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Why Do You Need License From Canonical To Create Derivatives?

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the because-they-said-so dept.

Ubuntu 118

sfcrazy writes "Canonical's requirement of a license for those creating Ubuntu derivatives is back in the news. Yesterday the Community Council published a statement about Canonical's licensing policies, but it's vague and it provides no resolution to the issue. It tells creators of derivative distros to avoid the press and instead talk to the Community Council (when they're not quick about responding). Now Jonathan Riddell of Kubuntu has come forth to say no one needs any license to create any derivative distro. So, the question remains: If Red Hat doesn't force a license on Oracle or CentOS, why does Canonical insist upon one?"

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You just haven't experienced space travel yet (-1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 6 months ago | (#46257041)

Once you do it all totes makes sense 4 reals yall.

Re:You just haven't experienced space travel yet (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257895)

For some reason, there's a concerted campaign happening to try to convince people that successul Open Source projects are not really open. It's an odd thing to pretend, and I'm wondering what their motive is?

Have you seen the near-identical accusations around Android being pushed to the front page here?

"One of Android's biggest draws is its roots in open source. While Android is technically very open, from a practical standpoint it's much more difficult for device makers to distance themselves from Google"

It's a very odd stance to take, so the question you have to ask yourself is: "Who benefits from this Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt?". Where does the money trail lead?

Re:You just haven't experienced space travel yet (2)

drfred79 (2936643) | about 6 months ago | (#46258079)

For some reason, there's a concerted campaign happening to try to convince people that successul Open Source projects are not really open. It's an odd thing to pretend, and I'm wondering what their motive is?

Have you seen the near-identical accusations around Android being pushed to the front page here?

"One of Android's biggest draws is its roots in open source. While Android is technically very open, from a practical standpoint it's much more difficult for device makers to distance themselves from Google"

It's a very odd stance to take, so the question you have to ask yourself is: "Who benefits from this Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt?". Where does the money trail lead?

For some reason, there's a concerted campaign happening to try to convince people that successul Open Source projects are not really open. It's an odd thing to pretend, and I'm wondering what their motive is?

Have you seen the near-identical accusations around Android being pushed to the front page here?

"One of Android's biggest draws is its roots in open source. While Android is technically very open, from a practical standpoint it's much more difficult for device makers to distance themselves from Google"

It's a very odd stance to take, so the question you have to ask yourself is: "Who benefits from this Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt?". Where does the money trail lead?

Part of me agrees with you.
Part of me knows that both those statements are true, even if they are discouraging.

Both Android and Ubuntu are shades of closed source. They have very strong organizations behind them that are explicitly controlling the message they distribute. Mark Shuttleworth's corporate culture is one of arrogance and totalitarianism. Google has a longterm-orientated business strategy but still operates under a profit motive.

It's never troubling when these issues are highlighted the actual facts are what's troubling.

Let's take an analogy to help push my argument. While the Republican party is a big disparate tent that includes many different interest groups that agree on one random platform amongst the dozen general ones (i.e. small government, and/or state rights, and/or personal freedom vs domestic spying) pointing out internal sticking points does not instantly cause supporters to become a Progressive.
The same thing rings true of FOSS supporters. Pointing out that the largest Linux developers aren't pure FOSS doesn't make Linux users jump ship to a retarded OS like OSX.

Written in LXDE

Re:You just haven't experienced space travel yet (4, Funny)

Clsid (564627) | about 6 months ago | (#46258159)

OSX might be overpriced because of hardware, but to call it retarded goes to say that you haven't used Windows 8

Re:You just haven't experienced space travel yet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46258717)

Both OS X and Windows 8 is retarded in their own ways.

Apple started the lame "hide the menu" type of behaviour.
Apple started the whole proprietary touchy interfaces.
Apple started the whole Online Store business model that forces users to buy inferior and limited apps deprived of a sane feature set.

Microsoft is just totally clueless.

Writing this on my new gamer-PC with 32 GB RAM and insane amounts of processors and CPU-power. Have absolutely NO NEED for touch. I don't want to be kept in a zoo any longer. Just switched to Linux (Linux Mint Debian), for good. Virtualbox with MS Windows and MS Office works just fine after phone activation, but LibreOffice starts looking more and more tempting now as well for simple tasks, which incidentally is what you really should restrict word processors and spreadsheets for.

Captcha: mishap

Re:You just haven't experienced space travel yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46258979)

Writing this on my new gamer-PC with 32 GB RAM and insane amounts of processors and CPU-power.

You don't need 32GB RAM for games. Most of games would run fine in 2GB -- I'm not joking. Just pull up Task Manager and see how much they allocate. It's not much.

Re:You just haven't experienced space travel yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46261477)

Just pull up Task Manager and see how much they allocate. It's not much.

Wow, he just said he's using Linux Mint. Major reading comprehension fail. On Linux we use top, or htop, or gtop.

Re:You just haven't experienced space travel yet (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 5 months ago | (#46259565)

So long as in the end, when they WANT a license, money, promises, sex or whatever;
you can tell them to WANT as much as they can, in one hand and
shit as much as they can, in the other hand.Then instruct them to observe the realistic sum of their efforts, compare, contrast , analyze and extrapolate.
The bigger the fuss for the press , the better.

Because.... (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 6 months ago | (#46257047)

... they need the free press space.

Re:Because.... (-1, Offtopic)

LVSlushdat (854194) | about 6 months ago | (#46257391)

Lisias@Earth.SolarSystem.OrionArm.MilkyWay.Virgo.Universe.org

Wouldn't that actually be Lisias@Earth.Sol_System.OrionArm.MilkyWay.Virgo.Universe.org??

Just a nit I thought might need to be picked...

Re:Because.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257559)

THANK YOU, Edward Snowden!! Americans owe you a debt of gratitude (whether they know it or not..)

Shouldn't that be 'We thanked you, Edward Snowden!! Right up until you went beyond revealing the NSA spying on our citizens and revealed that they were doing their job and spying on other countries?' He crossed the line from patriot to traitor at that point.

Re:Because.... (-1, Offtopic)

zakkudo (2638939) | about 6 months ago | (#46257683)

Shouldn't that be 'We thanked you, Edward Snowden!! Right up until you went beyond revealing the NSA spying on our citizens and revealed that they were doing their job and spying on other countries?' He crossed the line from patriot to traitor at that point.

Was this line that he crossed before or after the United States stated that they would end his life with no prejudice for trying to correct our wrongs?

Re:Because.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257705)

Citation needed since that threat was never made.

Re:Because.... (1, Offtopic)

Ixokai (443555) | about 6 months ago | (#46257757)

No, the United States did not say that.

