Freetard, they name is Debian
If there were ever a poster child for the word "freetard" it would be the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Not just Debian. You have to include the GNU/Linux or you aren't referring to it properly.
Debian GNU/Linux' philosophy is noble: a distribution (Linux kernel + tools) unencumbered by restrictive licensing. I just think it is getting harder and harder to accomplish while still putting something out people want.
I love Debian GNU/Linux. It is my distro of choice. The first thing I do is add in the non-free repositories and the testing and unstable repositories, set my default to 'testing' and upgrade the heck of out of everything on my system.
Ubuntu takes a philosophy to my own: Debian GNU/Linux is a wonderful base install, but needs a bit more before it becomes something you'd use on your workstation every day.
Ubuntu understands that they need Debian GNU/Linux to succeed. Debian GNU/Linux as a whole doesn't seem to understand how much Ubuntu is helping them just by using their work. This is not time for power struggles or hurt feelings. Debian GNU/Linux should be rejoicing that Ubuntu is as popular as it is.
I understand that Debian GNU/Linux' community may feel slighted by not getting the spotlight since it is their *foundation* that makes Ubuntu as friendly and stable as it is. They have to get over that. It sucks. Life isn't fair.
However, clearly Debian GNU/Linux is awesome because a fancy distro built on top of it is immensely popular. Humility. Humility would let the community know that their work is being respected and built upon because their work is fantastic. This isn't about one group trying to steal the work of another, it is about Ubuntu seeing something wonderful in Debian GNU/Linux, having an idea on how to improve it that doesn't fit with Debian GNU/Linux policies, and taking it upon themselves to create their own way to deliver their vision without clouding up Debian GNU/Linux with philosophical arguments.
Debian GNU/Linux is free to continue being what it has always been. No one has tried to force Ubuntu back down the tree to take over the roots of Debian GNU/Linux.
Upon further reflection, I wonder if the issue doesn't include some jealousy. Debian GNU/Linux developers are doing it for love while Ubuntu seems to be doing it for money. The Debian GNU/Linux devs may feel slighted for not getting paid.
I hope it isn't just that. I'd had to see a schism or an official forking of Debian GNU/Linux (or God forbid the death of Debian GNU/Linux) over something so petty.