Creative Labs Stops Guy From Making Its Technology Work Better

from the how-dare-you-help-people! dept

It appears that Creative Labs is the latest company to shoot itself in the foot over "intellectual property" issues. Apparently, many users have been upset that Creative has failed to support certain systems, and a user in the Creative Labs' forums started releasing drivers to make things actually work or work better. Creative struck back and has removed the various threads in their forums discussing these drivers (thanks to Joe for sending in the link). Basically, this user, Daniel_K was making Creative products work better, and Creative has forced him to stop, claiming that it's violating their intellectual property rights. From a legal standpoint, Creative is probably absolutely right. But from a business perspective, the move seems suicidal. Just read a few of the comments in the long thread following the announcement from Creative. Many people were buying Creative products because of Daniel's mods, and will now look elsewhere. This seems like yet another case of IP laws being used to hold back innovation, rather than encourage it.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 1:40am

    Another whopper

    Daniel_K tried to restore functionality from an intentionally crippled piece of hardware. But is Creative another victim of Vista Certification? Story at 11.

    Creative Pressures id Software With Patents
    http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/07/28/1529222

    Creative sues Aureal Semiconductor and it's superior A3D sound engine, forcing it into bankruptcy, and then Creative buys Aureal on the cheap.
    http://www.answers.com/topic/a3d

     

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  2.  
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    Paul.S, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 1:42am

    Creative has not changed.

    Creative labs only got to where they are after some dirty tricks in the early 90's. The reason why creative got away with it (then) is simple, everyone was too busy concentrating on Microsoft.

    They were a dirty company in the early 90's who didn't really care about there customers, everything instead was designed to give them total control over the market.

    Nothing has changed.. I for one am not surprised.

     

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    Jake, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 2:17am

    Say What?

    Last time I was on Creative's website, they had links to third-party freeware drivers for running their MP3 players in Linux and OSX on their official FAQ page. What the hell made them do such a complete U-turn?

     

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    Jake, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 2:28am

    Update

    They're still up there. Follow this link, and scroll down to the twelth and thirteenth items: http://forums.creative.com/creativelabs/board/message?board.id=dap&thread.id=24175

    My memory seems to have been slightly off; the FAQ page is actually on the forum, and the moderator in question doesn't seem to be a Creative employee. Still, it does seem extremely inconsistent to me.

     

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    mike allen, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 2:46am

    Surely the drivers are Danial_k's copyright not creative I am now looking at my soundcards if creative they gone. as to their letter to D in his shoes id second word off put in front what they want.

     

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    wannabecool, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 2:48am

    Re: Update

    It's the X-Fi Drivers- The ones that Creative promised on the box that the driver updates will bring new features and improvements, not remove them, and would also work on vista, something that it really didn't do. The guy reverse engineered the drivers and fixed both issues.

     

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    Edward Vielmetni, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 3:05am

    Creative Tool sez:

    >>>By enabling our technology and IP to run on sound cards for which it was not originally offered or intended, you are in effect, stealing our goods. When you solicit donations for providing packages like this, you are profiting from something that you do not own.

    That takes balls to say that to someone who is donating a driver stack to customers.

     

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    SteveD, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 3:33am

    Re: Mike Allen

    I don't think there's much doubt that what Daniel was doing violated the Creative terms of service.

    What’s interesting is that they've tolerated Daniels work this long, and only sent out the 'cease and desist' once he started enabling features they didn’t want enabled (essentially messing round with their marketing strategy).

    But manufacturing a high-end chipset and then scaling it down based on the different price-points in the product range is nothing new; you get exactly the same thing in CPU and Graphics Card chipsets. The difference is while Creative threaten legal action, Nvidia and Intel actively encourage people to mess around with their products in the form of ‘Overclocking’. They recognise that helping people get the most out of their products helps them retain customers in the long term, while trying to force people to buy a more expensive model might only increase short term profits at the risk of loosing them.

    But it’s surprising that a company the size of Creative would handle something like this so poorly.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 3:37am

    Re: Re: Update

    And isn't reverse engineering legal under the DMCA?

