on by default? Grow a pair and just say that it is going to stay due to finacial reasons.

Don't read if humor offends you. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383129)

I wouldn't worry about offending members of the "real" tea-party - most can't read and even fewer are able to think and use computers.

Now someone take my wife.... please!

Badum-tish!

too little, too late (0, Redundant)

kpoole55 (1102793) | about a year ago | (#45383145)

Canonical has already shown it's stripes as the Microsoft of the Linux world, ignoring the voices of their users, covertly collecting data about them and bullying others into accepting their standards.

No, there's no way to undo the damage, Mark Shuttleworth. Your hand 's been played and you cannot take the cards back.

Re:too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383239)

Not that I'm defending him, but WHAT would you have him and the company do if they realized they are wrong then? Nothing?

Re:too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383345)

Oh stop being so overly dramatic and start citing sources for the rest of us. I feel uncomfortable with seeing that your post already got a score of 3, which tells me that this may be a majority opinion.

Re:too little, too late (5, Insightful)

bignetbuy (1105123) | about a year ago | (#45383357)

Quit being such a drama queen. The company screwed up. He screwed up. Everybody apologized. Life goes on. One mistake does not a Microsoft make.

Re:too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383419)

Problem is, there are a lot of other screw-ups going on with Ubuntu. The flap over Unity by itself is enough to put one off to Ubuntu, and recent data gathering problems were at a particularly bad time thanks to the whole NSA situation.

Were this the only situation, you'd be right. It is not, and the post states that much.

Re:too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383499)

It seems some people's memoriers are longer than others. Yes, there's been more than one reason to call Canonical to the carpet recently but most only remember the last one.

Re:too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383625)

Yes, *one mistake*. But Mark 'this isn't a democracy' Shuttleworth didn't make one mistake, he pisses off most users every time he opens his mouth, in his continuing attempt to become a Steve-Level-Asshole...

- "We do not vote on design changes"
- Unity
- Lenses
- MIR
- Teaparty
- Trademark Crap

to list just a few...

Re:too little, too late (1)

mounthood (993037) | about a year ago | (#45384255)

Yes, *one mistake*. But Mark 'this isn't a democracy' Shuttleworth didn't make one mistake, he pisses off most users every time he opens his mouth, in his continuing attempt to become a Steve-Level-Asshole...

- "We do not vote on design changes"
- Unity
- Lenses
- MIR
- Teaparty
- Trademark Crap

to list just a few...

Trademark and Teaparty were just addressed, Unity and MIR we technical decisions*, and Lenses were (and are) a huge disaster and abuse of trust. But can you honestly name three other problems? I'm on Xfce/12.04 and wondering what should be next.

*They were open source code, so even if we think they were misguided and poor decisions, they were nowhere near Apple/Microsoft bad.

Re:too little, too late (5, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#45384155)

Last week, the less-than-a-month-at-Canonical new guy sent out the toughest template letter to the folks behind a âoesucksâ site. Now, that was not a decision based on policy or guidance

Lesson one when you apologize: don't blame somebody else. Take it personally.
Do not say "Somebody new at the company made an error." Say "The process we have in place informing people what letter to send has failed."
Unless the person did this on purpose and willingly send the wrong letter, it is the companies error and thus no reason to point out a new member of staff. Either he was hired in the wrong position or was not well enough trained. Neither a reason to point a finger at this individual.
If somebody at my staff makes an error, I will NEVER point that out to anybody (unless needed for evaluation purposes). Instead I will say that _I_ have made the mistake, because I was responsible for that individuals output.

Re:too little, too late (1)

Sesostris III (730910) | about a year ago | (#45383647)

Canonical has already shown it's stripes as the Microsoft of the Linux world,

Well, given that the majority of home computer users are using a Microsoft OS, and of those using Linux, I would imagine a large number (if not most) using a Canonical OS (or derivative), I'm not convinced that this is as much of an insult as you would like it to be.

Oh, and as for the other likely home computing OS, I've heard rumours that Steve Jobs wasn't altogether saintly either!

Re:too little, too late (1)

Yosho (135835) | about a year ago | (#45384001)

No, there's no way to undo the damage, Mark Shuttleworth. Your hand 's been played and you cannot take the cards back.

Exactly what damage was done? As far as I can tell, the net result of all of this is that some peoples' feelings got hurt.

Re:too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45384303)

No, there's no way to undo the damage, Mark Shuttleworth. Your hand 's been played and you cannot take the cards back.

Maybe it's just me, but I actually admire Shuttlecock for admitting the mistakes. So rare these days.

Re:too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45384461)

Canonical has already shown it's stripes as the Microsoft of the Linux world, ignoring the voices of their users...

To be fair, Red Hat was the same * (still is to a lesser extent**).

