No ill-will against Linux Mint

Canonical has issued a Community Council Statement as an official explanation for the reason why Linux Mint developers have to sign a license agreement in order to continue to distribute the package straight from the Ubuntu repos.
I wonder how will this affect other Ubuntu derivatives (like Peppermint) or is it directed only against Mint :-\

I gather it’s aimed at ALL derivatives, and anyone that may have the Ubuntu name of trademark in any of their software.

All seems rather arrogant to me … do they sign anything from Debian … nearly ALL of their packages contain a “Debian” directory.
(I’ll wager “Debian” is mentioned many more times in Ubuntu, than “Ubuntu” in Mint)

And that thing from the “council” explains nothing (to me it seems limke a bunch of writing that says nothing … coulda been written by a ploitician) … indeed the fact that they’ve waited for it all to blow over before saying anything leaves them looking like a bunch of Canonical kiss asses.

“Community Council” … Canonical/Ubuntu lost interest in and any connection with the “community” a while ago … they’re a joke and should change their name to “Canonical PR”

There was a discussion on Linux Unplugged about this a few weeks ago and an Ubuntu developer was talking and from what I understand it was directed at the Mint team but I don’t understand the politics behind it all so I can’t elaborate much


There’s no doubt it was aimed at Mint … but it will affect ALL Ubuntu based distros.

OK, this is strange. According to this KDE blog No Licence Needed for Kubuntu Derivative Distributions.

That too is very misleading … it appears to say if your worried about licenses as an Ubuntu derivative, be a Kubuntu derivative instead … but Ubuntu’s argument is that they own some kind of rights over packages in their repos, but Kubuntu uses the Ubuntu repos :o

KDE … If Ubuntu do have any claim it applies to Kubuntu too … if you need no license for Kubuntu packages then you also don’t need one for Ubuntu packages (as they’re one and the same), so stop trying to confuse the matter further and use that confusion to your advantage.

Personally I agree with the first part though … Ubuntu have ZERO rights over packages held in their repos besides ones that contain their logo.
If anyone had a claim it would be Debian whos’ name will appear in every package thanks to the DEBIAN directory that contains the packages control file.

Ubuntu have no claim on other peoples software just because it was compiled for/on Ubuntu … that’s just ridiculous.

Canonical, and their kiss ass council are being intentionally vague in the same way Microsoft claimed the Linux kernel contained some of their code … FUD, pure and simple.

Surely it’s just jealousy. Mint have a usable distro that most people like the interface of. Ubuntu on the other hand have gone down the microsoft route of like it or be damned.

Ubuntu need to keep in mind that they’re built on Debian.

Sounds to me like they’re going down the Microsoft road of ’ if it has any association with our name we want to approve it first’.
Whilst I am aware they haven’t said that, I think that’s the end goal.

Something has just struck me … I wonder if they mean use of the “Canonical Partner” and “Independent” repos that may contain restricted software that Canonical has had to sign some kind of agreement with the authors to host/distribute.

That might make sense … but if that’s the case, why don’t they just say so and clear this up ?

Are they trying to force some kind of legal/moral precedent by keeping it vague so Mint agree to more than they needed to ?

Is it me, or did that statement clear up nothing whatsoever? It just appeared as a summary of the inital argument!

Where did we land on the “surely they can’t do this, under the GPL?” argument? I mean, even Debian code that they’ve patched themselves (there’s a lot of that) is bound by the GPL. Apart from artwork, and ORIGINAL packages, nothing is copyrighted, I thought?

Or is this purely a licence fee for “upkeep” of their repo servers?

FUD …The only IP owned by Ubuntu is their logo and name.

If anything the “announcement” has muddied the waters further … it clears up nothing, it says nothing, it’s worth nothing.

Does their name extend to package names? If not, I don’t know why Mint don’t just tell Mark Shuttleworth to go forth.

Unless, as I said, this license is actually a fee to use their repo servers, as opposed to the specific content

Doubt if they could make you sing a license to use what is after all a Debian package repository :wink:

Maybe they could make you sign one to use launchpad to build the packages against a version of Ubuntu … but I would think you agree to something like that when you sign up to launchpad in the first place.

The very fact that Canonical/Ubuntu and that ridiculous council are being vague tells me there’s nothing in it … otherwise they’d say “this is why” and give cold hard legal arguements.

Same type of FUD as when M$ said the Linux kernel contained some of their code, but refused to say what … ::slight_smile:

They’re not actually lying (the repos do contain some of their IP) … but they’re being overly broad with their interpretation … Whilst I’m not a lawyer, I’d be fairly certain Mint (or anyone else) would only need a license to USE that IP … and that would be logo, name, artwork.

There was a lengthy debate on this subject on Linux Unplugged here and a very good explanation of Cannonicals position by a guy called popey who I think is an Ubuntu developer although he stresses that he is talking for himself and not Cannonical, but he seems to have a good grasp of the situation, he starts talking at 06:38 minutes if anyone cares to listen


Dunno what you make of that, but to me it sounds like sour grapes.

Mint is built on top of Ubuntu. That is not a secret and Mint does not hide that fact.

So it makes sense to re-use the Ubuntu packages and then enhance the user experience with the Mint built packages.
Is there any other way for a derivative to exists? You could say exactly the same for other (numerous) derivatives (including Peppermint).

Why single out Mint? Is it because it is successful and it captures the Linux user mindset in a way that Ubuntu cannot?

It seems that Mint have outlived their welcome at Ubuntu.
I would suggest to Mint to focus on LMDE and make that great.

I find it funny that Ubuntu seemed to get a sh*tty with Mint just after they overtook them on Distrowatch.

There are 2 facts I like to remind Ubuntu of…

a) They’re ahead of Debian on Distrowatch
b) Mint didn’t leapfrog Ubuntu because they suddenly did something amazingly better … more because Ubuntu suddenly did something amazingly stupid that alienated a lot of their user base.

Seems they’re intent on repeating (b) ::slight_smile:


OK, just listened to Emegra’s Linux Unplugged link…

The Debian package archive/format and the software used to create them is open source.

So to build their packages Ubuntu take someone else’s source code, build it against a kernel created by someone else, with someone else’s packaging software, into a package format created by someone else, and host it in a package repository format created by someone else … but Mint (and other derivatives) are “cheeky” for using “their” packages ??? ::slight_smile: ???

As SeZo suggests, isn’t that the definition of derivative … and the whole point of OSS.

Also, Ubuntu are not “known” for upstream involvement … so why does he think Mint should work more closely with upstream Ubuntu … that sounded more like a play for Mubuntu to me ::slight_smile:
(How much of a mistake would that be ?)

Mint should be more involved in upstream - they do draw their packages from there after all. That said, there are very few Mint developers, so most of the actual development occurs upstream anyway. Doesn’t stop literally thousands of bug reports being raised on the Mint bug tracker relating to faults with upstream packages. I’m kind of on a seemingly one-man mission to clear them all out, lol

Is Peppermint the same?

The same in what way ?

Bug tracker full of bugs in upstream packages (I’ve checked the Peppermint tracker, and the answer is a resounding “no”!)