CD Projekt, the oft-admired developer and publisher known for The Witcher series and its cool stance on offering DRM-free products to its customers, fell from the community's grace in December. A story surfaced that the company was using a copyright trolling law firm in Germany to send demand letters to people who had been identified as having illegally downloaded The Witcher 2. The company said at the time that it did this because, while it was all for offering its products without copyright protection, it did not support its games being pirated.
Fans were obviously not happy about this - not because they think piracy is right - but because law firms like the ones they used often demand way too much money and more often target the wrong people.
Today CD Projekt has changed its mind on that practice, issuing an open letter to the community explaining its position a bit better and promising to drop the practice altogether (thanks to Technogeek for the tip):
"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
We applaud CD Projekt's decision to stop working with predatory law firms and we agree that fans must respect the hard work that all developers put into their games. One of the ways we can show respect is by paying for them.