Kubuntu’s Jonathan Riddell Says Ubuntu Policy Is Still Lacking

Kubuntu’s Jonathan Riddell Says Ubuntu Policy Is Still Lacking


Kubuntu’s Jonathan Riddell talked about the recent changes to the licensing procedures on the Ubuntu project, and he said that there are still some important problems that have been left unresolved.

Canonical announced a couple of days ago that the company had made some changes to its policies in order to comply with GPL, but voices in the community are saying that it’s not enough and that more effort needs to be made. Kubuntu’s Jonathan Riddell talked about the remaining issues at length on his blog.

Many of you will remember the conflict between Jonathan Riddell and Canonical, which ended with his removal from the Kubuntu Community Council. He’s now just a simple member of the community and developer for Kubuntu. He said on numerous occasions that Canonical’s policy regarding Ubuntu is not well put together and that it causes problems for other projects as well. In fact, these issues were in a discussion during his conflict with Canonical and the Ubuntu Council.



Submitted by: Silviu Stahie


  1. Jonathan was not removed from the Council for his conflict with Canonical. He was removed for his conflict with the Council itself and the rest of community. Many community members couldn’t work well with him, some of those left.

  2. Hi,

    In reply to John.

    This issue of this article is about concerns around the Canonical/Ubuntu licence. There have been long standing concerns about the Canonical/Ubuntu licence regarding contributions and copyright. I understand that many people have stopped contributing to the ubuntu project because of these concerns.

    Jonathan has consistently raised his concerns about the licencing of contributions as well as about the financial contributions that users can make when downloading Ubuntu (as I understand Canonical have been unable to give a full accounting of these contributions).

    It may be that Jonathan upset some people because of the way he raised issues, although, when you try to look for specific evidence of this it is very hard to find anything other than vague assertions by third parties (and there is plenty of information contradicting these assertions). Regardless, the proper way to deal with the alleged complaints against Jonathan was under Ubuntu’s Code of Conduct. Instead, Jonathan was effectively removed from the UCC, was not presented with any real evidence about the complaints (indeed, the nature of the complaint is extremely vague), and consequently did not have any real opportunity to defend himself and refute the allegations made against him.

    Instead Jonathan was treated in a completely scurrilous way. Not only were the alleged complaints against Jonathan not dealt with under Ubuntu’s code of conduct but his character was traduced to his peers and over the whole internet.

    Jonathan Ridell has contributed to open source for many, many years he simply did not deserve to be treated in this way.

    Kind regards,


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