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Canonical shut down Ubuntu SE store

You may know that we used to have a cafepress store which sold t-shirts and stickers. It was completely commission free and we made no money from it – which made the stuff as cheap as possible. Well, it seems that Canonical is enforcing their intellectual property rights over the Ubuntu name. The store is now closed and you will no longer be able to buy any Ubuntu Satanic merchandise.

This saddens us. We are big fans of Ubuntu and have a lot of respect for Canonical. However, they need to understand that a phenomenon such as Ubuntu is only as strong as its community and alienating that community over the sale of a couple of lousy t-shirts is not the way to go.

78 Responses to “Canonical shut down Ubuntu SE store”

  1. Custom Distros Says:

    A while back I had a website focused on Ubuntu and I had a crazy idea of having some custom embroidered hats made that had the Ubuntu logo and my site name on them. I thought about selling them if the site every gained enough popularity.

    Canonical didn’t like that idea too much as they denied my request to use the logo in that matter.

  2. corneliu Says:

    Why do you insist in basing your distro on Ubuntu? Why don’t you use Debian as starting point?

  3. Jono Bacon Says:

    Hi – I am the Ubuntu Community Manager. Could you email the letter that you received on this to jono AT ubuntu DOT com and I will check into it. Thanks!

  4. gothmori Says:

    This is freedom? Congratulations Cannonical! -,-

  5. Lipou Says:

    Please stop to play stupid man. Ubuntu is registered and noone is allowed to make what he want with name and logo. Is it so difficult to understand ?

  6. guiodic Says:

    @Lipou: “Linux” is a TM too, but Linus Torvalds doesn’t close all “Somethig Linux” shops.

  7. gothmori Says:

    →Lipou

    very difficult because Adam Gierek used Ubuntu name in political campanion and Canonical doesn’t have any objections… :)
    http://www.ubucentrum.net/2009/06/polityk-wykorzystuje-ubuntu-do.html

  8. Greg Says:

    “This is freedom?”

    Yes. Its called private property rights. Canonical has property rights to grant whomever they wish the privilege of using their trademarked name. They also deny the privilege to others.

    Do I have the privilege to use your television set? No? But I thought this was a free country?

  9. blah Says:

    Ubuntu is _required_ to protect their trademark in the U.S. and elsewhere or they will lose it. If you had arranged some sort of marketing deal ahead of time, you would have not told to shut down your store.

  10. Victor J Kinzer Says:

    Seriously, Canonical is totally doing the right thing here. Take a look at what blah says, because he’s right. There are risks to loosing copyrights, and more importantly there is the potential PR issue if some people think that you are directly associated with Canonical. There was a big deal about the Evil Inside shirts that Intel tried to get rid of. The only reason that they stayed on sale is they are making a statement about Intel and are therefore considered protected speech as parody. The fact is while the work done here is indeed AWESOME, it is not any sort of satirical speech. As such it would not be all that protected, and Canonical wants very badly to be mainstream. They could probably stop you from using the Ubuntu name and logo at all. You should honestly be glad they haven’t tried to shut the whole site down.

  11. Thomas Holbrook II Says:

    For those who are saying, “Well, they’ve got to protect their trademark, right?” please stop. Just stop. What the company in question did was way too extreme. Besides which, I’m pretty sure people browsing this site can figure out on their own that Satanic Edition is a remix of Ubuntu (yes, I do believe that Canonical is treating everybody else as if they’re stupid).

  12. EPM Says:

    Ubuntu Satanic Edition as a distro was notified some time ago that their use of the Ubuntu name was in contravention of the usage guidelines laid down by Canonical. You clowns have had plenty of time to get your sh!to together – don’t act all surprised at actions of “big bad Canonical”.

