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

Jonathan Riddell jr at
Tue May 5 09:17:45 UTC 2015

On 5 May 2015 at 00:04, Michael Hall <mhall119 at> wrote:
> Because they are not Ubuntu and they are using Ubuntu's resources.

Wow, this shows a complete lack of understanding of the basics of the
Ubuntu community, upstream communities, downstream communities, free
software processes and the law.

You can not restrict what people do unless there's a contractual or
legal way to do that.  People can choose to not be Ubuntu and don't
get arbitrary restrictions put on them.  They can download all the
packages they want from the mirrors that host the packages we make.
If you want to restrict how much people do that you need to put a
password on the servers to do so.  You can't pretend there's an
arbitrary cutoff just because you don't like people not being Ubuntu.

I am Ubuntu.  I have contributed every day of my life for the last 10
years to this community and used vast amounts of my resources doing
so.  You can not in my name or the name of our community make
restrictions on our users without consulting with that community.  The
Ubuntu promise says the software is freely redistributable and so it

Our upstreams write the software and put it under free software
licences in lines with codes shared by the community.  You can not
claim restrictions on software other people make just because we
distribute it under a licence they give to us.

Our downstream derived distributions deserve to use our work as much
as we deserve to use Debian's or KDE's.  They can use the mirror
network for packages if they want to because the mirrors are is
unrestricted.  If you want to restrict it you need to put a password
on it but then you will kill the Ubuntu community.  This community
only works because of freedom to do what everyone wants.  Arbitrary
restrictions will kill it.

I am trusted by Ubuntu and by Canonical to review the licences of the
software we use before it goes into the archive.  There is nothing in
any of the software licences that allows to restrict distribution of
binary packages when they are freely available for download.  Using a
vaguely worded text which may or may not be about trademark to
restrict our users from freely sharing binaries is unacceptable by the
rules of any free software community.


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