I used to do open source development of Creative/EMU Sound cards for Linux.
I stopped because Creative/EMU started to actively oppose open source Linux driver development.
So, Linux support for Creative sound cards is not a Linux problem, it is a Creative problem.
There has also been a fair amount of discussions regarding Linux drivers for Nvidia hardware.
I think everyone knows what Linux thinks of Nvidia! ;-)
Nvidia allegidley could be violating the GPL, but no one is going to pursue it in court because the alternative is worse.
I expect that if nouveau do finally get up to speed and on par with the closed source Nvidia drivers, the GPL violations will then be pursued and the liabilities against Nvidia could be considerable.