     

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    Mr. Vage, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 3:38am

    So...torrent?

     

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    Bobbknight, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 3:56am

    Boy Cot

    Creative decides to only make Vista drivers that work (not so well) for the XFi cards. All other cards are left out in the cold.
    Along comes Daniel K who makes the drives work better, for a while he's tolerated ney even encouraged.
    He asks for monetary help, hell servers cost money.
    Creative sees that he is making them look bad, and boom, not so creative shuts him down. He's got a day job, he was doing this for the love if it, and he wanted to cover his expenses.
    For this he gets shut down.
    So when I need a good quality gamer sound card I will buy;

    Asus
    M-Audio
    E-MU
    Turtle Beach
    Non X-Fi AzuenTech
    HT Omega
    Razer Barracuda

    Never Creative

     

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    Rawr, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 3:57am

    Re: Update

    I don't see it Jake. Can you just direct link us please.

     

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    Jake, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 4:30am

    Re: Update

    The forum doesn't do direct links to individual parts of a post, I'm afraid, but there's the relevant text:
    Can a Creative player work on an Apple Mac?

    It isn't officially supported, but some kind folks out there have written freeware applications to get your Creative player working with Macs. XNJB provides support for the Zen players, and requires OS X 10.3 or 10.4 (check the site for full details). MuVoHelper solves some problems with getting the MuVo to work optimally. The iTunes Zen plugin should support all Zen players. Note if the link to the plugin is broken just Google "iTunes Zen plugin" to find other sources. Also note there's no guarantee that these programs will work with the Mac, so if you have issues you should address your problems to the developer(s) of the relevant program.

    Can a Creative player work on Linux?

    Again it isn't officially supported, but again some kinds folks out there have written freeware applications to get your Creative player working. There's the Gnomad2 project. And don't forget the Linux forum at Nomadness.net if you are still having problems.

     

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  14.  
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    eyeinthesky_, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 5:01am

    Re: Boy Cot

    Creative owns E-MU.....

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Mar 31st, 2008 @ 5:24am

    Two Points

    What Creative is doing raises two points.

    1. If you have a car and buy parts from a third party to make your car run better, that is OK. Now if you buy a soundcard and want to install a third party application that is somehow considered a violation of so-called soundcard manufacturer's "intellectual property". Once you buy a piece of hardware, be it a car or a soundcard, you should have a right to tinker with it. Event to the extent of selling the "improvement". (Look at all the auto parts dealers selling third party parts.)

    2. It seems to me that it would be unethical for Creative to remove posts from their website on this issue. (Even if it is considered legal.) I am surprised that his action has not been highlighed on TechDirt as a form of censorship.

     

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    David C, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 5:36am

    Nasty but understandable

    Many of the people posting on this story on that thread miss the point I think.

    Daniel_K was enabling a Creative card to work on Vista that didn't previously, stating that Creative should do one of 2 things:

    1) Offer the guy a job and make the drivers officially available (upshot - no new sound cards sold)
    2) Leave the drivers up and available to download (upshot - no new sound cards sold)

    Why on earth would Creative want to do this?
    The business model has to be sell new cards at every opportunity surely?

     

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    Matt, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 5:52am

    creative screwed up

    Everyone knows that creative screwed up, but if needed you can find Daniel_K's work on piratebay.

    It's kinda sad when you have to use citizen justice like the bay just to bring out the reality of how bad creative is. I'm embarassed to have anything of theirs, but then again you think of how corrupt they are and its kinda on the level of Intel. AKA the "we suck the microsoft power teat" therefore creative soundcards are usually in most bundled PCs (thankfully not on barebones).

     

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    freak3dot, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 6:07am

    Creative Zen Nano

    I had a Creative Zen Nano that begin loosing functionality as soon as the warrenty was over. Before the warrenty was over, the battery cover broke twice. The first time they replaced the battery cover and then the second time they told me it wasn't covered under warrenty.

    I have a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum in my PC at home and the drivers for it have caused problems ever since I bought it years ago. It doesn't get along with my ATI All-in-wonder card at all.

