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Old 11-27-2008, 02:55 PM
Amanda Brock
 
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Hi there

Wording is there for legal purposes and should remain. Warranty refers
to the applicable statutory warrantie etc s. Please do not remove.

Kat Kinnie in marketing owns this and I have ccd her.

With kind regards

Amanda

AmandaBrock
Solicitor / General Counsel
Canonical
27th Floor, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP
+44(0)2076302446
Ubuntu - Linux for human beings


Fabian Rodriguez wrote:
> Adam Sommer wrote:
>>
>> On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 10:49 AM, Dustin Kirkland <kirkland@ubuntu.com
>> <mailto:kirkland@ubuntu.com>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> I'm curious if the "free software" and "no warranty" paragraphs are
>> still necessary/useful? Do they belong in the MOTD, printed *every*
>> time a user logs onto a system on the command line?
>
> Declaring Ubuntu is free software because most of it is free is a bit of
> a stretch. I believe "The programs included with the Ubuntu system in
> its main repository are free software; the exact distribution terms for
> each program are described in the individual files in
> /usr/share/doc/*/copyright."
>
> or
>
> "The programs included with the Ubuntu system in its main repository are
> mostly free software; the exact distribution terms for each program are
> described in the individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright."
>
> Even stating it's free software is completely unnecessary IMO. Isn't
> that what the terms/licenses declare (redundantly so) ?
>
> "Ubuntu comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by
> applicable law."
>
> If we define "Ubuntu" as everything in main, universe and multiverse,
> and "Warranty" as applying to technical functionality, that may be true.
> But how about this:
> http://www.ubuntu.com/support/paid/assurance
>
> That's hardly "absolutely no warranty". I don't have an easy answer
> here, perhaps the community council and legal counsel at Canonical could
> help.
>
> Regarding the fear it can instill when someone logs in for the first
> time and sees that, I believe it could be balanced with:
>
> To get help with Ubuntu, please visit:
> http://www.ubuntu.com/support
>
> That link includes links to the official doc, support options and more,
> which may prove much more useful than a link to documentation that
> doesn't even mention getting free help elsewhere.
>
> To be fair the professional services section on that page should then
> include a direct link to the Ubuntu Marketplace.
>
> Fabian Rodriguez, Ubuntu Systems Senior Support Analyst
> Canonical Global Support & Services, Montreal, QC, Canada
> http://landscape.canonical.com
>
>

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Old 11-27-2008, 03:10 PM
"Christopher Armstrong"
 
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On Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 10:55 AM, Amanda Brock
<amanda.brock@canonical.com> wrote:
> Hi there
>
> Wording is there for legal purposes and should remain. Warranty refers
> to the applicable statutory warrantie etc s. Please do not remove.
>
> Kat Kinnie in marketing owns this and I have ccd her.

I think this is kind of a weak argument when we *don't* display this
information on graphical logins. What's so special about a login, that
it requires the display of this legal information? And why is a
textual login *particularly* special, compared to a GUI login?

--
Christopher Armstrong
http://radix.twistedmatrix.com/
http://planet-if.com/

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Old 11-27-2008, 05:56 PM
"Matthew East"
 
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Hi Amanda,

On Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 3:55 PM, Amanda Brock
<amanda.brock@canonical.com> wrote:
> Hi there
>
> Wording is there for legal purposes and should remain. Warranty refers
> to the applicable statutory warrantie etc s. Please do not remove.

Pleased to make your acquaintance - I'm also a lawyer in London
although my involvement in Ubuntu is purely voluntary.

I'm posting again on this subject because I'm genuinely interested in
the way in which Ubuntu treats its legal relationships with users and
distributors. I haven't researched it at all and am just posting my
personal thoughts.

In the jurisdiction where I work (England & Wales), warranties are
only implied by statutes where there is a contract. I can't think of
any way that a contract could form between a user on the one hand, and
Ubuntu (which doesn't exist as a legal entity), Canonical or the
Ubuntu Foundation on the other hand. This is because a user isn't
giving any consideration in return for the product (because it is
free).