I recall some wingnut in Congress suggested various extreme remedies, but that's not "The United States" saying anything. All it takes to end up in Congress is to convince a narrow majority of a minority of racially and economically similar people who will actually show up to vote, to send you there. These days, by using all kinds of lies, but that's not completely new. Gerrymandering has just made it fairly absurd the kinds of lies you could tell and still end up in Congress. But no one in Congress speaks for the United States. Random anonymous military or intelligence people don't speak for the United States, either.

You need to be a pretty high level Administration official to speak for the nation about that (I'd take Secretary of State, Defense or Homeland Security; or the DNI when the CIA was operating the drone program,.. or the President, of course). Granted, the Administration has put US citizens on the kill list and is debating doing it again, but not to Snowden. If you can't win your case about the guy without spreading lies or (excessively) paranoid rantings, there's something wrong with your case.

The United States has threatened to prosecute him, not kill him extra-judicially.

Re:Because.... (1, Interesting)

Alsee (515537) | about 6 months ago | (#46258285)

All it takes to end up in Congress is to convince a narrow majority of a minority of racially and economically similar people who will actually show up to vote, to send you there.

Senator Mark Pryor said it way better in this 20 second clip. [youtube.com]
From the Religilous interview with Bill Maher.

-

Re:Because.... (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#46258525)

I recall some wingnut in Congress suggested various extreme remedies, but that's not "The United States" saying anything.

It's different on the other side of the Atlantic. If some old Tory/UKIP fart has a bit too much G with his T and suggests sending the darkies back to bongo-bongo land it's "UK plans to introduce apartheid!". Usually posted by theodp.

Re:Because.... (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 6 months ago | (#46258763)

Drones generally have been used for "enemy combatants". Doing it for an unarmed US citizen would be a much Bigger Deal.

Re:Because.... (1)

waerloga01 (308176) | about 5 months ago | (#46259441)

No that was pretty much ignored as well...

Re:Because.... (1)

zakkudo (2638939) | about 5 months ago | (#46260601)

Hey, Ixokai. So you are saying life in prison is not the equivalent of death? Are you honestly saying that is different than a death sentence?

Re:Because.... (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 6 months ago | (#46258703)

Pretty sure that was never stated, and if i had to guess he would be jailed, not executed.

Re:Because.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46258071)

No he didn't cross any line whatsoever. All the other countries knew they were spying on them already, they just didn't know that the NSA was *illegally* spying on the embassies which goes against the United Nations and World Court directives.

So again, no lines crossed and still a patriot. If fucktards want to break the law, they deserve to get caught at it, and be punished accordingly.

Which is why Bush and Obama both need to be given the maximum punishment for the Treason they wrought.

Re:Because.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46258231)

Which is why Bush and Obama both need to be given the maximum punishment for the Treason they wrought.

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Re:Because.... (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 6 months ago | (#46258577)

No he didn't cross any line whatsoever. All the other countries knew they were spying on them already, they just didn't know that the NSA was *illegally* spying on the embassies which goes against the United Nations and World Court directives.

Spying on each other is why there are intelligence agencies as part of every government. The embassies being bugged I figure is also a given.
Don't forget about the U.S. Embassy built in Russia that had so many bugs installed it was unusable.

"Work on the embassy was stopped in 1985, after it was determined that the building was so riddled with listening devices implanted by Soviet workers that the structure was in effect a multistory microphone." http://www.nytimes.com/1992/06... [nytimes.com]

-Not a really good link but better than the rest-

Re:Because.... (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 5 months ago | (#46259715)

As it appears, YOUR tagline got the free press space.

You do work for Canonical, I'm right?

Re:Because.... (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 5 months ago | (#46259729)

Bleh. Bad joke, sorry! :-)

I think both ways are valid:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

Canonical hires only morons. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257055)

Lol.

Mark is a good guy. Too bad he sucks great humongous dick at hiring fucking idiots. All of the Ubuntu bullshit you hear about is because he has fucking morongs working for him that cannot tell their arse from a hole in the ground.

Mark. For the love of god. Fire EVERYONE at Canonical and hire people that have a goddamned clue.

Un fucking beleivable.

Re:Canonical hires only morons. (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 6 months ago | (#46257491)

Mark is a good guy.

No. Anyone who would choose Unity as a user interface and distribute it to an unsuspecting world is NOT a good guy.

Re:Canonical hires only morons. (1)

wordsnyc (956034) | about 6 months ago | (#46258515)

Lighten up. He's just fixing linux until it's broken. For you. And money, of course. Hey, fucking with free software 'til you can convince a few people that it belongs to you beats writing stuff from scratch.

Re:Canonical hires only morons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257547)

Too bad he sucks great humongous dick at hiring fucking idiots.

Sounds like he doesn't suck at it at all.

Re:Canonical hires only morons. (2)

TeXMaster (593524) | about 6 months ago | (#46258367)

Mark is a good guy. Too bad he sucks great humongous dick at hiring fucking idiots. All of the Ubuntu bullshit you hear about is because he has fucking morongs working for him that cannot tell their arse from a hole in the ground.

Mark. For the love of god. Fire EVERYONE at Canonical and hire people that have a goddamned clue.

As s friend of mine once taught me, “first class people hire first class people. second class people hire third class people”.

Because Canonical.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257059)

.. thinks FLOSS developers provide free labour to the advancement of its IP.

Re:Because Canonical.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257875)

Because Canonical thinks FLOSS developers provide free labour to the advancement of its IP.

For some reason, there's a concerted campaign happening to try to convince people that successul Open Source projects are not really open. It's an odd thing to pretend, and I'm wondering what their motive is?

SystemD is the motive. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46258485)

SystemD is the motive.

Fuck systemd.

Re:SystemD is the motive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46261569)

Seconded. Systemd is a beta.

License needed only for specific things (5, Informative)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 6 months ago | (#46257089)

You don't need a license for the open-source portions of Ubuntu (which is almost everything). In fact, Canonical would probably be in violation of their license if they tried to impose this requirement on the Linux kernel or any GPL-licensed packages (they could impose it on BSD-licensed packages, and I'd have to research other licenses). What you'd need a license for is the Ubuntu logos and name and the like and the software Canonical wrote that isn't under an open-source license. It's the same as with RedHat, you need the license to use their logos and trademarks or you can use Fedora which doesn't have the licensed stuff in it. It's probably non-trivial to strip the trademarked and proprietary stuff out of the actual Ubuntu distribution, it'd probably be easier to go straight back to the Debian base distribution and work from there.

Re:License needed only for specific things (0)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#46257129)

But why are these things not open-source?
It sounds like Canonical are just a bunch of a**holes.

Re:License needed only for specific things (5, Insightful)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | about 6 months ago | (#46257175)

It sounds like Canonical are just a bunch of a**holes.

