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Ubuntu wants to restrict derivatives using their repositories, to prevent competition

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Vim_User View Post
    No, it is not. Do you really think that Canonical's lawyers, knowing that all their actions are closely viewed by the public (remember the FixUbuntu desaster?), just go forward and blatantly violate the GPL?
    Maybe they would. Who knows. Maybe they think they can get away with it. Or they have lawyers who do not understand how copyleft licenses work.

    You don't get it, don't you? I still say that Canonical can tie the usage of their servers to any license they want. That is the point.
    No, that is not the point. Because they're not asking for a license to use their servers. If that were the case, Mint could just exclude/blacklist the Canonical-hosted repos from Mint, and simply use any of the dozens of mirrors available.

    When they tie the license to the usage of the servers, not the usage of the binaries, they can do whatever they want, there is no GPL violation. That is exactly why we need to know what that license actually contains before we can make conclusions.
    No, they can't. You haven't been listening. Hosting a server that serves GPL-licensed software is conveying/distributing GPL-licensed software, which is only allowed under the terms of the GPL license, which forbids adding any external restrictions or licensing terms. Charging for the binaries is fine (explicitly allowed by the GPL). Restricting access to the servers is fine (ie. choosing who you distribute to).

    But once you do distribute the binaries, you're not allowed to place extra terms on the use of that software. And that's the problem here. You're not allowed to restrict how that software is used.

    That is exactly what I said, but that doesn't prevent you from claiming GPL violations.
    Fun question: If that is so clear and there is no ambiguity in it, why does Clem not just tell the world about this attempt to violate the GPL. Why does he negotiate instead about the amount of money he has to spend. Doesn't really make sense, I would think.
    And he is right. But the question still remains, when this is about licensing the packages, not access to the servers, why is he negotiasting about money instead of showing the world how Canonical breaks the GPL? Because he can't maybe? Because there is no GPL violation?
    You're grasping on straws. That's just more conjecture and speculation, and you're basing your entire argument on circumstantial evidence and appeal to authority. Clem may have his reasons, he may want to maintain good relations with Canonical, he may want to not draw attention to the fact that it's a GPL violation, because he doesn't want trouble for Canonical, possibly because he wants Canonical to stay in business so he can keep basing Mint on Ubuntu. He may want the issue settled quietly for other reasons. Or whatever. Clem's motives do not matter here.

    Guess what: Without knowing the actual license text we can't know and there is no point at all for anyone who has not read that text to jump to any conclusions and openly claim that there is a GPL violation.
    Honestly, I wish you would think after reading the OP, not wildly jump to the conclusion that fits the most in your hypocritical world view.
    There's always things we don't know, and we can only go by what we know so far. What we know so far is very suggestive of a GPL violation, and you haven't been able to give a single good counterargument or evidence why this wouldn't be the case, other than "oh but maybe things aren't how they seem"...

    It is also clearly stated in Clem's post that he does not refuse to negotiate about the license, instead he negotiates about the amount of money he has to pay, which clearly indicates that he takes the license serious. Why again should he do that if he thinks that the license is not valid?
    Doesn't matter. Go ask him!

    Let's go for another fun question: Why is it a GPL violation to restrict access to binary servers when Canonical does it, but not when Red Hat does exactly the same,
    I thought we were past this already.

    Restricting access to binary servers is not the problem, nor is it a GPL violation. That's not the problem here. Canonical is not simply saying "you're not allowed to use our servers". If they did, it'd be easily solved by just using any of the dozens of mirrors available. If they did, that'd be fine and entirely allowed by the GPL.

    The problem is when Canonical wants to dictate how Mint is allowed to use the software, what Mint is allowed to do as a distribution. The quote from Clem states clearly, that the licensing aims to restrict what Mint can and can't do, mostly in relation to the OEM market. And that is clearly against the GPL.

    but even for more money on a per-machine basis? You know why? Because there is no GPL violation. The GPL does not in any form regulate how access to the servers that host binary packages can be restricted or not, except for that part in the GPL 3 you cite and that funnily exactly tells you what I am saying:
    Yes, that part says that you're allowed to charge money for GPL software. All fine. Restricting what others may do with GPL software? Not fine.

    And you call other people pathetic when you can't even read what you yourself are bringing as argument into the discussion?
    I can read it just fine. You on the other hand seem to have problems even following the discussion or understanding what is being talked about. Seriously, don't throw rocks in a glass house...
    Charging for it is fine. Adding extra restrictions, dictating what others may do with the software, not fine.

    Which means nothing more than: If you provide binaries you must adhere to the license. Which says in the passage you cited that you can charge for binaries. I wonder why I type so much text for you, you are actually very good in refuting yourself.
    Of course, and again, the license allows you to charge for that, as you have shown us.
    Yes, charging for it is fine. Adding extra restrictions, dictating what others may do with the software, not fine. Why is this so hard to understand for you?

