Thursday, July 5th 2007

NVIDIA threatens NGOHQ over ForceWare Distribution

It seems that NVIDIA is upset that the folks over at NGOHQ.com are distributing their ForceWare drivers with modified install scripts. NVIDIA is threatening legal action towards the site and its owners if they do not comply with their demands.

Of particular note is AMD/ATI's stance on modifying install scripts for their Catalyst package:

"Feel free to distribute and endorse Catalyst software. Just please let your users know that if they use modified drivers we aren't able to support them properly. Keep up the good work in the community." -AMD/ATI

NGOHQ issued an official response to the letter which can be found over here:
http://www.ngohq.com/news/11386-our-official-response-nvidia.htmlSource: NGOHQ
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87 Comments on NVIDIA threatens NGOHQ over ForceWare Distribution

#3
LonGun
Sigh~ these days has come. I just feel for the guys over at NGOHQ. But aren't the other nvidia mod drivers using the script, too? There are a numbers of popular mod of nvidia forceware and I've always thought like AMD/ATI, NVIDIA is ok with their forceware drivers being modified, that as long as the driver is being used as for non-profit... Maybe it's just the "old personal problem" happened between them in the past... nevermind... :confused:
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#4
devguy
We are modifying ‘driver .INF file’ because you’re using your software illegally as a tool to promote your new products. You’re removing INF file support for older product generations to promote your new products illegally, and using your drivers as tool for psychological warfare on your customers. Your actions are violating the United States Antitrust laws & Huk Hahegbliim Haiskiim Haisraeli and consumer rights. You’re also making false advertisements by claiming your software is Unified Driver Architecture, while it’s not.

NVIDIA is required to ensure that their products are working, and the software is bug-free. Instead of working on your drivers, you’re ignoring issues, requests and customer’s rights by dropping support and playing software tricks with them. The consumers are suffering in both desktop/mobile platforms because of your abusive tactics.

Without these ‘modified drivers’, your customers would file class actions against you. Your users are downloading drivers from our site because you fail to satisfy them, and you ignore them (Unfriendly control panel, Known 7800 GS issues and more)
Wow, they spent the first several paragraphs stating that several US laws (of which Nvidia makes mention of) don't affect Israelis, and then they start telling Nvidia what they are doing is illegal here in the US...

Also, removing support for older cards is not illegal by any means in any country. Morally wrong, of course, but illegal, no (look at those a-holes at Creative supporting the x-fi and not much else). Also, there have been some attempts at class action lawsuits w/them, but that was over the 8x00 series in Vista (which still needs work, btw), and I don't forsee any class action lawsuit coming from Nvidia's customers if they don't have any modified infs around.

Don't get me wrong, I support what's going on at that site, and I disagree w/Nvidia's response to them, but the site's response is below par...
"Feel free to distribute and endorse Catalyst software. Just please let your users know that if they use modified drivers we aren't able to support them properly. Keep up the good work in the community." -AMD/ATI
Go ATI/AMD!
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#5
LonGun
LOL I like the Response Letter from NGOHQ to NVIDIA. It also pointed out many facts that actually makes sense and proved what Nvidia (or its manager rep) wrote were so rediculously wrong; for example, why NGOHQ.com is the only site that recieved that (BS) letter? and their use of providing the mod drivers is for free (and in my opinion, did contributed some kind of "helps" in many way for Nvidia's products) and even better than Nvidia's original drivers. So far, Nvidia should thank, respect and support NGOHQ like they did to the others.
I can't wait to see how NVIDIA response back!
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#6
a111087
If nVidia started to threat that means that they have some pretty good reason to do it (the one that they didn't mention)
i don't support it though ...
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#7
erocker
This isn't new. Nshitia have been screwing over their customers for the past twenty years! Just wait younger people, you will be screwed over eventually too!
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#8
erocker
Doesn't seem to be a particularly busy site. How are thier ATi drivers? I'd like to give something else a try.
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#9
tkpenalty
by: erocker
This isn't new. Nshitia have been screwing over their customers for the past twenty years! Just wait younger people, you will be screwed over eventually too!
Thats quite original...
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#10
Seany1212
Why are these companies becoming like the mafia? firstly that microsoft one now this :shadedshu
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#11
cjoyce1980
whats wrong nvidia....... is someone making better drivers than you??!!!

he is an idea....... OFFER THEM A F**KING JOB YOU BUNCH OF RETARED SAUSAGES!!!!!
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#12
von kain
a few days back when a was sayng to pay for our drivers none believe me after a few days i believe there is gonna be a forceware pro edition..........
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#13
hat
Maximum Overclocker
lol, paying for drivers. Hey, lets pirate drivers!
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#14
Wayward
Another reason to thank my lucky stars I'm with AMD/ATI. After reading Nvidia's callous threats, and then looking at AMD/ATI's casual and generous tone toward the community, it makes me wonder how I could ever stand Nvidia at all.

