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?