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

12.12.13

Beyond Trademarks, Intellectual Monopolies at Canonical Raise Questions

Posted in Debian, Intellectual Monopoly, Ubuntu at 12:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

On the shoulders of giants but without shoulders of one’s own

Summary: How Canonical impedes dissemination of work that Ubuntu inherits from other projects, such as Debian and GNU

Linux Mint KDE [1] and Linux Mint Xfce [2] are two examples of Linux Mint releases that widely deviate from Ubuntu, unlike the GNOME (and derivatives like Mate and Cinnamon [3]) version of Linux Mint 16. When there were gentle arguments about security of Linux Mint Clement Lefebvre made it known that Canonical wanted Mint to license Ubuntu binary packages. This angle is being explored again [4] because products like MintBox [5] rely on Canonical giving access to those binaries (otherwise they become less secure). Jim Lynch’s studying of this relies on a bit from DistroWatch that says: “Clem claims he has been asked by Canonical’s legal department to license the binary packages used by Ubuntu. To me this is a scary thought. Ubuntu is a base distribution for many projects, some of them (such as Mint and Kubuntu) are quite successful.

Clement Lefebvre“Clem’s statement makes me wonder if Canonical has approached other open source projects about licensing the right to access Ubuntu’s package repositories. If so, what might follow? Would derivative distributions need to pay to use Canonical’s packages? How would Canonical enforce such a policy, with lawyers, by blocking access to the repositories if a user isn’t using Genuine Ubuntu?”

Should Canonical start signing licences to use Debian packages too? It looks like trademarks are no longer the only type of Intellectual Monopolies we should debate.

Canonical is growing increasingly selfish and isolated, with hardware deals around something called “Ubuntu Touch OS” [6,7,8] (hardly GNU/Linux) and work around Canonical copyrights [9] (Unity). No wonder some people see the “ugly” side [10]. In his latest talks across the UK Richard Stallman was discouraging adoption of Ubuntu by members of the audience.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Linux Mint 16 KDE Edition Release Candidate Uses KDE 4.11

    Clement Lefebvre has announced earlier today, December 8, that the Release Candidate (RC) version of the upcoming Linux Mint 16 KDE Edition operating system is available for download and testing.

  2. Linux Mint Xfce 16 RC “Petra” Still Looks Beautiful and Minimalistic, Download Now
  3. Will Canonical force Linux Mint to license Ubuntu binary packages?
  4. MintBox 2 review – not as fresh, still as minty

    The MintBox 2 is here, and it’s more powerful than ever. Just how much power are you getting for nearly £400 though?

  5. Hey Linux newbie: If you’ve never had a taste, try perfect Petra … mmm, smells like Mint 16

    The recently released Mint 16, nicknamed Petra, might be the perfect Linux desktop for newcomers.

    At its core is Ubuntu 13.10, but on top of this are desktops Mate and Cinnamon, the latter being the Mint project’s homegrown user interface.

  6. Ubuntu Touch OS wins its first smartphone partner

    Canonical has inked its first deal with partner who’ll put the Linux-basd operating system on its phones, founder Mark Shuttleworth reveals.

  7. Report: Ubuntu Touch OS Finally Finds a Smartphone Partner
  8. Canonical Sign First Ubuntu Touch Hardware Partner, ‘High-End Phone’ To Debut in 2014
  9. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to Integrate Default Torrent Scope for Unity
  10. Ubuntu 13.10: The good, the bad and the ugly
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

A Single Comment

  1. saulgoode said,

    December 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Gravatar

    This is not about licensing the right to access Ubuntu’s package repositories, it is about a distributor of GPLed software being able to reference those repositories as meeting compliance requirements for making the source available.

    The view of the Free Software Foundation is that the requirement is for the distributor of the software to make the source available, or arrange with an agent to handle the task. It is not acceptable for a distro to point to the upstream hosting of source files, nor is it acceptable for one distro to point to the source code repositories of another distro, barring the existence of an agreement between the two distros that such linking is acceptable.

    Canonical/Ubuntu has been somewhat unique with regard to this, as they at one time deemed it acceptable for derivatives to link to Ubuntu’s source repositories and thus avoid the expense and hassle of mirroring sources. I’m not aware of any other distros that have agreed to host sources for their derivatives.

    Nonetheless, Canonical is well within their rights to cancel this agreement and given the popularity and the commercial aspects of the Mint project, it is not unreasonable to expect it to carry its own water, so to speak.

What Else is New


  1. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism<



  2. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  3. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  4. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  5. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  6. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  7. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  8. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  9. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  10. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  11. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  12. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  13. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  14. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  15. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day



  16. Software Patents 'Quality' Debated in Courts, Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll Still a Chronic Liar

    Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' largest patent proxy, continues to spread lies about its motivations, claiming that patent assessment is among the goals when in fact only the courts and patent offices do this



  17. New Article Explains How Bill Gates Prevents Schools From Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

    A new article from Al Jazeera provides details about the role of so-called 'charities' of billionaires inside school systems



  18. Microsoft Sued for Large-scale Copyright Abuses

    Microsoft reveals its disregard for copyright law which it loves so much to wield as a weapon against its competition and clients



  19. Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

    Links for the day



  20. 'Embrace and Extend' at Microsoft: The New Generation

    Some of the latest examples of Microsoft's predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness



  21. Bill Gates' God Complex: Common Core a One-Man Campaign of Greed and Control

    The push for Common Core is overwhelmingly dominated by Bill Gates, who intimidates and even resorts to retribution against critics while bribing those who help him accomplish the goal of privatised (for his private profit) indoctrination in US schools



  22. Bill Gates Investments Harm the World, Not Improve the World, Based on New Exclusive Piece of Investigative Journalism at The Nation

    The Gates Foundation's profiteering efforts and lack of ethics outlined in a new report that many sites around the Web find fascinating and mostly irrefutable



  23. Links 3/9/2014: Android Gadgets, New Tails OS

    Links for the day



  24. Linus Torvalds DebConf Talk

    Torvalds' latest talk which got media attention earlier this month



  25. Microsoft Should Not be Considered Too Big to Jail

    Microsoft continues to use dumping as a strategy which revolves around starving the competition, not beating the competition



  26. Pro-Software Patents Voices Finally Acknowledge the Demise of Software Patents in the United States

    A milestone is reached as even the most zealous supporters of patents on algorithms (or computer-implemented inventions, or software patents) are admitting that the era of software patents may be over



  27. New Lies About Microsoft 'Privacy' and New FUD Against the GPL Comes From 'Former' Microsoft Staff at Black Duck

    More AstroTurfing by sites that are run by Microsoft MVPs and firms which were created by people from Microsoft



  28. Links 2/9/2014: GNU/Linux in BBC, Calls Against systemd

    Links for the day



  29. Links 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

    Links for the day



  30. Moving Away From Windows to GNU/Linux and the Abandonment of Windows as the Modest Proposal These Days

    Morale of GNU/Linux and an embrace of GNU/Linux is very high, despite recent propaganda from Microsoft MVPs and boosters (primarily security-themed and Munich-themed FUD)


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts