Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

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vrkalak
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Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by vrkalak » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:14 pm

Third, and I think this is a point other Linux news websites are ignoring, Clem claims he has been asked by Canonical's legal department to license the binary packages used by Ubuntu. To me this is a scary thought. Ubuntu is a base distribution for many projects, some of them (such as Mint and Kubuntu) are quite successful. Clem's statement makes me wonder if Canonical has approached other open source projects about licensing the right to access Ubuntu's package repositories. If so, what might follow? Would derivative distributions need to pay to use Canonical's packages? How would Canonical enforce such a policy, with lawyers, by blocking access to the repositories if a user isn't using Genuine Ubuntu? Canonical would certainly have the right to restrict access to its packages, they are on Canonical's servers after all. However, most Linux distributions are quite open about allowing anyone to access their software repositories and I wonder if Canonical might be acting in a short-sighted manner if they are trying to license access.

With these thoughts in mind I contacted Canonical and asked if they could shed any light on the issue. At the time of writing I have not received a reply. An e-mail to the Linux Mint project asking for details yielded much better results. Clement Lefebvre responded the following day and, while he wasn't able to go into specific details as talks with Canonical are still on-going, he was able to share a few pieces of information. When asked if Canonical was hoping to collect a fee for using their binary packages, Clem responded, "Money isn't a primary concern. Although the original fee was in the hundreds of thousands pounds, it was easily reduced to a single digit figure. The licensing aims at restricting what Mint can and cannot do, mostly in relation to the OEM market, to prevent Mint from competing with Canonical in front of the same commercial partners."

Clem went on to indicate Canonical has not offered any threats nor discussed enforcing any licensing terms. When I asked what Mint's plans were concerning the licensing deal Clem answered, "We don't think the claim is valid (i.e. that you can copyright the compilation of source into a binary, which is a deterministic process). With that said, Ubuntu is one of Mint's major components and it adds value to our project. If we're able to please Canonical without harming Linux Mint, then we're interested in looking into it. As negative as this may sound, this is neither urgent nor conflictual. It's a rare occasion for Canonical and Linux Mint to talk with one another and although there are disagreements on the validity of the claim, things have been going quite well between the two distributions and both projects are looking for a solution that pleases all parties."

Reposted from an article>>
http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20131209
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xenopeek
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by xenopeek » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:26 pm

From these two bits from the quote from Clem this looks to be well in hand and something that will be resolved amicably.
The licensing aims at restricting what Mint can and cannot do, mostly in relation to the OEM market, to prevent Mint from competing with Canonical in front of the same commercial partners.

[T]his is neither urgent nor conflictual [...] and although there are disagreements on the validity of the claim, things have been going quite well between the two distributions and both projects are looking for a solution that pleases all parties.
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by MartyMint » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:59 pm

It's only a matter of time before Clem rolls out a (likely Debian based, but not "pure" Debian) distro that is distinct from Ubuntu.

That's where I see this grand project headed.

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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by DrHu » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:54 pm

Under GNU licences, vendors are allowed to include proprietry binary software, hence the AMD/ATI and Nvidia packages..

I only see ubuntu's idea as a subset of that general principal.
--and if Mint doesn't seem to encroach onto Unbuntu's territory (in their view), all will be well until there is a change in that vendor/distributor's position.

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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by hoppimike » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:16 pm

MartyMint wrote:It's only a matter of time before Clem rolls out a (likely Debian based, but not "pure" Debian) distro that is distinct from Ubuntu.

That's where I see this grand project headed.
I think that would be cool too, and I hope that all this goes well.

I do understand Canonical's concern, but they do seem to be tightening their grip more and more as time goes on, which becomes a little concerning.

I suppose at least the source code is open, so we are only talking about the repos here.

Anyway, I hope this all goes well as I've said - keep up the good work, Mint devs!

