New privacy features for commercial subscribers

Launchpad is set up to make it easy for groups to come together spontaneously around tasks big or small. Take this bug as an example: it affects three projects that share the same code. Launchpad brings them together to find a fix.

But there are times when collaboration needs to be done privately. It could be because of security concerns, or confidentiality obligations to a client, or to coordinate the timing of events for marketing purposes, etc.

Launchpad already enables individual bugs to be marked as private but, until now, that’s been all. However, we’re running an interesting beta program at the moment that allows projects to default to both private bugs and private branches. As this will be of most interest to projects who aren’t ready to share their code, we’ll offer it by commercial subscription.

We’ve already been offering basic commercial subscriptions for a few months now. While Launchpad is always free of charge for free software projects, it also hosts some projects with non-free licenses, and charges them a fee to offset the costs of running the site. Until now, these commercial subscriptions have just meant access to Launchpad with no extra features. But following our beta of private branches and private bugs, we hope to offer a wider range of features to commercial subscribers, as they are likely to have different privacy needs from free software projects. If you’re a commercial subscriber and want to take part in the beta, or if you’re considering a commercial subscription, please contact us.

Of course, commercial subscriptions don’t take anything away from the free software projects that use Launchpad. They remain the focus of our development work, particularly as we move to open sourcing Launchpad itself.

4 Responses to “New privacy features for commercial subscribers”

  1. Jef Spaleta Says:

    Are the privacy branch features going to be offered to free software projects? It’s not clear from the wording if only commercial subscribers are going to benefit.

    Some free software projects might want to use private bugs and branches to deal with sensitive security issues on occasion to coordinate multi-vendor responses. This sort of “embargo” situation involving the vendor-sec mailinglist does occur even for free projects. Is this bug fixed yet?


  2. Martin Pool Says:


    Yes, private branches are available to and (iiuc) used by free software projects, for just the sort of case you describe.

    At the moment if you want to use them in a free project you should send mail to feedback@ or ask a question in asking for them to be enabled. They will be turned on for any bona fide open project. There have been some cases where projects claimed to be open source but didn’t actually publish their code, which is clearly not playing by the spirit of the rules, which is why the check exists. This should become more automated, straightforward and clear in future.

  3. Martin Pool Says:

    By the way I think bug 2789 is referring to a different meaning of ’embargoed’.

    I filed for this.

  4. Forest Bond Says:

    FYI, your “commercial subscriptions” link points to Not sure if you meant to do that.

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