The story of Daniel_K vs. Creative reaches a temporary conclusion as Creative reinstates the deleted forum posts by Daniel that helped other users get their sound cards work under Vista. The company did this as a result of angry forum and blog posts (some here as well), mostly all siding with Daniel.
On the one hand, Daniel says "They publicly threatened me, just to show their arrogance. They were sarcastic, ironic and asked me if I wanted something from them, as if I were expecting something. It was my protest against them and would like to see how far it would go."
On the other hand, Creative does have a legal right to protect their software, and if they want to force users to upgrade in order to get proper functionality, it's their right to do so (even if it is somewhat of a dick move). Daniel himself admits that he crossed the line, both with asking for donations and this:
Reversing ALchemy was also wrong, I know. But I reiterate, what is the point of improving ALchemy and changing for it, when it requires an improved driver? It was my protest against Creative.
To Creative's credit, they do realise the error of their ways and are being more acceptive to new forms of development. But Daniel's not without his faults here, which seems to be something glossed over on recent accounts of the situation. In the end, the posts are back up and people can go ahead and get their cards working on Vista, which is probably the most important thing any of us will take away from this mess. That, and the fact that John Stamos has aged quite well. [The Register]
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.