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Shuttleworth on the Ubuntu Banshee controversy: Mistakes were made


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.”

In his blog, which Shuttleworth often uses to discuss matters of importance to Ubuntu, open-source, and Linux in general, he started, “Money is particularly contentious in a community that mixes volunteer and paid effort, we should have anticipated and been extra careful to have the difficult conversations that were inevitable up front and in public, at UDS [Ubuntu Developer Summit], when we were talking about the possibility of Banshee being the default media player in Ubuntu. We didn’t, and I apologize for the consequential confusion and upset caused.”

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