CD Projekt Threatening Alleged Pirates

By John Walker on December 15th, 2011 at 10:13 am.

Just why?
Remember how we all cheered when CD Projekt removed the DRM from The Witcher 2? Although the GoG version was always free of the legitimate-customers-only punishing code, all other sources came with the straitjacket. Post launch, however, they patched it out, letting customers enjoy the game without concern. It seemed an all-round sensible way to behave, and despite piracy they sold over a million copies of the game. A happy story. Except, well, now according to TorrentFreak (and seemingly corroborated here, along with mentions of a few other titles) the publisher is reportedly threatening alleged (but unproven) pirates with ludicrous legal letters demanding large amounts of money.

Reminiscent of the vile threats sent out by delightful legal firm Davenport Lyons in 2008, the practice which TorrentFreak points out a US federal judge described as a “shakedown” has apparently been initiated in Germany, where thousands of letters have apparently been sent out demanding the ridiculous sum of €911.80 from anyone they think has downloaded and shared the game by bittorrent.

The widely condemned practice relies on the process of tracing people by their IP address, as if that’s any useful way to recognise a person using an internet connection. Be generous enough not to password your wifi (or of course not know how to password your wifi, as is obviously the case for huge numbers of non-net-savvy users) and anyone can download via your IP address. Let alone the confusions of housemates, guests, public spaces, and those who know the extremely simple tricks of disguising your IP. The numbers of false positives make what is already a particularly ghastly method of gaining money utterly reprehensible. And it seems it’s happening here, TorrentFreak reports, with people who have never heard of the game receiving these frightening threats.

The matter of the moral or legal nature of copying a game is not discussed here. To do it is to break the understood laws of many countries, and that is that. But the simple reality is that a pirated copy is not a lost sale. It is deliberately ignoring reality to make this idiotic claim. Piracy is unauthorised duplication, where nothing is “stolen”, but rather copied without permission or payment. (Where those corporations shout, “But you wouldn’t steal a car!” a sensible, level-headed body replies, “No, we wouldn’t. What does that have to do with anything? Because to pirate a car would be to drive off in it, while leaving it behind on the owner’s driveway.”) Those who cannot afford/aren’t interested enough/wanted to try first/just wanted without paying/etc etc have not taken something away from anyone to their immediate deficit, and do not represent a lost sale in any meaningful way. It cannot be proven that were piracy impossible they would have all paid for a copy, and it is of course obviously nonsense that they all would. But this point matters: The language being used is irrelevant to the reality of whatever crime may have taken place, and this incorrect terminology allows room for such hyperbolic and unjustified responses. And therefore, to charge people for the perceived loss of sales they’ve created by uploading a torrent is factually nonsensical.

Again, the legality of the act of unauthorised duplication is not in question. (Never mind the increasingly abundant evidence piling up that demonstrates piracy encourages sales, that is not relevant here.) This is about the response to piracy that has taken place, however wrong it may be to have done it in the first place. And that response is apparently to send out thousands of threatening letters, demanding a significant sum to prevent your having to go to court and face their claims of much more serious charges.

This is a grotesque practice, and one that seemed to be waning after the disgusted reaction from the masses in 2008, which saw Atari (publishers of The Witcher) eventually backing down from their actions. To hear that CD Projekt may be pulling the same awful scheme is a tragedy. They should back out of it immediately, and apologise, to save any face they still have.

We’ve contacted CDP for comment.

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545 Comments »

  1. Falstaff says:

    I’d be curious to know if the rest of the RPS staff share the viewpoints expressed by Mr. Walker in this article.

    If so I’d like to suggest no more posts about how Acme Co’s latest and greatest AAA title either isn’t coming to PC or complaining how Acme Co. didn’t invest enough dollars to differentiate PC from console sku’s.

    Simply put, Mr. Walker’s arguments are bankrupt:

    1. Upon birth no person shall be assigned a permanent IP address, therefore, an IP address is not a person nor a person an IP address.

    (But…but…but, my flatmate used my computer….but, but, someone hacked my wifi. Look Buddy, these
    are – statistically speaking – outliers. You know it, I know it, and sadly, I’m afraid even Mr. Walker knows
    it. These are arguments are more tired and worn out than the village….whor…than the…um…woman who loves lots of men.

    2. “A pirated copy is not a lost sale” to suggest otherwise would be “ignoring reality to make this idiotic claim.”

    (Well…hmmm…let’s see here, I suppose I was going to argue to the contrary but you can understand my hesitation lest I be labeled an “idiot” or perhaps that I wasn’t a “sensible, level-headed body.” So in conclusion, it is my contention that 100% of smart people would all agree that piracy is in fact a lost sale, and to suggest otherwise would imply that you sir are nothing more than a knuckle dragging philistine.

    You’re not a knuckle dragging philistine are you? WELL! Are you?

    • Wulf says:

      What? …what? You…

      Gah.

      You’ve just made me very angry, but I need to hold my tongue because I don’t want to get edited to hell and back. But frankly, you’re a very, very ignorant person who hasn’t a clue of what they’re talking about.

      People who get their wifi hacked are outliers?

      Oh my gosh. Are you serious?

      First of all, there are millions of routers which aren’t protected in the first place. There are three of them near me, and I can hop on them at any time. Friends of mine have also mentioned the same, and we’re all incredulous about it. People have even made use of these without fully understanding why hopping on someone else’s router is bad. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

      WEP routers are also amazingly common. For every one completely open router, there are hundreds of WEP protected routers. This is due to consoles and such requiring a router to use WEP. And WEP? WEP can be cracked in an hour or so. Believe me, I know, because I experimented with cracking my own router and I got in in under an hour with the right tools. You have no idea how simple it is. You obviously don’t.

      Not to mention, as I said, malware that allows people to piggyback off the computer of an innocent person, which happens all the time too. You’ve never heard of a botnet then, I assume? Obviously, you never have, and I can’t believe it. Which is why I’m wondering why you’re even talking.

      Please, don’t accuse someone of having a bankrupt argument if you don’t have the first clue yourself. You clearly don’t. Have the first clue, that is.

      (Oh, and read up on BitTorrent and spoofed IPs, too.)

    • SiHy_ says:

      1. Even if those cases are outliers (I don’t agree but let’s assume) the law must prove your guilt. It’s not up to you to prove your innocence. Non-static IPs, spoof IPs and potentially unsecure routers could be accountable for any infringment of the law and it would be very difficult to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt otherwise.
      2. I don’t really see your counter argument here, just insults. However it’s always going to be up to the individual choice of a person whether they pay for something that’s available to take for free. To say that a pirated copy is a lost sale is to assume the worst qualities of people – if they like it the hope is that they’ll want to support the developer so they can make follow up games. If they hadn’t pirated it they may never have played it to begin with.
      However, whatever your opinions on this controversial subject there’s no need to fly into a rage-addled rant that expresses your emotions more than your point of view.

