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Canonical, Ltd. Finally On Record: Seeking Open Core

Oct 18, 2010, 15:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bradley M. Kuhn)

"I've written before about my deep skepticism regarding the true motives of Canonical, Ltd.'s advocacy and demand of for-profit corporate copyright assignment without promises to adhere to copyleft. I've often asked Canonical employees, including Jono Bacon, Amanda Brock, Jane Silber, Mark Shuttleworth himself, and — in the comments of this very blog post — Matt Asay to explain (a) why exactly they demand copyright assignment on their projects, rather than merely having contributors agree to the GNU GPL formally (like projects such as Linux do), and (b) why, having received a contributor's copyright assignment, Canonical, Ltd. refuses to promise to keep the software copylefted and never proprietarize it (FSF, for example, has always done the latter in assignments). When I ask these questions of Canonical, Ltd. employees, they invariably artfully change the subject.

"I've actually been asking these questions for at least a year and a half, but I really began to get worried earlier this year when Mark Shuttleworth falsely claimed that "Canonical, Ltd.'s copyright assignment was no different than the FSF's copyright assignment". That event made it clear to me that there was a job of salesmanship going on: Canonical, Ltd. was trying to sell something to community that the community doesn't want nor need, and trying to reuse the good name of other people and organizations to do it."

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