Mr Shaughnessy's e-mail is on creative's website
As per e-mail:
Dear Mr Shaughnessy,
I have been a Creative customer for nearly 2 decades, from my first SoundBlaster PRO card in the early 90s to my current Creative MP3 player. I am the manager of a technical consultancy firm and in the past I have not hesitated to recommend your brand to my clients and colleagues.
However, I recently read about your heavy-handed legal assault on a volunteer developer who had produced working Vista drivers for your products and I am dismayed by your attitude towards hobbyist developers.
These developers often spend hours poring over the inner workings of your company's products out of a love for the technology - hours which are completely uncompensated and technology which they often purchase at their own cost from your company as soon as it is released (complete with "early adopter" price premium). They are also the kind of people who are called upon by friends, colleagues and business owners to recommend technology products.
Mr daniel_k's work did not in any way allow himself or any other users of Creative technology to deprive Creative of revenue or offer a means for them to do so. In fact, they'd need to have purchased Creative technology to use Mr daniel_k's modified drivers.
Neither did daniel_k's work attempt to mislead people into thinking his product was authorized by Creative. Sure the drivers may not have passed through Creative's own internal quality control process, but the kind of people who scour bulletin boards looking for homebrew drivers are fully aware that they are using third-party code - even if such code is unstable and crashes their computers they will know that it is a problem with the author's code and not the Creative product itself.
Openness and ease of modification/programming have always been one of the best things about Creative products - I seem to remember the SoundBlaster becoming a de-facto standard which others emulated because of this ease of programming. Similarly, the most open products in today's marketplace become the most popular - look at the success of the Tivo, the Asus Eee and the Linksys WRT54L[inux] series of routers - all leaders in their respective categories in part because they allow and even encourage tinkering.
I urge you and your company to reconsider your approach to hobbyist developers - your most loyal brand ambassadors in a highly competitive marketplace.
Incidentally, I modded the hard drive in the MP3 player to 100Gb - does this mean I am considered a thief rather than a loyal customer?