Canonical’s IPRights Policy incompa

Charles Profitt ubuntu at
Sat May 2 14:17:08 UTC 2015

On Sat, 2015-05-02 at 09:58 +0100, Jonathan Riddell wrote:

> This is not a complex issue or one that is beyond that capabilities of
> the Ubuntu community to understand.  Canonical are directly claiming
> that Ubuntu packages can not be freely shared. It is a very direct
> restriction of basic open source freedoms.  The Ubuntu Community
> Council should be making a strong statement that the claim is untrue
> but they seem to be unwilling which makes me wonder how else can the
> Ubuntu community stand up for its own basic policies.
> Jonathan

"Canonical are directly claiming that packages can not be freely

From all the things I have read and heard this is a non-accurate claim
that leaves out some of the complexity. To my understanding the issue
stems from potential copyright and the re-branding of the collection of
binaries. My understanding is that all flavours have been granted a
license to do so. Other derivatives are asked to ask for a license.
Sounds similar to what Redhat specifies (excerpt below). The other
option is to use the source code, remove copyrighted bits and then

Redhat excerpt:

"The Programs and each of their components are owned by Red Hat and
other licensors and are protected under copyright law and under other
laws as applicable. Title to the Programs and any component, or to any
copy, modification, or merged portion shall remain with Red Hat and
other licensors, subject to the applicable license. The “Red Hat”
trademark and the “Shadowman” logo are registered trademarks of Red Hat
in the U.S. and other countries. This EULA does not permit you to
distribute the Programs or their components using Red Hat's trademarks,
regardless of whether the copy has been modified. You may make a
commercial redistribution of the Programs only if (a) permitted under a
separate written agreement with Red Hat authorizing such commercial
redistribution, or (b) you remove and replace all occurrences of Red Hat
trademarks. Modifications to the software may corrupt the Programs. You
should read the information found at before distributing a
copy of the Programs."

Now, this is my understanding from what I have read and discussed, but I
am not a lawyer with international legal expertise in matters pertaining
to copyright so this opinion, like yours, may be wholly or partially

As was suggested, if you have any further questions or need for
clarification you can consult Canonical legal.


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