    So yeah, I'm done with Creative too. This just seals the deal. The only question remaining is, "Which manufactufer(s) has sound cards with all the fancy plugs and a remote?"


    freak3dot

     

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  19.  
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    Alimas, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 6:11am

    Poor Decisions

    Really, Daniel shouldn't have asked for financial help for supporting his driver work, cause that really does turn in to an, at beast, very awkward situation where hes profiting for working on their IP.
    And really they should have just recommended to him that asking for financial donation creates said above situation OR have reimbursed him for his efforts. But they shouldn't have released that notice.
    By doing this, they've made it obvious that they are trying to force the older cards out to make everyone buy their newest ones. The amount of money they would not have made because of people retaining their older cards into Vista is far outweighed by the amount of money they won't be making from computer enthusiasts such as myself that will now abandon their products. And worse yet, many of us are the one's whoms advice are sought out for computer product recommendations by their family and friends.
    I have a large network of folks that talk to me first before purchasing computer products and now I'm going to steer them all away from Creative products.

    This one looks very good: HT Omega Striker.

     

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  20.  
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    ehrichweiss, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    From what you quoted it seems that they're more upset about him taking donations, not providing the driver, and I can understand why they would be upset since he could have created a revenue stream from what was essentially their work.

     

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    ehrichweiss, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 6:26am

    Re: Boy Cot

    The problem is that he had a potential stream of revenue based on their work. If he had done something akin to posting it on a torrent site or one of the file hosting sites(like rapidshare.com) he could have avoided any expense of hosting it and likely not had this problem in the first place.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 6:32am

    Re: Nasty but understandable

    > The business model has to be sell new cards
    > at every opportunity surely?

    And yet by their actions, they're driving away all their current customers and losing future ones as this story spreads like wildfire through the gaming community.

    Doesn't sound to me like what they're doing is going to result in the sale of more sound cards.

     

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    Haywood, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 6:51am

    Re: Re: Nasty but understandable

    I gave up on them years ago. When I buy a card that promises to be a forever product via updates to the drivers, I expect that. My first G-force card still works fine, and I can still get current drivers from Nvidia. But when I go to Creative for Live drivers, they are still the same old crap that didn't work all that well to begin with. I too am thinking Turtle Beach or someone else, anyone else. They had it all, they crapped on it, ...... Next.

     

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    Gunnar, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 7:07am

    It seems that Creative asked him to stop asking for donations, not to stop working on his driver. He was apparently saying he would only release new drivers if people donated $xx.xx, and that's what Creative had a problem with.

    FTA: "In principle we don't have a problem with you helping users in this way, so long as they understand that any driver packages you supply are not supported by Creative... When you solicit donations for providing packages like this, you are profiting from something that you do not own."

     

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    Reason, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 7:12am

    Re: Poor Decisions

    I don't really get why some people freak out when somebody doing useful decides to put a Paypal link. Of course it depends a bit on how it's played out, but if it's just sitting there, it's simply a *donation* ffs, strictly optional. Why is giving people the option to show their appreciation in a tangible way suddenly all wrong? I can give my money to whoever I wish, can't I?

     

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    Bambi, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 7:39am

    donations are a way of saying thank you and helpin

    Daniel_K wasn't gettin PAID for doing this. He was soliciting donations to help offset his costs for bandwidth, websites, etc. and god forbid a little of his time.

    Creative is being totally ignorant....as usual.

    nVidia, and others have realized that tinkering is important for many people. They also realized that if they allow people to get the most out of their hardware then in the long run they will be considered favorably in the minds of consumers (the people paying for the hardware), and people will buy more from them.

    The more open and flexible a hardware company is, the better they will be perceived by all consumers.

     

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    Dewman, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re: Boy Cot

    It was a request for donation, not a required payment for his drivers. I see driver sets all over the place for vid cards doing the same thing (i.e. omega drivers,etc.). What a horrible decision by Creative. I own an Audigy and was considering a move to the X-Fi but I will DEFINITELY explore other sound cards after seeing this. Is Creative selling their driver's separately? If not, what difference does it make if people are still buying their cards and using someone else's drivers. Sheesh...