How is this any different to what Mozilla or Redhat do?

It's brand protection.
They don't want some shody fork that's poorly designed to use their trademarked name and possibly impacting their reputation.

Billuntu - Packed with malware
Jilluntu - It wipes your disk without confirmation

Re:License needed only for specific things (1, Insightful)

r1348 (2567295) | about 6 months ago | (#46257537)

No, it's community stranglehold under the disguise of trademark protection.
Of course, if I started a distro called The Better Redhat I'd have lawyers knocking down my door by dinner time, but if I called it, say, CentOS and declared it derived from RHEL but not officially endorsed by Redhat, I'd be just fine. Now that you cannot do with Ubuntu right now, or anyway the details are shady enough I'd not risk it.

Re:License needed only for specific things (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#46257663)

Stranglehold?

Seems a bit much if you ask me. You can use every bit of Ubuntu except a fee trademarks and logo s.
Just the same way Ubuntu uses every bit of Debian.

Every distro has a few branding features, always separate, never hidden, that you can neither need, nor would you want if you were starting your own distros.

But you have missed the point of the story: Ubuntu doesn't actually claim you can't use their distro to base your own distro on. All they really claim is you can't use their branding.

Re:License needed only for specific things (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about 6 months ago | (#46258835)

Can I call my distro Ubuntu-derived, but not supported by Canonical?

Re:License needed only for specific things (1)

icebike (68054) | about 5 months ago | (#46260417)

Probably not, because trade names are protected.

You can describe it as such but you can't use another company's name as part of your product name.

But what has that got to do with using their GPL source code? Nothing at all.

So no strangle hold.

Re:License needed only for specific things (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 6 months ago | (#46257753)

It's not even close to a strangelhold, because nobody is forcing anyone to use Ubuntu or base other distros on it. It's easy enough to just roll a new one up from Debian or another base.

Re:License needed only for specific things (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46258163)

*look of disapproval*

Great idea. Now try it.

There's a reason a lot of us still tolerate Canonical's **** all this time after Lucid came and went: It's still one of the better package repos out there. And setting up your own is non-trivial at best. (Mirroring is simple - actively patching every single package and so on... not so much.)

~ AC claim by greysondn on github

Re:License needed only for specific things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46261101)

But luckily, I was able to find a full 12 incher, and have become very accommodating.

~ AC claim by greysondn on github

Re:License needed only for specific things (1)

prefec2 (875483) | about 5 months ago | (#46259065)

You cannot make a Distribution called My RedHat OS without violating the trademark of RedHat. You can create a distribution CentOS or PoundOS without any trouble from RedHat. The same, it is with Ubuntu and Canonical, you cannot call your distribution zubuntu or iCanonical, but there is no problem deriving one from Ubuntu and calling it Mint or Strawberry.

Re:License needed only for specific things (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 6 months ago | (#46257183)

Same reason the name "Linux" is not open source. Trademarks are an indication of brand, of saying, "this product is made by us, therefore it is good." Or "this product is made by us, therefore it is cheap." Or luxurious, or whatever. If you know anything about microphones, you can be sure that a Manley mic will be top quality and clear. An AudioTechnica mic will have pretenses of grandeur.

And if it's labeled Ubuntu, you can be confident it will completely disregard the desires of the end-user, and be ignorant of the Unix Way; but at least the wifi drivers will work.

Re:License needed only for specific things (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 6 months ago | (#46257431)

It's to protect their trademark AND their users. If you make a derivative, there is no problem if you say your operating system is *based* on Ubuntu, but you cannot use their logos or claim it is sanctioned by Canonical without their permission. This prevents people from making shoddy (or malicious) derivatives and using their brand name to harm Canonical's brand name or users.

Of course, I am not a lawyer, so if you do plan to make a derivative, read the license(s) yourself.

Re:License needed only for specific things (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46257747)

But why are these things not open-source? It sounds like Canonical are just a bunch of a**holes.

There are really two different issues at play here: Does Canonical have packages in Ubuntu that aren't licensed such that a derivative distro couldn't use them without begging for permission? (that they have copyright over: if Canonical managed to get a 'yeah, you can put our firmware blob in your repository; but that license is non-transferable' agreement out of some hardware vendors, that wouldn't be GPL-purist; but it wouldn't really be Canonical's call that FungusNix isn't allowed to reproduce those packages). To the best of my knowledge, while some of their server-side stuff (Landscape, Ubuntu One) is proprietary on the server end, there aren't any Canonical-owned client packages that aren't GPLed.

The second issue is that of Trademark: Here, Canonical shows no signs of enthusiasm for losing their trademarks through inaction, and they definitely have the law on their side if anybody starts naming distros in a way that suggests a connection with their projects.

However, I don't think that this is really a bad thing, or that OSS licensing would even be desirable(if it appeared that a distro were deliberately sneaking trademarked assets into every nook and cranny, or doing something analogous to the old Nintendo Gameboy cartridge header logo lockout [force9.co.uk] stunt, I'd prefer that they die in a fire, that would be a different case entirely). Trademarks are a (sloppy, antiquated; but nevertheless common) tool for knowing what people and companies are associated with what products and services. This seems like a good and valuable function. Isn't it good to be able to distinguish between something that is or isn't provided by Canonical? Now(as trademark law allows) it is perfectly valid for non-Canonical (har, har) distros to make it clear that they are derived from a Canonical distro, they can even mention it by name(just as store-brand products are free to say 'compare to X-Name-Brand-Product!'). They just can't insinuate that they have an association with Canonical that they do not.

Re:License needed only for specific things (4, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#46257169)

Most famously, Debian renaming Firefox to Iceweasel [wikipedia.org] , and CentOS's erstwhile references to Red Hat only as a "prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor."

Re:License needed only for specific things (4, Informative)

wolrahnaes (632574) | about 6 months ago | (#46257615)

Correct. I'm no fan of Canonical when they try to impose their will (Unity of course being the biggest example), but for fuck's sake people this is making a big deal out of literally nothing.

Quoting directly from the Canonical Intellectual Property Rights Policy [canonical.com] (emphasis mine):

Any redistribution of modified versions of Ubuntu must be approved, certified or provided by Canonical if you are going to associate it with the Trademarks. Otherwise you must remove and replace the Trademarks and will need to recompile the source code to create your own binaries. This does not affect your rights under any open source licence applicable to any of the components of Ubuntu.

Just like Mozilla, just like Red Hat, and just like many other major open source projects Ubuntu uses trademarks to protect their brand. Don't use their brand and you're just forking an open source project as normal. See also Iceweasel, CentOS, etc.

