CD Projekt To Pursue Fines For Torrenting

By Jim Rossignol on November 23rd, 2010 at 8:55 am.

No, not until you stop downloading episodes of Supernatural.
Polish RPG developers CD Projekt recently announced that their next game, The Witcher 2, would ship without DRM, and there was much rejoicing. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be all Mr NiceGuy about it. Speaking to Eurogamer, CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiński said that the company would be pursuing legal action against those net users illegally downloading the game.

“Of course we’re not happy when people are pirating our games, so we are signing with legal firms and torrent sneaking companies… In quite a few big countries, when people are downloading it illegally they can expect a letter from a legal firm saying, ‘Hey, you downloaded it illegally and right now you have to pay a fine.’”

Of course the policing of downloaded content is a highly contentious area in which the legislation is still being proven – and fought against in the courts – but it does suggested a renewed interest by games companies in directly combating piracy on the PC. DRM doesn’t work, we all know that, so it’s hardly surprising that companies like CD Projekt will look to other methods to protect their work. Personally I think low prices and swift digital downloads have been the best weapon.

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239 Comments »

  1. Deano2099 says:

    First, didn’t I read somewhere that it’s only the download, not the disc version that has no DRM?

    But more importantly, this made me uncomfortable, but it took a while to figure out why. But Po0py hit the nail on head.

    If CD Project want to go ahead and prosecute people that illegally download their game then fair enough. That’s the legally correct approach. That isn’t what they’re doing. They’re hiring a company to send threatening letters demanding a ‘fine’ from people that they suspect of downloading stuff. These companies don’t pursue people that don’t pay up. Because they know that a certain percentage of them are legit customers and would be proven innocent, leaving them open to be counter-sued and having to pay costs.

    That’s the problem here. Sending out threatening letters demanding money because you think someone downloaded something isn’t okay. If you know they did, and you can prove it, then prosecute. If not, don’t. But this sort of thing isn’t alright.

    Still, this will solve piracy will it? I’m sure if the 90% piracy statistic is true, with all the extra money coming in The Witcher will make 10x what every other PC game does next year. Odd that it’s not any cheaper isn’t it? Piracy is apparently affecting us legitimate consumers by making games cost more, but no matter what approach is used: draconion UBI DRM, legal threats and so on, the games never get any cheaper… odd isn’t it?

    • Joshua says:

      That isn’t what they’re doing. They’re hiring a company to send threatening letters demanding a ‘fine’ from people that they suspect of downloading stuff.

      CD Project might be unaware of this and think that the company in question is actually a company who sends letters to those who illigally download their games…

      So make them aware of that they secretly don’t.

  2. Gary W says:

    The original Witcher ceased to be remotely interesting after Act 2 (the murder investigation). The cornfields in Act 4 were pretty though.

    Anyway, I will be obtaining the “advance demo version” of TW2 via encrypted newsgroup connection to check that the sequel does not follow a similar pattern.

    • Kadayi says:

      Funnily enough, this news isn’t actually a clarion call for ‘ I never buy games’ trolls to reveal themselves.

    • Gary W says:

      It’s purely for academic reasons though. Once I’m satisfied that the game meets my criteria, it will be swiftly deleted and a purchase may or may not be made.

    • frymaster says:

      do you also sneak into cinemas to check if the film is any good before buying a ticket? or concerts?

    • Kadayi says:

      @frymaster

      Yeah, I mean if only there were websites and publications that reviewed games professionally that could inform Trolls like Gary here as to whether a game was worth purchasing in the first place? Maybe in another ten years hey.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I love how no one ever believes this one. I pirated Modern Warfare, then bought it, I pirated Supreme Commander 2, then I bought it. I pirated The Witcher, as he said it got boring incredibly quick, so I didn’t buy it. Those are all I can remember off the top of my head. I don’t pirate most things now because I have more money and can afford to pay.

