AfterDawn: Tech news

Creative threatened developer over Vista drivers

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 02 Apr 2008 0:14 User comments (18)

Creative threatened developer over Vista drivers As many of you surely have been following this story, which has been posted to nearly every user-driven link-sharing service, Creative Labs appeared to threaten a third-party driver developer over homebrew drivers. The drivers were made to address many problems that Creative's hardware has with the Windows Vista operating system, and have received praise from owners of Creative products.
However, in a forum thread on Monday, a representative for Creative appeared to sort of threaten the user, Daniel_K, over the distribution of the drivers after several of his posts were deleted. Since then, the original post (made by Dale-CL) has been edited to address a large amount of negative feedback (large meaning 242 pages at time of writing).

"We own the rights to the materials that you are distributing. By enabling our technology and IP to run on soundcards for which it was not originally offered or intended, you are, in effect, stealing our goods," the original post read. "To be clear, we are asking you to respect our legal rights in this matter and cease all further unauthorized distribution of our technology and IP."

In response, Daniel_K posted: "I do know what is right, so I'll stop developing and distributing Creative softwares and drivers." He however added that the, "funny thing is that you are faster "protecting" your technologies and intellectual properties than providing improved drivers and softwares for your customers."

Since this forum thread made it to the front pages of the likes of, it sparked an alarming amount of negative feedback which in turn, led to the first post bring altered.

See the thread at:

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18 user comments

12.4.2008 1:41

This was not a wise method for Creative to handle the situation. Let's hope they do something smart soon, or they will not recover very many of hundreds of lost customers including me, for now anyway.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 02 Apr 2008 @ 1:47

22.4.2008 4:38

Creative wouldn't have a case if he released patches for the work as opposed to the entire modded driver with the "stolen" code inside.

From Wikipedia on legality (U.S.) of Reverse Engineering:

Reverse engineering software or hardware systems which is done for the purposes of interoperability (for example, to support undocumented file formats or undocumented hardware peripherals), is mostly believed to be legal, though patent owners often contest this and attempt to stifle any reverse engineering of their products for any reason.

"...[W]here disassembly is the only way to gain access to the ideas and functional elements embodied in a copyrighted computer program and where there is a legitimate reason for seeking such access, disassembly is a fair use of the copyrighted work, as a matter of law."[

32.4.2008 7:33

Well there goes last reason to buy creative.

when i bought audigy 1 platinium there was problems with some games and it lasted very long.. before i bought audigy i had sb live (same company) and everything worked fine. Then with audigy after 2-3 hours gaming sounds always went mute and only way to fix this was to reboot. After 3 years they got it fixed... alternative drivers had no problem btw.

Since audigy 1 i have hoped some other company to compete with creative. It seems my prays have been answered by asus. Lets hope they get the hw at the same level.. software level can´t possibly be any worse.

42.4.2008 8:30

Methinks Creative could've found a better way to try and handle this, other than threatening legal action and trying to wipe someone out who was obviously a little more useful than their writers.

They messed up on this one.

52.4.2008 9:20

ageed creative messed up on this one;

but tha said, i still love creative, i use an audigy 2 zs notebook, after having a platinum for my desktop, I do some audio creation and a lot of listening, and could never ask for a better product.

my advice now, the same as a few years ago, and the same thing I tell all my friends when they bring their broken notebooks and desktops around asking why they don't do this or that ...

... avoid vista - make the world a better place.

62.4.2008 10:25


Classic case of my babies cuter then your baby. No one wants to be told that their drivers suck and in this case, it was Creative Labs that got owned by the dev.

72.4.2008 10:36

And all publicly on their own boards.

82.4.2008 10:37

This is creative labs for you.

There goal is this.

don't recycle.

Force consumers to purchase new hardware.

Charge a huge amount for the hardware.

And offer no support for vista.

I am amazed that federal communications violations where not filed against creative labs.

Because not only does creative labs produce sound card technology but modems as well which falls under the communications violations also with the release of these drivers now on the internet what is stoping people from posting them on bittorrent and on p2p networks nothing.

92.4.2008 11:13

Drivers are not something you can "own" it falls under fair use because you need it to run your hardware, all that is needed is a disclaimer the same the drivers makers use to disclaim errous actions of the drivers...but know they treat drivers like full blown software, asshats get a clue its a 2ndry IP format not something you can openly nazi over without looking like morons..... I swear creative has fallen over the years and this is a new low.