Re:License needed only for specific things (4, Informative)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 6 months ago | (#46257819)

In the case of GPLv3-licensed components, the requirement to recompile the source probably violates section 7 of the license which specifies exactly what additional terms may be applied to copies of a covered work (which includes copies in object form, ie. libraries and executables). Their requirement that you not redistribute the binaries isn't a permissible addition, it's not specified in that list. And such works couldn't contain Ubuntu's trademarks because the terms Ubuntu gives for use of their trademarks isn't compatible with GPLv3, if they included their trademarks in a piece of GPLv3 software they wouldn't be allowed to distribute the result themselves. Of course they cover that in the last sentence, putting them technically within the rules because that last sentence negates everything before it when it comes to GPL-licensed components. It's kind of like they're saying "You have to pay Canonical a daily fee to park anywhere in San Diego. The daily fee is $100 for passenger cars, $200 for light trucks, SUVs and vans, $500 for commercial vehicles. This does not affect your right to park in any part of San Diego not owned by Canonical.". It's just a convoluted, inverted way of saying "You have to pay these fees to park in Canonical's parking lot.".

Re:License needed only for specific things (2)

allo (1728082) | about 6 months ago | (#46258791)

First: Do not confuse trademarks with copyright, and copyright alone not with licenses.
If their trademark is violated, this does not have anything to do with the license. You may be allowed to do with source/binaries what you want, but if you distribute it with trademarks you can be sued for this. The clause tells you how to avoid this.
The license can only be enforced by contributors. If you have at least one patch in a software and then encounter a binary of the software, you can request the source. Otherwise you cannot, because its not your copyright, which was licensed.
And if they bundle any trademarks, the copyright depends on:
- is there code from other authors in the package?
- does adding a file apply by the GPL (which speaks about linking code)?

But the real problem is, you should not use the logo/name, because they can enforce some use (or no use at all) by trademark laws.

btw: several opensource licenses tell you, that you need to clearly distinguish your fork from the original software.

Re:License needed only for specific things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46261555)

You are not understanding correctly. Canonical are in violation of the upstream GPLv3 license when they attempt to restrict your ability to redistribute the binaries by using trademarks, just as much as if they attempted to restrict distribution of binaries or source through contracts.

I certainly can't give you some modified GPL software, but first make you sign an agreement restricting you from doing the things granted in the GPL, as I would be in violation of the GPL I received the software under if I did so. In this case I would be attempting to use contract law, not copyright law to enforce additional restrictions, but using any other branch of law to restrict the grants you receive under the GPL (which I have agreed not to restrict when I chose to redistribute the software) is equally invalid.

The issue is that any attempt to restrict the rights granted in the GPL is a violation of the GPL, and that violation prohibits you from distribution.

Re:License needed only for specific things (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#46259103)

I read it as: if it contains trademarks then (remove/replace and recompile) not (if it contains trademarks then remove/replace) and (recompile). I think it's just pointing out that the trademarked materials are in the binary as well and that merely editing the source is not sufficient, you must also compile new trademark free binaries. That makes the whole sentence totally reasonable, correct and meaningful in the context of avoiding trademark infringement. Sneaking in "Oh, and you must also recompile everything" as a byline in a sentence about trademarks less so.

Re:License needed only for specific things (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 5 months ago | (#46260941)

I think section 7 would scotch that idea for GPLv3 software at least. Adding your trademark to someone else's code (which you are only allowed to redistribute under the terms of the GPLv3) and then restricting use of that trademark would be imposing an additional restriction not permitted by section 7, at which point you no longer have a license to distribute the software to others.

Something to always bear in mind when dealing with Linux distributions is the distinction between the packages the distributor (eg. Canonical) owns because they wrote them themselves vs. the packages that someone else owns and that the distributor (eg. Canonical) is redistributing under the terms of a license.

Re:License needed only for specific things (2)

samkass (174571) | about 6 months ago | (#46257999)

It's kind of strange that on the same day Canonical is being called out for not being 100% free about everything, another article discusses Google's actions with Android, which is much, much more closed and yet most of Slashdot seemed eager to rush to their defense.

Re:License needed only for specific things (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 5 months ago | (#46260889)

That's because Google is open with all the stuff that's based on other people's open-source software. The parts they aren't open about are the parts they wrote themselves without basing them on open-source software. You'll notice the same thing with Canonical: nobody's arguing that Canonical can't restrict access to their own stuff that they wrote themselves or their own trademarks, only the stuff that's not Canonical's and whose licenses may not allow Canonical to impose restrictions on them.

Re:License needed only for specific things (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 5 months ago | (#46260947)

Not really, the comments here are largely people rushing to Canonical's defense. Trademarks exist for good reasons, and they're an excellent defense against fraud and a way to promote a predictable product. Most, including the Slashdot mob, recognize that.

Google's actions with Android are disappointing, but they still ship a fully fledged feature complete 100% open source mobile operating system. They just would like developers to use their non-free middleware, as it gives them some control over how the platform develops. I don't blame them, although I also would like to live in a world where they don't feel the need to do that. Unfortunately, I suspect that world is inhabited by sparkling unicorns who fart rainbows.

Re:License needed only for specific things (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#46258617)

When BackTrack became Kali [kali.org] they chose to change the base from Ubuntu to Debian. I wonder if this influenced them, or they were just running away from Unity?

Re:License needed only for specific things (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 6 months ago | (#46258673)

RHEL also includes quite a lot of Apache and BSD and Perl licensed software. There are components, such as the older Sun Java that had more restrictive licenses, and which CentOS therefore could not include, and numerous programs with patent or security implicaitons such MPEG players and the libdvdcss for DVD decoding which Red Hat also could not include for patent or other legal restrictions. Red Hat definitely deserves credit for helping bring proprietary software into the open source or free software world wherever possible: their help with the creation of openjdk has helped improve Java quality, and licensing, from the onerous and individually signed end uear license agreements that Sun used to insist on.

Re:License needed only for specific things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46260083)

The way I read TFA is that Canonical is demanding a license if your distro downloads the binary packages from their repositories.

If your distro downloads all of the source packages and recompiles them (removing trademarked logos, etc), and you maintain a complete repository without the need to have your distro's users connect to the Ubuntu repositories to get some of the software, I doubt they can force a license. But if you are cherry picking binaries directly from the Ubuntu repositories, I suppose they could argue that you are using their resources for your own purposes.

As long as they don't try to force licenses on the sourcecode I am OK with them complaining that your distro's users are putting a load on Ubuntu's servers.

the same reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257105)

Stallman insists on the term GNU/Linux.