      Funny thing is, I’m pretty sure lots of people who condemn games piracy still listen to pirated mp3s and watch pirated films and tv shows.

  3. Lobotomist says:

    Amazing how you can be the positive star of PC gaming one day ( Witcher 2 without DRM )
    than fall to become the PC games Fascist the other day.

    I wanted to preorder Witcher 2 and support CD project. But now I have second thoughts…

    Who am I supporting?
    Firm that is about to launch thousands threatening letters targeted at random folk.That is about to make some middleman lawyer leach creep firm very happy and rich.

    What does that brings me? Is this where my pre order money goes?

    Im sorry. I dont support civil prosecution and corporate lawyer bullying.

    Bad move CD project. Bad move.

    Actually I am starting to doubt if the game is good at all? This sounds like some last straw of desperation.

  4. Unaco says:

    I’m buying the game… will likely pre-order next month when I get some spare shekels… so, this won’t affect me. As has been said, no DRM, so why pirate it, why not pay for it? Why not support them financially, if you want to use their product? They seem to be a good company, making a big budget, dedicated PC game… which is a rarity these days… offering it with a good download service, or physical copies, with no DRM, shiny extras and goodies. Much better this than DRM.

  5. Ries says:

    If only they talked to lawyers before their gog.com close down stunt

  6. Unaco says:

    To all those saying “They’re terrible, they’re targeting innocent people!”… How do you know? Do you know which lawyers they’ve signed up? Do you know those companies will target innocents? Do you know that CD-Projekt haven’t said to them “We want you to be strict and certain that someone has downloaded the game illegally before you move ahead with any action”? Do we know that this announcement hasn’t just been made to pre-emptively deter pirates, and that, perhaps, they won’t even target any pirates… just make the announcement so the seed is planted in possible pirates heads?

    For a DRM free game, piracy is not justified, it’s reprehensible. If you do pirate it, rationalise it all you want… but ultimately, you’re a thief, and you are what is ‘killing’ PC gaming… driving companies to include DRM and punishing legitimate customers.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Because it’s not possible to be 100% sure. If they were the legal firms would bring actual legal action against the pirates, not just threaten them and send them ‘fines’.

    • Urael says:

      Thank you, Unaco, for bringing a tiny touch of badly needed common sense to the headless-chicken hysteria threatening to overwhelm this thread.

      No-one knows precisely what CD Projekt are doing, who they’re talking to or how they intend to manage this but everyone’s dredging up previous examples from other companies as supposed proof that CD Projekt have fallen to the dark side. As with the GOG downtime there’s absolutely no trust from commenters in the company to behave in a way that’s legitimate and above-board. There’s certainly cause for concern but let’s just see how this pans out, shall we? Or is that too sodding reasonable for the internet to manag these days?

    • Unaco says:

      In the article itself they even say… “I’m sure you’ve heard about stories in the US when recording companies were chasing people. We don’t want to be so harsh, but there is a chance that this might happen to some people if they download illegally.”

      Sounds to me that they are going to be especially careful with who they target.

    • Davian says:

      I don’t deeply care about PC game companies or the PC game market, nor should I. I care about myself as a consumer and don’t consider myself responsible for the state of PC gaming. Make a good game, advertise it competently, don’t punish users, and maybe you’ll make a profit. I’ll certainly buy it if I think it’s good after pirating it and playing it for a while. However, act as an eight-year-old throwing a fit at the slightest possibility of piracy, and no dice from me.

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      Well, we know that Atari did exactly this to people they accused of downloading the original Witcher (and other Atari games) so there’s a fair chance this is more than just bluster to deter possible pirates. Even if that was at Atari’s instigation and not CDProjekt’s its still a bit disingenous of them to say they won’t do the same kind of thing as is happening in the US when the US lawyers are in fact copying a business model originally created in the UK by suing people for downloading one of their games (among others).

      As Deano2099 says, the technology just isn’t there for them to be any more sure now than they were then, so that statement really counts for nothing.

