Today it was announced that ShipIt, the free CD service that Canonical has been running since the inception of Ubuntu will be discontinued. I know some LoCo Teams may be worried about this, so I wanted to clarify some details right away.
- Why? – a few reasons. Firstly, CD distribution is not really as effective as it used to be, and it is expensive. These days, particularly with the availability of low cost hi-speed Internet growing across the world, more and more people are simply downloading the ISO images and burning them to a CD or installing from a USB stick. Canonical felt like it would make better sense to reduce the investment in snail-mail CD distribution and focus it more on LoCo Teams and use those savings to invest in other areas of the project.
- What about LoCo Teams? – here is the key point – we are still going to provide Approved LoCo Teams with CDs! We recognize the hugely valuable contribution LoCo teams make in advocating Ubuntu and helping people to use it and enjoy the freedoms in it, and we will continue to provide Approved LoCo teams with CDs that they can use for this advocacy work. As before, we encourage these CDs to be shared and re-used – Ubuntu CDs sat in a closet gathering dust don’t benefit anyone! Get the CDs, share them and re-use them.
- How do LoCo Teams get CDs? – there is a new form to fill in. Simple go here to request your CDs.
- Why can only approved LoCo teams get CDs? – the provision of free CDs from Canonical is an expensive service intended to empower LoCo teams in spreading the word of Ubuntu. Approved LoCo teams have demonstrated significant and sustained contributions in this area and based on this strong reputation we trust those resources won’t be wasted. Non-approved teams have not yet built that reputation, but when they do and get approved, they are welcome to apply for CDs too.
Alright, I think that covers the main points. Any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.