Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Tue 1st Mar 2011 18:32 UTC, submitted by sjvn
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "The conflict between Banshee and Canonical over what should be done with Banshee's Amazon Store revenue stream, while it was finally resolved, was not Ubuntu's most shining moment. At the matter's conclusion, Banshee developers were not happy with the results. This is not how open-source communities should work together and no one knows that better than Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical, Ubuntu's parent company, who wrote, "We made some mistakes in our handling of the discussion around revenue share with the Banshee team.""
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RE: Hypocrisy
by andydread on Wed 2nd Mar 2011 15:53 UTC in reply to "Hypocrisy"
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"The bulk of the direct cost in creating the audience of Ubuntu users is carried by Canonical. There are many, many indirect costs and contributions that are carried by others, both inside the Ubuntu community and in other communities, without which Ubuntu would not be possible. But that doesn’t diminish the substantial investment made by Canonical in a product that is in turn made available free of charge to millions of users and developers.

It's not like Canonical didn't know upfront that they were investing money and efforts into building a free OS offering. They were well aware of the costs and the lack of revenue. Moreover, he wrote:

By contrast, every other commercial Linux desktop is a licensed product–you can’t legally use it for free, the terms for binaries are similar to those for Windows or the Mac OS. They’re entitled to do it their way, we think it’s good in the world that we choose to do it our way too.

They could have gone commercial and charged a fee for Ubuntu. They didn't. And now, when a project **they chose** to include as a default app in their distro happens to make money via Amazon's music store (a competitor to Canonical's own music store, which I didn't even know existed), they want to either levy a 75% tax on it or, in case Banshee devs don't agree with that revenue sharing scheme, disable the revenue-providing section of the code. Money that is 100% donated to an open source foundation. Money that amounts to something in the small thousands... Sorry but this stinks more than Microsoft's business practices in the late 90's and more than the Apple-pioneered "mere" 30% cut that's now widespread in the mobile app world. At least where these other companies stand as to open source is known.

And now Shuttleworth says there is no maliciousness? Looks more like extortion to me. With this precedent, what says Ubuntu isn't or won't be selecting "default" projects based on whether they have a revenue stream, whatever the intended destination, instead of the good old merit? Who can say they're not infiltrated agents for the closed-source camp whose duty is to stymie OSS projects? They've opened a pandora's box that conspiracy theory lunatics will eagerly embrace. All that is bad for the open source movement.

I hope the Banshee team won't cave in.

Its simple. Ubuntu should just remove Banshee from the distribution. After all it costs money to host a repository and PPA and to distribute Banshee in the first place. That way Banshee guys and the ubuntu haters like you won't have anything to bash them about. Here's a clue. IF Banshee wasn't included in Ubuntu there would be no revenue stream for them from the myriad of Ubuntu users out there. So just remove it. Problem solved.

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