     

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    Paulus, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 8:08am

    Best of both worlds...

    Creative can just sit on their arses and let Daniel run around working for them. Slave labour. They save thousands, literally. Then, when they get fed up, sue him. Happy days... save thousands then earn thousands... for sitting on your arse.

    Come on, who wouldn't? I KNOW I WOULD !!!!

     

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    Paulus, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 8:13am

    Oh and.....

    ...before I forget again. He must be a schmuck for ever cosying up to Creative, and you may think that is a harsh but it's true. Don't play nice with businesses. Ever. They will turn on you in the blink of an eye, whenever they feel it necessary. For anyone else thinking of doing something similar, keep your distance, keep your anonymity. Certainly, ffs, do not do it on official forums. This guy thought he had an "understanding". He's clearly intelligent, but lacking in common bloody sense imo.

     

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  30.  
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    Dirk Belligerent, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 8:45am

    Lazy Developers Made Creative King

    The Aureal A3D Vortex/Vortex 2 products had marvelous sound quality, BUT implementing was labor intensive for best results. Creative's awful initial EAX solutions offered devs an easy way to ladle canned reverb all over the place and thus the seeds of Creative's dominance have grown.

    The problem is that after they get your money for their sound cards, they abandon you for the other half of the equation: the drivers! Dan_K (any relation to Jeff K.?) has proven that the problems with driver support are either due to CL's incompetence (likely) or willful neglect (even more likely) and they finally decided they couldn't stand being shown up any more. Unfortunately, they chose precisely the wrong means to silence him and are not going to suffer the righteous wrath of those they've screwed over with poor support. A smart company would've put him on the payroll, smothered him in NDAs and then black-holed all his work. Creative ain't that smart, so instead they'll use IP laws to silence him with the community able to bear witness to their bullying. Again, not smart.

     

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    A chicken passeth by, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 10:37am

    [QUOTE]He must be a schmuck for ever cosying up to Creative, and you may think that is a harsh but it's true. Don't play nice with businesses. Ever. They will turn on you in the blink of an eye, whenever they feel it necessary. For anyone else thinking of doing something similar, keep your distance, keep your anonymity. Certainly, ffs, do not do it on official forums. This guy thought he had an "understanding". He's clearly intelligent, but lacking in common bloody sense imo.[/QUOTE]

    I've seen a smart quote in Reddit that seems to disagree with you... it says "this is chess, not checkers".

    I don't think he'd gain that much sympathy were he to become an arsehole to Creative. Although that's debatable - since both ways Creative still made a horrendously ethically bankrupt statement.

     

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    A chicken passeth by, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 10:40am

    Oh, and to anyone else who still wants to argue about Creative's revenues, it's moot. Please CONSIDER that the sound card hardware still has to be purchased from Creative ANYWAY. Unless you think paying customers are thieves, like all Intellectual Property proponents do.

     

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    Rose M. Welch, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 10:51am

    I think this seems off, Mike.

    Creative let this go on so long that people were buying the products because of these mods.

    Then he used the Creative site to ask for money.

    Then they said, 'Hey, buddy, I don't think so.' and took some of the threads down and asked him to stop messing with thier product.

    As a tech company, I'm sure they're fully aware that people will still be able to get the mods. It seems like they just don't want other people to profit from it.

    In hindsight, they probably should have just hired him, but other than that, I don't really see a huge problem with this. The techs had a problem with him profiting from thier product, and said 'Attorneys, what do we do?' and the attorneys gave them good legal advice, bad PR advice.

     

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    Jake, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 10:53am

    Re: Lazy Developers Made Creative King

    Which is really, really weird, because Creative's MP3 player software is actually bloody good; the lack of Gracenotes support on the last version of Mediasource Organiser I had was a bit of a pain, but it was vastly superior to iTunes in all other respects.

     

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    Rose M. Welch, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Lazy Developers Made Creative King

    Yeah, I got my 2g Muvo for like 23 bucks plus tax last year and it's awesome and extremely durable. The software is very easy to use. Maybe we got lucky?

