Comment 25 for bug 375272

Niels Egberts wrote at 03:19 (EDT):

> As long as Canonical does not redistribute their program, they can mix
> closed and opensource as much as they want. Thats what the GPL says.

This is quite correct, and this is why the Affero GPL (AGPL) exists.
However, I strongly doubt that UbuntuOne server side code is based on
any AGPL'd project. If it is based on GPL or Apache-licensed software,
the morally correct thing would be for them to release their generally
useful improvements, but they have no legal obligation in that case to
do what's right.

Meanwhile, while I am very sad and a bit outraged at Canonical for
keeping this server software proprietary, I think further complaint on
this ticket is unwarranted. Canonical has heard our message, they
understand that the community is unhappy, but they've decided to keep
the software proprietary. It's always sad when a previously Free
Software company starts going a little proprietary. I've been around
the community long enough to remember when the same thing happened with
Red Hat and with Ximian, and both were sad days.

I suggest that we take any energy we'd spend complaining about this and
instead put the time and effort into a AGPLv3'd replacement for this
proprietary software that Canonical is creating. Since the client is
Free Software, it should be relatively straightforward to implement a
replacement server that is Free Software.

When a proprietary software company writes proprietary software, the
best response is to briefly tell them you think they are treating users
poorly and should start respecting the freedom of the users. Once the
message is delivered, then we should turn our full attention to writing
a free software replacement. This method is what we began in 1984 and
should continue until companies stop subjugating users with proprietary
software. Don't tolerate companies hiding behind "well it's a service"
to pretend that it's not just proprietary software as a service.

   -- bkuhn