I’ve been following all of the concerns surrounding the Ubuntu and Banshee profit-sharing “kerfuffle”, as Greg puts it here. Craig Maloney (aka snap-l) responds here. Mark Shuttleworth responds to everyone here. Also, I can’t forget about Jono’s post about it as well.
So, I guess this is my response:
I think the whole thing is embarrassing. Canonical shouldn’t have suggested what they did, nor should they have backpedaled in the manner they did.
Banshee is an awesome application. I use it every day to manage and listen to my music and download new tracks from Amazon (mostly free individual tracks and album samplers). I have never used the Ubuntu Music Store, but I think it’s a great idea. (Note: I get most of my new music from actual CDs or through Jamendo or other CC-music websites.)
Now, I’ve been a part of the Ubuntu community since about 2006 (yes, I’m old) and seeing something like this pains me. It makes me feel like I should be embarrassed to use Ubuntu and Banshee. The Amazon store should never have been an issue; Canonical should never have offered to mess with it, instead offering their own store with a choice of stores (even enabling both!) at the startup of Banshee.
I understand that Canonical needs to make money. All businesses need to make money. If UbuntuOne was available for Windows and was a comparable price to Dropbox, I would probably be using UbuntuOne instead of Dropbox. Selling cloud services is a great idea for Canonical. Same with selling merchandise through their store, and CDs with Ubuntu on them. Heck, I’ve bought stuff from them.
I guess my question is, couldn’t Canonical come up with a better way to deal with this profit-sharing or whatever? What about offering 85/15 (85% to Gnome, 15% to Canonical)? Heck, even 50/50 would have been more fair. 25/75 for doing no work whatsoever doesn’t seem kosher.