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Creative reins in driver-creating fan

Tuesday, 1st April 2008 07:43 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Phil O’Shaughnessy, Creative’s vice president of corporate communications, has issued a statement on the company’s forums telling a community member to stop the unlicensed use of its technology.

The user in question had initially helped out fellow community members by making Vista drivers which are as of yet unavailable from Creative itself. However, the firm decided to draw a line under the matter when the drivers make its cards work on unsupported hardware.

“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,” said O’Shaughnessy. “Where we do have a problem is when technology and IP owned by Creative or other companies that Creative has licensed from, are made to run on other products for which they are not intended.”

As a consequence, all threads on this matter, including download links to the Vista driver packages, have been deleted.

Full statement after the link.

By Mike Bowden

We are aware that you have been assisting owners of our Creative sound cards for some time now, by providing unofficial driver packages for Vista that deliver more of the original functionality that was found in the equivalent XP packages for those sound cards. 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. Where we do have a problem is when technology and IP owned by Creative or other companies that Creative has licensed from, are made to run on other products for which they are not intended. We took action to remove your thread because, like you, Creative and its technology partners think it is only fair to be compensated for goods and services. The difference in this case is that we own the rights to the materials that you are distributing. 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. If we choose to develop and provide host-based processing features with certain sound cards and not others, that is a business decision that only we have the right to make.

Although you say you have discontinued your practice of distributing unauthorized software packages for Creative sound cards we have seen evidence of them elsewhere along with donation requests from you. We also note in a recent post of yours on these forums, that you appear to be contemplating the release of further packages. 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 addition we request that you observe our forum rules and respect our right to enforce those rules. If you are in any doubt as to what we would consider unacceptable then please request clarification through one of our forum moderators before posting.

Phil O’Shaughnessy
VP Corporate Communications
Creative Labs Inc.

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