The web site Fix Ubuntu by Micah Lee, a technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and CTO of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, according to an email sent by Canonical to him, needs to come down because it uses Ubuntu’s logo and trademark.

ewfwAs we know, a trademark is a word, symbol, or phrase, used to identify a particular manufacturer or seller’s products and distinguish them from the products of another.

This web site has been made, as the technologist said, to help Ubuntu users who use the default settings of Ubuntu operative system, since the search through the Dash sends this information to a variety of third parties, without advertise the user.

Ubuntu shuld protect user privacy by default” reports Lee in his website, showing the code to disable the privacy invasive parts of Ubuntu.

According to EFF opinion, when the user starts searching, Ubuntu provides a secure HTTPS connection to productsearch.ubuntu.com, sending the query and the IP address of the computer. If you found a product from Amazon, the operating system loads the image of the product from an HTTP server. If you use a wireless network, an attacker could intercept the data and see what the user is looking on his computer.

On the other side Canonical advertises Lee, writing him a letter, that he is using Ubuntu’s logo and also the word Ubuntu in the domain name; “As you can see from our policy, to use the Ubuntu trademarks and Ubuntu word in a domain name would require approval from Canonical” underlines.

Lee’s first answer, readable on his web site , was that his use of the logo and of the name in the domain name falls under “nominative use”, that means “a legal doctrine that provides an affirmative defense to trademark infringement as enunciated by the United States Ninth Circuit; Nominative use occurs when use of a term is necessary for purposes of identifying another producer’s product, not the user’s own product. Nominative use may be considered to be either related to, or a type of “trademark fair use” (sometimes called “classic fair use” or “statutory fair use”).”

Secondly, he affirms that he will go to shut down his web site, only if Canonical displays ads to users to protect their privacy on their computers, rather than “violating their privacy by default”; in this way he says, people are not involved to find websites o n Internet to solve this problem.

As a Linux maker, Canonical is a symbol of open source software, but Lee on contrary says that “Open source software is all about being happy gtvabout other people changing your stuff and releasing their own versions and releasing derivative works” – “And this is sort of the opposite of that.”. The code for Fixubuntu.com is also open source- continues to affirm—inviting Canonical to “submit a patch” if it decides to help out “in a more productive way.”

For the moment Lee, as the letter sent to Canonical by EFF Staff Attorney, has removed the Ubuntu logo, “not because it was required by law”, as Daniel K. Nazer underlines, but “only in a spirit of compromise”.



Under the opinion of Lee, what has revealed important from the point of view of privacy, is the fact that users, especially the less experienced, must be able to exploit a system operating in complete safety, without having to provide in a cumbersome, the protection of their data. What EFF wants also to highlight, is the urgent need to make changes in order to disable by default the online search, explaining clearly how terms are used in research and IP addresses, and allowing users to specify the sites to be included in the results research online.


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About Vanessa Lumini

The genius build the world, the clever turn around, and the stupid think that the world revolves around them .. Laureata e appassionata in Informatica, contabile amministrativa di professione da 5 anni, con la voglia di diffondere le mie passioni in tutte le lingue a me possibili.

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