1 difference between most, including RH, and Canon (5, Informative)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#46257145)

It should perhaps be noted that Red Hat and others including Apache do in fact have a similar policy. The strongest legally and I think most important part of Canonical's policy is as follows:

Any redistribution of MODIFIED versions of Ubuntu must be approved, certified or provided by Canonical IF you are going to associate it with the [Canonical] Trademarks. Otherwise you must remove and replace the Trademarks

(Emphasis mine). That's common sense - you can't call your version "Ubuntu", and Red Hat does the same. Centos is essentially RHEL with the Red Hat trademarks removed.

What may be different is that Canonical claims their specific arrangement of packages may be subject to copy rights. That is to say, each individual package is distributable under GPL, but they suggest that copying Unbuntu's own selection of groupings for desktop, server, etc., and the exact method of integration may be subject to Canonical's consent via their stated policy. That's an interesting position. They may or may not be correct that they have the legal right to claim some aspects of distribution as their own, apart from the packages used in the composition. It may also be a dickish move to assert that right in absence of a trademark issue.

Re:1 difference between most, including RH, and Ca (3, Informative)

fnj (64210) | about 6 months ago | (#46257239)

What may be different is that Canonical claims their specific arrangement of packages may be subject to copy rights. That is to say, each individual package is distributable under GPL, but they suggest that copying Unbuntu's own selection of groupings for desktop, server, etc., and the exact method of integration may be subject to Canonical's consent via their stated policy.

They can CLAIM anything. They can claim their shit doesn't stink. That doesn't make it so. GPL is GPL.

Re:1 difference between most, including RH, and Ca (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257373)

Trademarks aren't released under the GPL, moron.

Re:1 difference between most, including RH, and Ca (1)

cjc25 (1961486) | about 6 months ago | (#46257425)

The OP was not talking about trademark, but about copyright on the selection of packages in an argument analagous-ish to one that a mashup can be copyrighted separately from the underlying songs. It's odd and untested but not on it's face definitely wrong under current law, dickishness notwithstanding

Re:1 difference between most, including RH, and Ca (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257961)

The parent has this right. Imagine I compile 1800's newspaper articles about trains into a small book. My choice of the articles is protected by copyright- after all, there are way too many to simply reprint, so the ones I choose show some generic creativity. This doesn't stop you from reprinting the very same articles in your collection, unless of course all you did was grab my book and add or subtract a couple of articles. Your own choice is protected by your own copyright, assuming you actually made your own choices instead of stole mine.

There's some GPL non-sequiturs above, too. The only way you can assign a copyright before it has been created is if it's a work made for hire, so there's no magic bullet that keeps package choices out of this regime.

Re:1 difference between most, including RH, and Ca (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#46259253)

They can CLAIM anything. They can claim their shit doesn't stink. That doesn't make it so. GPL is GPL.

And copyright law is copyright law which trumphs the GPL. If you make a photo book you can get a copyright on the selection and arrangement of photos that is separate from the copyright on the individual photo. In fact, they can be all public domain photos and you can still get a copyright on that particular mix. The GPL can't prevent them from being created, but they can control their use like the GPLv3 does:

A compilation of a covered work with other separate and independent works, which are not by their nature extensions of the covered work, and which are not combined with it such as to form a larger program, in or on a volume of a storage or distribution medium, is called an "aggregate" if the compilation and its resulting copyright are not used to limit the access or legal rights of the compilation's users beyond what the individual works permit.

The GPLv2 just said that a "mere aggregate" is fine and left the door wide open on that one, the GPLv3 says a "mere aggregate" is fine if and only if you don't use the compilation copyright for anything. So there's a good chance that if Ubuntu did try anything using their compilation copyrights anyone with GPLv3 code could claim it's a license violation.

Re:1 difference between most, including RH, and Ca (2)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 6 months ago | (#46258719)

This does not indicate what Canonical actually wrote to Mint. That would be a very _reasonable_ concern. But without seeing the lette to Mint, or one from Mint about the issue, it could be about the standards for white space indentation of source code in Ubuntu software that is _not_ under a well known open source license. Some open source licenses have been known to have very, very foolish restrictions: the old "DJB" license had a restriction that modifying a single line of the code meant that you could only publish Dan Bernstein's source code, and diffs to apply your differences. You could not publish binaries.

Canonical's licensing has also gotten odd, and itself deserves suspicion. The new MIR display system is "sort of" licensed under GPLv3 but contributors are required to sign an agreement that "grants Canonical the right to relicense your contribution under their choice of license. Given Canonical's recent history of inserting spyware into their distribution, sending all search results of your local disk back to their upstream servers, Canonical and their Ubuntu software have earned the considerable suspicion they are being treated with.

There's a difference (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257167)

CentOS maintains their own binary repositories where packages are built from publicly available RedHat source files , whereas Mint pulls binaries directly from Ubuntu's repositories which includes Canonical trademarks. Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and other *buntu's are trademarks of Canonical, so there's no necessity for licensing.

Re:There's a difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46258247)

Mint also installs very annoying browser search hijacks and stupid additions to your fortunes files. Lord knows what other little annoyances they stick in there too.

Re:There's a difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46258469)

CentOS maintains their own binary repositories where packages are built from publicly available RedHat source files , whereas Mint pulls binaries directly from Ubuntu's repositories which includes Canonical trademarks. Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and other *buntu's are trademarks of Canonical, so there's no necessity for licensing.

As someone who hosts a fairly large Ubuntu mirror I don't care who downloads the packages. Maybe I should start billing Canonical for this service now though.

Re:There's a difference (1)

ChaseTec (447725) | about 5 months ago | (#46259333)

Well CentOS is effectively a RedHat owned project project now http://www.redhat.com/about/ne... [redhat.com] . And RedHat has screwed with their source code in order to cause pain to commercial derivatives: http://linux.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org] so while there is a difference you can't exactly say either company likes 3rd party derivatives.

All derivatives are not the same. (5, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 6 months ago | (#46257219)

You can create as many derivatives as you want. Absolutely. no limits (so punny, ha haa) as long as the function is continuous there. Of course after a certain number of times it will be zero for polynomials..

Oh, you don't mean this derivative. Of course you can make derivatives, and all profits you make are yours. And all the losses will be paid out by the tax payers. wait, you aren't talking about that derivative either.

You can create derivative works, but the dolts from RIAA and MPAA take a dim view and claim copyright infringement on anything and everything, like for example looking at the Atlantic Ocean without proper license. Not the derivative either?

Man, if your derivative something obscure like building git specific distribution or ubuntu running under mono under cygwin X server or something, go ahead and derive it. No one will notice.

Re: All derivatives are not the same. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257247)

You can create derivative works, but the dolts from RIAA and MPAA take a dim view and claim copyright infringement on anything and everything, like for example looking at the Atlantic Ocean without proper license. Not the derivative either?

