Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

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

Post by MartyMint »

Nilla Wafer wrote:not for the code, but for the servers and bandwidth Canonical supplies for the support of Mint and other Ubuntu derivatives.
Yeah, this needs to be stressed.

Ubuntu isn't asking for payment for code, but for rent on their repositories (server).

This has nothing to do with Muon, Synaptic, Update Manager, GPL, GNU/Linux...whatever...

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

Post by DrHu »

Nilla Wafer wrote: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
And a lot of those servers are being freely mirrored by commercial vendors or universities and other organizations
--should that become too expensive or their ISP's don't help with that cost in some way, such mirrors would disappear and then we would see exactly what Ubuntu would choose to do..
  • ..I don't see that happening anytime soon
    --I would compare it to freeware or shareware web sites, how are they managing it and are they charging everyone who freely (or at least via an Internet connection) downloads some software
    Heck even commercial vendors such as ITunes allows some free content, and you could argue that the paying customers are supporting the free down-loaders, but I don't expect Apple to stop their current practice, for a long time!

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

Post by hoppimike »

Nilla Wafer wrote: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.
I was actually thinking about this earlier today. I think I worked out why it is, although all companies get slammed to varying degrees when they get particularly commercial.

Aaaaanywho, I think it's largely because Ubuntu/Canonical went to considerable lengths to paint themselves as benevolent and charitable, and then once that was established, they started getting more commercial and tightening their grip. It's a psychological difference but it really does matter IMO.

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hexdef101
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by hexdef101 »

Then I would suggest simply mirroring the Canonical Repositories on a separate set of servers. That way all of the derivatives can use this mirror instead of Canonical Main. Lets see how long it takes for Ubuntu to get the message, When everyone leaves Canonical.
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by hoppimike »

hexdef101 wrote:Then I would suggest simply mirroring the Canonical Repositories on a separate set of servers. That way all of the derivatives can use this mirror instead of Canonical Main. Lets see how long it takes for Ubuntu to get the message, When everyone leaves Canonical.
If that's allowed, then I think it's a good solution. If the talks don't go well anyway, for whatever reason.

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

Post by dee. »

I think everyone in this thread is missing the point.

It's not about the cost, like Clem said, it was easily negotiated away, and in any case Canonical can charge for the use of their servers if they want...

This is the actually objectionable part:
"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."
This is strategy right from the book of microsoft: restrict your competition in unfair, anti-competitive ways, to prevent fair competition based on merits. This is EXACTLY what microsoft does, microsoft tries to restrict other competitors from getting OEM deals. It's how they got their current marketshare on consumer computers, by blackmailing and other tactics, making sure OEM's couldn't offer products of other companies.

The problem is, that Canonical is not actually charging for the use of their servers. They're saying that Mint can't use the binaries compiled from open source code without licensing those binaries from Canonical. If they just wanted money for using the repos, that'd be fine and entirely their right, but they can't dictate what other people do with open source code, in source or binary form.

I think the Mint team is being too lenient here. Even if they say it's fine, that they can solve it "amicably", it's still wrong of Canonical to resort to such strategies. This issue is bigger than just the relationship between Canonical and Mint... it sets a bad precedent, if it's just accepted that Canonical can dictate to other distros what they can or can not do with open source code. The GPL license exists to prevent this kind of thing, and if it's allowed to go on, it's just going to get worse...

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

Post by samriggs »

I agree dee. but if that's the case and it is, then can't debian do the same to ubuntu for using debian?
Sort of a battle but it could stop the insanity unless ubuntu stops using debian of course, or better yet just use debian instead :D
Which is why I stick with it.
Everyone is always wondering what the heck is going to happen next with Canonical, who will they block or what will happen etc etc, just go debian, make your own ppa maybe call it lma or something, mint is big enough now and has the team to pull it off, I don't know about resources but at least it would stop all this and wondering what door will be closed or what tatic will be pulled next.
Take what they got now, fork it and call it a day and start their own without Canonical being involved at all.
Just my two cents for all it's worth.
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by hoppimike »

dee - Wow, that's way worse than I gathered from it :(

Canonical should compete with quality, not underhanded tactics.

I suppose the only reason they're complaining about the binaries is so Mint (and others) don't just mirror their servers.

I agree that it's wrong to let Canonical get away with whatever they want.

Sam - I also agree with you that - worst comes to the worst - Mint could probably bounce back from it all by building on LMDE.

Thanks to this, I think their position is strengthened :)

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

Post by Nilla Wafer »

If it just has to do with the OEM market, Canonical has little to fear from Mint or any other derivative I think, and no good reason to go all shields-up and red alert on Mint. There must be more to this than can be explained in a single little Distrowatch article.

~nilla

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Binary packages / Ubuntu?

Post by davebowlin »

I've just read at DistroWatch that Ubuntu is considering asking Linux Mint to pay for the rights to use some of the binaries. Is this true? If so, what is the Linux Mint stance on this, and what will happen next? Linux Mint is my absolute favorite distro, and I'd hate to see that change because of something like this. Maybe someone on the team can clarify or explain what's happening, please?

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

Post by xenopeek »

davebowlin, I merged your question here as this is already being discussed. Despite how much I respect Distrowatch and enjoy reading their weekly, this is non-news and you need not read much into this as it isn't a "big" thing. Just Linux Mint and Canonical renewing the license between the parties, which is being handled amicably.

I'll repeat the core of the quote from Clem:
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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dee.
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by dee. »

xenopeek wrote:this is non-news and you need not read much into this as it isn't a "big" thing.
I disagree. I think it is a big thing, it's Canonical attempting to place limitations to free software, which goes against the spirit of free software, and against the GPL license. It may not be a big thing for Linux Mint right now, they may be able to settle it "amicably", but it still sets a bad precedent if this kind of thing is accepted.

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

Post by coffee412 »

Seems to me that Mint might have been in some discussion by OEMs along with ubuntu or ubuntu feels threatened by a great OS like mint. Who knows. But the fact that they might try restricting the use towards OEMs - I would not put that past ubuntu. I for one, Do not trust ubuntu at all. Infact, I have little communication with them and have quit their forum and removed all of ubuntu some time ago when they pulled the Unity deal and reporting your searches to 3rd parties.

Its pretty evident that they are or want to be the m$ of linux.

Its great that they are working things out fine. However, It pays to be working on separating from ubuntu as quickly as possible in every way.

As far as Iam concerned, I think Mint outclasses ubuntu by miles. Hopefully ubuntu fades into the sunset and we will not have to put up with them in the future.

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

Post by hoppimike »

coffee412 wrote:Seems to me that Mint might have been in some discussion by OEMs along with ubuntu or ubuntu feels threatened by a great OS like mint. Who knows. But the fact that they might try restricting the use towards OEMs - I would not put that past ubuntu. I for one, Do not trust ubuntu at all. Infact, I have little communication with them and have quit their forum and removed all of ubuntu some time ago when they pulled the Unity deal and reporting your searches to 3rd parties.

Its pretty evident that they are or want to be the m$ of linux.

Its great that they are working things out fine. However, It pays to be working on separating from ubuntu as quickly as possible in every way.

As far as Iam concerned, I think Mint outclasses ubuntu by miles. Hopefully ubuntu fades into the sunset and we will not have to put up with them in the future.

coffee :wink:
haha yeah I'm feeling progressively more negative about them too. Every little bad thing they do is like another nail in the coffin of my previous affection for them. Shame :(

I used to love Ubuntu but... I find it hard to support the direction they're taking.

I'll try to give them some form of the benefit of the doubt and not react too harshly, but it's sad that a company that seemed so positive now seems quite hard to like.

If I had to say things about them I DO like it would be...

- Good repositories and development of the underlying software

- Increased mainstream awareness of Linux and open source

- Seemed at least at one point to care about providing free OSs and low cost technology to poor parts of the world

- Ubuntu Classic desktop is still accessible

- Still free, thank goodness

- Stylish desktop, even if I don't get on too well with the interface, personally.


They have their ups and downs. But I don't really trust them at the moment either.
Last edited by hoppimike on Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by craig10x »

dee is over-reacting and trying to stir up the pot here as usual...and you guys are taking the bait (as usual...lol) xenopeek explained it to you exactly as it is and it's nothing to make a fuss over...

And while some of you are anxious for an ubuntu separation...well, mint may have certain customizations but without the ubuntu base, it's not going to be the same...
as i have mentioned in the past, i have worked with both ubuntu based distros and direct debian based distros and the ubuntu ones were ALWAYS far nicer...Debian is rather raw and Canonical does a LOT of refining and improving on that base that you don't even realize...It also has more currents apps in many cases and brings in far superior web page rendering with it's "patching" which debian refuses to use (debian is like purist to the "absurd" degree...)