      I really hope it is just mind-games, but even if it is, and given their past involvement, it gives legitimacy to a form of legal blackmail and they deserve the same condemmnation for that as they get credit for their DRM-free stance.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Davian: You base your purchasing decisions not on the games but on how much you like the makers of said? How utterly childish.

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      So you don’t care who your money goes to as long as the product is OK? How utterly immoral.

    • Anonymousity says:

      I enjoyed ender’s game but I didn’t buy his other books after I read about his other books because he was funding anti gay marriage lobby groups and pro lifers. I don’t buy nestle products either, buying something and absolving yourself of moral implications is more childish.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Someone “acting like an 8 year old” isn’t a moral issue.

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      Liliput King: I still don’t see how you can say that basing your purchasing decisions, in part, on what the company you are giving your money to does or says, or are likely to do with that money, is being childish. It would seem to be the opposite in fact – a child bases their decisions purely on surface values whereas an adult looks at the bigger picture.

      It’s the same as making a decision not to buy from firms who do things you disagree with, like those people who boycotted companies that traded with the old South African regime.

      Maybe Davian phrased it badly, but turning a blind eye to questionable activities just because you want to enjoy something is the very definition of immoral.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I don’t disagree with you, but we need greater justification than “I don’t like them” or “I don’t like their attitude,” which is what Davian was kicking up a fuss about.

      Surely what should be of chief consideration is not who they are but exactly what they are going to do with the money they are given. Anything else is just being meaninglessly emotional.

      P.S. I can also certainly see the argument that what they seem to be planning currently is immoral, but that wasn’t actually what was being discussed in my comment.

  7. zoinks says:

    Aren’t they kind of obliged under law to at least half-arsedly defend their intellectual property?

  8. malkav11 says:

    Going after the pirates makes perfect sense. Going after individual people who may or may not be pirates based on dubious evidence like IP tracking, not so much. Even if they’re picking correctly, trying to fight piracy by targeting end user pirates is an exercise in whackamole futility. The sensible route is to go after distribution points. Take down the sites distributing the illegal downloads. Zap the groups releasing them to begin with, if you can find ‘em. Don’t go after Joe Q. Public.

    • Nethlem says:

      But that’s expensive… it’s way easier/more profitable to just sound out bulk letters with fines and recieving 500€ fines from thousands of people.

  9. Chufty says:

    I’m slightly disappointed by the borderline pro-piracy arguments made here; as far as I’m concerned anyone who pirates the game and is prosecuted, completely deserves it. Whether it’s real theft or not – it’s morally wrong and damaging to our favourite industry.

    Obviously we can’t have a situation where folk are wrongly accused and that needs to be addressed. But we need to start prosecuting people who download games illegally. It might not deter the hardcore elite, who will find ways around it. As long as it deters the endemic casual piracy, however, that is still a victory worth pursuing.

  10. Jannakar says:

    So… a games company is bad because they want to discourage people from infringing on their copyright and go and buy the thing so they can carry on being a games company?

    Sure, they can take them all to court, in all the different jurisdictions; but then they’d be spending money on trial lawyers, not on developers and artists. How does that help them make games? How does they help anybody?

    Honestly, the level of entitlement around is rather stomach-churning. And people have the temerity to complain that the PC gets treated as a second-class platform.

    • Deano2099 says:

      So spending money on lawyers to prosecute people instead of developers would be bad, but spending money on lawyers to threaten people instead of developers is A-OK?

      Short of actually going to someone’s house and checking their computer, you can’t prove they downloaded it. IP addresses can be faked, your wireless connection can be hacked and used without you knowing, and so on. And you’ll only get in someone’s house if you start actual criminal proceedings.

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      No one here is defending piracy or has a sense of entitlement. Frankly, I find it stomach-churning that you can’t see anything wrong with the whole speculative invoicing thing. Collateral damage is fine for you I presume (as long as you aren’t the one in the line of fire)?

