Mint makers retain 50% of Banshee affiliate revenue
The latest version of Linux Mint contains a slightly modified version of the Banshee media player. The modification results in commission on Amazon MP3 Music Store purchases made through the application going to the Linux distributor's "Affiliate ID". Usually, these funds go to the GNOME Foundation.
The issue was brought to the fore in a German blog posting and reported on "OMG! Ubuntu". A similar incident occurred in February when Canonical also changed the affiliate code in their version of Banshee; after complaints, the Ubuntu developer decided to retain seventy-five per cent of the commission and pass the remainder to the GNOME project.
In a blog comment apparently from senior Linux Mint developer Clement Lefebvre, he said he made the change in part because the Banshee affiliate ID did not function, though according to another comment, the mechanism works well, just not in a web browser as used by Lefebvre.
Lefebvre says that the broker commission in November was only $3.41, but does not say if the release of Linux Mint 12 on the 27 November to a broader audience has made any difference. Lefebrve said in the comments that he was willing to share the revenue with either upstream project, Banshee or Ubuntu, but that "for this kind of revenue, not a lot of time is going to be spent in negotiations". A later reader comment on LWN.net noted that Lefebvre had visited the IRC channel of the Banshee developers and has now declared that Linux Mint, as of version 12, "will take 50% of the revenue for themselves and let 50% go to GNOME". The Banshee developers confirmed this by updating their revenue page to reflect this.