Re: Canonical’s IPRights Policy incompatible with Ubuntu licence policy

Jono Bacon jono at
Fri May 1 23:29:30 UTC 2015

On 1 May 2015 at 15:47, Valorie Zimmerman <valorie.zimmerman at> wrote:
> How can it *not* be a CC issue? Jonathan stated the issue very
> clearly. All the CC need do is agree that Ubuntu is Free Software,
> that we continue to respect the four freedoms as we always have.

Come on, we all know the CC believes in the four freedoms, as does
Canonical. There is no issue with that. :-)

> What Canonical does is their business of course, and naturally I hope
> that their discussions with the SFLC go well, and that all is
> clarified on their end. Until that happens and their one problematic
> page is changed, the CC can at least be on record standing for
> freedom.

This is not an us vs. them issue. It is not the difference between
"standing for freedom" and not standing for freedom.

The mandate and charter of the CC is to help govern the Ubuntu
community. The Ubuntu community and Canonical are not different
entities: Canonical is not simply a company that writes checks and
keeps the lights running, Canonical is *part* of the Ubuntu community
and plays a critical role.

This is a Canonical issue because Canonical owns the trademarks and
defines the intellectual property policy for Ubuntu.
that Jonathan cites was written by Canonical, worded by Canonical
legal, and written in a way that is defensible under law.

Canonical understands the legal nuance, threats, and ramifications for
IP policy changes and thus takes care of this for the betterment of
the wider Ubuntu ecosystem. This is why this is a conversation with
Canonical *first*.

Where the CC should play a role is in ensuring that Canonical
understand the needs of the Ubuntu community and I believe Canonical
does understand this. The CC should also play a role in demanding
Canonical to play an effective stewardship role as protectors of
Ubuntu IP and policy. I believe the CC has been doing this.

The CC are *not* here to go and bollock Canonical.

> "Waiting on Canonical" is problematic. Canonical's issues are their
> own. The CC is for US, the Ubuntu Community.

Again, this is where I think you have this wrong. Canonical's issues
*are* Ubuntu issues. Canonical are not just a random company that uses
Ubuntu: a *huge* proportion of what makes Ubuntu Ubuntu, and what
makes it possible for the flavors and derivs to exist is because of
Canonical - the build infrastructure, facilities, trademarks, and
IP...all of these play a role and we need to stop treating this like
an us vs. them situation.

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