Yes you are right, apologizes for the last comment as it was reading what you wrote in the wrong context.
Yes "Originally developed" was the phrase used. So yes I was hmm'ing about Canonical's role there. Why am I hmm'ing? Because I was under the impression that this was a Canonical developed codebase. Why was I under that impression?
My reading of http://upstart.ubuntu.com/wiki/CopyrightAssignment
The assignment to Canonical isn't something I would have expected to see in a project that was original developed on personal time. Sure assigning copyright to a nonprofit like the FSF or asking contributors to assign copyright to the main developer, that I can see for a personal project. But when I see copyright assignment requirements to a for-profit corporate entity like Canonical that implies to me that the company had a hand in paying for the original development of the work. It's not proof of course, just an implication.
Saying its the same assignment required by bzr, and again my understanding is that bzr was originally developed on Canonical's dime. This doesn't prove that Canonical paid for the original Upstart development time, but its what I took away from the requiring the Canonical copyright assignment.
And there's nothing inherently wrong with the copyright assignment either. If the original developer wants to sign over copyright assignment to Canonical and give Canonical the power to re-license the codebase on whatever terms it sees fits as a corporate entity, even if the codebase originated on volunteer time, that's totally within his rights to do.