    A seperate issue – were they right to do it? In order to continue tipping $$ into Ubuntu, Canonical needs to make some. in order to make some, Canonical needs to have a well respected (and therefore protected) brand. In order to protect the Ubuntu name so that they can control the image of what “Ubuntu Linux” stands for, they need to ensure that knock-offs of questionable quality aren’t associated with their brand. To do that, they need to have some clear rules and make ALL follow them. Even if SE was of high-quality and well-liked, they need to apply the rules consistently.

    Ubuntu SE, ME, and CE were all notified of the issue Canonical had with their names last May – you’ve had plenty of time to sort your sh!t out.

  13. Cheddar Says:

    Can I suggest Satanix?

  14. Randomo Says:

    How about Satantu?

  15. Garry Says:

    @EPM
    “Ubuntu Satanic Edition as a distro was notified some time ago that their use of the Ubuntu name was in contravention of the usage guidelines laid down by Canonical.”

    We’ve never been contacted about our name. We believe that most people at Ubuntu/Canonical welcome the freedom to remix and are fine with this distro.

    What this is about is the store. I assume they simply object to people profiting from their trademark. This is fair enough because for Canonical to survive they need to make money themselves. However, employing “suits” to target fans who have gone to the trouble of trying to spread the Ubuntu philosophy is taking things too far. The Linux trademark is a great example. Let the fans spread the word.

  16. Zac Says:

    You guys are spreading the word, are we appreciate it but if you’re in Canonical position it’s not so cut and dried. It’s about trademark protection and at the end of the day it’s to our advantage despite that people get hurt along the way. The world of business is sometimes cold and that’s the unfortunate truth so don’t take this too far and undo the great work you have done. Make a few changes and continue on.

  17. Thomas Holbrook II Says:

    @Zac: The problem with that argument is that it’s all too familiar. Canonical is acting like they’re another Microsoft in this regard and in a sense, like the BSA (in a way). A post by Mark Shuttleworth himself on his own blog would have been a much better way to handle the situation. Besides which, no profit was made from T-Shirt sales (all money went to CafePress).

  18. mpt Says:

    Ok, here’s a challenge. Garry’s claim that Canonical is “employing ‛suits’ to target fans who have gone to the trouble of trying to spread the Ubuntu philosophy” is incorrect in three different ways. Can you guess what they are?

  19. wtf? Says:

    Not a fan of ubuntu-se, but why not live and let live. Why be assholes about it?

    If you act in that spirit, so be it. I wont support you any-more either (shirts, cups, stickers, and so on…). There are plenty of linux distros about,

    I will pick another if that’s how you do business.

    You call your product ubuntu-linux, now you block others doing the same?

    Has it ever dawned on you that “its a bit of fun” and promoting your “ubuntu” name anyway? Your changed attitude and dictatorial ways is going to be ubuntu’s death.

    Ubuntu-se is a theme, that’s it. Some users think your stupid brown theme sucks, that’s why we like the colours of ubuntu-se.

    Im really pissed of removing all ubuntu related material of my sites and blogs.

  20. wtf? Says:

    the above, may i point out, was my email directed at ubuntu, not this site.

  21. Garry Says:

    @mpt
    [quote]
    Ok, here’s a challenge. Garry’s claim that Canonical is “employing ‛suits’ to target fans who have gone to the trouble of trying to spread the Ubuntu philosophy” is incorrect in three different ways. Can you guess what they are?
    [/quote]

    Let me try – they actually employ naked fish who target air conditioning units which try to keep Ubuntu all to themselves.

    How’s that?

  22. Thomas Holbrook II Says:

    @mpt: How about you just name the arguments instead of playing stupid little games.

  23. Welcome... Says:

    Welcome to the real world, buddy.

  24. dezent Says:

    This is what you get with a commercial funded distro, that Canonical dont even do the base for, they are piggybacking debian and make good money from it, but dont let you.. the community to use their name..

    THIS TRULY SUX ! FSCK CANONICAL!

    GO DEBIAN!!

