CD Projekt taking legal action against alleged stealers of The Witcher 2

Gamasutra confirmed Thursday that CD Projekt RED, the Polish developer of The Witcher 2, is taking legal action against people who allegedly pirated the critically acclaimed PC RPG.

CD Projekt RED removed all forms of DRM from the PC version of the game earlier this year, a move that was well-received by the gaming community at large, though not so well received by the game's European publisher. More recently, the developer has remained adamant in its stance against DRM as a whole, despite numbers suggesting the million-selling game could have been stolen as much as 4.5 million times.

Last week, TorrentFreak reported that CD Projekt's lawyers were allegedly claiming 911.80 Euros (approximately $1,186.43 US) from German users who supposedly downloaded the game from BitTorrent websites. TorrentFreak suggested that the legal action was surely targeting innocent people, as the users were apparently identified only by their IP address.

CD Projekt then released a statement to Gamasutra, confirming the legal action but specifying that "we only take legal actions against users who we are 100 percent sure have downloaded our game illegally." The company did not specify if the 911.80 Euros figure was accurate.

CD Projekt's statement also says the following:

We aren’t huge fans of any sort of DRM here at CD Projekt RED. DRM itself is a pain for legal gamers - the same group of honest people who decided that our game was worth its price, and went and bought it.

We don't want to make their lives more difficult by introducing annoying copy protection systems... We could introduce advanced copy protection systems which, unfortunately, punish legal customers as well. Instead we decided to give gamers some additional content with each game release, to make their experience complete.

However, that shouldn't be confused with us giving a green light to piracy. We will never approve of it, since it doesn't only affect us but has a negative impact on the whole game industry. We've seen some of the concern online about our efforts to thwart piracy, and we can assure you that we only take legal actions against users who we are 100 percent sure have downloaded our game illegally.

Gamers championed the company as one that "got" digital ownership and rights with its stance on DRM, but will those same gamers agree that the actions being taken against users who obtained the game through less than legal methods are justified?

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bryonhowley said,

Actually...
'Copyright holders frequently refer to copyright infringement as "theft." In copyright law, infringement does not refer to actual theft, but an instance where a person exercises one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder without authorization.[5] Courts have distinguished between copyright infringement and theft'

from wikipedia of course

[quote=zhiVago said,]That's what communism promotes - classless society based on sharing methods of production and the manufactured goods ))

Well you didnt say that in a negative light so hehe, i guess thats cool lol

Probably the best game dev out there right now. Kinda like what valve used to be. Good morals, and insanely good games that they don't compromise with anything.

Personally, I'd still take witcher 2 over any other game this year as my favourite for gfx, story, gameplay and pure overall experience.

I freakin loved witcher 2.

However, if you are going to give a damn about piracy, then just put DRM on it and call it a day, don't do a bunch of press releases about how piracy is inevitable and that the best way to combat it is good service and then just do what we hate the RIAA/MPAA do by suing the crap out of them for easy money. It's pathetic and almost as unethical as the act of piracy in the first place.

Retarded as hell. (Witcher 3 is going to have to be damn amazing to make me want it now. =/)

Last week, TorrentFreak reported that CD Projekt's lawyers were allegedly claiming 911.80 Euros (approximately $1,186.43 US) from German users who supposedly downloaded the game from BitTorrent websites

So i see they're taking a page out of the RIAA/MPAA's playbook in demanding people pay far, far, far more than the item is actually worth. GJ CD Projekt, imitating those groups is a sure fire way to make yourself look bad.

What they're claiming is nowhere near as outrageous as what the RIAA and MPAA have claimed in the past. And they're allowed to take legal action against anyone that pirates their games. I really don't see how that makes them look bad.

Blackhearted said,
So i see they're taking a page out of the RIAA/MPAA's playbook in demanding people pay far, far, far more than the item is actually worth.

Court expenses.

How is it looking bad?

I don't understand people. They complain that companies put DRM on their products because it makes it hard for "legal users." Then they complain when these companies sue people for downloading it. I mean come on... you people will only be happy when the game companies spend millions developing games only to give them away for free, because heaven forbid they charge for it to recoup their costs and then sue you for downloading it illegally...

CrimsonBetrayal said,
How is it looking bad?

I don't understand people. They complain that companies put DRM on their products because it makes it hard for "legal users." Then they complain when these companies sue people for downloading it. I mean come on... you people will only be happy when the game companies spend millions developing games only to give them away for free, because heaven forbid they charge for it to recoup their costs and then sue you for downloading it illegally...


So basically you'll be fine when software is paid for just by suing people?
The biggest problem I have with it is, is the idea that they essentially use scare tactics to get money, you pirate and we sue, we'll offer you a "deal" though so you don't have to go through a more expensive court case.