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Brahim Salem
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by Brahim Salem » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:29 pm

I knew this will happen some day! Canonical project has become very fishy lately! Mint has eaten much of its user base and Canonical is starting to worry that Mint will take it all! I read on the Ubuntu forums things like "Ubuntu has to be careful or it will lose it all to Mint" and all that jazz! I was expecting an attack from Microsoft as well! I think Mint should look for commercial partners like Dell and HP and develop its own base :D
BTW why only Mint is asked to " license the binary packages" :roll: :roll:


I'm removing Ubuntu now from my computer :D No more purple! I guess i'll go strictly green and clean :lol: :lol: :lol:

[url=http://postimage.org/][img]http://s16.postimg.org/phj2772ox/th_DANCE_417.gif[/img][/url] [url=http://postimage.org/][img]http://s16.postimg.org/phj2772ox/th_DANCE_417.gif[/img][/url] [url=http://postimage.org/][img]http://s16.postimg.org/phj2772ox/th_DANCE_417.gif[/img][/url] [url=http://postimage.org/][img]http://s16.postimg.org/phj2772ox/th_DANCE_417.gif[/img][/url]
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by hoppimike » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:39 pm

Brahim wrote:I knew this will happen some day! Canonical project has become very fishy lately! Mint has eaten much of its user base and Canonical is starting to worry that Mint will take it all! I read on the Ubuntu forums things like "Ubuntu has to be careful or it will lose it all to Mint" and all that jazz! I was expecting an attack from Microsoft as well! I think Mint should look for commercial partners like Dell and HP and develop its own base :D
BTW why only Mint is asked to " license the binary packages" :roll: :roll:


I'm removing Ubuntu now from my computer :D No more purple! I guess i'll go strictly green and clean :lol: :lol: :lol:
haha yes I wondered this too!

Maybe if they stopped repeatedly annoying users and shooting themselves in the foot with Unity "innovations", they could end up doing themselves much more good than tightening their grip on their repos! :P

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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by Brahim Salem » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:46 pm

"shooting themselves in the foot with Unity" :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by hoppimike » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:10 pm

Brahim wrote:"shooting themselves in the foot with Unity" :lol: :lol:
lol yeah, everyone seems to moan about Unity, don't they? :)

I find it cluttered and sloppy.

But... they're Ubuntu, they know best! Who cares what the users think, eh? xD

I mean, apparently Ubu still gets downloaded way more than Mint, despite Mint's way higher position on DistroWatch. Weird, huh?

Someone's gotta be still downloading Ubuntu!

But each to their own, I don't mind what people use as long as I can still get Mint :)

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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by Brahim Salem » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:11 pm

I told you this is coming in 2013 long time ago here [url]http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=129246#p701470[/url] and this guy said it even earlier [url]http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=61&t=95170#p544770[/url]
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by fraxinus_63 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:50 am

I know this would involve inconvenience and expense, but would one option "simply" be for Mint to maintain copies of the Ubuntu repos rather than having the distros' package managers pointing directly at them? As others (including posters already) have pointed out, surely the GPL makes it impossible for Ubuntu to charge for the open-source package material itself?

Again, perhaps any further issues of this kind will speed Mint's move towards a Debian base.

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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by Nilla Wafer » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:19 am

I don't know... why should anyone be required to spend money on huge servers with thousands of software packages and pay for all the bandwidth needed to provide free access to the servers by everybody? If repositories are considered a service to users of a particular distro, then it's appropriate for users to help underwrite the cost of running the servers and providing access. Seems to me that users of derivative distros who benefit from the same repositories ought to contribute as well. Server space and bandwidth for many distro's repositories is donated by universities, tech companies, and charities. Not so for Ubuntu, and by extension, Mint, Pinguy, SuperOS, and about 10 zillion other Ubuntu-based distros that all access Ubuntu's vast libraries and contribute nothing in return.

I have come to think that Canonical means to become - on desktops, tablets, laptops, and cellphones - what Red Hat has become on servers and databases. I think that would be awesome and I completely support the idea. What I find objectionable are the protests of others who have built their entire enterprises on Canonical's back and think they are entitled to free perpetual use of Canonical's resources in order to compete against them. Kinda like biting the hand that feeds you and then getting all butthurt when they say "stop it!"

Just say'n,
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by darknetmatrix » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:42 am

MartyMint wrote:It's only a matter of time before Clem rolls out a (likely Debian based, but not "pure" Debian) distro that is distinct from Ubuntu.

That's where I see this grand project headed.
We have that allready, LMDE :wink: maybe the team can started to think to invest more in this one instead of the ub.... based one's.

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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by hoppimike » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:49 am

Nilla -

I see your point, and I suppose Ubuntu are still giving back to the open source community in other ways and not just freeloading, right? Part of open source is volunteering and collaboration. Freeloading from it would be awful and worse than MS and Apple, but I'm aware that the GPL exists to stop companies like Canonical from taking advantage.

Also, if Ubuntu just provided a strong alternative to Unity perhaps people wouldn't be leaving in droves. They will never, ever get everyone running the Unity desktop in anything close to its current form. EVER.

Plus of course these other distros being Ubuntu-based does give Ubuntu advertising, of a sort. Perhaps there should be a requirement to at least give credit :)

"Software sources and packaging powered by Ubuntu" or something like that!

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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by Brahim Salem » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:45 am

Wht are the reactions of the Mint teamso far!!!! :shock: similar issues on the Manjaro side [url]http://forum.manjaro.org/index.php?topic=9095.0[/url]
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by hoppimike » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:26 pm

Brahim wrote:Wht are the reactions of the Mint teamso far!!!! :shock: similar issues on the Manjaro side [url]http://forum.manjaro.org/index.php?topic=9095.0[/url]
Makes sense that we're not the only ones reacting like this!

They're being way harsher to Ubuntu than us lol

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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by xenopeek » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:19 pm

This topic is turning into a circlejerk :( Bashing other distros and projects doesn't achieve anything except alienate other Linux Mint users and create an unwelcoming community. We have many members that are also running Ubuntu or Unity, so drop the attitude.

And again, as far as Linux Mint is concerned this is being handled amicably with Canonical. Let's not blow it out of proportions. The [url=http://segfault.linuxmint.com/2013/11/answering-controversy-stability-vs-security-is-something-you-configure/]last[/url] controversy wasted a full day of work for the Linux Mint team while they were working on Linux Mint 16, so let's not make this another controversy and waste more of the team's time. It's in hand and being handled amicably.
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by Nilla Wafer » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:31 pm

I can't understand why anyone is being hard on Ubuntu over this, to be honest. Using their repositories increases their costs. Asking for a little help in defraying those costs is hardly unfair.

If Ubuntu ends up being "Linux-based" instead of "just Linux," what's wrong with that? Was there so much hate when Linux-based but proprietary Android came along? No, because that's perfectly okay under the license. Red Hat, Oracle, Google - and maybe Canonical someday, all "guilty" of the same thing. But only Canonical is singled out for particular trashing on the Internet... Sorry, I don't get it.

One Linux blogger seems to agree:

http://wp.me/p2fr89-4x

~nilla

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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by FreedomOfTheOpenCode » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:06 pm

vrkalak wrote:Although the original fee was in the hundreds of thousands pounds, it was easily reduced to a single digit figure.
The danger is that paying even a nominal sum could subsequently be taken as an acknowledgement that a sum is due. I appreciate everything that Ubuntu has done for Linux, but I'm happy to get my code from elsewhere for the sake of freedom.

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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by Nilla Wafer » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:38 pm

FreedomOfTheOpenCode wrote:
vrkalak wrote:Although the original fee was in the hundreds of thousands pounds, it was easily reduced to a single digit figure.
The danger is that paying even a nominal sum could subsequently be taken as an acknowledgement that a sum is due. I appreciate everything that Ubuntu has done for Linux, but I'm happy to get my code from elsewhere for the sake of freedom.
Or Mint could simply do what Ubuntu does with Debian packages: Compile their own and host them on their own servers. But I think some sort of "payment" is due - not for the code, but for the servers and bandwidth Canonical supplies for the support of Mint and other Ubuntu derivatives.

~nilla

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