Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 31, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 31, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


CD Projekt Taking Legal Action Against Alleged  Witcher 2  Pirates
CD Projekt Taking Legal Action Against Alleged Witcher 2 Pirates
December 15, 2011 | By Mike Rose




The Witcher 2 developer CD Projekt RED is taking legal action against people who have allegedly pirated its million-selling RPG title, although it noted that it is only contacting people who it is "100 percent sure have downloaded our game illegally."

It's not often that companies actively go after people who have allegedly pirated their games. Piracy is still a chief concern among many game developers, and finding the balance between protecting property rights and giving paying customers a smooth experience is a tricky proposition for companies like Poland's CD Projekt.

A report from TorrentFreak last week alleged that the company's lawyers are claiming 911.80 euros ($1187.10) from users who have illegally downloaded the game through torrent websites.

The report also suggested that CD Projekt is wrongfully accusing some people of pirating the game, as the company is apparently using just the IP address to determine those who pirated the title.

CD Projekt has now given Gamasutra a statement regarding the situation, confirming that it is indeed contacting those who pirated the game and asking for compensation.

However, it noted that, "we only take legal actions against users who we are 100 percent sure have downloaded our game illegally." Gamasutra is also waiting for confirmation regarding the 911.80 euros figure.

The statement reads, "We arenít 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."

It continues, "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."


Related Jobs

Twisted Pixel Games
Twisted Pixel Games — Austin, Texas, United States
[10.31.14]

Senior Graphics and Systems Engineer
Twisted Pixel Games
Twisted Pixel Games — Austin, Texas, United States
[10.31.14]

Mid-level Tools and Systems Engineer
Giant Sparrow
Giant Sparrow — Playa Vista, California, United States
[10.31.14]

Junior 3D Artist
Giant Sparrow
Giant Sparrow — Playa Vista, California, United States
[10.31.14]

Lead Artist










Comments


Samuel Batista
profile image
I have to admit, this is a much better approach to combat piracy than launching the games with dumb DRM software. This practice establishes the norm that if you're a dumb pirate and you download our game, you just might get stuck with a 1000 dollar bill.



I'm pleased to see that the practice of suing people for hundreds of thousands of dollars and settling out of court used by the movie industry isn't repeated here. I think this approach is much better for the games industry as a whole. Good job CD Projekt.

Roger Klado
profile image
Yes CDProjekt does have an excellent anti-drm policy but in truth the initial Release DID include DRM.

I imagine that the patch updates removes the drm?

Hopefully, I do not have to download a complete digital version and re-format my OS to get rid of that DRM?

Roger Klado
profile image
Not sure how CDprojekt's anti-DRM policy works...

Do the game updates remove fully drm from a users computer afterwards or did I have to do anything special to remove the DRM that comes with Witcher 2. If anti-DRM why not just not include DRM to begin with? Perhaps I am not supposed to have used the original install DVDs if I wanted a DRM free machine?

Other than that confusion their anti-drm policy is refreshing. And gives them some credibility when seeking compensation with piraters of the game ( drm being probably the #1 excuse that piraters use to do as much... you would think that one would reward an excellent game like witcher 2 with support )

One's drm arguments lose all credibility then. ( if they continue to pirate the game ). The ip alone/only issue is a good point though. Hopefully nothing as draconian as that could be successful.

But between an excellent game, DRM-free, and awsome free DLC like the Witcher 2.0 upgrade. You would think that they would not need to have to chase down pirates?

Tiago Raposo
profile image
Are you saying the #1 excuse to pirate a game is DRM? I truly believe it's for the free stuff, using things without paying, and because all that is too easy (find torrent, open it and wait for it to finish). That is a very nice reason for them to go after pirates, after all they illegally downloaded their game just to avoid spending money.

Roger Klado
profile image
Tiago:

you are confusing the "excuse" for the "reason"! :-)



In which case...

YES! the number 1 "excuse" is still drm.