  25. Tim Birkett Says:

    We have the domain name: ubuntushop.co.uk – needless to say after looking into Canonicals policies I persuaded my boss that it would be unwise to develop a site under that nam or use their logos etc…

  26. Darrin Says:

    Do you think that when some random average Joe stumbles upon the “Ubuntu Satanic Edition” website that they will have a positive impression about Ubuntu? (most folks are probably a bit fearful of Satanism…) Don’t you think that Canonical wants for people to have a positive impression of Ubuntu, especially if they are new to the operating system and they are trying to learn more about it? Ubuntu Satanic Edition is NOT Ubuntu, and should not be portrayed as such. It’s great that you wish to base your distro on Ubuntu, and you should certainly state in your documentation that it is based on Ubuntu, but in my opinion, you should NOT be using the Ubuntu name in conjunction with your distro name.

  27. Florian Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t parodies protected in trademark/copyright laws?

  28. Thomas Holbrook II Says:

    @Darrin: Do you honestly believe that people who stumble upon this site would be so stupid as to believe such a thing, especially considering the fact that there’s an about page on this site?

  29. José Miguel Says:

    Boooohhooooooo If you idiots didn’t use such a stupid name you probably wouldn’t have this problem.

    Seriously, what did you guys expect from them? To be okay with their brand being associated with what the western cultures associate the root of all evils?

    You guys are idiots. I bet you wouldn’t have had the same problem if your distro was called “Jesus linux”, goes to show worshipping the devil doesn’t pay. :D

  30. José Miguel Says:

    rofl, “Evils”

  31. Juan Says:

    I know the original intent of the Satanic Edition was to mock that Ubuntu remix that install the Bible and a few other tid bits of programs for those folks that take the Lord way to serioulsy.

    Is sad people can’t take a joke.

    Keep it up guys, a planet without laughter is a dull planet.

    ;)

  32. SoftwareJanitor Says:

    Damnit… I didn’t find out about it until it was too late… Would have loved to have one of those t-shirts!

  33. Jono Bacon Says:

    Heya everyone,

    OK, I checked into it and I have managed to clear this up. Some kind of mistake occured and the Ubuntu Satanic Edition folks should not have got that letter. I spoke with our trademarks folks and they will be sending them an explicit trademark license as their merch is clearly under parady, which we are indeed cool about in the trademark license. Rock on!

    Speaking of rock, can we change it to Ubuntu Metal Edition? I would install it… :-P

    Hope this clears things up, thanks folks!

    Jono

  34. Jono Bacon Says:

    Oops, forgive my misspelling – I meant “parody”. :-)

  35. mpt Says:

    Thomas Holbrook II:
    1. Canonical doesn’t employ anyone “to target fans”; on the contrary, we employ people (like Jono who commented above) to ensure we’re doing right by the community.
    2. The Ubuntu trademark policy is crystal clear that you can use the Ubuntu trademark to spread the Ubuntu philosophy, or as it puts it “for the purposes of discussion, development and advocacy”, with a few simple provisos.
    3. I work in the same office as Michelle, and not once have I seen her wear a suit. :-)

    dezent: In 2005 Debian stopped *their own founder* from misusing the “Debian” trademark in his “Debian Common Core Alliance”. What makes you think they wouldn’t enforce their trademark just as much as Canonical enforces Ubuntu’s?

  36. Rockabye Says:

    Canonical don’t want people prancing around with shirts linking Ubuntu with Satanism any more than I want people wearing shirts with my name and ‘Child Predator.’ The very meaning of ‘ubuntu’ is contradictory with ‘satanic.’ These shirts can be considered slander.

  37. Garry Says:

    Jono – you rock.

    MPT – lighten up.

    I’ll buy you both a beer next time I’m down South.

  38. manny Says:

    ubuntu “christian” edition made em do it lol

    jk, it’s a tad sad, i hope is misunderstanding. love the artwork

  39. Jono Bacon Says:

    Garry – I don’t live in the UK any more if thats what you mean by south, I have shipped my unique brand of English cynicism towards American Idol towards…America, specifically the Easy Bay.