    • Deano2099 says:

      @Falstaff
      If you’re that certain, post your IP address.

      After all, it’s totally impossible for anyone to spoof that and then go download The Witcher 2 from Pirate Bay right?

  2. Shooop says:

    This wouldn’t last more than a few hours in court.

    Almost no average home internet user has a static IP address because of the costs. So using IP addresses is a hilariously unreliable way to track anyone on the internet.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      Which is why these cases never go to court. The law firms take the money from those that are scared into paying and ignore the ones who call them out. It’s a very easy business model.

    • GepardenK says:

      Yup, kandon got it right. Its very sad, and unfortunately not uncommon. This kind of mass lawsuit practice is not limited to piracy cases

  3. Rider on the Storm says:

    Never understood why people pirate games as 9 times out of 10 they are a nightmare to get running and some of the files also host viruses, etc.

    I’d rather just pay the money for a legit, virus free version of the game. Plus, you’ll be helping the developer too into the bargain.

    Gamers piss n’ moan about DRM, but it’s the gamers who pirate games that have brought this on all of us.

    • kataras says:

      The problem is that it’s not a pain to get them running. It’s actually very easy, a lot easier than a legally bought game which has 3 layers of DRM (like Batman AC). That is what the companies don’t understand! And why GOG is doing well.

      At the same time no one mentions the piracy on consoles. Look at any release site, the Xbox or PS3 versions are out days before the cracked PC version. They need to change their business model and realize that the Internet makes restrictive technologies more and more obsolete, whether they want it or not.

      As for viruses, some common sense and an AV will protect you, just like for everything you do on the Net.

    • Apples says:

      I have literally never received a virus from or had trouble installing a pirated product. As long as you don’t just randomly download any old file this will not happen 99.9% of the time. In fact half the time I’ve downloaded something it’s because I can’t be bothered to faff about finding and swapping physical discs for something I’ve already bought.

      And of course there’s the small problem of a game being actually impossible to install legally until it officially comes out in your country, and being in the UK that can be from a few days to over a week. Why wait?

      (Also the idea that pirates brought DRM upon everyone is very funny considering that pirates are the only ones who do not suffer from it, so it’s clearly completely ineffectual and only brings more people over to pirating)

    • Rider on the Storm says:

      Games are too expensive at their current prices £30/40. That’s a lot of money to waste if you don’t like the game and if you’ve purchased the game via digital there is no way of trading it in or getting a refund.

      New releases should be £15 max, therefore it’s not going to burn a hole in your pocket to try out a game you may or may not like.

    • Rider on the Storm says:

      The developers who created the game have every right to put DRM on their game. If you spend years creating something only for people to steal it, you wouldn’t be too happy, would you.

      A hard stance would be for the developers not create any PC games at all…

    • kataras says:

      @Rider, I never said they shouldn’t get paid. They should get paid of course, how and when and if it should be associated with sales is another matter. But when they make it hard for someone who paid for the game to run it, and there is a free, easy-to-use solution, who is on the losing side?
      I m guessing the dev who put so much work into his/her product only to see it locked inside a DRM, not the ‘Pirates’.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      A hard stance would be for the developers not create any PC games at all…

      Which is ironically a stance which also upsets the writers here. Seems like some people want their cake & also would like to eat it too.

  4. Wulf says:

    And they’ve already had a number of false positives, even including people who’ve never even heard of the Witcher. Really, my opinion of CD Projekt RED has plummeted, here. Sorry fans, you know me, one of the most important things for me has always been developers treating people like human beings, and not walking wallets/pay days. This makes them no better than thieves, it’s incredibly spiteful, it’s just insidiously manipulative and exploitative.

    What if a poor person who’s never even heard of these games gets hit with one of these? It could be because of an IP mix-up, or because they’ve only protected their router with WEP. (WEP is far, far too easy to crack. You can crack a WEP ‘protected’ router in an hour or so.) Or it could be because someone has cleverly slipped them malware and is piggy-backing off them as part of a VPN. This isn’t even including instances where an ISP may drop the ball.

    This just isn’t funny.

    I’ve talked about this before, why systems that rely too heavily on false positives are bad, and why innocent people suffer because of them. For every 1 pirate they may catch, they’re going to get 10 to 20 false positives. And I can guarantee you that that’s a fact. There are loads of reasons why an IP may turn up in the wrong place, but that doesn’t necessary mean that a person is implicit in crime. It’s just so very flawed to work on a basis like this.

    It’s sort of like arresting everyone within a mile of a crime scene. Sure, one or even a few of them might be involved in the murder, but you’re wasting the time and money of a lot of innocent people in the process. That’s exactly what this is like. If this system was flawless then I could get behind it, but due to false positives it’s not.

    Oh, and here’s a funny one for you: Someone could get accused of piracy for using a torrent to download something after buying the game on GoG and being driven crazy by GoG’s frequently crap speeds, which a torrent can easily outdo. I can’t count the times I’ve heard of a person doing that, when they’ve bought something from a provider like Direct2Drive and then pirated the game because they were getting 100k/s or less from the official provider.

    So there’s that, too.

    The more I think of this, the more the false positives pile up at the back of my mind and it just makes me feel ill that anyone would even do this. I’m going to stop thinking about it. But it’s horrible. It’s… parasitic. I just don’t have the words to describe how much this bothers me. Sorry, CD Projekt RED, my opinion of you just went through the floor.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      I have to agree. My distaste is mainly directed at the law-firms that make a profit out of this, and it’s nice to see them get (sadly too lenient) punishment for it: http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/solicitors-fined-20000-sending-intimidating-letters

      But at the end of the day CD Projekt knows exactly what these firms are doing, and more importantly how they are doing it, and still unbelievably claim that these methods are ’100% sure’. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-12-15-cd-projekt-responds-to-demanding-nearly-and-8364-1000-from-alleged-pirates

      As much as I appreciate their No DRM stance, it doesn’t make up for stuff like this.

    • Wulf says:

      It really doesn’t. And as has been mentioned before, aside from what I already covered, there’s IP spoofing too where you can just pretend to be another person. The ways in which a completely innocent person could get caught up in this are ridiculous.

      Then you have to consider that in other countries there are people who might pay this rather than paying legal fees for advice, that it might even work out cheaper for them. And when I think of that, that makes me queasy. See, this… this is just criminal. This is racketeering. This is showing up in a person’s home and telling them that it would be terrible if something were to ‘happen to it,’ and then demanding protection money. That’s what this is.