Which basically means, you pirate, then they mug you. It's messed up both ways.

nw2001 said,

So basically you'll be fine when software is paid for just by suing people?
The biggest problem I have with it is, is the idea that they essentially use scare tactics to get money, you pirate and we sue, we'll offer you a "deal" though so you don't have to go through a more expensive court case.

Which basically means, you pirate, then they mug you. It's messed up both ways.

If that's how they have to recover their costs yes.

People wonder why the economy is in such poor shape... it's because everyone expects a free ride.

I'm not against them suing, and I'm not against them suing for large amounts either. If you don't want to be sued/pay thousands for a game, don't breach copyright laws on someone else's copyrighted goods.

So you're saying that if you spent millions manufacturing a product, only to find out that people were getting it for free and not paying you for it, you'd be okay with that? You wouldn't want to sue them?

All I'm saying is we frequently look at it from the the users point of view with no consideration for the companies who create the jobs and stimulate our economy. While I don't agree that RIAA/MPAA are doing the right thing because they're not trying to get to the root of the problem, in this instance, CD Projekt have done the right thing, removed DRM, and users have still screwed them.

I say good on em and go for it.

nw2001 said,

So basically you'll be fine when software is paid for just by suing people?
The biggest problem I have with it is, is the idea that they essentially use scare tactics to get money, you pirate and we sue, we'll offer you a "deal" though so you don't have to go through a more expensive court case.

Which basically means, you pirate, then they mug you. It's messed up both ways.

Well, you have a choice. Don't pirate.

Frazell Thomas said,
Great idea. I hate DRM and the legal customers shouldn't be punished. Go after the thieves.

This.

If they pirated it, then the hell with them. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I didn't ever pirate anything, but if I was caught and held accountable for it, I wouldn't sit and bitch that the system was unfair. I knew what I was getting into, and it'd be MY damn fault for getting myself in trouble.

Some people need to take some damn responsibility for their actions and grow the hell up. Just because you don't agree with something, doesn't mean you do it anyway expecting zero consequences to it.

dead.cell said,

This.

If they pirated it, then the hell with them. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I didn't ever pirate anything, but if I was caught and held accountable for it, I wouldn't sit and bitch that the system was unfair. I knew what I was getting into, and it'd be MY damn fault for getting myself in trouble.

Some people need to take some damn responsibility for their actions and grow the hell up. Just because you don't agree with something, doesn't mean you do it anyway expecting zero consequences to it.

Exactly. Plus they're not asking for absurd sums like RIAA/MPAA typically does. A thousand euros is enough that it certainly hurts but it's not going to get you in debt for the rest of your life.

dead.cell said,

Some people need to take some damn responsibility for their actions and grow the hell up. Just because you don't agree with something, doesn't mean you do it anyway expecting zero consequences to it.

This. The problem is people not assuming responsibility for their mistakes and having the will to play and not pay for that. Just put yourself in the developer shoes and guess what? your hard work is being given freely (and somebody is even earning cash through that, either in ads, selling dvds, etc.) and your getting less return.
Btw Valve's Gabe Newell is right, piracy is a service problem:
"If a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable."

Have any of you little ungrateful thieves ever read a EULA? I'm sorry but in both the actual and the LEGAL sense pirating a game is stealing. Ask any lawyer. Same goes for any software with a license agreement. This is much different than pirating mp3s... you don't click "Agree" on a legally-binding agreement every time you play a song. But you do when you install software.

It's sad that there' so much rampant unapologetic game piracy in the computer enthusiast community.

Benda said,
Have any of you little ungrateful thieves ever read a EULA? I'm sorry but in both the actual and the LEGAL sense pirating a game is stealing. Ask any lawyer. Same goes for any software with a license agreement. This is much different than pirating mp3s... you don't click "Agree" on a legally-binding agreement every time you play a song. But you do when you install software.

It's sad that there' so much rampant unapologetic game piracy in the computer enthusiast community.

I'm sorry but you sound like a lawyer! as I said earlier....

'Copyright holders frequently refer to copyright infringement as "theft." In copyright law, infringement does not refer to actual theft, but an instance where a person exercises one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder without authorization.[5] Courts have distinguished between copyright infringement and theft'

from wikipedia of course.

It's sad that there's so much unapologetic, (possibly) stubborn; narrow-minded idealistic viewpoints on this! not!!

Can't say I would have pirated that game but let's keep in mind it didn't have a demo and I hated how people ran around with swords over their heads in the first one (looked odd and I couldn't play it solely for that reason). Don't give a demo and don't allow people to return the game in case it sucks. It's gotta be why a lot of people decide to download that way.

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