102.4.2008 15:44

Creative drivers in my opinion suck. All my computers that have creative cards installed work fine and the software installs fine but when it comes to switching to another sound card or to integrated sound or even a simple reinstallation, you've just wasted your day with absolutely no help from creative.

112.4.2008 16:22

Creative: we own those patents your breaking the law!

internet: in the real world when your products suck we are going to make them better and it really doesnt matter what some law on a peice of paper says, beause we dont take too kindly to people telling us what we can and cant do WITH THINGS WE BOUGHT OURSELFS and if you piss off the internet we will revolt against you with the fury of a thousand suns and your company will tank. so yeh, you better say your sorry.

124.4.2008 18:58

Typical stupid corporations!
What they should of done was PAID HIM!
No instead they try to shut him up...typical corporate BS
I do not think it is illegal to do any of that unless you charge for it?
Read the original driver EULA

134.4.2008 19:14

Originally posted by RNR1995:
Read the original driver EULA

Which takes up half your day...
Just had to say that.

148.4.2008 0:11

Originally posted by lynandal:
ageed creative messed up on this one;

... avoid vista - make the world a better place.
Typical fanboy response. A company’s hardware/software/support suck so let’s just blame the OS. The same thing was said about Win XP, about Win ME, Win 98 & Win 95 (do you see a pattern here?) Let’s just all blame Microsoft for trying to advance computer technology and integration. Just forget about the OEM that knew about the revised operating systems a year before they were released. It’s not their fault, they’re just trying to make new hardware so they can sell more crap to the consumer because there’s just no way to make the old stuff work, (even though some modders can) it’s all Microsoft’s fault, you’re SOL, go buy our NEW product!
FYI – I’ve been on Vista for nearly two years and the ONLY driver issues I’ve had to date were with the 64-bit version and my raid controllers. I’m currently running two systems with 32-bit Ultimate and they’re both rock solid. I play multiple games from Worms Armageddon and Total Annihilation to Battlefield 2 & 2142 and Supreme Commander.
If you don’t want to use next generation software, then stick to antiquated hardware as well.

158.4.2008 2:31

Sorry vista sucks plain and simple and MS is still coming out with a new OS in 2 years.

its ME all over again,also like XP vister take more resources is just a unpolished nightmare and not worth putting up with as of yet.

168.4.2008 10:17

Yeah yeah.. we all know vista is the biggest POS since ME.. Not the point (actually it is.. because there is more to all this than meets the eye.. It's about DRM)

Most companies have a view of drivers. You seem to be allowed to modify them with reasonable impunity, because why else do you want the driver unless you own the hardware. As long as you don't go making a version which runs on different generic hardware people like nvidia and ensoniq don't seem to care.

Now along comes a guy who blows a hole in Creative Labs business plan (obsolete everything more than 6 months old and force people to buy new.. what that prat viper would have us all do.. will he buy me a quad core pc with 4 gigs of ram I wonder, because I can't afford it.. obviously some yank idiot with more money than brains)

See the plan there.. Creative get a heap more sales from stupid people who don't understand they are being ripped off with deliberately crippled drivers. They have probably been crippled because of some possible leakage related to DRM and digital media content.. The vista curse.

Daniel_K made the one big maistake in this new locked down world.. he asked for donations for providing features that a manufacturer had DELIBERATELY REMOVED most likely under some pressure from M$ or hollywood, or possibly because they want to cash in from the situation of a crappy OS and bad practises.

Another nail in the coffin for all these businesses who do not future-proof hardware and software.
Creative should by now be able to see the writing on the wall. Vista is a dead duck, people are moving away in droves from deliberately broken software. By the time M$ get this "new os" out it will be too late. This monopolistic enforced business plan is failing and them and all their cronies want to fleece as much cash as possible out of n00bs and people with some kind of misguided product loyalty.

We are in "rip off and treat customers like criminals" world people.
M$ and all their gang are in the market of deceit and lying. The best way to give these people the finger is to reject their products. Game makers who are relying on the Vista API and crap like directx will cease and desist as soon as the customer base rejects these practises.

More and more game companies are starting to release linux betas of their games. They can read the trends, why are the majority of computer users stuck in the rut with viper? Stupidity and swallowing these lies and BS from these manufacturers like it is gospel.

178.4.2008 18:22

Funny how I had my SB Audigy 2 drivers crash vista for me requiring a reinstall.

1810.4.2008 12:02

The EPA should sue Creative which is forcing generation of environmentally non-acceptable garbage from prfectly good and functional hardware.

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