    Beer sounds good, mind. Maybe I can then persuade you to call it Ubuntu Metal Edition. \m/ \m/

  40. sulfide Says:

    if it was called Metal Edition, Ubuntu ME ? you sure about that? Plus Satan may not appreciate not having his own linux distro.

  41. Hacktuellt Says:

    I’m security@hacktuellt.se representing Hacktuellt Security with ambition to end the branding logo baptist naming game and improve the core functions instead.
    Thanks
    Hacktuellt

  42. Mirsal Ennaime Says:

    I’m glad Canonical solved this quickly. FWIW, the problem was not about using the ubuntu trademark, it was about using it _without a licence_, now you folks have one :)

  43. Thomas Holbrook II Says:

    @Mirsal Ennaime: Didn’t Jono already state that Canonical screwed up? Mistakes happen, and luckily, this one was resolved (and for good measure a license was given out so that this incident wouldn’t happen again).

  44. Ubuntu Podcast Quickie #7 20 June 09 | Ubuntu Podcast Says:

    [...] Global Jam, Empathy to replace Pidgin, no more Mibbit on Freenode, new Hall of Famer: Adi Roiban, Ubuntu Satanic license issue. Click here to view the Mark Shuttleworth [...]

  45. Vadim P. Says:

    Glad you got it solved!

  46. Ubuntu Podcast Quickie #7 20 June 09 « Ubuntu Podcast Says:

    [...] Global Jam, Empathy to replace Pidgin, no more Mibbit on Freenode, new Hall of Famer: Adi Roiban, Ubuntu Satanic license issue.    Ubuntu Podcast Quickie #7 20 June 09: Play Now | Play in Popup | [...]

  47. YaManicKill Says:

    Can I just say, that I give my 2 cents towards Jono’s idea of renaming it Ubuntu Metal Edition. I would install it if it was called that.

  48. Ubuntu Podcast Quickie #7 20 June 09 « Ubuntu Podcast Video Says:

    [...] Global Jam, Empathy to replace Pidgin, no more Mibbit on Freenode, new Hall of Famer: Adi Roiban, Ubuntu Satanic license issue.    Ubuntu Podcast Quickie #7 20 June 09: Play Now | Play in Popup | [...]

  49. Le Hoang Long Says:

    Just as I know, canorical is a company so they does not wat things like free or open,
    then down with that greedy group and ubuntu
    turn back to another distro like slackware or opensuse

  50. Patrick Says:

    STOP! STOP! STOP!

    Can everyone from this point on please read Jono Bacon’s comments.

    You WILL look like an idiot if you don’t.

    Good on you Jono and Ubuntu.

  51. Se aprueba Ubuntu “Satanic Edition” Says:

    [...] le pidió cerrar su tienda por usar su marca, pero los de Ubuntu Satanic Edition informaron de estas malas circunstancias, [...]

  52. S02E07 – The Crusaders – MP3 LOW | Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo team Says:

    [...] Satan expelled from the Cafe [...]

  53. S02E07 – The Crusaders – MP3 HIGH | Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo team Says:

    [...] Satan expelled from the Cafe [...]

  54. S02E07 – The Crusaders – OGG LOW | Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo team Says:

    [...] Satan expelled from the Cafe [...]

  55. S02E07 – The Crusaders – OGG HIGH | Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo team Says:

    [...] Satan expelled from the Cafe [...]

  56. The Linux Mint Blog » Blog Archive » The Mint Newsletter - issue 87 Says:

    [...] shut down Ubuntu Satanic Edition [...]

  57. Robian Says:

    I’m going to say what a number of other people seem to be saying: Screw Ubuntu entirely.

