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Banshee, Canonical and how to earn an honest living in open source

Feb 22, 2011, 13:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jos Poortvliet)


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"openSUSE community manager, Jos Poortvliet, discusses Canonical's heavy handed tactics over Banshee referrals, and wonders how an openSUSE Foundation might make an honest living in open source…

"Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier wrote an interesting article on Open Source Report about the Banshee Amazon store in Ubuntu 11.04. To quickly summarize the situation, Banshee will be the new default music player in Ubuntu. Let me say up front, as a disclaimer: Banshee is to a large extent being developed by my employer, Novell. Banshee has support for the Amazon music store and includes a referral code in there, as you'd expect. The benefits of this amount to around $10,000 per year right now, which goes to the GNOME Foundation. Sadly, Canonical recently visited the Banshee mailing list and told them the Amazon store had to go. It could stay, they said, but only if Banshee gave 75% of the earnings to Canonical instead of GNOME. The Banshee developers graciously declined. Now Banshee (in Ubuntu at least) will have Ubuntu One as default music store and users will have to enable Amazon by themselves.

"Like Joe, I have no problem with Canonical trying to make money on Ubuntu One. I do have an issue with them taking it away from the projects who develop the code they ship to their customers, though. It might have been more reasonable if Canonical would have been looking for an even split – even Apple doesn't take more than a 30% cut"

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