He was reacting to allegations made by Bradley Kuhn, a board member of the Free Software Foundation and executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, that Canonical was moving toward an Open Core model, one in which free or open source software is sold along with proprietary add-ons.
The article containing these allegations was headlined "Canonical, Ltd. Finally On Record: Seeking Open Core." It was based on the transcript of a chat session that Shuttleworth had with users during the normal open week that follows the release of a version of Ubuntu, in this case version 10.10 otherwise known as Maverick Meerkat.
Open Core is an idea that has been pushed by vendors and analysts this year as the rush to make money off free and open source software grows.
Kuhn later admitted that the headline he had used was something of an exaggeration. "I agree my title was a bit of an exaggeration. I'd change it, but I am not sure that would clarify things, and probably would look strange," he said.
"Based on feedback, I did add a note at the bottom of the post making it clear that this reading of these events is my opinion, not fact," he wrote in a response to readers' comments on the Linux Weekly News website which had linked to his article.