     

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    Michael Brutsch, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 11:10am

    Re: I think this seems off, Mike.

    He was not profiting, and everyone knows that. He was soliciting donations to cover expenses related to hosting and distributing his work. His work, not Creative's.

     

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    Mike (profile), Mar 31st, 2008 @ 11:42am

    Re: I think this seems off, Mike.

    Then he used the Creative site to ask for money.

    If he's offering something of value, what's wrong with asking for money? What's wrong with profiting even (though it doesn't appear that he was profiting, just asking to cover his expenses)?

    He was offering something of value, so I don't see what's wrong with him getting paid to do so.

     

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    Steve Greenham, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 11:45am

    Creative Bashing!

    I really want to do some Creative Bashing on their forum, but my account is taking ages to authorise :(

     

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  39.  
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    purchasing E-MU, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 11:51am

    You bought a Creative Product

    Boy Cot by Bobbknight on Mar 31st, 2008 @ 3:56am Creative decides to only make Vista drivers that work (not so well) for the XFi cards. All other cards are left out in the cold. Along comes Daniel K who makes the drives work better, for a while he's tolerated ney even encouraged. He asks for monetary help, hell servers cost money. Creative sees that he is making them look bad, and boom, not so creative shuts him down. He's got a day job, he was doing this for the love if it, and he wanted to cover his expenses. For this he gets shut down. So when I need a good quality gamer sound card I will buy; Asus M-Audio E-MU Turtle Beach Non X-Fi AzuenTech HT Omega Razer Barracuda Never Creative

    I think my subject line says it all. Check the Legal info here. http://www.emu.com/legal/legal.asp

    If you're going to boycott, you may want to actually know what you're purchasing. . . Emu is also predominantly a Musicians PC recording company. They do make some soundcards that can be installed in a pc. . which are amazingly very similar to the Creative Labs products....hmmmm.

     

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    Sean, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Boy Cot

    The point is they did not intend on "fixing" the drivers for the other cards so to get a card that works you must "buy" a newer card

     

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    Eric the Grey, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 12:50pm

    I wish I'd known of this before I removed my card.

    I bought a creative (Audigy) card when I built my Vista system a year ago and it never worked correctly (at all) with their drivers. If I'd have known he had drivers, I would have had a really good card. Instead I'm still using the on board audio, which has turned out to be fine.

    I waited for a year now, for new drivers, and so far, nothing has come available. The card is no longer in my system, and another Creative card will never be purchased by me again.

    I should have just taken it back when I could have, instead of waiting for drivers that would never exist.

    The funny part of all this, is that there are already links being passed around for these drivers. They will never go away...


    EtG

     

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  42.  
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    ehrichweiss, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Boy Cot

    Regardless, if he requested donations it would be a *stream*(as in it would be reoccurring) of potential income for as long as someone needed those particular drivers which means 10 years down the line he could still be getting paid for them even though Creative did most of the work.

    This would be akin to you writing a novel and then I translate a single line of text into another language(we'll say you quoted some Swahili proverb without translating it) and then I take donations from those who want to read those words because they think it will add to their understanding of the book but in actuality you wanted to put off that translation till you reached the fourth volume because it was a key to keeping the readers interested in the story and buying additional volumes.

    I'm not defending Creative here but this is what it seems is their beef.

    As for the Omega drivers, I think they are just to make sure you can use the cards PERIOD. I had to use them for my emachines laptop because Gateway/Emachines saw fit to not update their drivers and ATI put the responsibility for updating on the resellers, and come the next time I ran windows update, I lost video until I got those drivers.

     

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    ehrichweiss, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 1:08pm

    Re: donations are a way of saying thank you and he

    There are sites that will host these types of files for FREE(rapidshare.com filefactory, depositfiles, the list goes on and on and on), there's no need for a full blown website, and if he takes donations he's got the potential to be making money 10 or more years in the future from this same patch for software that Creative wrote.

