Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Η Creative σε ... δύσκολη θέση!



Για όσους έχουν κάρτες ήχου της Creative και Vista, θα γνωρίζουν πολύ καλά για τα προβληματα που αντιμετώπιζαν μέχρι η εταιρία να βγάλει αξιόπιστους drivers για το νέο λειτουργικό. Όταν το έκανε, διαπίστωσαν πως δούλευαν μεν οι κάρτες αλλά με μειωμένες επιδόσεις-χαρακτηριστικά, σε σχέση με τα Windows XP.

Ευτυχώς όμως βρέθηκε ο χρήστης Daniel_K και ασχολήθηκε με το θέμα, τροποποιώντας τους αρχικούς drivers με αποτέλεσμα οι κάρτες ήχου να λειτουργούν πλεον με μέγιστη απόδοση στα Vista. H Creative μέχρι τώρα "ανεχοταν" το όλο θέμα και μάλιστα τα Links για το download των drivers του Daniel_K, βρισκόταν και μέσα στα επίσημα forums υποστήριξης των προϊόντων της.

Μέχρι πριν λίγο καιρό που ο Daniel_K έβαλε στην ιστοσελίδα του την επιλογή για donations από όποιον το επιθυμούσε, για την υποστήριξη της όλης προσπαθειας. Η Creative τότε, αντί να του στείλει μια προσωπική επιστολή, αποφάσισε να τη δημοσιεύσει δημοσίως στο Forum της και έλεγε τα εξής:

"Daniel_K:

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."


Όπως καταλαβαίνετε οι αντιδράσεις ήταν αστραπιαίες μιας και η Creative αφήνει να εννοηθεί οτι επέλεξε τον περιορισμό δυνατοτήτων λόγω εμπορικής πολιτικής κλπ! Μέσα σε μερικές ώρες η είδηση υπήρχε στα περισσότερα forums που ασχολούνται με σχετικά θέματα και έφτασε στην πρώτη θέση στο Digg


Τα forums της Creative γέμισαν με χιλιάδες μηνύματα οργισμένων πελατών και ένα από τα μεγαλύτερα online καταστήματα ανακοίνωσε πως μέσα σε 48 ώρες, δέχτηκε περίπου 5000 ακυρώσεις παραγγελιών για προϊόντα της Creative:

" To Whom it May Concern:

While it is not our place to condemn the decisions of Creative regarding this issue, our customers come first. That being said, it has come to our attention that many of our customers are not happy with the products Creative has released nor the support for those products. To wit, we have processed nearly 5,000 return orders within the past 48 hours. While it is not normally in our best interest to publically comment in a manufacturer's forum, the overwhelming concensus has left us little choice. As such, effective tommorow morning newegg.com will suspend sales of the sound cards in question, particularly those indicated as "Vista compatible", pending an investigation into the matter. Those of you whom recently ordered such a card will still recieve your product as indicated in any relevant conversations. While we regret this abrupt decision, it has been deemed neccessary to protect the interest of our consumers. We welcome contact from Creative as soon as is possible so that we may resolve this issue.

Thank you,

Newegg.com"


Και σα να μην έφταναν όλα αυτά, ο Daniel δημοσιεύει στα forums πως:

"please tell me, apart from the new packages that I will not release anymore, is there anything Creative want me to remove?"

για να λάβει την απάντηση από την Creative:

"You can remove any other threads on the forum linking to files containing Creative's IP, in case I missed any older ones."

Η ιστορία παίρνει πλεον μεγάλες διαστάσεις και κανείς δεν ξέρει τι επιπτώσεις θα έχει στο "γόητρο" της Creative!

Τέλος να συμπληρώσουμε πως στο Linux υπάρχουν Open Source Drivers για τις κάρτες ήχου , οι οποίοι αξιοποιούν όλες τις δυνατότητες του hardware και που προφανώς η Creative δεν μπορεί να κάνει τίποτα μιας και δεν της ανήκουν!
:)