If that's right, then the exclusion of warranties is not genuinely necessary.

Do you disagree with that analysis? I can't say of course whether
other jurisdictions are similar or not, although Wikipedia seems to
indicate that the US might be -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consideration_under_American_law

I think there is a general misunderstanding about the nature of the
legal relationships that Ubuntu's use entails. For example, on
http://www.ubuntu.com/legal it states that the use of Ubuntu is
governed by the licence agreements. That's not true either - those
licences exist to facilitate *redistribution* of the software (as
opposed to use), and to define the conditions for that. In the absence
of those licences, the software would not be redistributable because
copyright would apply in its full force.

The main point here of course, which Dustin made already, is that even
if the above is wrong, then the "MOTD" is a poor way of seeking to
impose such an exclusion, because only a fraction of users see it
(those running the desktop edition don't ever see it). If there is a
genuine concern about trying to communicate legal issues (whether it
is warranty or other exclusions, licences or anything else) to users,
it needs to be done before they click the "download" button on the
website and the "install" button after running the CD.

Looking forward to your thoughts.

--
Matthew East
http://www.mdke.org
gnupg pub 1024D/0E6B06FF

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Old 11-27-2008, 07:50 PM
"Matthew East"
 
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On Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 6:56 PM, Matthew East <mdke@ubuntu.com> wrote:
> I think there is a general misunderstanding about the nature of the
> legal relationships that Ubuntu's use entails. For example, on
> http://www.ubuntu.com/legal it states that the use of Ubuntu is
> governed by the licence agreements. That's not true either - those
> licences exist to facilitate *redistribution* of the software (as
> opposed to use), and to define the conditions for that.

I got thinking about this distinction a bit further, looked into some
basic software law and read the GPL properly. What I said in the
paragraph above isn't right - our licences do in fact grant permission
to use software, as well as to redistribute it. Doh.

The point about how best to communicate whatever terms of use we seek
to impose for using Ubuntu is still an interesting one, and I still
think the MOTD is not the best place.

--
Matthew East
http://www.mdke.org
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:12 PM
Martin Pitt
 
Default Disclaimer

Matthew East [2008-11-27 20:50 +0000]:
> The point about how best to communicate whatever terms of use we seek
> to impose for using Ubuntu is still an interesting one, and I still
> think the MOTD is not the best place.

I fully agree, with my admittedly naive and ignorant user hat on.

To you lawyers it might come across rude and surprising, but in fact
usually when I log into a remote system, the first thing that I want
to do and chek is _not_ reading licenses and usage privileges. As long
as I can run it from my ssh session, I don't care about legalese. :-)
And if I can't, well, then I can still read error messages and
copyright files to figure it out.

However, in its current form I agree that motd is just rather
uninteresting. For one it's boilerplate, and also I guess few admins
will actually update it everytime they actually install a piece of
proprietary software.

Martin

--
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Ubuntu Developer (www.ubuntu.com) | Debian Developer (www.debian.org)

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Old 04-07-2010, 07:38 AM
"Amedee Van Gasse (ub)"
 
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On Tue, April 6, 2010 18:14, Franklin S Werren wrote:

> Confidentiality Note: This email and any attachments are confidential and
> may contain privileged information intended for the addressee(s) only. If
> you are not the intended recipient, please notify us immediately and
> remove the email and any attachments from your system without storing,
> disclosing or copying all, or any part of it. The content of this email
> and attachments may contain data that falls within the scope of the Data
> Protection Act 1998. The unauthorized opening, use, recording, disclosure,
> copying or alteration of this message is strictly forbidden under the Data
> Protection Act 1998.

Hi Frank,

Isn't it a bit silly, such a huge disclaimer? How can any mail be
confidential when you send it to a public mailing list?

I assume that it is automagically added by the mailserver of your
employer. Perhaps you should use a different email address and a different
email server for emails that aren't work related? That's how I do it. If
you can't do that, please tell us why, then maybe we can help you.

--
Amedee


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