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Creative Rallies Against Custom Driver Creator, Reverses Decision (Updated)

Update: A moderator on Creative's official forums said that the company will allow Daniel_K to pursue development of custom Vista drivers, provided that none of Creative's intellectual properties are distributed.

"It was decided we would bring back the Audigy Support Pack thread and allow [Daniel_K] to continue in that endeavor," the moderator wrote. "As long as no intellectual property of Creative is distributed, we will have no problem with it."

Original Story: Once again making a controversial public stand, sound card manufacturer Creative Labs has demanded that custom driver developer Daniel_K stop creating software to enable previously unsupported technology with Creative hardware in Windows Vista.

"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," corporate communications VP Phil O'Shaughnessy wrote on the company's official forums.

The user-created drivers improve the stability of Creative hardware within Windows Vista and enable several features for its Sound Blaster Audigy cards, such as DVD-Audio and an equalizer, that were supported in Windows XP drivers but not in those for Windows Vista.

The crux of Creative's complaints with the homebrew drivers appears to be the enabling of certain technologies that have not been licensed for use within Windows Vista. However, that reasoning has not stopped Creative hardware owners from protesting the decision to reduce the potential functionality of their devices.

"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," O'Shaughnessy noted.

"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," he continued.

O'Shaughnessy concluded: "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."