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back to article Creative threatens developer over home-brewed Vista drivers

Creative Labs has enraged customers by threatening a developer with legal action after he wrote drivers that allowed its products to run smoothly on Vista. Soundcard maker Creative accused the developer, known only as daniel_k, of theft and warned him not to infringe its intellectual property. Daniel_k has created a number of …

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Ru
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Re: Err guys...

If their super-secret expensive license IP can be stolen by black-box reverse engineering of their drivers, then it was hardly protected in the first place. Perhaps they should have dropped such things into a firmware blob that ran on the board itself and never interacted directly with the host OS. Sounds like they were hardly exercising 'due diligence' here. Maybe they just don't believe he could have gotten the cards working without stealing their code.

Problem is, I still do not believe that driver engineering is in any way illegal. Hardware companies have been obsctructive and unhelpful to open source developers, yet I do not recall and story about a driver developer being busted for 'IP theft'.

Has he stolen proprietary Creative code, which contains software licensed from a third party? No? All his own work via reverse engineering? Then probably the best they can hope for is to hit him with the DMCA or whatever equivalent is available, for circumventing their alleged 'protection measures'.

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The guy was asking for donations

He was selling the drivers ffs, He didnt write them, he MODIFIED them.

If he was handing them out free then fine, (check those who mod the detonator drivers, they don't charge)

If he takes cash for someone elses work then fuck him

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Anonymous Coward

Capitalism and the profit motive

A few people have said "Well Creative are only in it for the money; they have no desire to produce quality goods. That's capitalism."

Which is true at a very superficial level. The problem comes when they produce such utter crap that no one buys their product, so they have no sales and no profit. In capitalism, quality and customer service are means to an end, same as PR and marketing. Looks like Creative have got the balance wrong this time, possibly because of outside pressures.

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Unhappy

Purchased my last creative product

And I work for a large online retailer I won't be suggesting there items to customers. And as I train the sales staff on what to sell, they wont be selling creative.

I better speak to the buyer and get some alternatives in.

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Fight back

I think he should countersue them. Maybe someone like EFF would sponsor the litigation for him.

Creative seem to have exposed themselves in a big way.

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This happened with 2000/XP as well

I remember being on the Creative Forums for years before they eventually released Windows 2000/XP drivers. They had beta drivers out for ages. The releases were few and far between. Creative clearly cant cope with new operating systems. Thank god ASUS and others will be up and coming with new soundcards.

Notice how they havnt brought out anything new since 2006, old Speakers, old sound cards. A company without focus or drive.

Bye Bye Creative.

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Anonymous Coward

Proprietary software is very complex

Same sort of thing happened with the guy who won the MS competition for their junior studio thing.

Most proprietary software is licensed to prohibit reverse engineering. If you don't think that is valid then you have to get software from people who allow you to reverse engineer it.

Most off the shelf software is about lock in, driver software is designed to give a scale on the 'different cards' which of course are actually more physically similar. Long gone are the days of technical excellence in proprietary software, that niche has been taken by the open source crowd.

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Mr Hock Leow ...

Inject some common sense here please !

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Gates Horns

Could there be a good reason?

Let's say that Creative have not fucked up and everything is going to plan.

That means their Vista drivers are crap on purpose.

Of course they don't want anyone to fix them, they are supposed to be crap.

BUT WHY? What possible motive?

Is it to keep vista from gettting better? Surely someone else will have a sound card which works well in Vista.

Perhaps they have a fantastic new product in development which is really almost the same product but with better drivers? Now that would be money for old rope.

On the other hand maybe they are trying to devalue the company ready for a takeover.

Someone once said never attribute to malace what can be explained by incompetance. That is how most people think. I have started to attribute malace where once I saw incompetance. It seems to explain a lot these days.

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Thumb Up

U-Turn from Creative

http://forums.creative.com/creativelabs/board/message?board.id=Vista&thread.id=30737&page=6

"I checked with management, and it was decided we would bring back the Audigy Support Pack thread and allow you to continue in that endeavor. As long as no intellectual property of Creative is distributed, we will have no problem with it. I will get the thread reposted shortly."

