Sharing is important, not just with Ubuntu but with whoever is interested in our innovations. I like the idea of close communication between Ubuntu and us and I'm sure it would benefit both distributions, however our purpose is not to add codecs to Ubuntu or to act as an "enhancement" or variation of it, our main purpose is to implement our own ideas and to make a great desktop distribution.
The goal of Kubuntu is to bring KDE to Ubuntu users.
The goal of Xubuntu is to bring them XFCE.
The goal of Automatix is to bring them codecs and other goodies.
Our goal is to bring a great desktop distribution to Linux users. It has nothing to do with codecs (that's just one small aspect of what we believe a great desktop should have), it has nothing to do with Ubuntu and it definitely has nothing to do with Automatix...
We do make packages and develop nice software and I'm happy to see that Ubuntu users can benefit from it, but our main goal is not to "enhance" Ubuntu, it is to go towards our own idea of a desktop distribution.
As I said earlier, Ubuntu was chosen among other candidates (Debian testing for instance) as a base simply because it wouldn't have made sense for us to reinvent the wheel. With every release of Ubuntu we'll ask ourselves whether we rebase our work or whether we fork a bit more, but the bottom line is we're not Ubuntu, we're not happy with just adding codecs (anybody can do that, you just have to follow ubuntuguide.org or the Ubuntu wiki guide on restricted formats) and we're just going our seperate way to whatever will be for us the fastest path to a better desktop.
Now having said that Ubuntu is a fantastic base for us and I'd be more than happy to see Linux Mint serve them as a testing ground and see some of our innovations make their way into their great distro.