The controversy is not because Ubuntu is shipping the GPL-incompatible ZFS on the same ISO image as GPL software, it's because they're shipping an OS image with ZFS linked into the Linux kernel. The GPL expressly forbids linking GPL-licensed and GPL-incompatible software in the same binary in cloud images.
Ubuntu has never shipped GPL-incompatible software like binary-blob drivers from nVidia or certain multimedia codecs as a part of their default installation, it's always required the user to install it on their own initiative (derivatives like Mint have their own lawyers and can do what they want). Even on the phones and tablets shipping with Ubuntu, it's been the hardware manufacturers adding 3rd-party incompatible blobs to their images, not Canonical. The ZFS stuff is different. I don't know what's changed since last I spoke with all the central players at Canonical who were still fanatically pro-GPL.