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
co-founder
CD Projekt RED
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41.
 
Re: CD Projekt RED Ceasing Witcher 2 Piracy Witch Hunt
Jan 13, 2012, 04:19
41.
Re: CD Projekt RED Ceasing Witcher 2 Piracy Witch Hunt Jan 13, 2012, 04:19
Jan 13, 2012, 04:19
 
The problem with piracy is that much like some of the other lesser crimes, such as underage drinking or speeding, it is hard to enforce against and the punishments are light enough to be negligible (unless you are distributing the product). Additionally you will always have a segment of people who feel that the legality of stopping it is questionable, just like people who feel that you shouldn't legislate the aforementioned examples.

The thing is most of the same people who support more 'freedom' from laws would be the first people to backtrack on their position if they were more directly affected. For instance, if an underage drinker was driving while intoxicated and speeding, leading to the death of someone the previously mentioned anti-legality supports cared about.

A simpler example would be the person being told by their employer that they were being let go or not able to be given a raise due to economic loss in their business. For instance, if you work in a supermarket and due to the amount of loss from shoplifting the store had to take drastic measures to stay profitable.

You can rationalize it in any form you like, but piracy is the theft of something that doesn't belong to you. You can get away with it much easier than other forms of theft and at the moment the punishment is negligible, but it is no different than stealing a car or a clothes from a retailer.
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