Creative does an about face; Daniel_K issues a formal response to original comments

In a show of flexibility, Creative did an about face this week, posting on its forums that it did, in fact, support third-party drivers.  After previously having said that the implementation of unintended IP functionality through third party drivers was tantamount to "stealing," Creative faced a massive public outcry. 

Many people came to the support of the drivers' programmer, Daniel_K, whom Creative's original post lashed out at.

In response, Creative has reevaluated its opinion slightly.  Creative states in a follow up post:

We have read the strong feedback about Creative's forum post regarding driver development by Daniel_k and other outside parties.  Creative's message posted on our behalf by our Company spokesperson tried to address our concern about the improper distribution of certain software which is the property of other companies.  However, we did not make it as clear as we would have liked that we do support driver development by independent third parties. 

The huge task of developing driver updates to accommodate the many changes in the Vista operating system and the extensive testing required, including the lengthy Vista certification requirements for audio, makes it very difficult for Creative to develop updates for all past products.  Outside developers have been very helpful to Creative and our customers by developing updates for many of our Sound Blaster products, and we do support and appreciate these efforts.  This however does not extend to the unauthorized distribution of other companies' property. 

We hope to work out a mutually agreeable method for working with Daniel_k in supporting his efforts in driver development.  Going forward, we are committed to doing a better job of working more closely with third parties to support their development for our products and our customers.

Creative's response comes just hours after Wired posted a response they received from Daniel_K, in their blog.  In the response, the driver maker states, "My name is Daniel Kawakami and I'm Brazilian.  I'm NOT a cracker, a hacker, just an enthusiast modder with basic assembly knowledge and very persistent."

Kawakami stated that his intent was only to re-enable functionality that he feels that Creative intentionally disabled in Vista to make money.  He takes issue to the fact that Creative sells the ALchemy X-Fi, which he feels should be offered free of charge, particularly since its built on glitchy drivers.  He states, "I was really mad at them, they didn't release a new Audigy driver and were charging Audigy owners for a software that runs on top of bugged drivers? What is the point of that?"

In his creation process of his custom Audigy drivers he states, that he discovered that "Creative purposely modified the Audigy drivers to disable some features when Vista is detected and also purposely introduced some bugs to prevent some XP utilities from running.”

In all, Kawakami added the following features crippled or absent in Creative's Audigy drivers for Vista:  Dolby/DTS decoding, CMSS, CMSS2 and Stereo Surround, Advanced EQ and Special FX presets, DVD Audio, and the Equalizer.  He also added two new features, a Hardware MIDI synthesizer and support for WaveRT.

It appears that now Creative may be reaching out to Daniel_K and the pair may finally be collaborating agreeably.  One can only hope that both parties are sincerely committed to helping the customer. If so, this surely is welcome news to the many owners of Sound Blaster cards.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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