Witcher 2 devs suing pirates, claim to be sure who downloaded illegally

By on December 19, 2011, 7:00 AM

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was very well received last May, gathering mostly positive reviews with an aggregate critics' score of 90/100 according to our Product Finder. The game was made exclusively for the PC -- and unlike many others a console version is in the works for later release and not the other way around -- and since the launch of patch 1.1, The Witcher 2 was made DRM-free for all.

That certainly spells confidence on the platform, as developer CD Projekt is said to have sold over a million copies of the game thus far. That's not only thing they feel confident about however. The Polish developer is going after pirates of the game, claiming that only people who they are sure downloaded a copy of the game illegally are receiving a threat of legal action, not very different to the pay-up-or-else scheme used by other organizations that track torrent downloads.

“We’re addressing only 100% confirmed piracy causes that are 100% possible to prove,” said Michal Nowakowski, CD Projekt's VP of Business Development to PC Gamer. “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 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.”

Reports indicate that in the past few months several batches of notices have been sent in Germany asking for a settlement equivalent to 911,80 euros ($1190) as compensation for illegally obtaining a copy of the game. TorrentFreak estimates over a thousand of these letters have been sent in this country alone, while worldwide piracy for The Witcher 2 (measured in BitTorrent downloads) is around 2 million copies.

It's also known CD Projekt is relying on an unnamed third party to monitor downloads and target individuals based on that information, though once again the company is claiming 100% accuracy on who is receiving legal threats. Michal Nowakowski said to PC Gamer they haven't had to go to court yet on any of these cases and that the real settlement sum asked from pirates is lower than the figure circling around the web.




User Comments: 28

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Mudvayne819 said:

rofl i would so counter that letter in court.. sorry your highness the game was just there to download it, couldnt resist clicking it. I wasl ooking for minesweeper b ut it was witcher 2... so sad

Guest said:

"We're addressing only 100% confirmed piracy causes that are 100% possible to prove"

Yeah, cause if they sent a letter to the wrong person they would just say they downloaded it even if the person has never even heard of the game.

k9182000 said:

Most likely it would cost you a lot more to fight it in court so most people just pay even if they didn't download it. No tracing technique will work 100% ever heard of open WI-FI or just brute force a WEP or WPA AP key. I laugh at the 100% HAHAHAHA

Guest said:

"We're addressing only 100% confirmed piracy causes that are 100% possible to prove"

Yeah, cause if they sent a letter to the wrong person they would just say they downloaded it even if the person has never even heard of the game.

Sounds like your sweating. I say go for it, I wouldn't mind. Simply put, if your not paying for it your stealing!

fimbles fimbles said:

How would they go about making 100% certain they actually pirated the game?

What with botnets, spyware, viruses, unsecured wireless networks ect? Unless they found you in possesion of a clearly labled hard copy i guess?

k9182000 said:

Guest said:

Sounds like your sweating. I say go for it, I wouldn't mind. Simply put, if your not paying for it your stealing!

What about the people that get this letter that haven't downloaded the game but can't afford to fight it in court so they just send the money. So who's stealing from who????

A far justice system is where everyone gets a far go not just the rich.

Guest said:

What is illegal, downloading the game or using it without paying for it?

People can download the game and never use it, is that illegal?

If someone download the game then give me a copy is it illegal since I didn't download it?

Guest said:

This is a good example of why developers avoid makeing games native to the PC anymore. They are so easily pirated, and the company makes no profit from console sales. It is a shame...

*sigh* More console ports...

Guest said:

They need to come up with a way to tie a copy of the game with with the purchasers credit card. If their copy hits the torrent sites, they get billed for every copy downloaded.

They need to go after the people that put up the torrent.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"We are not worried about tracking the wrong people. As this is the trade secret of the company working on this"

So the Pollocks enlisted the help of the CIA? Seriously though, if there is anything that is 100% certain, it is that nothing is 100% certain. Even fingerprint matches aren't 100%, as there is ALWAYS some degree of error.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I guess to be 100% sure they must have gone to the people's homes and watched them clicked the download button on TPB? Then waited for it to finish download and install and then play the game?