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Linux

He wasn't selling them

He was asking for donations to support the hours of work he had put into Creative over, what seems to be, many years. He had been modifying their drivers with their knowledge for some time if you read the thread (don't bother)

It would appear that his drivers were enabling features that Creative had deliberately crippled. There is no excuse for this sort of behaviour from any hardware supplier.

There's also something seriously dodgy about this where Creative appear to be charging for Vista software other than drivers for many cards.

http://www.edbott.com/weblog/?p=1726

The Creative forum thread is now over 2200 posts and 227 pages.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Wayland Sothcott

"Someone once said never attribute to malace what can be explained by incompetance. That is how most people think. I have started to attribute malace where once I saw incompetance. It seems to explain a lot these days."

Never a truer word!

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There a problem with Creative Soundcards and Vista?

I've just been looking around for a new soundcard for use with my new build, but now I know there is a problem with Creative hardware, they are off my shopping list.

(Just in case anyone from Creative reads this I will translate "The negative publicity you have created has just lost you a sale".)

By the way Creative, which particular bit of "IP" is yours that was stolen. Trade secret? Patent? Copyright? I would love to know because I suspect you are using that term as bluff and you are full of p*** and wind, signifying nothing.

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Creative (and Auzen) just lost a sale

Was about to buy

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=SC-000-AZ to replace my Auzentech X-Meridian.

Creatives stupid action has now hurt Auzentech, I appreciate Auzentech products are superior, but they license the product from Creative and I refuse to ever give Creative another penny.

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creative suck...

yep, was gonna say "as much as apple" but dont want to repeat myself...

where are my sblive1024 drivers!!!!!

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Creative ?

How relevant is Creative these days ? Personally I haven't bought a Creative product since the 90's. They can go get eternally stuffed for all I care. What we need are more people like the guy who wrote the driver, we don't need corporate dinosaurs like Creative.

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Creative blames everyone for everything

If you have been on their forums for a long time, this sounds familiar. They never got the drivers working very well on XP either for the X-Fi cards. At the time, they were blaming Nvidia for all of their problems when in fact, their were a lot of people complaining about crackling, and very loud popping on not just Nvidia chipset based boards, but also on VIA, and Intel chipsets. I had a VIA chipset board at the time, and they ran like crap. Yet the Audigy drivers worked perfectly. The flaming got very loud, when they kept trying to blame others for their own screw ups, and they closed that forum thread if I remember right. I'll bet there are others on this comments page that remember that. So keep in mind that this is really nothing new for Creative, who has a bloodthirsty history. It just sounds like a class-action lawsuit will be necessary to get them to fly right, since they have no sense of morals.

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Anonymous Coward

<no title>

If someone writes interface to allows two things to communicate together well, how the hell does the owner of one of those 2 things manage to claim ownership? What sort of world are those in power creating? And when are they going?

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Ben
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RE: Classic strategy

"Funnily enough, I am currently reading a book called "The Undercover Economist" that explains that behaviour by companies. It goes something like this: intentionally cripple your cheaper/older products so that people have a reason to buy the more expensive ones, in this case by providing sub-standard drivers for Vista."

I still recall with animosity the time when Creative bought its rival Aureal and promptly killed all the drivers for those products. It's like they expected me to buy a Creative product to replace my now driverless Aureal card (which was far superior).

History repeats, just this time Creative is fighting itself.

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Anonymous Coward

Daniek_K tells his side.

http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/04/daniel_k-who-fi.html

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Was thinking of upgrading my mainboard integrated soundcard

with a Creative Soundblaster card.

But not any more.

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@ Fight back

Countersue?

What the hell are you talking about?

1) They havent sued him

2) he stole their code, modified it and then sold it on. Show me any ligiator who could paint that in a positive light

Why is this so hard for you idiots to understand

This isnt about the nasty old "Big Company" keeping the mas down, its about theft of someone elses code.

Get your heads out of your atrse and actually read up on the facts of what your posting comments on

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