    Personal bias ahead–skip at your lesiure:
    You could probably make a good Satanic-edition distro based on ArchLinux now that Chakra’s gone tits-up–and I don’t think the Arch folks’d jump down your throats over a store. Plus, the “Arch” opens up all kinds of other possibilities for names :P

    Or, hell, see if the Linux Mint folks’ll let you do something based on Mint. It works better than Ubuntu anyway.

  58. Radimir Says:

    I do not like “Satanic Culture”, but do neither I empathize with the “humanism” so commercial of Canonical…

    Why do not you call to your distro “U boon 2 SE” and continue with that which is yours?

    Greetings from Heaven … : P

  59. flameproof Says:

    Why do you people have this fascination with evil? Name the product positively and get on with life. If its not appropriate for ALL users, then you are only going after others like yourself. I would not want this seen, ever, on my desktop in front of family or friends. You are playing to an agenda that you will (sadly) live to regret.

  60. Hugo Says:

    to the guy with the domain open up a store that sells things that based on the ubutuu phylosophy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_(philosophy)

    I vote for metal edition as well or a total rebrand like linux Mint is doing

    besides basing it off of mint would b so much better

    The devil wants us to have codecs so we can be lazy and watch youtube videos all day or porn

  61. toddmb Says:

    Okay, so I get that people may be a bit ticked at the lack of merchandising. But let’s face it. If someone finds it offensive to any degree or it somehow misrepresents the ubuntu motif, sure it’ll get kiboshed (technical term).
    Otherwise, everything else is still here.

    Keep the fists in the air!!!

  62. Ubuntu Podcast Quickie #7 20 June 09 « softaoglu.com Says:

    [...] One Hundred Paper Cuts, Ubuntu Global Jam, Empathy to replace Pidgin, no more Mibbit on Freenode, new Hall of Famer: Adi Roiban, Ubuntu Satanic license issue. [...]

  63. Nuevo Ubuntu “Satánico” « Grupo de Usuarios de Tecnologías Libres Says:

    [...] le pidió cerrar su tienda por usar su marca, pero los de Ubuntu Satanic Edition informaron de estas malas circunstancias, [...]

  64. Hmm | Total Verfriemelt Says:

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  65. stoiccola Says:

    SlicknesS would be a good Gnome theme for your distrubtion. You know you should probably come up with a word like they did and rebrand.

    Ubuntu == humanity
    uSathane == satan (zulu)

    rock on doods

  66. powerwoot Says:

    imo, SE is okay. How bout the red devil mascot in freebsd? satan or devil are cousin and they are both from hell.

  67. Klaas Says:

    Google helped me find your site. Thanks for posting I will be back :)

  68. Miss Satanic Says:

    Thank a lot of!!! I’m very satanhappy founded this satanic ubuntu!

  69. Falken Says:

    I like the whole dark theme, but it is after all just a theme, people are way too uptight these days.

    Though it seems the issue is now resolved, a rebranding option could be beneficial if similar issues develop in the future.

    Just a thought, but utnubU nataS E might work, provided the lawyers don’t hold it up to a mirror ;)

    ***

  70. Rachel Price Says:

    Most countries in the third world never respects intellectual property rights. piracy is so rampant in asian countries.`.”

  71. Elliot Russell Says:

    intellectual property is not really respected in most countries in asia where piracy is so rampant.-~.

  72. Ellie Hughes Says:

    there are so many intellectual property and copyright violations these days.’;

  73. dE Says:

    Canonical can earn money off the Ubuntu TM, buy selling it’s branded merchandise. If you’re doing it for free, it’s at a loss.

  74. Bum Bag : Says:

    intellectual property is always a concern these days because of the very fast update in technology’.:

  75. Calcium Ascorbate Says:

    in China, they do not respect intellectual property at all. too many software and movie pirates out there :*-

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  77. smalhet Says:

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  78. S02E07 – The Crusaders | Ubuntu Podcast Says:

    [...] Satan expelled from the Cafe [...]