No License Needed For Kubuntu Derivatives
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 14 February 2014 at 12:15 PM EST. 91 Comments
After it came out some months ago that Canonical was trying to charge Linux Mint for its usage of Ubuntu as a base for the Linux distribution, the lead Kubuntu developer has made it clear that anyone is free to base off their KDE-focused Ubuntu distribution without fear of being charged.

Jonathan Riddell wrote moments ago on the KDE blog about no license being needed for Kubuntu-derived Linux distributions. Riddell noted, "Early last year the Linux Mint developer told me he had been contacted by Canonical's community manager to tell him he needed to licence his use of the packages he used from Ubuntu...Time passed, at some point Canonical changed their licence policy to be called an Intellectual property rights policy and be much more vague about any licences needed for binary packages. Now the community council have put out a Statement on Canonical Package Licensing which is also extremely vague and generally apologetic for Canonical doing this."

While Canonical may have a different feeling for Ubuntu derivatives, Jonathan Riddell said about Kubuntu, "let me say clearly, no licence is needed to make a derivative distribution of Kubuntu. All you need to do is remove obvious uses of the Kubuntu trademark. Any suggestion that somehow compiling the packages causes Canonical to own extra copyrights is nonsense. Any suggestion that there are unspecified trademarks that need a licence is untrue. Any suggestion that the version number needs a trademark licence is just clutching at straws."
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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