    • Jannakar says:

      @Deano. It’s certainly a lot cheaper. Proof is for courts and juries, which is where it ends up in the end. Nobody is obliged to pay the fine, but if you have a guilty conscience, you can pay the fine or hope that you can convince a jury that you didn’t. Didn’t work so well for Jammie Thomas.

      @Donkeyfumbler: I certainly see a few people here defending piracy.

      But to repeat something I wrote earlier – it’s not about defending piracy or whatever – it’s that I think that as a community we should strongly discourage piracy because it is in our own best interests to do so.

  11. hiver says:

    I would just like to chime in with a small bit of info reflecting on those that think CDProject is some kind of a PC RPG company.

    Theyre not.

    Tomek Gop :

    “We designed the game in that way, that eventual console version of Witcher 2 won’t force us to change the interface, redesign the gameplay, controls and so on. We attempted to [project the game in that way] that making a console version would be really easy for us.”

    http://www.gamezilla.pl/content/tomek-gop-bardzo-chcemy-zrobic-wiedzmina-2-na-konsole

    No point and click interface, No different camera PoVs, Bioware dialogue, QTE`s.

    • Davian says:

      This.

      This is what’s killing PC gaming. Not piracy, but poor taste in games, both in developers and consumers. Stop making stuff intended for brainless zombies, because there are no such people. Everyone can enjoy a complex PC game, every console user, every child and every adult. What developers are doing is creating a pool of brainless console users or persuading them that that’s the way to behave, because then it’s easier to churn out idiotic games.

      Make complex, high-quality games that encourage people to think. Don’t conform to the console-driven crowd. Succeed and make profit.

  12. Davian says:

    The answer to piracy might actually be really simple, but costs way more than waving your lawyer-stick around. It come down to this: offer a service that’s of high quality, positive toward its users, rewards them for spending money (DLCs, support, patches), and you’ll make a profit. Ignore piracy. Focus on the quality of your relationship with the customers. Spend money to make a pool of users who’ll always come back to you. Focus on piracy, act like a witch-hunter chasing after invisible torrent-users that might not even exist, and you’re spending resources that could be better spent on people who pay you for your efforts.

    • DrGonzo says:

      If you want to get rid of piracy the only option is to restructure society so that everyone earns an equal income. Society is unfair and will fuck you, you should fuck it back every chance you get. Whether that is downloading a game or whatever.

      People have an attitude that if you can’t afford it you’re not entitled to it and should be happy that way. Even if that means working your arse off for your entire life and NEVER being able to afford a decent car, house, a PS3, or whatever – which is true of a lot of people. Piracy has actually enabled an entire class of people to be able to consume media in a way that only the upper classes could previously, I really don’t see how that’s a bad thing.

      At the moment I am fighting to get myself off benefits, starting a business. I have learned during this process that society, in the UK at least, is focused on stopping those without money coming into it and vice versa.

  13. hiver says:

    They certainly managed to fool me with their “were making hardcore PC RPGs” and “we are good guys with no DRM” bullshit for a while.

    Their actions speak louder – they are actually neither.

    I seriously considered supporting them through GOG even if its nothing easier then to pirate/steal TW2 without anyone getting any kind of trace on me but taking all this into consideration they can forget about seeing any of my money.
    This is not a business model i will support.

  14. Nimic says:

    I doubt I’ll buy this game, but I won’t download it either. I simply didn’t really like The Witcher, and if this is even more consoley’, then I don’t want to play it.

    Of course, if I wanted to, I could download this and there would be nothing they could do about it. They simply wouldn’t be able to find out who I am. Providers in Norway are under no obligation to give over personal information in these cases.

