updated 02:05 pm EDT, Thu May 1, 2008
Creative facing lawsuit
Creative is facing a class-action lawsuit that is alleging the consumer electronics maker misled customers with inaccurate capacity claims for its portable media players. The lawsuit seeks $900,000 for attorney fees and $5,000 for each plaintiff. Those who purchased a hard-drive based Creative player between May 5, 2001 and April 30, 2008 and can prove it are eligible to be part of the lawsuit.
The matter has not yet gone to court, and Creative is hoping to appease its disgruntled customers by offering them a 50-percent discount on a new 1GB MP3 player or 20 percent off any other item on the company's online store. The company will accept claim forms from eligible customers until August 7.
The lawsuit alleged Creative's advertising materials and spec sheets promised users 7 percent more capacity than could have been used. The binary definition of 1GB is 1,073,741,824 bytes, and not Creative's decimal definition of 1 billion bytes even. The company also failed to take into account space taken up by the formatting structures and software necessary for its devices to store, organize, and access stored data.
Most companies rate the capacity of their portable media players in similar fashion, though include fine print that saves them from such legal trouble. Since the suit, the company revised its fine print, warning possible customers that "available capacity will be less" than advertised. Another wrong the lawsuit alleges includes an exaggeration of the devices' playback time. [via SlashGear]