Recently there has been buzz about Canonical’s plans to stop building images for certain Nexus devices while this may seem disappointing to developers who went out of their way to buy these devices. The good news is that Canonical could very easily update its instructions here with instructions on how to build the images for any device and leave building of images up to Developers.
Well I’m on the topic of Ubuntu Touch it is interesting to note that Canonical is riding a pretty fine line when it comes to complying with the licenses of the Android binaries it uses for hardware support and includes in its images.
The reason being is that Canonical is a for-profit business and is involved in commerce surrounding Ubuntu Touch and this means its not using the binaries in a non-commercial manner when it uses them in relation to its business.
Disclaimer from Ubuntu.com that still does not justify Canonical’s Commercial use:
Ubuntu for phones is released for free non-commercial use. It is provided without warranty, even the implied warranty of merchantability, satisfaction or fitness for a particular use. See the licence included with each program for details.
Some licences may grant additional rights; this notice shall not limit your rights under each program’s licence. Licences for each program are available in the usr/share/doc directory. Source code for Ubuntu can be downloaded from archive.ubuntu.com. Ubuntu, the Ubuntu logo and Canonical are registered trademarks of Canonical Ltd. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Ubuntu for phones is released for limited use due to the inclusion of binary hardware support files. The original components and licenses can be found on the Google website.
Creative Commons Definition of Non-Commercial:
A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation.
And some discussions on non-commercial use licensing and Wikipedia’s article which defines quite nicely what non-commercial means. But think of it in the sense of Creative Common’s non-commercial bit and how if a company used your work which required non-commercial use they too would be misusing your work.
In my opinion Canonical is not been very respectful of these Android binaries which are freely distributed with very simple requirements for those who want to use them.