  15. Gunnar says:

    I don’t get what all the whining is about. They sell a major game without drm, that is a bold move. And this statement says not much more than that they do not want to see it appear in torrents or donkeys or whatever, which is reasonable, no? While I wholeheartedly agree with Jim on the topic of a good copy protection (or, as some guy from Borland said back in the old days of Turbo Pascal 3, the best copy protection is a good manual), I also would not dispute CDPRs right to pursue illegal downloaders. ESPECIALLY if they sell their stuff without drm, which is a major excuse for people to illegaly download games.

    But regardless, people who do download stuff from dubious sources will continue to do so, using whatever excuse they need, or none at all if they got some degree of spine.

    Just my 2 cents. More like one, actually…

    Gunnar

  16. Joshua says:

    Why is every Wither picture one with Geralt bathing with Triss? Why can’t we have some yellow staring eyes up there?

  17. Octacon100 says:

    I AM AN ANGRY INTERNET MAN SPAMMING COMPLAINTS ABOUT MY RIGHT TO PIRATE.

  18. Navagon says:

    They said that they wanted to find ways of making actually paying for games enticing to pirates. Extras, low prices and no DRM. Targeting piracy in the manner they describe is entirely true to the policies they’ve thus far adhered to.

    That’s not the problem.

    The problem is either CDP are ignorant of how these law firms operate (arbitrarily sending out demands for money with menaces – extortion and blackmail. No concern for accuracy; which would be impossible anyway) or they have the blinkers on and are pressing ahead with this regardless.

    One possible reason is that CDP have shareholders now. So like EA, Activision and bastard Ubisoft, they have to take their shareholders’ panic stricken moneygrubbing ways into account. This method may have been a compromise. If so then they’d almost have been better off choosing DRM over blatantly criminal practices.

    • Professor Paul1290 says:

      That does bring up an interesting point. By going public they don’t can’t do things their way as much as they used to, and have to please people (shareholders) who may or may not have a good grasp of how things really work.

      Sadly, while it may have had some benefits, this might mean that CDP simply can’t afford to be as nice about this as a company like Valve anymore.

    • Navagon says:

      Well, Valve put themselves in a fairly shareholder-pleasing position almost right from the start (even though they don’t have any).

      Steam is a fairly effective form of DRM. Sure you can easily remove Steam from all games simply by replacing the client with a cracked version. But doing so robs you of a lot of features and as such isn’t something I’d consider doing unless Steam somehow went under and Valve didn’t live up to their promise of patching out Steam in such an eventuality.

  19. Vinraith says:

    What a strangely mixed way of handling things. Threatening pirates is a waste of time/breathe/ink/electrons and usually behavior reserved for companies with no grasp whatsoever on the medium, whereas releasing a AAA game DRM-free usually belies a fairly elevated understanding of what does and doesn’t prompt a consumer to pay for a game. I’m confused, really, it’s like part of CD Projekt doesn’t understand what the other part is doing. It certainly won’t have any impact on my buying the game, but I’m sure some people will find this off-putting and, more to the point, it won’t stop a single pirate anyway.

    • Dave says:

      [removed by poster]

    • Lobotomist says:

      Honestly. It made me think again about preordering the game. I dont like investing my money into IP Spoofing legal bullying schemes.

      But I like the Witcher , and I want them to have money in order to make more. So they will have my money.

      If it was any other game I would download it just because of the treat.

  20. Dave says:

    So, the game is being released DRM-free to paying customers, and they’re going to fine people who download it without permission? Makes sense.

  21. redsquares says:

    BOIL’D DOWN TL;DR: If you pirate a game, you’re being a dick and telling the artist you don’t want anything more from them.
    BUT: If we want to continue to use computers to do things on, and want to be interconnected like we are, the DEED is the commodity, not the infinitely replicable pattern-sequence product.
    Until we can accept that not everyone who is using our created pattern has paid to take our overflowing infinite basket of funbreads, then all money will seem extorted, all software is a trap, and people getting fucked over for not pirating will continue.

    I think similarly to barefoot: that all programs are just patterned strings with a couple of headers of patterned strings being read as instructions to be output to your monitor and your speakers.