Clearly this copyright definition of derivative is what they mean.

Re: All derivatives are not the same. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 6 months ago | (#46257317)

Really? ooops.

Re:All derivatives are not the same. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46258161)

You can create as many derivatives as you want. Absolutely. no limits (so punny, ha haa) as long as the function is continuous there.

Not true! The Weierstrass function [wikipedia.org] is continuous everywhere, but not differentiable anywhere.

Tell Canonical to fly a kite (0)

FudRucker (866063) | about 6 months ago | (#46257459)

besides any brilliant developers would be better off just making a fresh clean derivative from one of the great grand daddy distros like Debian or Slackware and forget making a derivative from a spoiled rotten undisciplined bastardized child like ubuntu,

Simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257535)

Cuz Canonical is a BITCH. That's right, BITCH.

This post brought to you by Jesse Pinkman and the letter BITCH.

Same problem, different solutions. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257641)

TFS> If Red Hat doesn't force a license on Oracle or CentOS, why does Canonical insist upon one?"

Actually the same happens to Red Hat; I recall CentOS refers to them indirectly as "an important Linux vendor", because it's prevented from using Red Hat branding.

Canonical is even being nicer and saying "we allow you to use the Ubuntu brand, but you have to ask and sign up a licence". Or, do what CentOS does and don't use our repos. If it's from source, I bet there would be no problem, but using pre-compiled binaries full of Ubuntu references might make someone demand Canonical take responsibility to e.g. support distros it does not own.

For Debian, things are somewhat different, because the GPL applies simply and there's no warranty whatsoever. Canonical and Red Hat though go a lot further regarding support, as I understand, and cannot allow any tarnishing of their reputation.

Remember, the GPL stablishes one must give source with the provided binaries; nobody is forced to give the binaries. Canonical is actually paying the bandwidth costs to help derived distros; and instead of just vetoing freeloaders, it just ask people to license its Ubuntu brand, probably just because they're so required by law (which mandates anyone to protect its trademarks or risk losing them).

Re:Same problem, different solutions. (1)

Geeky (90998) | about 5 months ago | (#46258989)

CentOS refers to RedHat all over their site.

From the first entry in their FAQ, "What is CentOS Linux?":

CentOS Linux provides a free enterprise class computing platform to anyone who wishes to use it. CentOS Linux releases are built from publicly available open source SRPMS provided by Red Hat, Inc (often referred to as "Upstream" or "The Upstream Vendor (TUV)") for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (often referred to as “the upstream product” or RHEL).

They don't use the branding, but they are completely open about building from Redhat provided sources.

Here, read the policies for yourself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257653)

http://www.ubuntu.com/about/about-ubuntu/licensing
Licensing
Ubuntu is a collection of thousands of computer programs and documents created by a range of individuals, teams and companies.

Each of these programs may come under a different licence. This licence policy describes the process that we follow in determining which software will be included by default in the Ubuntu operating system.

Copyright licensing and trademarks are two different areas of law, and we consider them separately in Ubuntu. The following policy applies only to copyright licences. We evaluate trademarks on a case-by-case basis.
Categories of software in Ubuntu

The thousands of software packages available for Ubuntu are organised into four key groups or components: main, restricted, universe and multiverse. Software is published in one of these components based on whether or not it meets our free software philosophy, and the level of support we can provide for it.

This policy only addresses the software that you will find in main and restricted, which contain software that is fully supported by the Ubuntu team and must comply with this policy.
Ubuntu 'main' component licence policy

All application software included in the Ubuntu main component:

        Must include source code. The main component has a strict and non-negotiable requirement that application software included in it must come with full source code.
        Must allow modification and distribution of modified copies under the same licence. Just having the source code does not convey the same freedom as having the right to change it. Without the ability to modify software, the Ubuntu community cannot support software, fix bugs, translate it, or improve it.

Ubuntu 'main' and 'restricted' component licence policy
All application software in both main and restricted must meet the following requirements:

        Must allow redistribution. Your right to sell or give away the software alone, or as part of an aggregate software distribution, is important because:
                You, the user, must be able to pass on any software you have received from Ubuntu in either source code or compiled form.
                While Ubuntu will not charge licence fees for this distribution, you might want to charge to print Ubuntu CDs, or create your own customised versions of Ubuntu which you sell, and should have the freedom to do so.
        Must not require royalty payments or any other fee for redistribution or modification.It's important that you can exercise your rights to this software without having to pay for the privilege, and that you can pass these rights on to other people on exactly the same basis.
        Must allow these rights to be passed on along with the software. You should be able to have exactly the same rights to the software as we do.
        Must not discriminate against persons, groups or against fields of endeavour. The licence of software included in Ubuntu can not discriminate against anyone or any group of users and cannot restrict users from using the software for a particular field of endeavour - a business for example. So we will not distribute software that is licensed "freely for non-commercial use".
        Must not be distributed under a licence specific to Ubuntu. The rights attached to the software must not depend on the program being part of Ubuntu system. So we will not distribute software for which Ubuntu has a "special" exemption or right, and we will not put our own software into Ubuntu and then refuse you the right to pass it on.
        Must not contaminate other software licences.The licence must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with it. For example, the licence must not insist that all other programmes distributed on the same medium be free software.
        May require source modifications to be distributed as patches. In some cases, software authors are happy for us to distribute their software and modifications to their software, as long as the two are distributed separately, so that people always have a copy of their pristine code. We are happy to respect this preference. However, the licence must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code.

Documentation, firmware and drivers

Ubuntu contains licensed and copyrighted works that are not application software. For example, the default Ubuntu installation includes documentation, images, sounds, video clips and firmware. The Ubuntu community will make decisions on the inclusion of these works on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that these works do not restrict our ability to make Ubuntu available free of charge, and that you can continue to redistribute Ubuntu.
Software installed by default

When you install Ubuntu, you will typically install a complete desktop environment. It is also possible to install a minimal set of software (just enough to boot your machine) and then manually select the precise software applications to install. Such a "custom" install is usually favoured by server administrators, who prefer to keep only the software they absolutely need on the server.

All of the application software installed by default is free software. In addition, we install some hardware drivers that are available only in binary format, but such packages are clearly marked in the restricted component.

Here's Canonical's policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257665)

http://www.canonical.com/intellectual-property-rights-policy
Intellectual property rights policy

What’s new? On 14th May 2013 we updated our trademark policy and renamed it the “intellectual property rights policy”.

Why? We want to ensure that anyone using Canonical’s intellectual property does so in compliance with Canonical’s rights. As such, we have redrafted the existing policy to more clearly identify what intellectual property rights Canonical has and to clarify and simplify the language. In particular, we have clarified Canonical’s position with respect to the redistribution of Ubuntu.

What’s changed? Essentially nothing. We’re just making things clearer.

Please read the updated intellectual property rights policy to find out more.

Welcome to Canonical’s IPRights Policy. This policy is published by Canonical Limited (Canonical, we, us and our) under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA version 3.0 UK licence.

Canonical owns and manages certain intellectual property rights in Ubuntu and other associated intellectual property (Canonical IP) and licenses the use of these rights to enterprises, individuals and members of the Ubuntu community in accordance with this IPRights Policy.

Your use of Canonical IP is subject to:

        Your acceptance of this IPRights Policy;
        Your acknowledgement that Canonical IP is the exclusive property of Canonical and can only be used with Canonical’s permission (which can be revoked at any time); and
        You taking all reasonable steps to ensure that Canonical IP is used in a manner that does not affect either the validity of such Canonical IP or Canonical’s ownership of Canonical IP in any way; and that you will transfer any goodwill you derive from them to Canonical, if requested.

Ubuntu is a trusted open source platform. To maintain that trust we need to manage the use of Ubuntu and the components within it very carefully. This way, when people use Ubuntu, or anything bearing the Ubuntu brand, they can be assured that it will meet the standards they expect. Your continued use of Canonical IP implies your acceptance and acknowledgement of this IPRights Policy.
1. Summary

        You can download, install and receive updates to Ubuntu for free.
        You can modify Ubuntu for personal or internal commercial use.
        You can redistribute Ubuntu, but only where there has been no modification to it.
        You can use our copyright, patent and design materials in accordance with this IPRights Policy.
        You can be confident and can trust in the consistency of the Ubuntu experience.
        You can rely on the standard expected of Ubuntu.

2. Your use of Ubuntu

        You can download, install and receive updates to Ubuntu for free.
        Ubuntu is freely available to all users for personal, or in the case of organisations, internal use. It is provided for this use without warranty. All implied warranties are disclaimed to the fullest extent permitted at law.
        You can modify Ubuntu for personal or internal use.
        You can make changes to Ubuntu for your own personal use or for your organisation’s own internal use.
        You can redistribute Ubuntu, but only where there has been no modification to it.
        You can redistribute Ubuntu in its unmodified form, complete with the installer images and packages provided by Canonical (this includes the publication or launch of virtual machine images).

        Any redistribution of modified versions of Ubuntu must be approved, certified or provided by Canonical if you are going to associate it with the Trademarks. Otherwise you must remove and replace the Trademarks and will need to recompile the source code to create your own binaries. This does not affect your rights under any open source licence applicable to any of the components of Ubuntu. If you need us to approve, certify or provide modified versions for redistribution you will require a licence agreement from Canonical, for which you may be required to pay. For further information, please contact us (as set out below).

        We do not recommend using modified versions of Ubuntu which are not modified in accordance with this IPRights Policy. Modified versions may be corrupted and users of such modified systems or images may find them to be inconsistent with the updates published by Canonical to its users. If they use the Trademarks, they are in contravention of this IPRights Policy. Canonical cannot guarantee the performance of such modified versions. Canonical’s updates will be consistent with every version of Ubuntu approved, certified or provided by Canonical.

3. Your use of our trademarks

Canonical’s Trademarks (registered in word and logo form) include:
UBUNTU KUBUNTU EDUBUNTU
XUBUNTU JUJU LANDSCAPE

        You can use the Trademarks, in accordance with Canonical’s brand guidelines, with Canonical’s permission in writing. If you require a Trademark licence, please contact us (as set out below).
        You will require Canonical’s permission to use: (i) any mark ending with the letters UBUNTU or BUNTU which is sufficiently similar to the Trademarks or any other confusingly similar mark, and (ii) any Trademark in a domain name or URL or for merchandising purposes.
        You cannot use the Trademarks in software titles. If you are producing software for use with or on Ubuntu you may reference Ubuntu, but must avoid: (i) any implication of endorsement, or (ii) any attempt to unfairly or confusingly capitalise on the goodwill of Canonical or Ubuntu.
        You can use the Trademarks in discussion, commentary, criticism or parody, provided that you do not imply endorsement by Canonical.
        You can write articles, create websites, blogs or talk about Ubuntu, provided that it is clear that you are in no way speaking for or on behalf of Canonical and that you do not imply endorsement by Canonical.

Canonical reserves the right to review all use of Canonical’s Trademarks and to object to any use that appears outside of this IPRights Policy.
4. Your use of our copyright, patent and design materials

        You can only use Canonical’s copyright materials in accordance with the copyright licences therein and this IPRights Policy.
        You cannot use Canonical’s patented materials without our permission.

Copyright

The disk, CD, installer and system images, together with Ubuntu packages and binary files, are in many cases copyright of Canonical (which copyright may be distinct from the copyright in the individual components therein) and can only be used in accordance with the copyright licences therein and this IPRights Policy.
Patents

Canonical has made a significant investment in the Open Invention Network, defending Linux, for the benefit of the open source ecosystem. Additionally, like many open source projects, Canonical also protects its interests from third parties by registering patents. You cannot use Canonical’s patented materials without our permission.
Trade dress and look and feel

Canonical owns intellectual property rights in the trade dress and look and feel of Ubuntu (including the Unity interface), along with various themes and components that may include unregistered design rights, registered design rights and design patents, your use of Ubuntu is subject to these rights.
5. Logo use guidelines

Canonical’s logos are presented in multiple colours and it is important that their visual integrity be maintained. It is therefore preferable that the logos should only be used in their standard form, but if you should feel the need to alter them in any way, you should following the guidelines set out below.

        Ubuntu logo guidelines
        Canonical logo guidelines

6. Use of Canonical IP by the Ubuntu community

Ubuntu is built by Canonical and the Ubuntu community. We share access rights owned by Canonical with the Ubuntu community for the purposes of discussion, development and advocacy. We recognise that most of the open source discussion and development areas are for non-commercial purposes and we therefore allow the use of Canonical IP in this context, as long as there is no commercial use and that the Canonical IP is used in accordance with this IPRights Policy.
7. Contact us

Please contact us:

        if you have any questions or would like further information on our IPRights Policy, Canonical or Canonical IP;
        if you would like permission from Canonical to use Canonical IP;
        if you require a licence agreement; or
        to report a breach of our IPRights Policy.

Please note that due to the volume of mail we receive, it may take up to a week to process your request.
8. Changes

We may make changes to this IPRights Policy from time to time. Please check this IPRights Policy from time to time to ensure that you are in compliance.

