commercial != non-free software

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Tue Aug 8 18:05:42 BST 2006

On Tue, Aug 08, 2006 at 09:24:52AM +0100, Matthew East wrote:
> * Matt Zimmerman:
> > On Mon, Aug 07, 2006 at 09:17:36AM +0100, Matthew East wrote:
> >> * Eric Feliksik:
> >>> While it is interesting that these packages can be provided by
> >>> Canonical, I think the word "commercial" is misplaced here.  We all know
> >>> free software can be commercial software (for many people Ubuntu itself
> >>> is commercial, or some of the packages are), and non-free software can
> >>> even be non-commercial. When Ubuntu aims to promote free software, it's
> >>> important not to create this confusion.
> >> Agreed. For me it's not really a point of principle as one of
> >> convenience, the normal meaning of "commercial" for people is that they
> >> will have to pay for the software. Since they don't have to pay for the
> >> software in dapper-commercial, it is not an appropriate name.
> > 
> > While it may or may not be feasible to change the name of the repository at
> > this time, I'd be interested to hear suggestions for meaningful, intuitive
> > names which aren't defined as the opposite of something else.
> > 
> > "proprietary" is the closest that comes to mind.
> I think proprietary is the right word. But the one thing I would add is
> that the existing Ubuntu repositories (or is it channels, components,
> argh!) have neutral names which don't necessarily reflect the licensing
> of the content (multiverse). So I think as long as the name is either
> appropriately descriptive or neutral, it doesn't matter. The problem is
> only where the name is descriptive but inappropriate.

Those are difficult to describe succinctly, as they involve concepts like
"does not meet the official Ubuntu licensing guidelines" and "are not
guaranteed to receive security updates".

 - mdz

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