Nvidia should take a page from AMD/ATI's book.
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#15
newconroer
I was just waiting for him to say something about Nvidia being Nazis or jew haters...


He started getting redundant, when he hit the part about "psychological warfare," I was thinking "ok, done reading this..."


@Wayward, ATI is becoming more open because it's just a business strategy, to get more customers, don't think they're saints. Nvidia has a right to protection of their products, even if they go off the deep end.

I think ATI should take a page from Nvidia's book, then they might not be getting their asses handed to them so often.
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#16
Wile E
Power User
by: newconroer
I think ATI should take a page from Nvidia's book, then they might not be getting their asses handed to them so often.
I think you should qualify that statement.
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#17
Wayward
by: newconroer
@Wayward, ATI is becoming more open because it's just a business strategy, to get more customers, don't think they're saints. Nvidia has a right to protection of their products, even if they go off the deep end.

I think ATI should take a page from Nvidia's book, then they might not be getting their asses handed to them so often.
Business stratgey or not, it follows good consumer relations rationale. I don't care if they are saints or devils, if they openly support modded drivers, they get a star in my book.

Nvidia has a responsibility to sell products that work, if they don't and other people release fixes for free, they should be grateful instead of belligerent.
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#18
Xerphon
Hah, well screw them. I just cancelled my order with newegg for an 8800GTX, I'll spend my money on ATI instead. I've always used the modded drivers, for all of my cards. If Nvidia wants to stop people from helping to make their product better and their customers happy, that's just stupid business in my opinion. Well done Nvidia, $600 you just lost from me!
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#19
newconroer
Nvidia does sell products that work; to what extent and for how many people in a world of modified and overclocked computing (also inhabited by newbies) is defined with 'BLAH;' because there's soooo many things that can go wrong.

ATI has their share of similar issues with similar products so, really that's a moot point.

One would assume that they might be grateful, but to suggest the SHOULD be is a bit out of the average end users league. You must consider that there's gotta be tons of Nvidia technical support that's wasted on customers who are complaining about Nvidia products, where the tech support finds out later that the customer is using modified drivers and software.

This is similar to the arguement of art being free or not. Some people think that they have the right to distribute art from any artist, because it will help promote and iconify that artist and their work; which logically would suggest that it's in someway 'helping' said artist(S). Yet, there's others, who say bluntly that it's not your right to assume the role of campaigning for the artist's best interests. Now, add in a business side to it, and it becomes more complex.

Nvidia is like any other company, they put out a product, when people modify that product and it has the potential to harm the image of Nvidia, then they are within their rights to be concerned. Now to what extent those rights hold water within the lay of the law, most of us don't know.

This comes off to me like car manufacturers, who state that certain products when used with their automobiles, void the warranty. Then there's some manufacturers who openly embrace the use of modified aftermarket products, because it (in their minds) helps to promote the vehicle or the status of the company.

For the last several years, we've seen some automakers putting out 'tuner' style cars, because they think it will help make sales, and boost their image amongst automobile consumers. And in some ways, it does work. But for the former automaker, they have a right to not want their image or their sales affected by third parties, who go and take their base vehicle, modify it in some way, then start redistributing it to the public(while it still carries the badge of the original vehicle), with or without warning labels(that's a big ass label lol). Of course, if there's no money involved, then there's probably not much they can do, but like Nvidia they have the perrogative to not be happy with it. And if they think they have some legal standing, then they may make a threat, like Nvidia has here.

I just don't see why people are surprised. If Nvidia wants to pick on someone, for whatever reason, then that's up to them. Whether the law will support it, that's another issue. But it's far from shocking, and the excuses and retaliation comments that people come up with are just absolutley silly.


@Wile

That statement is based off of the fabled and much hyped 2900 being competitive to the GTS and not the GTX,(also taking into account the Ultra exists AND the 8900 is in development).


