In some cases, a particular distribution is the upstream for some software. Examples include Notify OSD, Ubiquity, Upstart, the Ubuntu Documentation, and Ubuntu Software Center, all of which are designed for Ubuntu first and foremost.
In these cases, the benefit of keeping generic bugs and distribution-specific bugs separate is less than the cost of having two possible places to report bugs about exactly the same software. But even when this is obvious, which of the two is the best place is not. For example:
* Bug 200910 describes how Ubuntu uploads to the ubuntu-docs package should, but don't, automatically mark ubuntu-docs project bug reports as fixed.
* The Notify OSD maintainer prefers bugs to be reported on the upstream project (as shown for example in bug 415015).
* The previous Ubuntu Software Center maintainer preferred bugs to be reported on the Ubuntu package. The current maintainer prefers bugs to be reported on the project.
* The Upstart maintainer prefers bugs to be reported on the upstream project (which contributed to confusion in bug 557177).
* The Ubuntu SSO client maintainer prefers bugs to be reported on the upstream project.
* The Unify project <https://launchpad.net/unify> exists partly as a workaround for this bug as it affects Unity.
* In November 2013, Ubuntu Touch standardized on reporting bugs on the package rather than the project. <https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2013-November/037821.html>
There should be some way to handle this specially. Colin Watson said "I'd love to have bugs (optionally) transparently gatewayed from one to the other".
Bug 3152 and bug 138545 are suggestions for the converse case, where an upstream project wants to see bugs reported about packages of the project as well.
The Translations equivalent is bug 28524, so it would save time to design the fix for that bug at the same time.