After Vista's release, Creative's Audigy Sound Blaster series lost a lot of their in-built functionality. Developer, good-guy and all around hero, Daniel_K stepped up to the challenge, putting together his own drivers and asking for non-obligatory donations in recognition of his effort. Daniel_K's drivers restored functionality, and added some extra features to boot. That's great news, right? Apparently not; Creative is pissed.
We're not too sure why Creative wouldn't want their old products having proper cross OS support implemented. Sure, they do provide beta drivers, but word is they aren't to stable, plus we're guessing their newer, shinier and more expensive replacement devices have something to do with it. Frankly, those won't sell if some asshole is putting down his own, backward compatible drivers to bring old hardware up to speed. Checkout what Creative had to say below:
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.
VP Corporate Communications
Creative Labs Inc.
How very, very greedy, Mr Creative. On a side note, I've been having a pretty bad CS experience with Creative myself; anyone calling in agreement / disagreement?