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Interview CDProjekt explains their anti-piracy measures

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by VentilatorOfDoom, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
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    Tags: CD Projekt; Witcher 2, The

    <p>... <a href="http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/12/19/opinion-me-and-cdp-on-legal-threats/" target="_blank">on RPS</a>. A few snippets:</p>
    <blockquote>
    <p>&ldquo;As you know, we aren&rsquo;t huge fans of any sort of DRM here at CD Projekt RED. DRM itself is a pain for legal gamers &ndash; the same group of honest people who decided that our game was worth its price, and went and bought it. We don&rsquo;t want to make their lives more difficult by introducing annoying copy protection systems. Moreover, we always try to offer high value with our product &ndash; for example, enhancing the game with additional collectors&rsquo; items such as soundtracks, making-of DVDs, books, walkthroughs, etc. We could introduce advanced copy protection systems which, unfortunately, punish legal customers as well. Instead we decided to give gamers some additional content with each game release, to make their experience complete. However, that shouldn&rsquo;t be confused with us giving a green light to piracy. We will never approve of it, since it doesn&rsquo;t only affect us but has a negative impact on the whole game industry. We&rsquo;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% sure have downloaded our game illegally.&rdquo;</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p>But what about all the innocents?</p>
    <blockquote>
    <p>&ldquo;Before we took this step, we have investigated the subject, spoke to other developers and publishers using the same method and company we are using, and are convinced that the method used by them is targeting only 100% confirmed piracy act cases. When we investigated the subject, we were made aware and looked into the infamous Davenport case, and again, we are convinced the methods used in our case are not going to hurt innocent people. After all the months since release piracy of The Witcher 2 was tracked, not a single person denied act of piracy when addressed with that subject. At least not to our knowledge.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p>On whether such actions are merited &ndash; I feel that we are really trying to do a lot in terms of being pro-consumer ie. By removing the DRM experience for the users, delivering a lot of free extra content, etc. These people do repay us by being with us, and also by showing their support by means of paying for our games and allowing us to make new ones in the future. The purpose of this action is not to get rich on piracy &ndash; believe me, the numbers coming through as a result of this action are petty to say the most. We do hope, however, they may be a sort of deterrent for future pirates; maybe they cannot afford to buy the game here and now, but if they want it really bad, maybe they will consider buying it when the price drop happens as it always does for all titles eventually. It will not fix the world, as nothing ever will, but maybe it will stop some of the most notorious pirates from downloading our game and sharing it further. As for the more casual pirates I want to believe they will eventually become our legal customers because of how we try to work on our customer&rsquo;s satisfaction.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p>As for the unauthorised duplication not counting as a lost sale &ndash; I guess this is not so simple really. I agree in some cases people just download &ldquo;whatever&rdquo; to have a look but would not buy otherwise, but there are also quite a few people who have financial means, have interest but feel that they should not pay becaue it is out there for free. It is this last group that is the most problematic, and I do not feel fine with this way of thinking, and we have never officialy supported this kind of behaviour. Being DRM-free is not a shout to all the folks out there &ndash; &ldquo;hey, come and take our game &ndash; it&rsquo;s free.&rdquo; It is DRM-free, which means we really had to go through huge efforts with our publishers to make this happen so that people can enjoy the game without the hassle that pirated copies are already circumventing. Am I afraid this makes us look bad? I do not feel we are doing anything wrong, as long as people targeted are really 100% confirmed pirates. So far nothing has happened in the past couple of months that would indicate otherwise.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p>I cannot go into details on how can we be sure such information is correct, as this is trade secret of the company working on that on our behalf, but as much as we could see the reasoning behind the method, it is actually leading so far only to 100% piracy cases.&rdquo;</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p><em>I do not feel we are doing anything wrong, as long as people targeted are really 100% confirmed pirates. So far nothing has happened in the past couple of months that would indicate otherwise. </em>WHAT.A.SUPRISE.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p>Let the pirate butthurt commence.</p>
     
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  2. Toffeli Atomkrieg, ja bitte Patron

    Toffeli
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    What there is to hate, really?

    You can say their games are shit and that's fair, but really If the pirates are real victims what's the problem?
     
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  3. GarfunkeL Racism Expert

    GarfunkeL
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    No problem at all, except it's dubious that the company they hired actually manages a 100% hit ratio. It's probably bullshit, just like the piracy numbers he offered earlier.
     
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  4. Awor Szurkrarz Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    We need to take a stand against the idea of exceptional-ism of the copyright promoted by the copyright lobby. The powerful copyright lobby is bribing politicians to create laws that are treat them differently that other cases of not paying the money that should be paid to someone according to law.