This is a, "commercial corporations look out for their own selfish interests," thing-- a community should support its members, not the sociopath fringe (corporations) that just use the community for their own ends.

I never understood why folks used the demonstrably inferior Red Hat*** when free, superior, alternatives existed long before Red Hat was even formed (e.g. Debian). Same applies to Ubuntu. Why use Ubuntu when you can get all the good bits of the Ubuntu experience without any of the crap**** by using the distribution it is based upon, Debian. .

*Red Hat made weird decisions that hurt their users, like refusing a ReiserFS patch when the author contacted them that the version of ReiserFS Red Hat was shipping could cause data corruption. Not releasing, as free software, the X servers Red Hat acquired, to give back to the community. Rather Red Hat kept the X servers as proprietary, and exclusive to Red Hat (personally ripped a Red Hat proprietary xserver from redhat to use in Slackware on my laptop [mid 90s]). Etc.

**RedHat currently releases kernel patches as a giant blob to try to make it harder for others to pick out fixes for specific issues and incorporate them into other distributions-- but Red Hat gets the benefit of every one else's work (yes, RH upstreams quite a bit today, but that does not make this behavior any less anti-social).

*** Red Hat package manager up2date was a joke. Rpm was the only system where dependencies ended up needing to be manually sorted out, "rpm hell". To this day, Red Hat recommends that you do a clean install, and not upgrade a host running Red Hat. Tiny archive of available packages. Etc.

**** see current article, unity, mer, funky init, selling your search data to amazon, etc.

Talk to FixUbuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383169)

If you'd like to talk to the FixUbuntu owner, they're in the #ubuntu-offtopic channel on freenode

Too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383171)

Between that and "erm, you already trust us with root" (I don't, by the way), Shuttleworth isn't giving people much reason NOT to run Debian lately.

Re:Too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383501)

But you trust Debian with root too. They can siphon any kind of packages through system update, which could screw up your computer.

Tooooooo late! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383203)

Never shit where you eat!

Trolling in the apology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383279)

I had the idea of making a stupid comment about how his critique had been offensive to the Tea Party, and here is it at the end of the blurb! Well done. This is worth a shuttle.

At end of blog post: "Comments off" (2)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about a year ago | (#45383283)

An apology that blocks further discussion. I'm disappointed, but not surprised.

Re:At end of blog post: "Comments off" (1)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year ago | (#45384483)

So you prefer to continue an argument rather than accept the victory of your favorite opinion?

Do you ever have anything of value to contribute to any discussion?

Jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383301)

Hello there, jerk

Good apology (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383333)

Nice to see a solid apology from Mark. I think a frank apology in non corpo-speak can make the world of difference. It takes an adult to hold up their hands and say they fucked up in public.

Re:Good apology (1)

vladilinsky (1071536) | about a year ago | (#45384165)

I whole heartedly agree and wanted to mod you up by my points just expired

Open source tea party (-1, Flamebait)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45383387)

Mark Shuttleworth, you go to hell, you rigid, small minded twat. I say that because your vapid insult works both ways. You insult those who rationally oppose the fragmentation caused by Mir. You insult the huge number of sincere tea party advocates with your insulting, condescending, stupid metaphor. And by the way, before you insult ME, I would feel exactly the same if you said "Socialist Workers Party", "Communist Party", or "Libertarian Party".

Actually, your closed mind is its own reward. You're not an issues, merits kind of guy, are you? Now see what you've got me doing? I did really see a tremendous lot of value and good coming from Canonical until fairly recently.

Re:Open source tea party (4, Insightful)

Sesostris III (730910) | about a year ago | (#45383553)

Mark Shuttleworth, you go to hell, you rigid, small minded twat.

I always admire how those who take the moral high-ground regarding insults, always manage to avoid using insults themselves!

Oh well, at least Mark Shuttleworth apologised.

Re:Open source tea party (0)

Endloser (1170279) | about a year ago | (#45384331)

If I had any mod points left I would award them to you.
Instead... please, accept all of the internets I have acquired.

Re:Open source tea party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383599)

Mark Shuttleworth, you go to hell, you rigid, small minded twat.

I'm sure comments like that will help the situation.

New guy makes a mistake, news at 11 (1)

master_kaos (1027308) | about a year ago | (#45383395)

n/t

Pathetic (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a year ago | (#45383479)

He should really go into politics. They acted like dicks, and now he's doing damage control...

It didn't change my opinion one bit... (4, Interesting)

Endloser (1170279) | about a year ago | (#45383513)

I had already moved off Ubuntu and back to Debian.
That whole switch to Unity kinda irked me.
So I did something about, and now I am back in trusty 'ole Gnome Classic.

