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.""
Thread beginning with comment 464505
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Wrong way to make money
by chekr on Tue 1st Mar 2011 23:36 UTC
chekr
Member since:
2005-11-05

IMHO knocking off revenue streams which help to fund the Banshee software developers who have already kindly developed the application as open source is legal but ethically questionable

Canonical could probably do this with Firefox as well by collecting referral revenue from the search bar and starve Mozilla of that funding.

The problem is that this is bad for the communities that develop the code for Ubuntu and in the end will breed distrust of Canonical.

Canonical should focus its revenue generation efforts on offering quality products and services around its distribution. It has already begun that with some of the Ubuntu One services but could probably expand out its support offerings into something more palatable. If Ubuntu is going to wrestle away these pennies from the open source community it shows that they are truly desperate and struggling to create an effective business model.

Reply Score: 13

RE: Wrong way to make money
by ricegf on Wed 2nd Mar 2011 12:08 in reply to "Wrong way to make money"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

The problem is that this is bad for the communities that develop the code for Ubuntu and in the end will breed distrust of Canonical.


Open source developers in general tend to view business as a zero sum game - if Canonical takes a share of Banshee's revenue stream, then Canonical wins and Banshee loses.

A good business deal, however, is one in which both sides win.

If Canonical ignores Banshee, Banshee's income will be X. If Canonical installs Banshee by default and helps market music sales through it, Banshee's income will be Y - presumably, Y > X.

So if Canonical and Banshee strike a deal where (for example) Canonical receives (Y-X)/2, both Banshee and Canonical receive more income. Both groups win.

Canonical's mistake (which Mr. Shuttleworth is acknowledging) is in failing to adequately and openly negotiate the deal so that all sides win and know they are winning.

Reply Parent Score: 5