    If you don’t pay for commissioned work, you pay interest, if you don’t pay alimony you pay interest. If for example someone doesn’t pay you for your work that he commissioned to you, you can’t demand him to pay you 20x the price of that work despite that such a thing may even make you go under.
    If someone has a child and abandons it and dodges paying alimony that is given by court, that person doesn’t have to pay 20x the amount of the alimony not paid despite how damaging lack of these money is to the children’s well-being.
    And these are much worse things than someone copying a program which he probably wouldn’t even buy if the option to copy it wouldn’t be available (it’s even if they would buy some, it’s impossible for most of downloaders to buy majority of stuff that they download).
    And rightly they don’t get such outrageous compensations. Because applying a 20x multiplier to the amount of money that wasn’t paid is insane. But when multi-million dollar corporations are involved sanity can be easily bypassed by bribes (in U.S.A. bribing politicians is legal and widely and U.S.A. can bully politicians in other countries into copying some of their laws – even if the politicians in Europe don’t secretly take bribes from the copyright lobby, these laws are still a result of bribery).

    It doesn’t really matter if they have a 100% sure I.P. identification method. They are still demanding a disproportionally high amount of money and are still using a corrupt law that was bought by the copyright lobby that is discriminating and demeaning to other people who don’t get paid for stuff they should get paid, especially to little children.
    There must be justice and equality for all. If it’s rightful to give 20x compensation for copying a program or using someone’s photo or image on a website, then there should be 100x compensation for not paying child support, a 100x compensation for not paying for commissioned work, etc.
    And while we’re at it, game publishers should have to pay 50x compensation when they sell a game claiming that it has features that it doesn’t have or when they forget to clearly write on the box that the game they sell is unfinished and will be probably finished with patches after long testing by public
    after the release.
    If these ideas sound insane, then the same idea proposed by the copyright lobby should be declared insane and discarded too.

    That’s why I’ll never buy anything from CD-Projekt or similar companies again. I don’t want to promote this kind of injustice, sick sense of entitlement, and contempt towards the rest of the society and its rights.
     
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  5. spectre Arcane

    spectre
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    I am very butthurt about this issue and firmly believe shitstains that resort to this very method should be hung by the balls.
    Especially if they try to play the good guy card - but lookie here, see, we didn't even put DRM in it.

    I wonder how they actually got the highly amusing 100% certainty piracy act cases figure.

    Targeting random teenagers with threatening extortion pre-court settlement letters, they naturally get scared and promptly sign it, thereby admitting to whatever heinous crimes CDPR feels they commited?
    Hooray for CDPR. 100% effective piracy retardant solution.

    EDIT:
    Even if they had, since when does the IP number identify a person?
    Last time I checked, you do not sue IP numbers, you sue people.
    (although, fuck me rigid, I would like to see them try. Case nr. 145821, CD Project Red vs IP number 123.198.8.255)

    Imagine a tenement apartment, 4 people inside, 4 computers, single router, single IP.
    Not an unlikely arrangement for students in their 20s, methinks.
    For simplicity's sake, let's not assume that the wireless network was password protected and
    there were random acquaintances and/or fuck buddies given access to the network on and off.
    Cue CDPR: Arrr, I have a sneaking suspition, that somebody in this very building was a piratin!

    Who will be fingered as the filthy pirate by the CDPR in such an arrangement then?
    Will the police conduct a full cavity search on the entire building to find the wretched individual?

    No, don't answer. If you have the misfortune of living in Germany, they already know.
    The guy who pays the bill is responsible for whatever is done via that network.
    Long story short. Don't be that guy. (Or don't live in Germany, or any other country with inane regulations).

    Tangent aside, anybody from potato familiar with any actual cases of CDPR suing anybody? Like, an actual person that lived to tell the tale? (Because I imagine there would be plenty of google-able butthurt)
    Because I have an odd feeling it's just a silly PR stunt to prevent 15-year olds from torrenting Bitcher2.
     
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  6. commie The Last Marxist Patron

    commie
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    Butthurt pirates of the world unite!
     
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  7. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
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  8. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    So does this mean I can get the money back for my The Wither CE? It's a pretty boring game and I never managed to slog more than 1/2 through. I'd also like the money back for time wasted. Something like 50€/hour should do it. What was the official length of TW1 again? That obviously needs to be the base for determining the number of hours.
    All lets not squable over numbers. I send TW CE back to CDP and they transfer 1250€ to my bank account and we'll call it quits. There, we don't even have to give the leeches a cut, win win.

    :M
     
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  9. Excommunicator Arcane

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    This sounds like nothing more than vigilantism and extortion to me.

    I have no sympathy for most piracy (although I can excuse some situations), but I have no sympathy for a company taking advantage of people and the law system to reap such rewards. "Forcing" someone to pay over a thousand dollars for a game they didn't pay $60 for initially, is worse than downloading a game illegally for free. I actually respected their attempts to reject the DRM that so many others use, but I would prefer the DRM over this kind of vigilantism.