And no, I'm not afraid of or against change.
I actually really like the new version of Gnome and was getting used to Unity.
But I use my computers for work day in and day out.
And neither of those desktops are near stable enough for what I do.
Both frequently become unresponsive and leave me unable to navigate apps.
Then I have to go into a console with alt+f(x) and kill the display manager or log out and back in.
Which doesn't look good to executives when you are attempting to demonstrate new products.

And yes, I am more than competent enought to install Gnome Classic in Ubuntu.
But the only reason I ever switched to Ubuntu was for the quick and dirty wireless support.
With Wheezy, all my wireless woes seem to have past and I'm not constantly burdened by a "let's try this" mentality.
My desktop "just works" again.
Heh, kinda funny I switched to the core distribution from Ubuntu so the thing would "just work".

Re:It didn't change my opinion one bit... (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45383901)

And at the end of the day, the quality assurance of desktop Linux is broken no matter what distro you use. You can find a bunch of small glitches from all of them.

Re:It didn't change my opinion one bit... (1)

Endloser (1170279) | about a year ago | (#45384213)

You are correct.
I can find a bunch of small glitches.
There is not an operating system on this planet that does not have a bunch of small glitches with its implementation of a desktop.
But Unity and Gnome 3.0 seems to have some large ones that greatly affect me in a personal way and have such influenced my personal choice.

But I think you are either riding my coat tails to point out a personal vendetta or missed the point entirely.

I changed because of the "let's try this" attitude of Ubuntu.
The reason I use Linux is a professional one.
And as such I cannot change my display manager or office suite or SQL service et cetera on a whim.
Ubuntu has gotten too into trying to be bleeding edge instead of focusing on the "just works" mentality.
Debian moves much slower and allows significant time and options when implementing software transitions.
Meanwhile, it has caught up on the whole 802.11 thing and now seems to "just work" no matter what I put it on.
When previously, my personal pain point was wifi stability came at a cost of significant hours spent configuring it.

I am a computing professional, not a professional using a computer.
Everything for me is "where can I get the best deal on a time/dollar trade off?"
And for me, that happens to be using a Linux OS (and Debian for the time being).

Re:It didn't change my opinion one bit... (2)

ildon (413912) | about a year ago | (#45384439)

What is this, iambic pentameter? I've never been good with poetry.

too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383667)

why didn't you just stay in space, shuttle dude?

Hybryde Linux - look to the future (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383713)

They should try a setup like Hybryde Linux provides:

"Hybryde Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution for the desktop. Its most unusual feature is an option to switch rapidly between multiple desktop environments and window manager without logging out - the list includes Enlightenment 17, GNOME 3 (GNOME Shell and GNOME 3 "Fallback" mode), KDE, LXDE, Openbox, Unity, Xfce and FVWM. This is achieved via a highly customizable Hy-menu, which also allows launching applications and configuring the system. All open applications are carried to any of the available desktops. The system offers an interesting way to work fluidly in a multi-desktop environment."

http://www.hybryde.org/ [hybryde.org]

Let the users choose.

Business Model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383777)

In business there is the adage that to be successful, you need to be number one or number two. Canonical aspires to be number two to RedHat and has a long way to go - they have less than 10% of the employees and a tiny, tiny fraction of the revenue (30 M in 2009 vs 1130 M in 2012) .

To a business, the protection of the brand is of the utmost importance. One can reasonably assume that the apology may be based on the decision that Fix Ubuntu is not an economic threat but losing the support of the Linux community is.

Who is the new guy? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45383893)

Is his name Tibor?

Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383971)

The summary is wrong on two points. The legal letter was not threatening and it did not command any action. The letter was very polite and nicely requested the blog's author make some minor changes, including changing the site's name. This is pretty standard stuff where trademark is concerned and it could have been a lot worse. Maybe it was kind of a dick move by the legal department, but hardly the big deal people are making it out to be.

New guy blame game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45384097)

I thought the test of the new guy always involved sending an email claiming to be a representative of the prince of Nigeria (you know, to test e-mail and network connectivity, or something)

Wordy? (1)

hduff (570443) | about a year ago | (#45384181)

The sincerity of an apology is inversely proportional to its word count.

Re:Wordy? (1)

Endloser (1170279) | about a year ago | (#45384383)

I think this requires a Special and Relative Theory of Worditivity because "I'm sorry," means less to me than, "I am so very sorry," but the relationship changes as the apology increases in size.

Re:Wordy? (1)

Endloser (1170279) | about a year ago | (#45384411)

ID10t.. I meant to say General Theory of Worditivity. I'm just as smooth with the ladies.

Apology Accepted! (2, Insightful)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#45384425)

It takes a big man to apologize.

I want to thank Mark Shuttleworth for stepping up and doing the rightthing.

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