Turns out next Ubuntu is fully baking in ZFS into the kernel and distributing it. This seems directly contrary to the licensing CDDL vs GPL, and chances are some folks will be unhappy with it.
The big question is, will the IP holders sue. Because if they don’t, they may actually have given up their right to sue. Or has Canonical obtained a license to distribute. This is my understanding as I am not a lawyer, so I can’t really be sure of this (and I’d recommend you ask one if you are not sure).
In reality, it looks like Canonical has determined that they can redistribute. Whether or not this is true will be interesting to observe. If they get sued, chances are that someone disagrees with them.
Even more interesting is whether or not this opens up Canonical Ubuntu users to potential lawsuits from rights holders, and whether or not Canonical will indemnify them (not likely).
Lets see what happens.
This said, Canonical looks like it is trying to compete with SmartOS now. Dtrace is missing, and lxd isn’t quite up to a zone (though it is rapidly converging on it), but the advantage is firmly Canonical’s, as they have orders of magnitude better driver support and installed base.