Es ist kein Geheimnis, dass die meisten Overclocking-Tools von Herstellern wie ASUS, MSI und EVGA auf der gleichen Code-Basis beruhen. Der RivaTuner steckt seit Jahren unter der Haube all dieser Software-Angebote und einzig durch ein unterschiedliches Design sowie bestimmte Features versuchen sich die Hersteller mit Hilfe der Software zu differenzieren. Seit mehr als 10 Jahren arbeitet der Entwickler des RivaTuner, Alex "Unwinder" Nicolaychuk, an der Software und passt sie den aktuellen Gegebenheiten an.
Nun hat EVGA das OC-Tool Precision X 15 veröffentlicht und will sich damit von der alten Code-Basis getrennt haben. Precision X 15 soll zu 100 Prozent "in house", also von EVGA selbst entwickelt worden sein. Doch daran gibt es Zweifel, denn Alex Nicolaychuk hat sich die Software etwas genauer angeschaut und findet dort noch immer essentielle Bausteine, die auf seinem Konzept beruhen. Am deutlichsten wird dies offenbar bei der Art und Weise wie Eingaben des Nutzers über die Software an die Hardware herangetragen werden (sogenannte User Interface Dialog Control IDs) und dem Handling von Hilfetexten über ein Multilinguales Hilfe-System, bei dem abhängig von der Systemsprache die Einblendungen und Erklärung angepasst werden. Selbst der Installer beinhaltet noch immer das Licence Agreement zwischen Alex Nicolaychuk und EVGA, obwohl dies nicht mehr besteht.
Inzwischen hat sich der Entwickler des RivaTuner zu Wort gemeldet und geht noch etwas genauer auf womöglich erfolgten Kopien innerhalb des Codes ein. So sei im neuen Precision X 15 der Anzeige des On-Screen Displays (OSD) komplett aus der alten Version übernommen worden. Ebenfalls keine Eigenentwicklung seien der RTSS (RivaTunter Statistics Server) und das Overlay des OSD in Form der OpenSource-Variante FW1FontWrapper. Das komplette Statement von Alex Nicolaychuk lautet wie folgt:
"Original EVGA Precision EXE resources and dialog templates were copy-pasted to this “in-house” project as is, even original dialog control IDs are the same. Company PRs already claim that GUI is 100% designed by EVGA which is sadly not true, company designed concept art of EVGA Precision skin only. All product properties, entire monitoring section, setting and so on came from directly original RivaTuner (and were available in other RivaTuner based products like HIS iTurbo years before Precision was born) and EVGA has no relation to designing them at all. So company directly violated our license agreement terms and reverse engineered licensed binaries to copy data from it and represent it as their own design.
EVGA completely cloned original RivaTuner’s RTMUI multilanguage context help system and localization engine. Contents of “Help” and “Localization” folders were copy-pasted to new product as is from original Precision, including localization and GUI translation databases for different languages. “Help” folder contains direct mapping of dialog IDs to help files, I guess getting easy access to it as direct reason of “copying” original dialog templates with original dialog IDs. So the company also violated our license agreement terms and redistributed parts of original product without permission.
Even “in-house” skin still uses my original raster fonts from old good RivaTuner. But at least that can be partially justified. Out intellectual property ownership terms of agreement define that I own software product copyrights, the company exclusively owns the product distribution rights as well as non-software intellectual properties like trademarks, product name, logos and artwork I create for them during the contract. So you may try to fit “copied” fonts in this category if you close eyes on the fact that it came from original RT.
Fun thing, even for the installer of “in-house” product the company copy-pasted my own license agreement from original installer, which contains my own third party components licensing terms and direct restriction on reverse engineering or redistributing them. Probably you’ll at least read what exactly do you copy paste, EVGA?
The most sad and painful thing for me is that the company entirely copy-pasted RivaTuner’s unique concepts of displaying data into On-Screen Display. RvaTuner Statistics Server was the first tool in the industry that introduced the concept of in-game hardware monitoring via OSD back in 2005, I spent almost than 10 years on polishing it. And most sad thing for me is that original Precision was not supposed to include such functionality, so it is not included in development budget and royalty fees. I added RTSS to Precision in one of the first versions completely free of any licensing fees just to help the company to promote new tool and it truly became one of the most important application features. So it was used during more than 5 years completely free (and the company was never brave to admit that) and in final they originally “thanked” for free OSD usage by stealing it. EVGA’s brand new “in-house” OSD is also open a simple rip of open source FW1FontWrapper overlay. And If I were the developer of FW1FontWrapper, I’d read the story of RTSS and think 1000 times about it."
EVGA hat sich mittlerweile ebenfalls zu Wort gemeldet und bestreitet eine oder mehrere Software-Lizenzen verletzt zu haben. Man sehe keinen Fehler darin eine Software für den Nutzer so konsistent wie möglich zu halten. Der Back-End-Code von Precision X 15 sei zu 100 Prozent neu entwickelt worden. Auch dieses kurze Statement in voller Länge:
"First, we value the relationship that we have with RivaTuner Alex/Unwinder since Feb.13th, 2008. With EVGA and Alex/Unwinder mutual efforts, Precision has become a very popular overclocking utility since it launched. Afterburner’s first release was in Oct. 2009.
It was originally EVGA’s idea to provide the world’s first “simple” overclocking GUI designed for NVIDIA cards that utilizes some of the Rivatuner technology for free. Due to some misinformation floating around about EVGA Precision recently, we would like to clarify several points. Also, EVGA wouldn’t have any interest to develop our own version if Alex/Unwinder had showed his interest back then like we’ve seen today!
1. The EVGA Precision main GUI (main Window) and format was fully designed and owned by EVGA, that means Alex/Unwinder did not design the Precision GUI at all. The Rivatuner technology was used for the backend like GPU reporting, OSD and overclocking. Other features like voltage tuning, pixel clock control and Bluetooth function were coded by EVGA. We want it to be clear that Rivatuner source code has never been released to EVGA. A year and half after Precision was introduced, Afterburner was released, that shared a lot of the same ideas and concepts originally set by EVGA’s Precision, and also used Rivatuner technology.
2. Most gamers knew that some of the key features that have been requested and missed such as 64bit OSD, voltage control and video recording in the early versions of Precision, yet Afterburner had it. You probably don’t know that some of those ideas were initiated and requested to Alex/Unwinder by EVGA to implement into Precision well before it was available in Afterburner, but Alex/Unwinder had no intention to add it. One year later they showed up in Afterburner exclusively without any notification and/or offer to EVGA. We felt that we became Alex/Unwinder and Afterburner’s free consultant if we continue this route.
We like Precision, the interface and the features, just like most of the gamers in the community, but under these circumstances, it became clear that in order to provide more features that are requested by the community, we needed to recode the back end from the ground up, using our own existing Precision skin designed as merely inspiration, that is why today we have the new EVGA PrecisionX 15. In the latest PrecisionX 15 we have put in some features like 64bit OSD support, Steam achievements and more. We want to make it clear that EVGA PrecisionX 15 is 100% coded in house without using any code from the older Precision due to we don’t have the source code since day one!
EVGA will continue adding features to support the community on PrecisionX15 for free as usual, and hope to inspire other overclocking utilities to be better for the entire gaming community.
The bottom line is that EVGA doesn’t want any third party to dictate what features the community should or should not have!
Noch ist der Download des EVGA Precision X 15 Tools möglich. Die Geschichte rund um einen möglichen Code-Diebstahl dürfte aber noch lange kein Ende gefunden haben.