Sid Krishna
profile image
Great approach CD Project! He is support for your approach to fighting piracy from one fan and customer!

Emyl Merzoud
profile image
No that I'm advocating piracy, but as someone who was also once a broke teen, I would feel really sorry if someone who really wanted to play the game but had no means to buy it got billed 1000 euros. From a legal standpoint I guess it's fair, but from a moral one not so much. Piracy isn't the same as stealing, as much as those ads would like to tell us.



My only beef is with jerks who can afford the game just fine but don't do it just because they can pirate it.

E Zachary Knight
profile image
I would like to know how they are 100% sure those targeted pirated the game. As far as I know, there is no way to know without seeing that person's computer and inspecting their hard drive and network logs.

Tomas Majernik
profile image
I think there is a way to make their software kind of 100% in the court. I am not sure if they are asking a group of people or a single person to pay them hundreds of euros, but I would say it is better for them to ask let`s say 1 euro from each person. People may think - ok, let`s pay them a single euro and be over with this. But... by paying that 1 euro You are in fact admitting to copyright infringment (I pay because I did it), which could and in my opinion will be used as an evidence in the court. So it goes like this - they marked You as potential pirate and after they asked You to (in a very clever way imo) confess to the crime. After that, they might go to court with the evidence against You and ask court to inspect Your hard drive, although I think one can be in a trouble even without court inspecting his HD only because of paying "fine" to CD Project.

Andrew Grapsas
profile image
All that traffic that goes to your computer comes from somewhere, a somewhere that probably keeps pretty rigorous logs (for their own defense, mind you). They don't need to see your logs. They can get logs -- depending on country, etc. -- from ISP's and so forth. Most torrent users/"pirates" really don't know much about covering their digital tracks, either. Additionally, there have been recorded accounts of various firms putting up content and tracking those users that connect to their node.



Torrenting is meant to be a means of easily distributing large files to a wide array of users. There's no guarantee of safety beyond what you enable yourself. Surprise, surprise, the internet was not built for digital anonymity.

Jakub Janovsky
profile image
There is no way to be 100% sure unless game itself contained spyware.



IP adress isnt reliable info.

E Zachary Knight
profile image
Andrew, but none of that gives them a 100% guarantee that the person they are sending a letter to is the person who downloaded the game.



Someone can piggy back on my wireless network and download the game. Who will get the letter? Not the person downloading the game. No, I will get the letter.



Someone spoofs their ip address. Who gets the letter? Not the person who downloads the game. No, its the person whose IP was spoofed.

Jane Castle
profile image
Frankly, ignoring the moral and ethical implications of pirating, I still am shocked that people are willing to download an executable from these sites and run it on their computers. The risks of getting a virus or some sort of nasty malware are just too great. But then again I don't think pirates care about the risks......



Juan

Arthur Tam
profile image
It's a zero risk situation if you run it on a machine that you will end up wiping clean later on anyway.

Jane Castle
profile image
Frankly with Steam and their sales it isn't worth the bother. I'm willing to pay for a legit copy when the price is right for my budget and have peace of mind.

Aleksander Adamkiewicz
profile image
Cdproject now joining the copyright-trolls? How sad.

Aleksander Adamkiewicz
profile image
The nerve lies in skipping due process, court and the legal system in the hopes of making a quick buck from scared shitless parents.



Ploys like "pay us 1000$ because else we will sue you" are blackmail.

Either you have evidence to support your lawsuit, then sue, or you do not have any evidence, but then you do not write letters to illicit money from the gullible or scared.



Its trolling, not justice.

Mariusz Szlanta
profile image
Hello Aleksander,



I think that your interpretation of law and "due process" is more about trolling and less about justice than what CD Projekt is trying to achieve.



These "scared shitless parents" apparently did nothing to stop their saintly childern from pirating in the first place.



Piracy is about stealing when you know that there is no way of being caught and that little invasion of secure havens of ignorance may trigger some reflections.


none
 
Comment: