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CD Projekt RED Ceasing Witcher 2 Piracy Witch Hunt

CD Projekt announces it is now the official distributor for Codemasters in Poland. On a slightly related note, Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a statement from CD Projekt RED saying they are ceasing the recently revealed process of directly contacting file-sharers they suspect of pirating The Witcher 2, in spite of their confidence in the infallibility of such accusations. While continuing to decry piracy, this open letter from CD Projekt RED co-founder Marcin Iwinski says they have heard gamer's concerns, and that these direct contacts will cease immediately:

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,

Marcin Iwinski
CD Projekt RED

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51. Re: CD Projekt RED Ceasing Witcher 2 Piracy Witch Hunt Jan 13, 2012, 23:14 Mordhaus
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Jan 13, 2012, 07:29:
The problem is you're trying to compare actions, that can and may kill a person, group or group of people. And may, with due cause cause actual loss of physical property and inflict bodily or grievous harm on various parties. With something that may, may not, or even have a positive monetary impact for a company. In many places underage drinking isn't a crime, neither is speeding. They're both considered offences, and non-criminal. Meaning that at worst, you pay a fine and go on your way. Though piracy is considered criminal.

The laws do not reflect the acts, or actions, or even intent. Nor do they weigh the loss, benifits, gains, or anything else. At the end of the day, piracy isn't theft, nothing is stolen. The original is still there. The value hasn't increased, or decreased. Anymore than what it was being sold for before. The intrinsic value for which it was being sold for hasn't changed. The only difference is, there's a copy which wasn't paid for. And depending on where you are in the world. You 'buy' that copy, you don't license it. And that in itself is another whole bowl of wax.

So would you consider plagiarism to be perfectly ok, since the original still exists, it may or may not affect the company producing the item, and the intrinsic value hasn't changed? What about someone stealing a copyrighted or patented idea?

Stealing a copy of a piece of software or a song is still taking something that doesn't belong to you without paying for it. You cannot deny that and it renders your concept that intellectual value cannot have a price set for it null and void.
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