Ubuntu and Banshee

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.

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