As the very old saying goes..."Be Careful What You Wish For" :shock:

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

Post by hexdef101 »

hmmm so you point is that the Mint community cannot make a better base system, and that without Ubuntu - Mint is nothing. I of course disagree. While it would be alot of work, we could, and probably should consider just that. In the interim we should just mirror Canonical on separate servers, as its only the use of the Canonical servers in question, not the actual code itself. As to Ubuntu actually being nicer to Debian, well they are not the only Distro base out there, Fedora works on just as many systems, as do Slack and Suse. We do not just have to choose a Debian/Ubuntu base, there are other options.Heck we could even fork the Ubuntu Kernel if we so choose. This has only become an issue because Mint has surpassed Ubuntu on its user base, If Mr Shuttleworth wants to make war on us, I suggest we give him exactly what he wants.
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Re: Ubuntu wants to start charging for use of repros by Mint

Post by craig10x »

There's no "war" going on here...and yes...mint will not be as good without the ubuntu base...fedora base? :lol:
The fact that there are so many ubuntu based distros speaks for itself...

I use to be quite a distro hopper...tried most of the majors...gave that up a long time ago...found there was nothing in linux that could beat ubuntu...that is just the way it is...Clem knows that too...but i see there is a certain group here (led by dee) that either doesn't want to know that...or knows it and wants to pretend that isn't the case...wishful thinking...i won't post anymore about this topic as i wouldn't want to spoil your illusion... :wink:

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

Post by hoppimike »

Craig, if I thought Ubuntu was better than Mint then I would be using it :)

hexdef, I agree that Mint could probably manage more themselves if they wanted/had to. However, I think you're wrong about the userbases. AFAIK, despite what DistroWatch suggests, Ubuntu is apparently still considerably more popular than Mint. Just my understanding. However, Mint tends to get better reviews, I believe.

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

Post by catweazel »

dee. wrote:I think it is a big thing, it's Canonical attempting to place limitations to free software
It's called protecting the brand, and has nothing to do with "attempting to place limitations to free software". Stop trolling.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

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

Post by dee. »

A few choice snippets from the GPLv3 license:
You may not propagate or modify a covered work except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to propagate or modify it is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License (including any patent licenses granted under the third paragraph of section 11).
Each time you convey a covered work, the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensors, to run, modify and propagate that work, subject to this License.
And this last one is a doozy. Are you ready? Brace yourselves:
You may not impose any further restrictions on the exercise of the rights granted or affirmed under this License. For example, you may not impose a license fee, royalty, or other charge for exercise of rights granted under this License, and you may not initiate litigation (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that any patent claim is infringed by making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the Program or any portion of it.
This applies to both binaries and source code. So in fact, by attempting to enforce some external licensing terms on Mint, for GPLv3-licensed software (which is plentiful in the Ubuntu repos), Canonical is in fact in violation of the GPLv3 license. I have to check if v2 contains similar clauses, but I suspect it does. With this in mind, Canonical could actually lose the legal right to distribute GPL-licensed software, which would shut down the repositories for good, if the copyright holders were to complain...

(Note that the GPL license explicitly does allow charging money from the recipient of a software, either binary or source code. It does not however allow dictating what the recipient is allowed to do with the software or how they're allowed to use it, apart from the terms outlined in the GPL license itself.)

edit. GPL version 2 contains this:
4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.
And this:
6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to this License.
So according to this, Canonical would be violating both the GPLv2 and GPLv3 if they were to attempt to dictate how Mint is allowed to use the GPLv2 or GPLv3 -licensed binaries in their repositories. Canonical is allowed to charge a fee for those binaries, but not dictate how Mint can use those binaries.

Clem himself said: "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." So I don't see anything unclear about this, that is obviously a GPL violation. Canonical is walking on thin ice here, they should seriously fire their lawyers for putting them in such a risk... this thing seriously threatens the future of Canonical and Ubuntu. If a copyright holder complains about the violation, Canonical can no longer legally distribute the software, and that'll shut down the entire distro for good. (And by extension Mint, at least in it's current, Ubuntu-derived form).

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