Back in June, I noted that LaunchPad isn’t free sotware, and because of that concluded:

And that’s pretty much the point where Canonical’s not a free software company, but a vendor providing proprietary services for the free software community.

I got a couple of private comments (which are reflected in an update to that post) to that which gave some fairly non-specific assertions that “the plan” was LaunchPad will be free software eventually, and that complaints would prove pretty redundant.

Since then, my referer logs pointed me at Joachim Breitner’s post on LaunchPad from July, that expressed some similar concerns. More interesting is the follow-on comment on the post from Mark Shuttleworth:

I can only say that I hope, in the fullness of time, you’ll be very happy with the way we handle Launchpad. Over time, it will be open sourced. Right now we compete with Progeny and Red Hat and other companies, so we need to have a unique offering to do so effectively, and that’s Launchpad.

I’d encourage you to read the whole thing to get the context, but to me, the only logical conclusion to that is that LaunchPad will be free when Canonical/Ubuntu are the only players in the market, or when Canonical’s current business model fails and they switch to a different one. Which is fine: if you write some software from scratch, it’s your choice what you do with it; but unless you’re an underpants gnome or a slashdot commenter, the above doesn’t qualify as a “plan” to free LaunchPad.

Leave a Reply