More evidence that the strong reaction to Canonical, is a reaction to Mark Shuttleworth's previous public statements as the CEO of Canonical.
He's very outspoken. That can have a downside. Trust me, I know intimately all about the downside of being too outspoken.
And in this specific case, it could be chalked up to a "reap what you sow" moment.
That was a pretty aggressive move on Shuttleworth's part. Taking negative public sentiment, and using it to bolster your own company's interests by calling out another company for taking advantage of thousands of programmers and contributors. Who would have thought that other entities would replicate Shuttleworth's aggressive tactics at community manipulation. Mark should have patented that idea, then he wouldn't have to worry about competitors doing the exact same thing to him on down the line.
I think if Shuttleworth decided to take a step back from the public eye, and let the technical leads at Canonical who are actually doing the work do the bulk of the communication about any Canonical activity...that could help reorient relations. He would be better of letting the technical people inside Canonical lead with action, and following up on that technical leadership by talking about it publicly. Instead he spends a lot of time talking about what Canonical will do or what Canonical is thinking about. He primes the pump, he stokes the flames...he just doesn't realize whose pumps and flames he's priming and stroking.