Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Leaving the Ubuntu project

In response to the recent news that Canonical has stated peddling MPEG-4 patent licenses to Ubuntu OEMs, I am resigning as member of the Ubuntu project.

While I find this latest move completely unethical, I have been previously disturbed by Canonical misusing the Ubuntu trademark with their proprietary Ubuntu One service, which they have recently added a proprietary music store to for MP3-only downloads fully integrated with Ubuntu's version of Rhythmbox, and bundling an ever-increasing amount of proprietary drivers with Ubuntu.

While I find Ubuntu's parent company ethically repugnant and have always detested the developer-unfriendly packaging system Ubuntu (Debian) uses, I still find the Ubuntu community an outstanding model for how the free software community should organize. I'm certain that if put to a vote, the Ubuntu community would release the Ubuntu One server code as AGPLv3 and discontinue unethical business practices conducted in its name, but the only way we can vote against Canonical is with our feet.

As I serve in a leadership position in a local community team, I'll be upholding my agreement with the Ubuntu Code of Conduct by gracefully stepping down after finding another team member to take my place and migrating any remaining accounts off my email address.

I've started celebrating by getting back into Gentoo packaging, starting with a CherryPy ebuild which supports both Python 2 and 3. My final Ubuntu workstation is slated for a Gentoo install this coming weekend.

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