@Xerphon

That is such ignorance. And this is an example of what I mentioned above concerning people freaking out. What do you really care about some rinky-dink website and their products? Do you hold or show patronage to that Israeli site, and to such an extent that you would basically blindly inhibit yourself from obtaining what you want in effort to promote some sort of boycott? Come on?!? You wanted the GTX, it's an Nvidia product. Nvidia doesn't worship Satan, slaughter babies or committ genocide. That's like people saying "Oh, well, I'm going to renounce my American citizenship because I don't like the way Bush is handling things.' RIGHT...sure....
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#20
zOaib
i am glad ATI came out with the new 2900xt 1gb ddr4 , cause i sold my 8800 GTS , and bought the RED GUY again ..................... which is priced just right and has the balls to even challenge the ultra ..................... go ATI u canadians rock.
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#21
zOaib
by: Xerphon
Hah, well screw them. I just cancelled my order with newegg for an 8800GTX, I'll spend my money on ATI instead. I've always used the modded drivers, for all of my cards. If Nvidia wants to stop people from helping to make their product better and their customers happy, that's just stupid business in my opinion. Well done Nvidia, $600 you just lost from me!
480 BUCKS WILL GET U THE 1GB DDR4 VERSION OF THE 2900 BABY !
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#22
Wayward
by: newconroer
One would assume that they might be grateful, but to suggest the SHOULD be is a bit out of the average end users league. You must consider that there's gotta be tons of Nvidia technical support that's wasted on customers who are complaining about Nvidia products, where the tech support finds out later that the customer is using modified drivers and software.
If they were calling tech support, do you really think they would be using modded drivers? People who need tech support probably don't even know modded drivers exist, let alone how to use them.

by: newconroer
Nvidia is like any other company, they put out a product, when people modify that product and it has the potential to harm the image of Nvidia, then they are within their rights to be concerned. Now to what extent those rights hold water within the lay of the law, most of us don't know.
How does fixing Nvidia's mistakes harm Nvidia's image? If they were worried about image, they would have kept their mouth shut.

by: newconroer
I just don't see why people are surprised. If Nvidia wants to pick on someone, for whatever reason, then that's up to them. Whether the law will support it, that's another issue. But it's far from shocking, and the excuses and retaliation comments that people come up with are just absolutley silly.
I believe many of us here think your defense of Nvidia is absolutely silly.

by: newconroer
@Wile

That statement is based off of the fabled and much hyped 2900 being competitive to the GTS and not the GTX,(also taking into account the Ultra exists AND the 8900 is in development).
You forgot the 1GB 2900xt. The gap is closing, fast. So lets not say ATI is getting it's ass handed to it when the preformance lead is forever uncertain, and the race is so close. You imply that ATI is so behind they can't compete.

by: newconroer
@Xerphon

That is such ignorance. And this is an example of what I mentioned above concerning people freaking out. What do you really care about some rinky-dink website and their products? Do you hold or show patronage to that Israeli site, and to such an extent that you would basically blindly inhibit yourself from obtaining what you want in effort to promote some sort of boycott? Come on?!? You wanted the GTX, it's an Nvidia product. Nvidia doesn't worship Satan, slaughter babies or committ genocide. That's like people saying "Oh, well, I'm going to renounce my American citizenship because I don't like the way Bush is handling things.' RIGHT...sure....
Ignorance? More like fear of not having drivers. People depend on modified drivers to maintain a working system. If Nvidia is going to threaten that, then maybe one might not want to spend $600 on one of their products.
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#23
HellasVagabond
Doesnt anyone find it strange that out of 4-5 teams out there that mod drivers Nvidia only threatened NGO ? Perhaps theres more than meets the eye....
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#25
Mussels
Moderprator
as for the legal complaints about dropping support: Nvidia STILL claim to have a unified driver, for motherboards and GPU's.

Its not unified, because they keep segregating it - yet with a little swapping around in an .inf file, its suddenly unified again. They don't alter the driver, they simply allow it to install on 'unsupported' cards - and without it older card users and/or laptop users would be screwed and forced to upgrade.

All they need is to provide a unified driver for say, Geforce 2 through geforce 7, for windows XP and geforce 5 through 7 for vista - one stable driver and the majority of people wont care.

Geforce 8 series are still new so yes, i can understand it having a separate driver (particularly if its unstable/beta) but that doesnt mean fixes found along the way shouldn't be passed backwards into unified drivers. ATI do this monthly, but Nvidia customers can be stuck with one driver for years.

Who here wouldnt mind say, a new unified driver every 3-6 months for older products, with monthly for the latest series?
(The reason here being bug fixes: if TV out support is broken for all cards, or a majority - that kind of fix matters even for a geforce 2 in XP as much an 8800)
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