Name: Corey Burger
Member since: 2005-06-10 06:03:42
Last Login: 2011-11-03 23:03:18
Documentor and Usablity guy with Ubuntu
It is no secret that I
am not a fan of closed source web applications and think
they are ultimately detrimental to the future. Unlike
others, I don't see a distinction between a "service" and an
application. To argue that "services" don't need to free
because they are somehow different than applications ignores
the reality that for the average user, that distinction no
longer exists. Ubuntu Netbook Edition is explicitly
applications because they claim that web-based tools can
replace them, not to mention the more extreme
Jolicloud and ChromeOS which do away with desktop
applications all together. If we are not careful, we will
end up back in the 1980s again, wondering where the source
code to our
printer word processor went.
However, the reality is that until recently, there were few really good choices in some categories. I run my personal website, coreyburger.ca, on Wordpress, but that is one of the few categories where Open Source has been ahead of the closed source world in terms of ease of use and marketshare.
One of the major holes until recently was Google Analytics, which gives website admins some powerful tools for tracking visitors and how they use your site (and all that entails). Thankfully, this hole has been very well filled with Piwik, an open source competitor to Google Analytics that is racing to feature parity.
So about two months ago I decided to ditch GA as part of a general trend to slowly excise these closed source online applications from my life and jump to Piwik and I haven't looked back. It only needs the LAMP stack, so it will run anywhere Wordpress will. So for those users of GA, I encourage you to free yourself just a little bit more and give Piwik a try.
Yesterday I wrote about the new UbuntuOne service from Canonical. Around the same time, Tony Yarusso filed a bug report, the potential confusion around the use of the Ubuntu trademark and UbuntuOne. Specifically, this section of the trademark policy:
If you are producing new software which is intended for use with or on Ubuntu, you may use the Trademark in a way which indicates the intent of your product. For example, if you are developing a system management tool for Ubuntu, acceptable project titles would be "System Management for Ubuntu" or "Ubuntu Based Systems Management". We would strongly discourage, and likely would consider to be problematic, a name such as UbuntuMan, Ubuntu Management, ManBuntu, etc. Furthermore, you may not use the Trademarks in a way which implies an endorsement where that doesn't exist, or which attempts to unfairly or confusingly capitalise on the goodwill or brand of the project.
and this one:
Any commercial use.
I think Tony is right and I personally think that Canonical erred in choosing the naming of this product. However, Canonical is the legal holder of the Ubuntu trademark and as such, granted itself the write to use the trademark is this way. What is in dispute is whether or not they violated the spirit of the agreement, rather than the letter.
Therefor, we can boil down the issues to two:
I will also state was this is not about:
Long term, I think we need a new process for dealing with certain trademarks. Under the current trademark policy the Community Council (CC) is already responsible for dealing with issues regarding derivatives and advocacy. I propose we extend that to commercial trademarks, including by Canonical. However, I recognize that there are commercial implications involving privacy, etc. I propose that the CC agree to keep any such discussions out of the public until both sides agree (usually the launch of said project).
Overall, I think that
be a great thing for Ubuntu and beyond. We need to look at
software beyond the level of a single device. It is just too
bad that Canonical choose not to follow the route of libre.fm and identi.ca and make a bold
statement about freedom in this new web-based age.
1) Company releases closed-source web-based software to allow users to keep files synced between computers
2) Company releases closed-source web-based software to allow users to keep files synced between computers
2004 - Canonical releases closed-source web app to improve collaboration between Open Source teams. Promises to release source "soon" and is roundly (and correctly) lambasted for continued failure to do that.
2009 - Canonical releases closed-source web app to allow users to keep files synced between computers. No promise of opening source (or even of roadmap)
Ugh. So we have a non-innovative project that is closed source and, IMHO, violates the spirit of the Ubuntu trademark agreement. (It doesn't violate the letter because Canonical owns the copyright. No other company could do this.)
Yes, I am talking about UbuntuOne. Oh, and they bloody spammed me via Launchpad. Sigh....
Benjamin Franklin (or Mark Twain or Einstein or perhaps nobody) comes to mind: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Apparently I was not explicit enough. UbuntuOne != Ubuntu. It should not be using the Ubuntu copyright. Please see this Launchpad bug
Well, by the end of today, I will learn if I have been elected to municipal office or not. Wish me luck.
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