CD Projekt going after piracy with a vengeance

The Witcher 2 developer CD Projekt has announced that it will be seeking legal action and settlements in excess of $1,000 for those that pirated a copy of the RPG (via 1up).

Action has already been seen in Germany as various players claimed they received settlement agreements of 911.80 Euros ($1,187) from the developer.

CD Projekt has always been opposed to any form of DRM for copy protection, which the company reiterated in a statement to Eurogamer: “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,” the developer continued. “We will never approve of it, since it doesn’t only affect us but has a negative impact on the whole game industry.

“We’ve seen some of the concern online about our efforts to thwart piracy, and we can assure you that we only take legal actions against users who we are 100 percent sure have downloaded our game illegally.”

It is unknown just how the developer can be “100 percent sure” who has pirated the game. However the launch of the original The Witcher back in 2008 saw a similar event occur as a law firm fined UK-based players who had pirated the game.

VP of business development, Michal Nowakowski, reassured concerned fans via PC Gamer: “We’re addressing only 100% confirmed piracy causes that are 100% possible to prov. “We are not worried about tracking the wrong people. As this is the trade secret of the company working on this, I cannot share it. However, we investigated the subject before we decided on this move, and we aware of some past complications (the famous Davenport case). The method used here is targeting only 100% confirmed piracy cases. No innocent person was targeted with the letter so far. At least we have not received any information as of now which would indicate something like that.”

According to Nowakowski no case has yet gone to court, with everyone fined paying up.

It’s interesting to see a developer take such a radical approach to piracy when many in this day and age fall back on DRM or simply don’t fight it. Is this the right way to deal with piracy?

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