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A bid by Canonical to profit from the inclusion of the Mono-dependent music player Banshee in its next Ubuntu release has failed.


Banshee, a Novell project, which is to replace Rhythmbox in Ubuntu 11.04, provides a means to buy music from the Amazon MP3 Store; the developers had opted to allow the GNOME Foundation to take the entire affiliate's revenue.

Mono is a project which is owned by Novell and is the brainchild of GNOME co-founder Miguel de Icaza; it aims to create a free equivalent of Microsoft's .NET development environment. Many FOSS developers are wary of it as there is no guarantee from Microsoft that patent suits do not await its users down the track.

According to Banshee developer, Gabriel Burt, the amount of money that GNOME earns from Banshee is approaching $US10,000 a year, the sum that a small company pays to be a member of the GNOME Foundation advisory board.

Burt wrote on his blog that Canonical approached the Banshee (corrected) developers as it was concerned that the Amazon MP3 link would affect its earnings from its own Ubuntu One music store.

Canonical proposed that when it used Banshee (corrected) it would disable the Amazon store code by default - it could be re-enabled with a few easy steps - and leave the affiliate code unchanged.

A second option offered, according to Burt, was to leave things as they are but change the affiliate code so that 75 percent of the affiliate's fee would go to Canonical and 25 percent to GNOME.

The Banshee developers accepted the first option, which means that Canonical will make no money out of using Banshee.

"As maintainers of the Banshee project, we have opted unanimously to decline Canonical's revenue sharing proposal, so that our users who choose the Amazon store will continue supporting GNOME to the fullest extent," Burt wrote. "The GNOME Foundation's Board of Directors supports this decision."

 

 

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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