    You write a 4-volume novel. The first novel has an untranslated Swahili proverb that you leave how it is because it is key in keeping the readers interested until they read volume 4. I translate it and take "donations" for it and volumes 2-4 are massive flops because everyone figures out the mystery and they have no incentive to buy but I continue to rake in dollars when someone who just picked up volume 1 at a used book store decides to send me a donation.

    Whether they are ignorant or not for taking some of the actions they did, he still didn't have the right to ask for donations without first consulting Creative since, afterall, he would then be getting paid even though they did most of the work.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: donations are a way of saying thank you an

    I would hope that they would have created a working driver for vista in the next 10yrs since by then there would be a new OS out.

    Also for paying you for the translation of a Swahili proverb that is the only thing holding interest for the next 3 books the author is not very good. The people that would pay for that are not to bright since they could search for the proverb on line to find a translation or use a free translator.

     

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    MrScott, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 5:19pm

    Here's A Thought...

    As cruel as the world is today, it makes me feel good when someone does something good for the people, but makes me cringe when this person only gets shot down in flames in the end by the corporate "bigshots".

    Reminds me of something I hear all the time:

    "No good deed goes un-punished."

     

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    mobiGeek, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Two Points

    Removal of posts on a forum owned by a private company is not illegal. It may technically be "censorship", but nobody's rights are being suppressed. This is a private company offering a forum service and making up whatever rules they want. If individuals don't like that, then they are free to go elsewhere (freedom being exactly the opposite of what the term "censorship" typically infers).

    As TechDirt points out in this thread, purposefully interfering with their customers' enjoyment of their own product is not a smart business move. Hopefully their customer base will show them the errors of their ways. The 2100+ posts in that thread overwhelmingly seem to indicate there is an upcoming shift in purchase decisions for many.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
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    MJC420, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 8:03pm

    Digg

    http://digg.com/hardware/Creative_s_fall_from_glory_Consumers_fighting_back is the most dugg on this story... also: http://creative.edited.us is keeping a mirror of all posts in that thread @ creative, even the deleted ones :)

     

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  48.  
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    Rose M. Welch, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Re: I think this seems off, Mike.

    I didn't say there is anything wrong with asking for money for creative work-product. I design web sites so I think very highly of being paid for use of my creative work product. But I wouldn't use your site to advertise my business . That would be unethical, unless I had permission from you. :)

     

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  49.  
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    Trev, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 2:12am

    where can I get the driver's

    I download the vista drivers for my sound card Auigy 2ZS from creative,totaly disionted phoned creative AUS and complained 'have just to through the $250.00 card in the bin!'

     

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  50.  
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    Rekrul, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 3:01am

    The simple fact of the matter is that he exposed Creative's lies. They were intentionally not fixing older drivers to work on Vista and intentionally disabling features in the driver that they said the sound card couldn't provide. His driver proved both points.

    If Creative doesn't want to write Vista drivers for older cards, that's their right. When they stop someone else from fixing those drivers, they're forcing users to abandon perfectly good hardware for no good reason other than their greed.

     

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  51.  
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    mobiGeek, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 6:15am

    Re: Nasty but understandable

    Why does the business model "have to be" selling "at every opportunity"? This is absolutely short-sighted, ignorant and arrogant thinking (apparently typical in today's business world).

    But such thinking is what will put them out of business. They should be looking to capitalize on the customer base they already have by making them happy customers and thus increasing their overall customer base via networking.

    Increasing sales by forcing repeat purchases by existing customers offers a very limited future.

     

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  52.  
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    mobiGeek, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: donations are a way of saying thank you an

    Except that CL marketed their book as complete, not the first in a series. They didn't say: buy this partially enabled hardware and in the future we'll allow you to repurchase the same hardware with slightly more functionality enabled.

    On top of that, if someone did translate your Swahili proverb and sell that translation, there is nothing AT ALL wrong with that. You are hoping to snarf more money from your customers in order that they get YOUR translation. Someone else is beating you to the punch, possibly doing it at a lower cost, delivering faster or making the information more easily consumable. It's not like you have an artificial barrier like a patent on the Swahili language, do you?