    Essentially:
    It’s very likely that somewhere in the universe, the data of witcher II is already implemented somewhere in the universe. It is possible, though entirely and utterly unlikely, that the sequence of light switch operations which you and your family modulate in your household contain the same string of data as Witcher II. What program are you pirating??

    All watered down, some alien on saturn owns the rights to his organized bottle of gas which is organized in the same way as Witcher II, and I find this lack of creativity towards a working business model in the 21st century reprehensible.

    When I pay to obtain something from an artist, it’s to support the artist not buy the product. The product is an idea, made by the artist, brought into a representation the artist can communicate and I can understand. I am saying with my money “Thank you, please create more” not, “I would like to offer you my food barter units in exchange of me depriving you of this Idea.”
    Software is not FOOD. It’s not even necessarily tangible, it’s an ideological patten. Had I the time, I could send you all of the original Witcher as black and white squares on graph paper. Up to you to decode it, but I am pirating, logically speaking.

    To in put my feelings: if you’re making art for money and not for fun, it’s sort of whatever/don’t care to me anyway.

  22. redsquares says:

    Since I’m my edits are seen as spam, The TL:DR version is under “BOIL’D DOWN” and I dont’ know what is up with that first sentence. Writing at work again…

  23. Ben says:

    I have no problem with CDP doing anything they can to go after pirates. Their efforts may not be effective, but at least they ARE targeting pirates, and not hassling legitimate users.

  24. nmute says:

    while i would love to play a game such as this, i feel i am already drowning in a preponderance of vacuous canned pretty generico-men who possess astounding ‘luck’ with [an astounding number of catwalk queen] women.

    i’d steal the shit out of principle but it wouldn’t be much of an injury considering my money is never going towards the experience of being Predator in the meat locker to begin with. that and i probably couldn’t deal with playing it even if i was paid for my time.

  25. JED says:

    You spend thousands of hours of something only to have it ripped off, then start talking about bullying and the rights of cheap fucks who think it’s ok to download illegally.

  26. Fadedown says:

    I’m sorry CD Projekt, my money won’t be used to found “legal firms and torrent sneaking companies”. If you have money to waste on them instead of putting that money on developing good games, good for you.

    I can do without your game.

  27. Gabbo says:

    It might not be the best method to stop piracy, but they’ll be leaving me, the paying customer alone.
    I’ll let other fight over the ethical problems that arise while I enjoy the Witcher 2.

    • DrGonzo says:

      As I said in my post. Actually having pirated the game has absolutely nothing to do with it. We got fined for a game we hadn’t downloaded. Yet the dozens of games that must have been pirated in that student house didn’t get found out.

      This lets 99.99999% of those who buy it get away with it anyway. Edit – oops, I meant pirated it.

  28. Sabin says:

    While not necessarily being in support of dark suited lawyer forms with threat letters I’m also completely in favor of the lack of DRM. Many say they won’t give money that supports torrent litigation. I will be preordering this. It looks great. I just bought the enhanced edition of the first one two days ago, and although not far in, am enjoying it.

    People always talk about voting with the wallet and their hate for DRM. I don’t hate DRM (I love Steam and don’t mind Steamworks for all that it provides) but ultimately I still think no DRM at all would be nice (such as having family being able to play certain games together, or at least be able to all be in Steam at the same time w/o needing offline mode)

    I wish more companies would go without DRM, but they fear they won’t make enough money. I for one would like to vote with my wallet for the move to go without, and hopefully show it’s a viable business model.

  29. A-Scale says:

    Time for honesty. I considered “acquiring” the original game, but it was large and I couldn’t find a good source. I bought it on steam when it was on sale.

    I will also not be acquiring the second one, but will again probably pick it up on steam sale.

  30. LudwigTheurer says:

    Charge everyone with the game’s price – distribution price and I’ll gladly pay. Charge a few people with millions and I’ll gladly pirate your game using IP blockers and get away with it.