      And I’m just going to leave this alone, really, because it’s already making me far, far too angry. Especially at the… uneducated types who would defend this.

      (But yeah, I do agree with you and understand what you’re saying, just to make that clear. That might not be coming over in how angry I am about this. This comment is me agreeing with you, I just went off on a tangent since I can’t stop thinking of why this makes me angry.)

    • HisMastersVoice says:

      “Really, my opinion of CD Projekt RED has plummeted, here.”

      Check your facts before jumping off the bridge. CDPR is a developer entity owned by CDP, the corporate entity, which would be the one instigating this mess.

    • greenbananas says:

      @Wulf

      +10 for the OP

      “But it’s horrible. It’s… parasitic.”

      That’s copyright in a nutshell.

      In this case, I reckon the most egregious thing is the sheer amount of people willing to support the act of a non-natural person walking over the rights of real people (not only someone else’s rights but their own as well) in defending this despicably greedy, take-no-prisioners attitude towards the hypothetical unlawful appropriation of something whose real value is close to, if not zero.

  5. D3xter says:

    I wonder what would turn up if someone did this on CDProjekt’s IP range with them being located in Poland and everything… http://torrentfreak.com/busted-bittorrent-pirates-at-sony-universal-and-fox-111213/
    Then again, they might not be dumb enough to use Open Trackers.

  6. endtime says:

    I’m not reading 8 pages of comments, so I don’t know if anyone posted this already, but acquiring software illegally is actually a criminal offence in Poland.

  7. woodsey says:

    “Piracy is unauthorised duplication, where nothing is “stolen”, but rather copied without permission or payment.”

    Well no, piracy is stealing, just in a particularly modern sense. But you’re right, a pirated copy doesn’t necessarily equal a lost sale.

    • greenbananas says:

      “Well no, piracy is stealing, just in a particularly Somalian sense.”

      Fixed that for you.

      But if you meant what I think you meant, then you’d better not have CTRL-C / CTRL-V ‘d that message onto the comment box, otherwise you’re gonna get a letter in the mailbox.

  8. D3xter says:

    Also some interesting links as food for thought on the matter:
    https://torrentfreak.com/swiss-govt-downloading-movies-and-music-will-stay-legal-111202/
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111121/07305616860/eu-commissioner-kroes-copyright-is-tool-to-punish-withhold-new-business-models-not-more-enforcement-needed.shtml

    Together with “Pirate Parties” and similar surging all over the world with electoral successes like in Germany, I don’t think we are too far away from a breakthrough on this and actual reviews of both copyright and patent laws for the digital age at some point soon.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      if you think the current system is bad, relaxing the laws will only make companies embrace stuff like DRM & always online requirements even more fervently.

      If you want a picture of the future, imagine developers only making ‘F2P’ games – forever.

  9. Brun says:

    I think the most important point made in the article – and what publishing execs need to get through their thick skulls – is that “a pirated copy does not necessarily equal a lost sale.” Think about the (potential) reasons that someone would pirate a game:

    1) They can’t afford it.
    2) They aren’t sure if it will run on their hardware.
    3) They aren’t sure if they will like the game.
    4) They are evil, immoral people who subscribe to a philosophy of “If I don’t have to pay for it, why should I?”

    This is just a short list. Now imagine that there was some mythical, infallible DRM system that forced players to pay money to play your game and was 100% effective. Here’s what would happen:

    Category 1 would not buy the game at all. Period. So no lost sale here. Category 1 would either pirate your game (for which you would receive no money) or not buy it (for which you would also receive no money).

    Category 2 would have to consider the risks of buying the game without knowing they could play it. The outcome would vary by individual, but a decent percentage of people would just not buy the game. The rest would buy the game, be unable to play it, and be alienated.

    Category 3′s response would be similar to that of Category 2. Note that both Category 2 and Category 3 could be mitigated by the distribution of a free demo that is an accurate representation of the game in both performance and gameplay.

    Category 4 is what publishing executives think all pirates are. It’s impossible to say how many of these people would be converted into sales if DRM were infallible, but it would be less than 100%. Likely far less, as effective DRM would simply push them to pirate other games.

    Note that I am not defending piracy in any way. I am merely pointing out that pirates are far from one-dimensional and as such you cannot conclude that a pirated copy is equal to a lost sale. The reality is likely far from that 1:1 ratio.

    • Jabberwocky says:

      I agree, as I think most people would, that piracy is not a 1:1 ratio to lost sales.
      But it is a1:x ratio, we just don’t know exactly what “x” is.

      But you need to consider the likely substantial category of people who can afford to pay for at least some of their video games, but instead pirate everything because it’s free.

    • GepardenK says:

      You have to consider that people are spending far more money on games, even PC games, than ever before. Independed studies (not founded by hysterical publishers) have concluded that piracy probably don’t affect how much money we spend on games in any meaningful way, piracy is just something people do in addition to buying games. Furthermore; people who pirate games also spend more money on games than people who don’t pirate.

      I’m not saying piracy is moraly defendable or should be legal, but evidence show that this fear of piracy is a hysteria and not something that is worth worrying about. Why spend millions on DRM that ends up alienating your customers? Both the movie, films and games indusry is doing better than ever before, and people are using more money; despite piracy…

  10. Pinky09 says:

    Ahh CDprojekt.. you sold more than a million units on pc only, despite being a relatively obscure game company, and now you’re going to release the same game on consoles and get more money, and this is how you try to get more money? Greed is dangerous, it’ll probably lower your sales in the end…

    • JCJensen says:

      They are a company, and they don’t want just to settle with a descent sales, they want to maximize it as much as possible. Million copies is nothing to brag about for a game of this quality, and when they realize that at least five to six more people pirated their game, instead of buying it, of course they are going to be pissed about it..

      Second, I still don’t see how is this affecting legitimate customers, and the outcry of some people is ridiculous (if they’re not pirates themselves)..

    • iainl says:

      Customer or no, it affects anyone whose IP number gets spoofed in the tracker. Also, seeds hang around in trackers hours after they’re used, by which point the ISP may have given it to you. Our only hope is to stop buying their games until the company dies.

  11. sbs says:

    Usenet <3

  12. Bahoxu says:

    What is interesting is that they somehow got peoples email or even physical adress from an IP-number.

    That is stalker-level creepy.

    • Shooop says:

      All they did was probably contact their ISP.

      Which explains why there’s so many false positives – most residential ISP services use dynamic IP addresses.

    • HothMonster says:

      Yeah shoop but they log times for when that IP address was assigned to a person. So when they request the address connected to the IP the lawyers have to provide an IP and the time it was being used. If they just have an IP that info is useless.

  13. ttcfcl says:

    I’m totally ok with them doing this. DRM-free != pirate with aplomb.

  14. TODD says:

    CDR did say specifically that they would be pursuing pirates aggressively at the same time that they advertised the zero-DRM gog.com version. Why is this such a shock to John Walker? Why didn’t he make a stink about this back in April? Did he think that CDR would magically come up with a foolproof way to prosecute torrent downloaders?

    No, he’s just hopping on the bandwagon. This whole article reads like a comment on Reddit — complete with anticipatory ad-hominems (like calling anyone who would dare disagree with him an idiot) and tired, easily debunked aphorisms (like “no instance of piracy is a lost sale”).

    • Guvornator says:

      In England, we call that “a Clarkson” ;-)

    • Apples says:

      He didn’t say “no instance of piracy is a lost sale”. He said “a pirated copy is not a lost sale”. That is, not all pirated copies are automatically lost sales.

    • TODD says:

      No, Apples, my paraphrase was completely accurate. Walker went on to write, “Those who cannot afford/aren’t interested enough/wanted to try first/just wanted without paying/etc etc have not taken something away from anyone to their immediate deficit, and do not represent a lost sale in any meaningful way.”

    • Apples says:

      Again, though, he is listing several categories of people who might pirate and do not represent a lost sale because they would not have bought anyway, as examples of why a pirated copy is not equivalent to a lost sale. I will say that his opinion leans towards supporting pirates but I don’t think he is legitimately wrong on that particular point.

    • TODD says:

      Alright, I see what you mean. To me it seemed like he was trying to include all categories of pirate under “not a lost sale,” which is the same as saying that no pirated game is a lost sale. Given the apologetic tone of the rest of the paragraph, that interpretation was reasonable.

    • HothMonster says:

      I think he was just trying to point out that their is a lot of grey area in this whole debate. Anti-piracy people like to claim that every download is a sale that company lost out on, when that’s clearly not the case. Some people do legitimately try before they buy, or play before they can afford or just pirate because the torrent came out before the game did without canceling their pre-order. Certainly there are a ton of other reasons piracy is not necessarily a lost sale.

      On the pro-piracy side though you have people claiming this is a vicitimless crime because nothing is stolen its just copied. But the people who created whatever you pirate are not getting your money, period. You can try to take some moral highground like I won’t buy it cause its on steam, or I am pissed because they have day 1 dlc or what not but if you like the game and play it they deserve your money. I have heard people claim they wont pay for Skyrim because its too buggy, but they sure play it, or wouldn’t pay for Crysis 2 because it wasn’t good looking enough, but again they played the shit out of it.

      The truth is clearly in the middle somewhere. If people don’t support games they like there will be less money to fund games they like. People who work to create our entertainment deserve our money pure and simple. However all piracy isn’t bad. The longer both sides refuse to admit this is not a black/white issue the more extreme each side gets. Game companies enact stricter and stupider DRM and gamers refuse to pay for anything that isn’t absolutely perfect, advances graphics to new milestones, has 0 bugs, has nothing but free DLC, released through their retailer of choice, by the 1 publisher they think is legit, ect.

      Until everyone is willing to admit that yes piracy has its upsides, every download is not a lost (and may lead to a sale that would not have happened otherwise) AND that developers deserve our money pure and simple. If you like it buy it, not “I like it but I have this niggling issue with it so I will just pirate it and play it for 80 hours”.

      People and companies have to be honest with themselves if we want to prevent either corporations from destroying the internet to eradicate a “problem” or game developers shuttering and/or making crap because they don’t get enough money.

    • TODD says:

      Hoth, I stopped reading here: “Anti-piracy people like to claim that every download is a sale that company lost out on…”

      See if you can guess why.

    • HothMonster says:

      because you are close minded and willfully ignorant?

  15. Rider on the Storm says:

    Games are too expensive at their current prices £30/40. That’s a lot of money to waste if you don’t like the game and if you’ve purchased the game via digital there is no way of trading it in or getting a refund.

    New releases should be £15 max, therefore it’s not going to burn a hole in your pocket to try out a game you may or may not like.

    • diamondmx says:

      The solution here is not to reduce the price of the games, but rather to provide:
      A meaningful demo descriptive of the quality of the whole (as opposed to the ridiculously short, often misleading demos currently produced)
      And for games companies to start respecting customer rights to return a faulty product, with faulty being a good description for So Many Games on day 1. Bugs, we can live with, but games which are unplayable for days, weeks after purchase, with no guarantee that they will ever be fixed other than the company’s good will? GTA4 *still* doesn’t work on it’s claimed recommended specs, it never will.

      At the moment, gamers are dependant on review sites and word of mouth, and that means pre-orders can’t be an option, nor first day purchases. That’s not good for anyone.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      Alternatively you could wait until the price comes down to something you’re more willing to part with. But y’know whatever helps you justify being a dirty pirate.

    • Rider on the Storm says:

      @Malibu Stacey

      Who said anything about pirating the game you degenerate prick! Read my comment properly, dumb-dumb!

  16. SiHy_ says:

    I thought CDP understood… I was wrong.

  17. cjlr says:

    I love the smell of piracy threads in the morning.

    One time we sent legal warnings, to 12 thousand people. When it was all over I went over and you know what? Not one person. We didn’t stop one, not one stinking pirate. That smell, that gasoline smell. Smelled like… Victory. Someday this war’s gonna end.

  18. Provender says:

    Has there been any analysis of the method CDP or their agents used to identify the infringing IP addresses? If the test was along the lines of connect to an IP offering a (confirmed working copy of) Witcher 2 torrent and download (at least a section of) the game then that would seem a reasonably watertight approach. AFAIK it wouldn’t be subject to spoofing, although others may know different.

    If that IP address can then be linked to a particular individual/entity at that time through e.g. an ISP then surely CDP have a legitimate right to ask questions of them? I’d imagine many IP addresses will only lead to dead-ends like VPN exit points, open wi-fi etc but not all of them.

    That said it does look like a PR disaster the way they’ve demanded money with menaces, and I say that as a supporter of CDP who bought 2 copies of the game.

  19. Milky1985 says:

    Eurogamer are reporting that CD Project have not denied that they are doing this now, so hopefully a follow up RPS story soon!

  20. Premium User Badge

    Malibu Stacey says:

    “Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?”
    “‘No,” says the ‘commentors’ on RPS, “it belongs to everyone who wants it without paying you for it.”

    In any other profession, if people ripped off you for the work you do, you’d be entitled to be pissed off. In software development you’re expected to bend over, smile & enjoy the shafting.