    In this case, CL has sold a series of electrical components that work just fine, but have only enabled a couple of them via their driver. Someone else enables the rest of them (they are, after all, sitting in the customer's computer taking up space and energy...oh AND THE CUSTOMER'S MONEY).

    If CL doesn't want their customers, people who PURCHASED their product, to use the things they sold, then they shouldn't have sold them.

     

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  53.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Apr 1st, 2008 @ 6:08pm

    TeckDIRT does not understand real innovation!

    "This seems like yet another case of IP laws being used to hold back innovation, rather than encourage it."
    Michael Masnick, you sound just like Piracy Coalition members who love to talk about innovation. The problem is that what they describe as innovation has nothing to do with actual invention.

    Most certainly I can agree that Creative has committed a public relations blunder. But to characterize this as an example of intellectual property law run amok only serves to demonstrate a profound ignorance of both law and the essence of invention.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  54.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 2nd, 2008 @ 3:18am

    Re: TeckDIRT does not understand real innovation!

    But to characterize this as an example of intellectual property law run amok only serves to demonstrate a profound ignorance of both law and the essence of invention.

    Ronald, so far the only one displaying a profound ignorance (willfully, it appears) would be you. Can you explain how this is a result that "promotes the progress" in any way?

     

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  55.  
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    BoyAmIsuspiciousNow, Apr 2nd, 2008 @ 1:17pm

    Creative probably can't tell us what is really goi

    I have read many posts on Creative's site, but nowhere have I seen what I am about to propose as a distinct possibility.

    1. Microsoft has agreements with the content producers (record labels, movie houses, etc.) to put digital rights management into Vista, which apparently they have done. I can't provide a link right now, but I have seen this referred to since before the official launch date of Vista. It affects high quality sound and high quality video. It can degrade the performance of an HD display or a "high definition" audio component to standard if the component doesn't have the built-in DRM hardware.

    2. Hardware vendors who want access to Microsoft's example code and "licensed" APIs to craft their drivers have to agree to support the agreements Microsoft made. (See 1, above.)

    3. Allowing high definition sound to be played through their hardware via software that circumvents the DRM parts of Vista would land hardware vendors in hot water with Microsoft and the content providers.

    4. It isn't easy, even with Microsoft's help, to create functional, stable drivers that work with the bloated DRM code in Vista that the content providers have saddled Microsoft with.

    5. If Creative Labs does not actively try to suppress the distribution of drivers that endable the high definition sound without working within the (computationally) cramped confines of the DRM software and firmware, they may be seen as "aiding and abetting" violation of the agreements made with Microsoft, and therefore, with the content providers.

    6. To keep the DRM-hating law-abiding consumer who just wants his/her sound from his legally purchased (CD, download, etc) to work (under "fair use" clauses of the copyright laws) on his new high-definition sound card or MP3 player or whatever from decrying everything touched by Microsoft, Microsoft (probably, no proof) has had every hardware vendor and independent software developor sign all sorts of "non-disclosure" agreements to muzzle them about all the back room deals being controlled and coordinated by the content producers.

    Creative's "hands" may be shackled by some agreement they cannot even acknowledge exists!
    [If you "sleep with the Devil", sometimes you get burned!]

     

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  56.  
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    John Bramham, Jul 20th, 2008 @ 11:18am

    The bottom line of the matter....

    I've read through all of this and taken on board most of the points raised from both sides of the argument.
    The fundamental problem we have is that software manufacturers have had it all their own way for far too long with the unilateral practice of licensing their products, rather than a straight retail sale of the product.
    This doesn't happen anywhere else in the field of commerce or manufacturing; the implied rights of the software writer (as in intellectual rights) apply in every other form of retail manufacturing, but only the software industry seems to be able to claim those rights (a) in their entirety and (b) in perpetuity.
    That to me is totally unfair and restrictive to the point of being farcical.
    The whole effigy is directed at ensuring that this sort of chicanery can be carried on under the umbrella of the law and stopping anyone else from improving on, or otherwise modifying the product to suit their own needs.
    High time that licensing system was scrapped, and software writing houses reverted to a plain-and-simple retail sale basis.
    JB.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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