Community Council Statement on Canonical Package Licensing

José Antonio Rey jose at
Thu Feb 13 22:06:46 UTC 2014


I have just posted this to the Fridge
You should be able to see it on the Planet in a couple minutes.

On 02/13/2014 04:58 PM, cprofitt wrote:
> Before the start of the holidays last year, the Ubuntu Community Council
> was approached by a concerned member of the community regarding the news
> that Linux Mint had been asked to sign a license agreement in order to
> continue distributing software packages out of the Ubuntu repositories.
> Over the past two months, the Community Council has had several
> discussions, mailing list threads and meetings about this. In addition,
> we’ve reached out to another derivative for their understanding of the
> situation and spoken with external legal experts.
> We are more than aware that some time has passed since the original
> approach and feel that we need to make it known that we've not been
> ignoring the situation. Legal issues are complex and we have to be
> mindful of the difference between personal and legal opinions.
> Understanding the weight of our words would carry we felt it was
> important to take time to gather facts and discuss the issue thoroughly.
> At this time, we are in agreement that one of the keys to Ubuntu's
> success is in providing a well-designed, reliable and enjoyable
> experience to all of our users, whether they are using Ubuntu on a
> desktop, a phone or in the cloud. To that end it is critical that when
> people see “Ubuntu”, it adequately represents the software that we all
> build and stand behind. This is as important to our individual
> reputations as much as to the reputation of the project as a whole.
> Trademarks and Copyrights are the legal tools provided to us for
> safeguarding those reputations, and it's part of Canonical's mandate
> within the Ubuntu project to use those tools appropriately, balancing
> the needs of all those involved in making Ubuntu. Canonical already
> provides a license for the use of these to the Ubuntu project and all of
> its distributions, including Ubuntu itself as well as those flavors that
> are developed in collaboration with it.
> We believe there is no ill-will against Linux Mint, from either the
> Ubuntu community or Canonical and that Canonical does not intend to
> prevent them from continuing their work, and that this license is to
> help ensure that. What Linux Mint does is appreciated, and we want to
> see them succeed.
> The Community Council feels that Canonical is making an honest and
> reasonable effort to balance the needs of the community and that any
> specific legal concerns should be addressed to the legal councils of
> those involved.
> Finally, the Community Council would like to take this opportunity to
> remind people that it is important to work in a respectful collaborative
> manner when there are issues that concern the community. While this has
> been a valuable discussion to have, it’s also important to remember that
> everybody involved in the Ubuntu project, Canonical included, wants to
> see it and open source in general succeed and become as widely used as
> possible. Be mindful that you do not get caught up in a controversy,
> where a discussion with the parties concerned could clear up any
> misunderstandings. But when you do have any concerns about an issue such
> as this, we strongly encourage you to contact the Community Council
> directly and we will always do our best to provide accurate information
> or, when necessary, appropriate intervention to resolve the issue to the
> benefit of everybody involved. We are available to everybody, inside or
> outside the Ubuntu community.
> Submitted by Charles Profitt
> on behalf of the Ubuntu Community Council

José Antonio Rey

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