    If they were to charge the fair price, I would even be willing to somehow identify myself as a downloader of such game to be more easily tracked and charged on my ISP bill.

  31. MrEvilGuy says:

    They’re not going to be Mr. Nice Guy about it eh?

    This must be some secret message to me…

  32. MrEvilGuy says:

    also, looks like I’m going to have to rapidshare or megaupload or hotfile or whatever it!

    (just kidding, the witcher 2 is too glorious to consider pirating).

  33. DrGonzo says:

    They have just lost a sale from me. I will probably get flamed, but screw them, and screw gog.com. It is completely immoral to be giving people thousand pound fines over things with cost 30 quid or so. Far worse than piracy in my opinion. I received one, addressed to my flatmate, who isn’t even a PC gamer asking for £500 for a game he didn’t have and had never played. But that’s just fine. That’s not worse than stealing.

  34. Pardoz says:

    Surely I can’t be the only person who thought, upon first reading this announcement, that they’re just blowing smoke up the asses of the publishers who are handling international distribution, and that the “We will fight them on the torrents, we will fight them on the newsgroups, we will never surrender” rhetoric they’re mouthing was the price they had to pay to release the damn game DRM-free?

    Granted, the fake-GoG-closure stunt reduced my estimate of the collective IQ at CDPR by a standard deviation or two, but even so I find it hard to believe they’d be this idiotic.

    • Vinraith says:

      That would certainly make a lot of sense, and would explain the “left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” feel of this.

    • Bhazor says:

      Thirded.

      I expect this is either appeasing the publishers (Atari and 1C) or just a bluff to scare a few of the Day 0 pirates away. Certainly I don’t expect CD Projekt to maintain this approach for long if customers disapprove of it. Not when they rely on repeat visitors for GoG.

  35. Drake says:

    In some nations the servers don’t even give users a permanent IP, as example I am from Hungary, and without doing anything special any time I restart the PC or reset the modem my IP changes. I believe if someone from Hungary would pirate a game the best CD Projekt could do is to know “hey the guy was from that nation” and that’s it, as far I know there are a few other nations with similar servers too, and then there is still the option of using a proxy or somesuch even if not, this “threat” is nothing more than a commercial.

    • kovy36 says:

      Romania here, same thing, dynamic IP.

    • Nethlem says:

      Just because you have a dynamic IP doesn’t mean that you are untrackable, most consumers have dynamic IP’s. You ISP still logs who had which IP at what point of time, they allways know.

      The real issue here is that they are basicly trying to profit from a dying pirate market, P2P piracy may be largley popular but the real pirates have long moved on to other methods that don’t depend on other people sharing. Once the majority of piracy has moved away from badly secured P2P systems the publishers will have a hard time suing people for millions of $ because they downloaded a game.

      Because the only reason they get away with suche large damage claims is the basic way how P2P systems work. They don’t sue you for pirating the game, they sue you for making that game aviable to other people, because when you download a torrent you share it with other people at the same time. So they basicly argue “he stole the game and he gave it to 10.000 other people, 10.000 x 50€ is 500.000€ that what we gonna demand in damages!”. Modern piracy models don’t have that issue anymore, DDL downloading for example.

      Using DDL you share with nobody, you download from a centralized server. At that point the only case they have is petty theft similiar to shop lifting the game, maybe even less so as nothing physical got removed at all so nobody can really claim damages due to missing property. It will finnaly bring piracy down to a level that it belongs to, simple shop lifting. Right now people/companies threat it like a far worse crime then that….

    • Rinox says:

      I think most ISP’s (by privacy law) refuse to pass on client information to the police or other third parties, though? Unless it’s related to a criminal investigation.

    • STiAT says:

      In many countries (especially EU) it’s completely legal to download games. It’s just not legal to provide them. That’s also where the fees come from, because it’s a multi-pay option.