    Please. You show us the very passages of the license that tell you that you are wrong, but others can't admit that they were wrong?
    Sigh... getting repetitive here. See above.

    Funnily, you provide sources and don't seem to understand them. As you have shown us, the GPL 3 clearly states that you can charge for the binaries. And it says nothing about restricting access to the servers that host those binaries, otherwise Red Hat would be guilty of exactly the same violations. Now we have the legal department of Red Hat and that of Canonical against your claims. If that is appeal to authority then yes, I am guilty. But it also shows again your hypocrisy. Canonical is evil (and there sometimes are), for them it is a violation, Red Hat is good, they are allowed to do the exact same thing.
    Again. See above.

    So in order to maintain good relations with Canonical Clem collaborates with them in violating the GPL? He accepts this violation (again, if there even is one)? That is exactly what you are saying here and shows us what your opinion on the integrity of this man is.
    More appeal to authority. Clem's motives don't matter here. He may have his reasons.

    Besides, even if Clem accepts Canonical's licensing/terms, he would not be violating the GPL, because GPL places no obligation to the recipient, the obligation of compliance rests entirely on the shoulders of the distributor. You don't even have to accept the GPL license in order to use or receive GPL-licensed software. Only if you want to distribute/convey/propagate it yourself. If Canonical is violating the GPL when distributing the software, the violation is Canonical's only, the recipient (ie. Mint) is not in violation, even if they accept Canonical's licensing terms. Here's GPLv3 for you again:

    Originally posted by GPLv3
    Termination of your rights under this section does not terminate the licenses of parties who have received copies or rights from you under this License.
    Originally posted by GPLv3
    You are not required to accept this License in order to receive or run a copy of the Program. Ancillary propagation of a covered work occurring solely as a consequence of using peer-to-peer transmission to receive a copy likewise does not require acceptance. However, nothing other than this License grants you permission to propagate or modify any covered work. These actions infringe copyright if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or propagating a covered work, you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so.

    Again it seems you have stopped midways and not thought to the end.
    No, I've laid the facts for you, while you keep leaning on circumstantial evidence and appeals to authority ("these are smart guys! no way they'd do something like that!") which is entirely irrelevant. What matters is, that the actions of Canonical, as described by Clem, are clearly a GPL violation. I'll grant you this - maybe Clem has described the situation poorly (somewhat unlikely, as his words have been confirmed/unchallenged by other sources), in which case all bets are off. But it's no point to speculate about that, because we can only go by what information we have, and currently the information we have is what Clem has said about the situation. And according to that information, Canonical's actions would amount to a GPL violation.


    • #32
      Originally posted by TheBlackCat View Post
      Uh, anyone who uses Red Hat? Red Hat Terms of Use
      Read the first paragraph:

      Red Hat Terms of Use

      Red Hat Portals and Content.

      Through various Red Hat websites and portals, including but not limited to Red Hat Network, the Red Hat JBoss Customer Support Portal, and the Red Hat Customer Portal (collectively, "Red Hat Portals"), Red Hat, Inc. ("Red Hat") provides you—as a Red Hat customer—with access to a variety of software, services, web pages, text, documents, and other works of authorship, images, graphics, audio and video content, forums, discussion groups, blogs, and other content (collectively, the Red Hat Portals and foregoing content are referred to as "Red Hat Content").
      Seems to me like those terms of use do not refer to the actual GPL-licensed software per se. I'm not familiar enough with the inner workings of Red Hat to say anything definitive here, but seems to me that it's an entirely different situation from what Canonical is attempting. Red Hat doesn't seem to be placing these terms of use on actual binaries of GPL software, but rather on their web services, trademarked content and such.

      Also the terms seem to be provisioned against GPL and other licenses, giving them precedence:

      Some Red Hat Content may have additional terms, license agreements, privacy terms, export terms, subscription agreements, or other terms and conditions ("Additional Terms") that apply to your access to or use of the applicable Red Hat Content. In the event of a conflict, inconsistency, or difference between these Terms of Use and the Additional Terms, the Additional Terms will control.
      Last edited by dee.; 12-13-2013, 05:07 PM.


      • #33
        Seems you are correct, sorry.


        • #34
          No problem. Glad to see someone here is mature enough to concede when they've been mistaken


          • #35
            Originally posted by DDF420 View Post
            When installing ubuntu, repositories are set to canonicals main or server for ......... country.
            There's a good chance that Canonical's server for that country is not Canonical's server at all. For example, is just a CNAME for


            • #36
              Originally posted by randomizer View Post
              There's a good chance that Canonical's server for that country is not Canonical's server at all. For example, is just a CNAME for

              Thanks it appears you are correct