Storm? Check. Teacup? Check. Now place the former inside the latter before reading on…

Linux Mint, the Ubuntu-based Linux distro that has been basking in waves of positive press of late, has been up to a bit of mischief.

Buried within the pages of a long forum thread on German site ‘’ is a surprising revelation: Linux Mint altered the Banshee Amazon MP3 referral code to that of its own, taking 100% of all profits made in the process.

In ‘standard’ Banshee all money raised through the sale of MP3s via the plugin goes to the non-profit GNOME Foundation – which, as of September 2011, has raised some $9200.

‘By purchasing music through Banshee’s integrated Amazon MP3 Store, you not only get seamless downloading, you support our free software community’ reads the Banshee site.

There’s taking a slice, and taking the cake

When Canonical altered the Banshee Amazon MP3 store plugin last year – albeit in their case splitting the profits with Banshee/GNOME – a minor uproar spread like unbridled contagien throughout the peanut galleries of here and beyond.

So are Linux Mint being a tad cheeky by stuffing the full 100% into their head developers pockets, taking it from the hands of GNOME developers?

Probably not. But it didn’t help that the ‘change’ was never publicly disclosed.

Even the ‘change-log’ in which the code was altered doesn’t entirely spell out the nature of the change or who it was to benefit: –

banshee (2.2.0-2linuxmint1) lisa; urgency = low * Changed redirect URL Ubuntu's Amazon store - Clement Lefebvre <>

The lesson to be learned from this ‘storm in a teacup’ is that transparency should always be the rule of thumb in situations such as these.

(P.S. Yes it was hard for me to resist running with the headline “Linux Minted”)

Thanks to k1au3

Linux Mint