    • Shooop says:

      If you read them, you’d notice most the complaints are not about CD Projekt being unhappy with piracy, but about their method of dealing with it being ludicrously dumb.

    • Unaco says:

      It’s not as dumb as DRM that hurts ALL of the Legitimate Customers.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      If you read them, you’d notice most the complaints are not about CD Projekt being unhappy with piracy, but about their method of dealing with it being ludicrously dumb.

      They released a game with very little to no DRM & what was there on certain copies was removed shortly after release. Their game was reasonably priced & has been reasonably discounted on various digital download services negating the main arguements for piracy & yet their game still gets pirated.
      What would you have them do? Just bend over & take the shafting or actually use the system which is supposed to protect them?

    • Guvornator says:

      @Malibu Stacey

      Total agreement. Anybody want to make a valid argument FOR piracy? Let’s check them off one by one.

      “There are no lost sales due to piracy”. There are many, many people selling pirated video games right now. Go to Hong Kong, Singapore and you’ll see them selling freely on the streets and market places. And where do they get them? In many cases, the same place you got yours – the torrent site. They’ve pretty much excluded the local official market for video games. There’s your lost sales, right there.

      “It’s too expensive” What are you, a crack addict? WAIT! It’ll get cheaper. Unless you’re dying of a horrible disease that somehow retains all the motor functions you need to shoot an fictional something in the face, that’s a child’s argument.

      “It comes out a week later here than in America”. Seriously? See above.

      “DRM” Hmmm, and why do you think it exists? Now I’m not saying it’s not a massive pain in the arse because it totally is, but it’s the sheepdog, you’re the wolves.

      “It doesn’t work in my DVD player/I broke my disc etc.” OK, I have some sympathy with that argument. However, if anything it’s an argument for better customer service. I remember when I broke my Fifa 2004 disk. In the back of manual it said I had to post a £7.50 cheque and the broken disk back to EA. I did, and a few days later I got a shiny new disk back – and my cheque. The note that came with it said they didn’t need the money. So at least TRY to do it by the book – I find threatening to return the item or mentioning the Office of Fair Trading tends to get results if things get sticky.

    • Shooop says:

      I don’t think you quite get what they’re doing here or you’ve misread my post.

      They’re using IP addresses to determine who they send the letters to. Most ISPs give residential customers dynamic IP addresses because static ones are more difficult to maintain.

      So not only is their method completely and laughably ineffective because it wouldn’t hold any weight in a court, there is a chance of false positives since IPs are reused by different users.

      Calling the piracy an issue is not dumb (and damn any RPG fan who didn’t buy this game), but the method CD Projekt might be using here is.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aninhumer says:

      @Guvornator

      “Go to Hong Kong, Singapore and you’ll see them selling freely on the streets and market places.”
      Do you think all of the people buying from those vendors would pay full price if they didn’t exist?

      “WAIT! It’ll get cheaper.”
      So if I pirate it now and pay for it when it gets cheaper, is that still bad? The outcome for the company is the same as if I’d just waited.

      ““DRM” Hmmm, and why do you think it exists?”
      Because content industries desperately want to get back their nice comfortable product model, instead of having to deal with the fact that the world has changed. In the process they cripple their own product with annoying hoops that must only be jumped through by the legitimate consumer, making the pirated version more attractive before even considering the cost.

    • Guvornator says:

      @Aninhumer

      Hi, first off, thanks for addressing my points without going nuclear. Genuinely appriciated.

      My first counter counter argument would be some would be yes. Not all, but a lot. Hong Kong is one of the banking capitals of the world, so I’m guessing someone’s got the dough to buy a 30 quid game, and if they can afford the hardware, why can’t they afford the software?

      “So if I pirate it now and pay for it when it gets cheaper, is that still bad? The outcome for the company is the same as if I’d just waited.” Not it isn’t. In one you are creating and feeding a demand for piracy. The more damand there is for, the popular it becomes, and the more people use it and the more acceptable it is and then you end up with the situation in Hong Kong and Singapore where it is culturally institutionalised.

      ““DRM” Hmmm, and why do you think it exists?”
      Because content industries desperately want to get back their nice comfortable product model, instead of having to deal with the fact that the world has changed. In the process they cripple their own product with annoying hoops that must only be jumped through by the legitimate consumer, making the pirated version more attractive before even considering the cost.”

      What, exactly, has changed? Piracy was around way before the internet, and DRM was, if anything, even worse then (if you think UBI DRM is a bugger try finding the 8th word of the 5th sentence of the 12th paragraph on the 18th page. And don’t get me started on Flashback’s system). Their business model seems to rely on people paying for stuff they make – a business model shared by every other commercial venture. What do you think pays for all those games to be made in the first place?

      Two final points. First off, I’m a veggie (hence my massive smug, self-righteousness:) ). As a veggie I often am shouted at be folk who go on about how meat is vital to live (it isn’t), how I’ll be protein and vitamin deficiant without meat (I won’t) and how there is no good reason to eat meat (there are). But the real, ultimate reason they get so emotional about it is because IT TASTES SO GOOD. It’s the same reason people people defend piracy and Jeremy Clarkson denies Climate Change. It’s not any of the reasons they say, it’s because it just tastes…soooooooo….gooooooood…

      Secondly, on a more personal note, I work in the creative industries affected by piracy (not video games) and if I ever found someone downloading something I’d sweated blood to make I’d skin them, gut them and wear their balls as ear-rings. Which I think is something to consider…

  21. Rider on the Storm says:

    As you know, 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.

    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.

    ^^This

  22. zeroskill says:

    Harassing and threatening innocent people out of their money? That’s pretty sad. Not going to buy anything by this company ever again, out of principle. I never actually thought their games are any good to begin with.

    • Shooop says:

      Accidentally.

      Because apparently they forgot to bring an IT staffer into the meeting before green-lighting the measure. He/She would have pointed out how futile it would be with the widespread use of dynamic IPs.

      Don’t pull a knee-jerk “BOYCOTT!” yet. Because yes it’s a dumb idea and they probably will end up scrapping it.

  23. Big Daddy Dugger says:

    Only kids pirate on torrents where you can easily be identified and chances are kids don’t have 1,000 euros. Bulletin boards are where you do it, they’re anonymous.

  24. deadly.by.design says:

    …and here I thought Europe was the land of generous vacations and pirate-friendly legislation.

    On one hand: The tactics mentioned in the article are pretty iffy.
    On the other hand: Don’t pirate stuff and you shouldn’t have to worry about it. Pretty simple. (unless you have a shady housemate or loose network?)

    I used to pirate things back in college, but have since stopped. Even if developers are signed under a crappy publisher, they still have to eat. Also, so many folks think they’re entitled to play anything whether they pay for it or not. It’s just silly and selfish. The only pirating I see as justifiable is downloading games without demos, trying them out, then deciding whether or not to buy. (NOT keeping them installed to play the whole way thru)

  25. kemryl says:

    I’m glad RPS is reporting on this, but the ugly, repetitive, completely futile piracy debates just spoil the otherwise positive image of the site. It’s most annoying that people are arguing over things John said were not up for debate here. Congrats RPS readers, you have earned an unhappy face from yours truly.

    >:(

    • Shooop says:

      What amazes me is how badly some people are missing the point of WHY this is distressing and just assuming it’s the usual “DRM or no DRM” situation.

  26. iainl says:

    FAO: CDP. Smother your games in DRM from now on, please. That way I can avoid your idiocy by simply not buying your tedious RPGs. With this, it’s entirely possible my ip will get faked in the logs.

    It’s all a good job RPS are decent, honourable people. Each post has an ip recorded against it on their server. Shoving those attached to posts believing it impossible in the spoof list of a tracker would be cruel. But funny. For about ten seconds.

  27. DrGonzo says:

    I honestly wish I hadn’t bought this game now. I will not be buying anything from CD Projekt ever again.

  28. Premium User Badge

    Devan says:

    Here’s an interesting exercise:
    Let’s imagine a situation in which CDP had some 100% certain way of knowing exactly who pirated the game (downloaded and installed without having paid for it). So in this hypothetical case, all piraters of the game receive the letter and nobody else does.
    How much money do you think would be appropriate to demand? What do you think?

    • Belsameth says:

      Probably twice the games price, max, assuming it’s settled and not going to court (after which it becomes a different cookie)

      The sad reality of practices like this, however, is that they often hit innocents in the process as well, as is well documented all over the net. Worse, the people doing these shakedowns know very well they target innocents as well, but just don’t care. Money is money, after all.

  29. FunkyBadger3 says:

    The matter of the moral or legal nature of copying a game is not discussed here.

    Yet their anti-piracy actions are grostesque and ghastly?

    Mmmm, okay.

    • Premium User Badge

      Devan says:

      @FunkyBadger3
      CDP’s actions are reprehensible not because they are anti-piracy but because they are unjust. They are unjust because the letters will be received by people who did not pirate the game, and in addition to causing distress, the letters may cause people to lose money undeservedly.

      That’s why the article is discussing the morality of such legal practices, rather than the morality of copyright infringement itself.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “Yet their anti-piracy actions are grostesque and ghastly?”

      Because its hitting people that have not pirated or even heard of the game, that is the nasty thing about this, if it was a 100% rate then fine, but its already seeming liek it isn’t (for reasons lots of people have already mentioned).

      besides it not even a anti-priacy action at this point, its a legal shackdown IMO.

  30. kud13 says:

    you know, I got to about page 7 of these comments, and then I couldn’t read anymore. the argument is circular.

    This is actually really cool stuff, b/c I’m a law student, and i’m currently writing a paper on copyright. My thesis is that the law of copyright is basically an imposition of governments to protect the interests of publishers, and that its arrival largely coincided with the development of capitalism.

    now, I’ll confess to biased to this: I am a pirate. I was introduced to PC gaming in Ukraine in the 90s, where I literally did not know of any places in my home city where I would be able to purchase “licensed” games. They simple weren’t rmade. Everything was pirated, and the people, used as they were to the lack of copyright in the Soviet Union times (all copyright, patents etc automatically belonged to the state at the time), really saw it as the only way things could be done. Goods were avaialble to everyone, dirt cheap, and if you had any problems running them, well, you get what you paid for, the system worked.

    I came to canada in the end of 1999. I started pirating games when I was 15, I think, aftr a tech-savvy friend (also Ukrainian) introduced me to Morpheus (the Gnutella filesharing network). To me, it seemed natural to pirate, I knew I couldn’t ask my parents for money to buy games (they’d laugh in my face and tell me to go study instead), and having a part-time job wasn’t something that ever crossed my mind, not because of lazyness–but because of the same post-Soviet mindset of “kids go to school, then University, then they get a job”. So yes, I pirated. It was a crime (In Canada, copyringht infringment IS a crime, that carries penal consequences in extreme cases, and fines up to 250k to the state. it is also a cause of action for civil suits, where damages can go up as high as the people want them to).

    Now, once I got a job, and had income, I started buying games. I’ve spent over $300 dollars in the Steam Summer sale, I’ve spent a decent chunk of money on GOG (and I currently have a not-quite filled basket that’s worth another 30). Does that justify me pirating when I was younger? I’m not gonna try to answer that, since it’s subjective.

    I’ve actually received one of these letters once–well, my mother did. It was for obtaining a file, entitled “2006 African Drumming Competion.mp3″ or something along those lines, obtained via an ed2k protocol. now, the funny thing was, I did download somehting via emul on that day, but, scouring my entire PC as I could, I could not find that file. So I emailed the “enforcer company” back, saying that my router was unprotected (it was the first router i’ve ever gotten, and for some odd reason, it refused to function when the network was password protected. After struggling with it for a few hours, I just left it be), that I put on a password, and it shouldn’t happen again. Never heard from them again.

    the funny thing about Witcher 2 is, I bought the game. in fact, i’ve pre-ordered it form GOG. the day I got it, I also torrented several sizeable folders labelled “the Witcher 2″. why? because I played the Original in Russian, where they used TV actors to do voices. and when I heard dwarves speaking with a Scottish acccent, I couldn’t play the game anymore. so I downloaded the Russian voice and text files, since there was basically no legal way to obtain them in canada, bar ordering a DRM-riddled copy from Russia. which would mean giving away my credit card info to some shady people. So yes, I torrented the Witcher 2. If I was in Germany, they’d probably charge me for it. Should I have to pay?

    the funny thing is, as spoken by several people here, the money gained from such suits usually doesn’t make it to the actual developers–I mean the coders/artists/etc. the money lands in PR/Marketing/Human Resources/Legal–and to top it all off, it’s usually the publisher (or parent company) that get the money. So I don’t consider this a “defence of the artists”. which is ALWAYS the main thrust of any anti-piracy argument. Yes, I agree, this rationale applies to self publishing smaller artists, but almost never to major companies.

    As such, i’ve always been highly-sceptical of the whole “crusade against piracy”. Naturally, it’s a question that needs to be addressed, but the only constructive way to adress it is for publishers to realize that pirates have to be viewed not as criminals, but rather as “dissatisfied consumers”. yes, I’m expecting replies from people saying “90% of pirates wouln’t have bought it EVER”, but I concede that what i’m saying is a generalization. However, it’s a generalization that creates a framework which allows us (as a society) to have a constructive dialogue. Ofc, in order for this to happen, we’d need to exclude the militant people from both sides–kind of “we’ll concede piracy may have an impact on sales, if you concede piracy is not theft, but the crime of copyright infringement”–you know, a compromise? from that point, you can start thinking about how to address the situation

    In terms of PC gaming specifically, i’d love someone to do a study to see if there’s any relationship between the rise in the rates of piracy and the demise of the demo as a concept.

    Also, last point to bring up: I don’t think boycotting CDPRed and GOG is the right move here. I fully support GOG in its radical stance against DRM, and that deserves my money. Until we have people like the creative director of Witcher 2 on record saying what’s being done in Germany is a good idea, I suggest we keep the distinction between publishers and artists in mind and not punish the latter.

    oh, and one very last thing, for those still reading this:
    there was a case in Canada in 1996. two kids stole something from a big chain retail store, but were caught (so, shoplifted), both took about 50 worth of stuff, and both were caught at the store and all items returned, undamaged. The store then proceeded to sent a letter to the parents of the 2 kids, saying that the Store has a cause of action to claim restitution from them, with an offer to settle out of court for 225 dollars (so, roughly 5 times the amount that was taken. note that all items were returned in the same condition, so the store suffered no damage). the Mother paid the money, and then sued the store to get it back. The court found that the lawyers had no valid claim against her, and got the money by misleading the mother, so she was refunded with interest.

    now, this was a common law case, and I know Germany wouldn’t treat it the same way, but still, food for thought.

  31. Premium User Badge

    jaheira says:

    It would be interesting to find out what the other RPS writers think of this issue.

  32. tempfoot says:

    Damned if they do…etc.

    Put pain in the ass DRM in and Amazon reviews get lit up.

    Take it out and pursue actual infringers reasonably believed to have made an illegal copy and get whiny columns and comments.

    The tone of this article and many comments appears to suggest that devs should simply do nothing about piracy/infringement. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t see anyone making any realistic or cost effective suggestions for another course of action – other than ‘suck it up’. No – IP addresses are not perfect, but they are reasonable. The amount demanded, or actually settled for is entirely up to the parties involved, and each has to weigh its own cost-benefit.

    Maybe the whiners should just stick to free open source games that fit with their personal view on what rights others have to control their own works.

    • Walter Heisenberg says:

      Sounds like your mind was made up years ago by identifying anyone that takes issue with these practices as “whiners”.

    • GepardenK says:

      The problem is that companies spend millions on DRM solutions and lawsuits that ends up hurting their honest costumers. Anti-piracy has become a business in itself. Some companies have even left the PC for the consoles to “escape” piracy.

      Fear of piracy is a hysteria that has gone way out of proportions (like fear of non-organic food or brain cancer from mobile phones). Several studies have shown that:

      1) Each person is spending more money on movies, music and games than ever before, even when inflation is taken into account. Some studies conclude that pirating does not affect how much we spend on entertainment at all, its simply something people do in addition to buying stuff.

      2) People who pirate games spend much more money on buying games than people who don’t pirate. Some studies say this is because they use pirating as free “full” demoes and that they end up buying more games than they otherwise would have. I say its because they are nerds:)

      So, is pirating immoral?
      Yes, you are getting entertainment you didn’t pay for. Whenever it’s stealing or not depends on your definition of stealing; nothing of physical value is removed from the original owner – but a sale is potentiality lost.

      Is pirating hurting sales in a meaningful way?
      Very hard to say, studies can’t prove it one way or another. On one hand some people who did pirate would have bought the product if pirating wasn’t available. On the other hand the mass spreading of your product on torrents is valuable viral marketing. What we do know however is that the amount of money people spend on digital entertaniment has never been as high as it is now.

      Is pirating all bad for the society in general?
      No. Pirating also has it’s positive sides. Old unsupported games are being kept alive because of torrents. Games like Age of Empires 2 is still very popular on illegal MP servers thanks to pirating. It has over 2000 players playing at any given time on one of those servers alone; that’s more than most new games.

      Bottom line here is that Gabe of Valve got it right. You need to work with the marked as it is today, not spend millions on DRM that doesn’t work. Making big money on the PC is very possible, pirating might take some sales from you but its effect on the entertainment industry is grossly overrated.

    • tempfoot says:

      Agreed that DRM burdens and inconveniences buyers, but perhaps “hurt” is overstating the case.

      As primarily a PC gamer, the fact that devs leave the platform because of piracy fears, whether overblown or not, is harmful. I’d rather see a game come to the PC with DRM, or without followed by some reasonable enforcement actions than not get the game at all.

      As for each person generally spending more – that might be correct in the aggregate, but the fact that someone buys five other games and downloads a copy of one does not help the one at all. As for people who ‘pirate’ spending more – I don’t know about that study. I buy the games I want to play unless I can’t. Abandonware is as close as I’ve ever come to what is called ‘pirating’ software.

      Frankly ‘d rather see individual publishers make decisions about lawsuits that some slimy collective like the RIAA or MPAA.

      I think it’s fair to ask the interesting questions about the social value of pirating. I also think it’s fair that those who download copies of games face the possibility of legal action for doing so. The amounts demanded here pal compared to the RIAA seeking 150k per song.

    • GepardenK says:

      Well, it depends on your defentition of “hurt” i quess. But go take a quick look at any forum for a ubisoft game released this year, many simply can’t play the things they have paid for. And even more people get disconected and loose progress at random times – in a singleplayer game… Then there are all those xp games that simply don’t work on newer operatingsystems anymore because of outdated starforce protection

      Here’s a quick article of a study that concludes pirates buy more games:
      http://www.disinfo.com/2011/12/swiss-government-study-online-piracy-benefits-artists/

      I’m taking a big guess here and assume you’re a more or less normal dude. You say you only download old games that are not avalible anymore while buying the new stuff – I’m the same way, and I think that goes for most people. Gamers in general are a very proud bunch, they support the developers and games they like – and if it ain’t worth supporting, it ain’t worth playing in the first place, so no reason to pirate.

  33. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    Everything else aside:
    “Those who cannot afford/aren’t interested enough/wanted to try first/just wanted without paying/etc etc have not taken something away from anyone to their immediate deficit, and do not represent a lost sale in any meaningful way.”

    John, this staggers me. Statements like that (which are silly and indefensible without resorting to being obviously and lamely disingenuous) have no place in this article (of which your claims make up roughly 34%), which should be about CD Projekt’s publisher being dicks. What. The Fuck.

    (Despite myself I have to add anyone who believes that argument spits in the face of writers, artists, designers, game developers, etc etc and is implicitly saying they don’t deserve to be able to make a living doing what they do. It’s just basic fucking copyright. Sure, the legal system does silly things but the basic premise of copyright (and please for the love of Horace dont nitpick on this) is so people’s shit don’t get ripped off. Jesus. Don’t you people LIKE playing video games?!?)

    • kud13 says:

      i’ll just reiterate a point i’ve made on a different forum

      the printing press was invented in the 1400s. The first statutes about copyright (creating the law of copyright) were passed in England and France in the late 1600s.

      there is nothing “inherent” about the idea of copyright. moreover, the way it works now (the way it was intended to work from its inception), the law protects the interests of publishers first, artists an very distant second.

      does that justify piracy? no, it doesn’t. But it does make big publishers screaming about starving artists’ right (the main supposed premise of copyright) along with lost sales (which is an unconfirmed assertion at best) and labeling piracy as “theft” (which is plain untrue) seem a bit disingenuous, seeing as said publishers are the ones who decide the prices, putting the product out of range fora large chunk of potential customers in poorer countries, as well as fostering things like DRM and these extortion schemes, which is something that mostly hurts those who can afford their games.

      and who said that there’s no suggestions being made? look at Valve. Valve decided to look at pirates as potential customers, who are dissatisfied with the current offerings for one reason or another, rather than viewing them as immoral thieves. Look at GOG itself.

      if you want to alleviate the situation wrt to piracy, do market research. look at why people pirate. look at what age groups pirate. see if there are any specific motivations to pirate (Ubi-DRM comes to mind)

      Piracy is an issue. that’s a fact. It’s also a complex issue, which isn’t all black and white.
      there are also a lot of kids who pirate, who grow up to become spending customers. I’m one of those. As a former pirate, when I hear about stunts like this pulled by the publishers, I look back and think about why I pirated, then I think whether these measures address those reasons. they usually don’t, and what’s more, it earns them the ill will from the portion of their paying customers. the only exception to this rule, to date, was valve, who made purchasing easy and affordable for me.

      but of course, rather than try to figure out why your potential customers aren’t creating incentives to buy (like demos, extra stuff with the boxed copy), it’s so much easier to label them as immoral thieves and fan up the hatred by sobbing about billions of dollars worth of lost sales.

      btw, for people who are wondering why this is relevant, since it’s apparently common practice in Germany: there’s a bill in the US COngress right now, endorsed by both parties called the “Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). should it pass, it would allow copyright holders to sue Internet Content hosts, who allow copyright infringing material to be hosted, and order them to shut down the offending sites. If you think about that statement for a second, it will essentially mean that any content host anywhere in the world will now have a duty to check everyhting that’s being uploaded onto their sites to ensure it does’t infringe any copyright. To put it simpler, the basic assumption will be “everyone who uploads things is a pirate. Until we check to make sure he’s not”.

      talk about your presumption of innocence….

    • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

      “there is nothing “inherent” about the idea of copyright. moreover, the way it works now (the way it was intended to work from its inception), the law protects the interests of publishers first, artists an very distant second. ”

      Ye-s. That was the nitpicking I attempted to pre-empt. Yes. I know. I agree with most of what you say there. (And don’t think there isn’t rage burning in my heart for all that legit customer punishing DRM out there.)

      The copyright act was passed for a reason. One of the things it does is protect artists.

      If you pirate you MUST accept that what you are doing is morally dubious. It is stealing. Enjoying the fruit of someone’s labour without making the agreed payment is actually stealing. If you wouldn’t have bought it anyway then you wouldn’t have pirated it either. It’s really very simple: Dont want to buy it? Dont buy it!

      So, again, you MUST accept that. As I said not to is just attempting to making justifications to try to lie to yourself and others so that you feel better (harden up). The question after that is are you OK with doing that morally dubious thing. But please, let’s keep the living in elaborate fantasy worlds in the games.

  34. HeavyStorm says:

    I disagree with the article. Sorry.

    Yes, a pirate copy ins’t a lost sale, necessarily. But it might be, in many cases. People who “shared” the pirate copy should have some responsibility over the matter, since they facilitated the act. It’s like disclosing privileged information.

    Game companies have a hard time defending themselves from the onslaught of piracy, having to choose between DRM, online only content, or sending letters to people who may or may not have downloaded the game. If we bash them when they use aggressive any feasible strategy, how should they behave?

    If you think piracy isn’t a problem: I have many friends (hypothetically) who own X-Boxes, probably 5 of them. None of them own a single genuine copy. And I don’t know of any home user who hold a Windows license if their computer was bought in a shop — only those who owns dells, toshibas and HP, who had no choice in the matter.

    The math IS wrong: not every pirated copy is a lost sale. But a relevant percentage of them are.

    As long as CD Projekt doesn’t force any person who actually owns or never downloaded Witcher to pay the sum, then, I think it’s in their right to try and defend their product. After all, I want to see a Witcher 3, not another cancelled Stalker 2.

    • kud13 says:

      no one is arguing that they have a right to defend their copyright.

      the issue is about the method with which they pursue it. and at this point, it’s obvious that at the very least they didn’t think it all through.

      wrt to GSC: until we hear from the studio, I’m not jumping to any conclusions about “piracy killed S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2″. I love GSC, but after making SoC, which took them forever, and probably wasn’t all that profitable, they’ve released 1 shoddy game (CS), 1 good game (CoP), as well as buying a license to a fantasy series and releasing Heroes of Annihilated empires, an RTS, which tried to bring Cossacks-style gameplay into a WarCraft 3-esque fantasy setting, with a mix of RTS and RPG (also ripped off WarCraft 3), which basically bombed so bad they never made the other 2 games (it was planned as a trilogy). Whilst I love the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, and i’m a huge GSC fanboy, realistically, they were never on an extremely sure footing, financially.

  35. Melf_Himself says:

    You know, it’s likely that they *can* be 100% sure about the IP addresses they’ve chosen to serve. This is because they have two independent pieces of info

    1) IP logged when game torrented (ok it may have been some decoy or whatever)
    2) Game servers connected to from same IP

    Sounds pretty easy to prove, however…. the sum of money being asked for is just ridiculous. I think these lawyers should go and die in a fire, and I have absolutely NFI why CDP would dirty a good name they’ve worked hard to build up by associating with these filth.

  36. Trousers says:

    I bought both the Witcher 1 and 2, never pirated either. I’ve also bought games from GOG. I will probably never buy anything from them again now.

  37. The13thRonin says:

    Don’t want to do the time…

    Then don’t do the crime…

    Simple.

  38. Kittim says:

    Oops, wrong place.