      They can (theoretically) sue every person providing the game parts in torrent, for every person they shared with. This means, in this case, law and money are networking. This is also where those million dollar fees come from. It is not charged for one complete download, but most likely based upon estimations.

      Practical example:
      17.000 people download (and upload) a music file or game)
      Every person of those 17.000 will be sued for providing 17.000 copies.
      One copy costs – what did I just pay? 45 euro. By the current way companies are trying to charge, this person would be charged for 765.000 Euro
      17.000 people would get charged for 764.000 Euro EACH! That’s what’s wrong, not that the companies try to charge the game itself for any illegally copied version.

      This is how it is calculated by most companies, and simply not understood that it’s cost networking what is done. This is definitely wrong, basically you would have to sue everyone of those 17.000 for ONE copy. This is not what is done at the moment.

    • STiAT says:

      PS: It’s also not legal in most european countries to bypass any copy protection, if you know you’re doing that.

  36. The Colonel says:

    And an almost fanatical devotion to the pope! Too late, ah well.

  37. DragonSix says:


    This sort of blackmail is not legal in many countries. They will get into trouble and will deserve to.

    • STiAT says:

      This blackmail is completely legal in many countries, and besides that, in many countries it’s a gray zone in law, where it’s up to the ISP to give out the information or not.

  38. STiAT says:

    Well .. I appreciate the release without DRM, even though, Steam is DRM in a way (i can download and play it on as many computers as I want, but I can’t give my copy to anyone else if I don’t play or don’t want it it any longer, so I can’t pass or borrow it to anyone – allowed in Austria by law). I already bought The Witcher 2 on Steam pre-purchase (as I played The Witcher 1), it’s a fantastic game which deserves the fee, I read a bunch of reviews before that buy though. With The Witcher 2 I just trust you (hope you don’t let me down :-)).

    Good work has to be paid, everyone of us expects to be paid for good work – so keep on rocking CD Project! I hope the Witcher 2 will be at least as good as the first part (which was a really good and deep RPG which was enjoyable compared to a lot of crap sold out there, but somehow lacking here and there – no jumping, compared to other games the fighting was boring, but the story paid up those things).

    For no DRM, this is a step in the right direction. DRM does not work (it somehow works on steam though, but I enjoy the convenience, hard copies are just to be lost or having corrupted CDs if I want to play the game a year later again). Although, DRM never stopped crackers from cracking, and it didn’t stop the downloading, and it won’t. This does not mean that that it’s okay doing so, but I don’t really see a solution for this problem yet.

    So thanks! I hate DRM (I wouldn’t buy music with DRM either, since I can’t play them on my phones, linux machine, windows machine etc.).

  39. Sad and worried says:

    Right now the Sue-John-Doe is growing larger in generating illegitimate revenue than piracy itself.

    You might want to ask yourself what on a macro level is worse, being able to as a citizen in a democracy get randomly targeted and singled out massively out of proportion to what you may or not have done, exploting the judiciary system in your country and causing massive detraction from pursuing real cases of rape, murder and theft, or not doing something about people who did not want to pay for your product in the first place, but have access to it.

    Personally, I would rather not live in a world where GeStaPo like prosecution of the populace is a legal and accepted means of applying scare tactics to the masses via law based leverage, with the burden of proof here in Germany actually resting on the accused party.
    In a civil suit, the accused has to prove his innocence. It is not assumed. And there only needs to be plausible reasoning to implicate the accused, not even actual, real hard proof.

    It is bad. And CD Projekt are openly endorsing this.

    Feel about it how you will, I know how I feel.

  40. Nick C says:

    Ultimately, I don’t give two shits about this. CD Projekt rocks. Their stance on DRM, The Witcher itself, and GOG.com all rock. It seems to me like they genuinely want to ONLY punish the pirates, where-as standard DRM ONLY punishes the non-pirates. Whether it works in practice or not has yet to be seen. But I loved the first game, i’m going to love the second one, and i’ll be buying it anyway.

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