Using Canonical servers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257901)

The strongest case Ubuntu has in my opinion is to state that the Ubuntu repositories in their binary form are only available to Carnonical authorized distibutions. The servers are theirs and they can dictate any terms of service they wish. Carnonical/Ubuntu still has to provide source per the GPL but not free binaries and bandwidth.

Side note: Slashdot is half following my system theme... the text is white but the background is white not grey, the end result being I cannot see what I type. Please forgive any typos :)

Re:Using Canonical servers (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46258477)

The strongest case Ubuntu has in my opinion is to state that the Ubuntu repositories in their binary form are only available to Carnonical authorized distibutions. The servers are theirs and they can dictate any terms of service they wish. Carnonical/Ubuntu still has to provide source per the GPL but not free binaries and bandwidth.

That's not at all how Ubuntu is distributed. Canonical maintains a handful of servers but the vast majority is handled by universities and companies around the world that donates storage in their FTP pools to Ubuntu.

Re:Using Canonical servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46258931)

Couldn't you use any ubuntu repo from any debian derivative by simply adding it to your sources.list

Re:Using Canonical servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46262323)

No. Ubuntu is not binary-compatible with Debian, and neither is Mint binary-compatible with Ubuntu.

They should all be source-compatible, but Mint isn't recompiling anything, and it can lead to system instability, which is one of the reasons Canonical reached out to Mint over Mint claiming Ubuntu compatibility.

Ask a copyright lawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46257929)

Rather than listen to stuff that has no basis in reality like this:

Any suggestion there is compilation copyright is irrelevant in most countries and untrue for derivatives almost by definition.

You should consider the following:
1) It's not irrelevant in the United States. Or Canada. Or Australia. Or the UK. Or India. Shall I go on?
2) If it's a derivative work, BY DEFINITION it infringes.

Yes, you can absolutely select your packages independently to make your own distro. What you can't do is use SOMEONE ELSE'S selection, modify it slightly, and say "tahdah!" The whole principle behind compilation copyright is that it takes some creativity to select among possibilities, and the expression of that creativity (the compilation) is subject to copyright.

Stop using their trademark (0)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 6 months ago | (#46258059)

It's pretty obvious that Kubuntu is derivative of Ubuntu and Canonical is within its rights to maintain the strength of their trademark. If the Kubuntu folks wanted to be truly libre then they should have been smart enough to come up with an original name.

Gawd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46258441)

Canonical... for the love of all things great... do NOT end up like Apple, you started off doing really well, made a great Os and talked about convergence, so try not to slip up now with all this license bullcrap, open-source all the way baby!

RH doesn't force a license on Oracle or CentO (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#46258503)

Red Hat doesn't force a license on Oracle or CentOS.

That's because they own CentOS, and if they tried to force such a thing on Oracle, Oracle would own them.

Re:RH doesn't force a license on Oracle or CentO (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 6 months ago | (#46258581)

No, it's because both CentOS and Oracle use only the code, which is GPL, and thus their use of it is already covered by the same license which covers Red Hat's use of it. Neither party uses any Red Hat trademarks or IP, so there's nothing left for Red Hat to license.

Re:RH doesn't force a license on Oracle or CentO (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46258655)

The interesting question is then if it's acceptable that Red Hat takes free software, packages it into binary packages and then restricts the distribution of the binary packages. For most licenses that's probably OK, but at least with GPL-style licenses that may or may not be true. I'm sure they have lawyers that have already looked at this and determined that they can, but in that case I would say that this is probably a flaw in the GPL. You may run into trademark issues with modified binaries, but unmodified binaries are of course unmodified so that may not necessarily be the case.

Re:RH doesn't force a license on Oracle or CentO (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#46260861)

No, it's because both CentOS and Oracle use only the code

"Linux Mint had been asked to sign a license agreement in order to continue distributing software packages out of the Ubuntu repositories."

No difference then. That's from TFA, BTW.

I read the article, shoot me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46258661)

Canonical is blowing smoke up people's asses. There is reference to *goals* about quality software. None of those mentioned goals include the Apache, BSD or GPL goals of enabling people to develop their own software,

When such a letter refuses to actually identify the license issue, spends its time talking about how the community needs to play nice without addressing any of the actual license concerns, that's frat boy party talk for "look away while I slip the roofies into this girls drink". It's time for Mint to watch their ass dealing with Ubuntu., and ideally time to publish the letter sent between Ubuntu and Mint.

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Not about trandemarks, sounds like a shakedown (1)

dyfet (154716) | about 6 months ago | (#46258905)

Since some will try to make the comparison, in fact CentOS and Scientific Linux do not use RedHat branding. They are also not covered by RedHat service agreements. There is no conflict or issue. Mint similarly also does NOT use Ubuntu branding, trademarks, etc. So what is this about?

http://distrowatch.com/weekly.... [distrowatch.com] Clem responded, "Money isn't a primary concern. Although the original fee was in the hundreds of thousands pounds, it was easily reduced to a single digit figure. The licensing aims at restricting what Mint can and cannot do, mostly in relation to the OEM market, to prevent Mint from competing with Canonical in front of the same commercial partners."

If this is indeed true, then Canonical is demanding the right to tell Mint where they could NOT offer their distribution (such as OEM's) . It is this aspect that would clearly and openly violate the GNU GPL, and is nothing more than a crude shakedown more worthy of our local mob.

Open Source pawn in commercialization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46258921)

When open source started out it was more or less people with a drive to provide good applications and operating systems that were not reduced or controlled by any
one company. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Canonical. What has become clear is these companies like Google and Canonical are now trying to defend their moves to try and protect their open source projects in a sense that they almost consider them proprietary. In many ways they are but their roots are deeply entrenched in open source. As more of these projects like Chrome OS, Android, Firefox, Ubuntu try to commercialize they are facing push back from the loyal open source community.
Who I think are beginning to feel used and betrayed by these companies. Red Hat has never been questioned because much of their commercial success was all about support and services. When you bought Red Hat that's just what you bought. The lines are becoming vague though on what is open source and what is basically proprietary software created with open source projects?

you'll make them look bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46259261)

if you put their name on something they don't want you to make them look bad.

Canonical is within its right (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 5 months ago | (#46259349)

Canonical is within its right to require licenses for people wanting to make derivatives of its intellectual property. FOSS and the GPL doesn't prohibit that. The kicker is, though, what parts of Ubuntu's stack are actually IP of Canonical? Things like their software center would be and other parts they've developed, but the vast majority would not be. Likewise for the name and other branding. If you want to advertize that you are an Ubuntu derivative, then, you probably need to license it.

So, if you want to make a derivative of Ubuntu and not have to license it, then just leave out the Canonical specific stuff. OTOH, if you find that those things are important to your distro, then register for the license.

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