[personal profile] mjg59
Update: A Canonical employee responded here, but doesn't appear to actually contradict anything I say below.

I wrote about Canonical's Ubuntu IP policy here, but primarily in terms of its broader impact, but I mentioned a few specific cases. People seem to have picked up on the case of container images (especially Docker ones), so here's an unambiguous statement:

If you generate a container image that is not a 100% unmodified version of Ubuntu (ie, you have not removed or added anything), Canonical insist that you must ask them for permission to distribute it. The only alternative is to rebuild every binary package you wish to ship[1], removing all trademarks in the process. As I mentioned in my original post, the IP policy does not merely require you to remove trademarks that would cause infringement, it requires you to remove all trademarks - a strict reading would require you to remove every instance of the word "ubuntu" from the packages.

If you want to contact Canonical to request permission, you can do so here. Or you could just derive from Debian instead.

[1] Other than ones whose license explicitly grants permission to redistribute binaries and which do not permit any additional restrictions to be imposed upon the license grants - so any GPLed material is fine

Sure! I dislike Ubuntu IP as well.

Date: 2015-12-13 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
While I use ubuntu derivatives on my computers, their IP and somesuch is a crap. So when it comes to making embedded designs, I'm really much better using Debian. There are far more picky about IP things and do not expose any weird/non-reasonable requirements eiter.

So if Canonical wants to hurt their systems adoption: okay, I think they acieved it. So at least some part of Internet Of Things going to be Debian based instead. Whatever, Ubuntu is just too risky/troublesome to use it in any commercial application. And it is their IP policy to blame.


Matthew Garrett

About Matthew

Power management, mobile and firmware developer on Linux. Security developer at Google. Ex-biologist. @mjg59 on Twitter. Content here should not be interpreted as the opinion of my employer.

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