EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


When it Comes to Trademarks, Canonical is Even Worse Than Novell

Posted in Ubuntu at 1:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Canonical uses dubious trademarks in dubious ways in order to silence critics

BACK in 2007 we wrote about the possibility that Novell might try to use trademarks in order to silence "Boycott Novell". Despite the fact that some Novell employees abused us (as SCO employees had done in Groklaw), it never went as far as using legal threats (intended to discourage or scare the critics). For that sort of tactless move to become reality one can always count on privacy offender Canonical. It is not unprecedented.

According to this article from a part-time Microsoft booster, “Canonical “abused trademark law” to target a site critical of Ubuntu privacy,” adding to its name-calling against critics (Mark Shuttleworth just collectively referred to them as “trolls”).

Remember that Canonical went after derivatives of Ubuntu — using trademarks to force renames — and later used its PR-esque staff (no need to name names) in order to cover this up because publicity generated by these moves was largely very negative. Canonical clearly hasn’t learned its lessons.

Canonical seriously needs some fixing. But we might not be able to say so because Canonical would go after us. Canonical Canonical Canonical Canonical Canonical Canonical. Sue us.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    November 9, 2013 at 9:46 am


    You’d think that a company that big would have someone on staff to work with the community and smooth things out when they need it. Working pro-actively to address their problems would be far better than jumping into threats of legal action. The site’s use of the trademark seems fine, it is nominative use, but then IANAL. However, the nastiness in the letter, veiled in polite words, distracts from the privacy concerns the distro has introduced. The site FixUbuntu has a valid point about user privacy. Attacking and name calling might distract some from that, but won’t fix the problem.

  2. Dr. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 9, 2013 at 3:24 pm


    There are more articles about this now.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131107/17583725174/disappointing-to-see-canonical-act-like-trademark-bully-over-ubuntu.shtml http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/11/fixubuntu/

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Apparently there has been a weak apology of sorts offered:


    I’m not sure where he gets Mir from in all that. I’ve seen people asking for clarification of Canonical’s goals and direction with Mir but he still seems to dismiss even those questions as “non-technical” critique.

What Else is New

  1. Microsoft's and Bill Gates' Biggest Patent Troll (Intellectual Ventures) Suffers Setback and Nokia is Dead While Patents Scattered to Microsoft Patent Proxies

    Microsoft's patent collectors (trolls) are to have a feast with Nokia patents while Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest patent proxy, continues to attack companies including Motorola

  2. Patent Racketeering Continues With Nadella: Motorola the Latest to Join the FUD Campaign

    Nadella continues Ballmer's campaign of intimidation and alienation, showing that nothing has changed at Microsoft, not even the FUD

  3. Links 23/4/2014: GNOME Maps Application, LG in Headlines

    Links for the day

  4. Links 22/4/2014: More GNU/Linux Gains, Syria Updates

    Links for the day

  5. Links 21/4/2014: New Games for GNU/Linux, Some NatSec Politics

    Links for the day

  6. Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

    What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why

  7. Links 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

    Links for the day

  8. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day

  9. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day

  10. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)

  11. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire

  12. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day

  13. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day

  14. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll

  15. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS

  16. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day

  17. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day

  18. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile

  19. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes

  20. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors

  21. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day

  22. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor

  23. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO

  24. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day

  25. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day

  26. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance

  27. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day

  28. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day

  29. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day

  30. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts