Absolutely fantastic news. In December, the usually admired CD Projekt RED came under considerable fire for employing a law firm to pursue alleged pirates and demand large sums of money. The practice, which is designed to scare people into paying a considerable sum (around €750) to avoid having to go to court and potentially pay tens of thousands plus, has been viewed extremely dimly by many. Compared to blackmail, seemingly avoiding a legal process requiring proof of guilt, and with obvious huge potential for targeting the wrong individuals, it’s a practice RPS is strongly against, as we pleaded to CDP last month. We’re absolutely delighted to report that the company is to cease all such actions.
CDP have issued a statement in which they make it absolutely clear that this does not endorse or support piracy in any form, and they stress that they believe piracy is still causing them harm. They also insist that no one has been incorrectly contacted. But they also recognise that it has caused a great deal of consternation amongst their customers, and has damaged trust. It’s something they’re addressing by listening to the response, and immediately ceasing the practice.
I’m delighted by this news. It’s proof that it’s always worth making your opinions heard, and it’s an excellent example of a company with the humility to change their minds. Here’s their statement in full:
An Open Letter to the Gaming Community from CD Projekt RED
In early December, an article was published about a law firm acting on behalf of CD Projekt RED, contacting individuals who had downloaded The Witcher 2 illegally and seeking financial compensation for copyright infringement. The news about our decision to combat piracy directly, instead of with DRM, spread quickly and with it came a number of concerns from the community. Repeatedly, gamers just like you have said that our methods might wrongly accuse people who have never violated our copyright and expressed serious concern about our actions.
Being part of a community is a give-and-take process. We only succeed because you have faith in us, and we have worked hard over the years to build up that trust. We were sorry to see that many gamers felt that our actions didn’t respect the faith that they have put into CD Projekt RED. Our fans always have been and remain our greatest concern, and we pride ourselves on the fact that you all know that we listen to you and take your opinions to heart. While we are confident that no one who legally owns one of our games has been required to compensate us for copyright infringement, we value our fans, our supporters, and our community too highly to take the chance that we might ever falsely accuse even one individual.
So we’ve decided that we will immediately cease identifying and contacting pirates.
Let’s make this clear: we don’t support piracy. It hurts us, the developers. It hurts the industry as a whole. Though we are staunch opponents of DRM because we don’t believe it has any effect on reducing piracy, we still do not condone copying games illegally. We’re doing our part to keep our relationship with you, our gaming audience, a positive one. We’ve heard your concerns, listened to your voices, and we’re responding to them. But you need to help us and do your part: don’t be indifferent to piracy. If you see a friend playing an illegal copy of a game–any game–tell your friend that they’re undermining the possible success of the developer who created the very game that they are enjoying. Unless you support the developers who make the games you play, unless you pay for those games, we won’t be able to produce new excellent titles for you.
Keep on playing,
CD Projekt RED