    If they had sent out notices of a $60 fee (or better yet, for the market price of the game at the time it was downloaded), on the other hand, now that would be more acceptable. Would it be the same deterrent? No it wouldn't. But that is what police and the law are for, and if there is to be a penalty cost, then anything beyond what the market value for the product is, should have to be surrendered to the government, as any lawful fine should.


    And no, I'm not a fan of your games, with or without DRM.
     
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  10. SerratedBiz Arcane

    SerratedBiz
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    What about the costs of tracking you down and contacting you to get you to pay?
     
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  11. Excommunicator Arcane

    Excommunicator
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    If someone is going to do the job of law enforcement and track down someone who has done something illegal, then either they need to take that cost on their own, find someone to volunteer the cost as part of their business arrangement, or the government needs to pay the cost given that it is the government's job to catch criminals.

    Leaving it to lawyers to pull out a number as to how much they want to receive when their own charges are mixed in with penalty payments is as dodgy as the system for corporations declaring their profits each year. It's often just whatever number looks best at the time. That part is beside the point anyway.
     
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  12. mikaelis Prophet Patron

    mikaelis
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014
    I certainly do not have any record of CDPR suing potatoes, but I can confirm how it is (was?) done in Germany 2 years ago. We lived in the share accomodation building (prolly 9 flats in total of people knowing each other reasonably well). Bear in mind that at least half of those flats functioned as WG (2-3 people living together and not really related to each other except that they obviously knew each other) There were like two or three networks that supplied them all paid by two or three individuals who were theoretically responsible for everybody else.
    And so it happened that one of them got the letter informing him that "such and such film" was downloaded from this network blablabla. Fine: 1000 euro. Sure it was not the guy that the network was registered on, because he was abroad for 2 months at that time. Not sure how it was solved, though.

    Anyway, as much as I don't want to sound apologetic for the pirates, these measures of late introduced by CDPR make me sick. And all those "in before pirate butthurt" in this thread make me sick as well. Sure, people should not agree on such deals like sharing internet network etc., but, you know, sometimes it is hard when you seat together, talk and think that it may be cheaper if it is shared. You think that you are suppose to trust them, but you never know in reality. And it is sometimes difficult to say "no, fuck you, I don't trust you".

    I bought both TWitchers for full price and do not regret it, because I liked them a lot. But, boy!! How butthurt I would be if I was an owner of internet network shared among other people and receive such letter!!!...
     
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  13. Awor Szurkrarz Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    More like 60$ + costs of tracking them down (which they should be obliged to keep as low as possible)? And I agree with you about the fines being surrendered to the government.
     
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  14. Johnny the Mule Educated

    Johnny the Mule
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    How to profit in 3 easy steps.
    Become a lawyer company in Germany
    Create a bunch of random IP numbers and ask the provider for names
    Threaten to sue!


    Although, that scheme is coming to an end, it seems.
    Recently U+C (attorneys) started auction off 90 mio of claims!
    :lol:
    Funny thing about U+C is that they didnt lead a single court battle to date for their customers...
     
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  15. Mozgoëbstvo Learned

    Mozgoëbstvo
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    Whatever the point legitimacy of piracy, retribution HAS TO BE PROPORTIONAL TO THE CRIME COMMITTED. It's not that hard. It has been already explained by 18th century Italian philosopher Cesare Beccaria; since then the adaptation of laws to that principle has been steady. Why should this case be exceptional?
     
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  16. TripJack Prestigious Gentleman Hedonist

    TripJack
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    :lol: notorious pirates

    but no not a god damned chance you stupid polish fucks this will increase piracy of your games not decrease it

    are all the polish this retarded?
     
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  17. SCO Arcane In My Safe Space

    SCO
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    dont hate the playa


    1 year free housing food and sex from taxpayers money for offending Hollywood.

    How do you like your Do"J" now?
     
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  18. St. Toxic Arcane

    St. Toxic
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    Playing the shitty game should be punishment enough. :salute:
     
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  19. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    This.

    It isn't question of "can", it's the question of "should".

    You're extorting over 1k out of someone who might have downloaded your game because he was mildly curious about it, or even someone who was curious, satiated his curiosity and *then* bought the game legitimately, feeling safe about his - now informed - purchase. Sure, those may form the minority of your pirates, but your pirates are and will be more numerous than your legit customers - that's quite a few folks you're shaking down who have just begun to warm up to you. That's quite a problem, especially if you claim to make somewhat more intelligent games and thus target them, at least partially, at people wanting more than just naked Triss, who, being intelligent, happen to know that no gaming press will give them reliable information regarding whether your game is worth their time and they sure as fuck won't buy it blind.

    Or it might be someone who hasn't downloaded your game at all, because THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS 100% CERTAINTY.
    What then, should this person prove they aren't a camel?

    So even if you can, should you? If the law gave you tools to (warning, gross hyperbole ahead) seek those people and shoot them in the head, SS-style (too keep with the German theme) should you do it just because you can?

    And then we have this gem:
    :M

    Now, I don't want CDP, nor CDPR to fall, but I seriously hope this kind of actions kick CDPR in the balls, hard, because sometimes only this can beat sense in some people.

    Personally I haven't pirated any of the Witchers, because I could get enough opinions to know what to expect, but the catch is that in order for those opinion to count, I had to discount paid shills, and morons ready to buy their games blind. Which means I wouldn't have bought Witcher 2 was it not for piracy and pirates.

    I did, and was even satisfied overall, despite meh soundtrack, botched interface (both controls and GUI), terribly fucked alchemy, incredibly moronic QTEs, and glaringly unfinished ACT III. But I'm not sure I'm going to buy TW3.
    Because I'm frankly disgusted.
    :obviously:
     
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  20. spectre Arcane

    spectre
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    It seems potato laws are actually pretty sensible in this respect.

    First of all, downloading is not illegal, but actual file sharing is.
    The person shouldn't be arsed to verify if that wad of data is "legal" or no.
    Makes sense to prosecute the enabler.

    Speaking of which, specific culprit has to be named that did the seeding (or whatever), if the court cannot ascertain this (because the network is shared, etc.), this gives sufficient ground for dropping the charges.
    Take that Krauts.

    Given such circumstances, I'd like to see CDPR win any of their cases in potato.

    Unfortunately, potato peeps cannot into legalese and I heard many simply signed the settlement so as to "avoid trouble and not make matters worse." Which is sad, because:
    (o) It sponsors the fuckers who essentially duped you into signing it, see below.
    (o) Is not entirely legit - the pre-court settlement pulls the owned amount out of it's ass. It's the court's job to actually calculate the proper settlement terms at the trial. Setting things beforehand means jumping the gun.
    (o) It means you admit to the alleged crime. Whatever it may be.
    Hey, I think I've just found the source of their magical 100% accuracy rate.


    Speaking of notorious pirates, an interesting specimen for you monocled gentmen. I pray the irony is not lost on you.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x_Q4L99ZrY

    For those of you who cannot into moonspeak, it's a scene demo made in 1991 for an Amiga (?) release by a Mr. Martin Iwinski. He even gives his address and phone number so that guys can come over for some more hot releases. (around 1:00 - 1:10)

    Of course, this doesn't "prove" any point whatsoever. There was no copyright law in potato in 1991. No harm done.


    Bah, idealism? The guys completely lost their shit when they got all the international renown and glory. Another bad case of honores (pecunia?) mutant mores - all that intelligent target audience spiel goes down the drain when you suddenly need to make n millions to deliver the expected ROI. And that other AAA devs don't point fingers and laugh at you.

    You and me both I guess. Unfortunately, seeing how they seem to resemble the classic example of victims of their own success more and more, I doubt they will learn. I really would like them to, but fuck man, there's no going back from the AAA road.

    EDITH:
    For the record, I played the first Witcher (pirated to demo, because I'm in the habit of being turned off by the hype) up to around act 4, Vyzima iirc. where I got a massive performance hit that made it unplayable.
    Yep, game had it's charm, I even considered shelling out monies for it up to that point.

    Never had any intention of obtaining TW2 until I at least finish TW1, which isn't likely to happen in the near future, but shit like this makes me want to pirate TW2 just out of spite.
     
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  21. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    :lol: nice find.

    Well, the intelligent audiences (at the very least far more intelligent than all the vegetables wanking on the biowhore forums) are still willing to give CDPR cold, hard monies provided CDPR doesn't do something immensely derp to their IP (which I'd consider a bit of a safety risk in Poland, given how many rabid fans the books have here ;) and it's not a wise move anyway).

    Therefore, even if you're absolute pond scum, you probably still shouldn't alienate them, for example with attempted shakedowns.
     
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  22. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mrowak
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    :lol: indeed. So it's the same Marcin Iwiński - the founder of CD Projekt?
     
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  23. Grim Monk Arcane

    Grim Monk
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    $1230 is a 2050% profit if the original price was around $60.

    I'm unsure of the legality of forcing people to pay up in order protect themselves from being sued.

    Especially if court hasn't yet proved that they actually did take your stuff...
     
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  24. MasterSmithFandango Arcane

    MasterSmithFandango
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    That's fine, CDP... I bought your games and I used GOG, and I won't be doing either from here on out, so whatever. Part of the draw to the whole "no DRM" thing was that for awhile it felt like they got it, but obviously they don't, so fuck them.
     
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  25. Phelot Arcane

    Phelot
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    Has any of these lawsuits ever been successful? The mentioned Davenport Lyons firm utterly failed and ended with the two founding lawyers paying a huge fine.
     
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