TrueBooleanFals TrueBooleanFals said:

They're suing pirates? They are 100% sure!? Im gonna go download it now! Oh, my grandma doesn't have internets, she lives in a plastic enforced cardboard box, yeah, there goes social security for you. She better not get a letter in the mail about pirating anything. The library here won't let you save anything to the HDD and it would take too long, they'd notice.

tehbanz tehbanz said:

slh28 said:

I guess to be 100% sure they must have gone to the people's homes and watched them clicked the download button on TPB? Then waited for it to finish download and install and then play the game?

they claim it's a trade secret, $10 says SOMEONE at torrentfreak knows said secret and is potentially being paid to not leak this information? Other than shoulder surfing how can they be 100% with all the precautions people take these days..

for example a seedbox, who gets in trouble in that regard? sounds like we've got a real "witch hunt" on our hands *puts on sunglasses* yeaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

it isn't certain they can have 100% of illegal owners, with all the variables that exists, yet i would recommend great care for those who do not wish some sanctions, it has begun & soon enough people will see that it is still possible to catch a lot of wrongdoers online & even if they do catch 1 over 1 Million, this 1 would be 100% guilty.

cheers!

venomblade said:

And this is why I don't torrent! RS and MU ftw

Guest said:

I guess this is how the Polish justice system works. A kangaroo court.

Judge says "Defendant, the claimant is 100% sure. Therefore you are guilty as charged."

Nonsense. Is this fellow mentally all there?

Sbdb said:

k9182000 said:

Most likely it would cost you a lot more to fight it in court so most people just pay even if they didn't download it. No tracing technique will work 100% ever heard of open WI-FI or just brute force a WEP or WPA AP key. I laugh at the 100% HAHAHAHA :)

You're funny, because WIFI has Z-E-R-O to do with this you silly kid. They don't even trace, they just grab your IP address and contact your ISP. You better start saving some money son....wink, wink.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I love all the people that talk like they understand the technical aspect of the tracing method in question. 99% of you people don't know what an IRQ is.

Guest said:

My guess at how this 100% proof system works is that they compare an IP of a downloaded copy of the game, with an IP of an active player IN the game.

Thus, if someone has been logged on a public tracker downloading the game and later playing it, they have 100% proof.

So yes, that kind of system would bypass those that use public wifi networks and so on.

tehbanz tehbanz said:

You're funny, because WIFI has Z-E-R-O to do with this you silly kid. They don't even trace, they just grab your IP address and contact your ISP. You better start saving some money son....wink, wink.

I think the point he is trying to make (and i've heard of this working in the past) is you tell your ISP/acuser that you have unsecured wi-fi and someone must have connected to your Wi-fi just to pirate said torrent. generally this follows by your ISP saying "Oh, well let's secure that" and them walking you through adding WPA or using remote tools to help secure your wi-fi (logmein) and then say "If it happens again now its your fault"

jetkami said:

Guest said:

This is a good example of why developers avoid makeing games native to the PC anymore. They are so easily pirated, and the company makes no profit from console sales. It is a shame...

*sigh* More console ports...

Are you aware of how easy it is to pirate xbox, playstation games? People were doing consoles and selling multiple games on a cd back in the day. now alot of peeps just have modded xbox etc.

treetops treetops said:

They probably have something in our computers like smart phones to track everything we do.

fimbles fimbles said:

What if someone is hacking your wirless network?

Guest said:

Even if they can track with 100% accuracy, even if they do send letters to the wrong ppl, I think the point the company sueing the pirates is trying to make is simple. "DONT STEAL OUR STUFF WE WANT OUR MONEY!"

Its a sad state of affairs when ppl will sit there and find any excuse to not have ANY personal accountablility. Oh its on the internet it must be free.....BS. If a random group of ppl attacked your home and stole everything you owned and you only recognised 2-3 of them, you would go after those 2-3. Now I know all the ppl out there are going to blast me for this but it has to be said.

They just want what is rightfully theirs. Why is it so difficult for ppl to see?? If someone took YOUR money, you would want it back. You would want it back immediatly. Its no different from them. So what if you downloaded it for free. You knew what you were doing and knew there might be risks but did it anyways.

Cant have a double standard in this case.

Guest said:

^ in reply to the post above:

I pirate cuz I can. And obviously they didn't catch 100% of the pirates, cuz I pirated it and I have not received anything, took every care when I stole it and my country doesn't allow anyone to sue me over this.

Curiously I was thinking about finishing this game today. Maybe I'm gonna mount it again ?

Suck on that, now.

Guest said:

PC pirates should be "dealt with" plain and simple.

These thugs have ruined the best gaming platform and brought on the scourge of the console.

Guest said:

Replace the word "Game" with "stolen goods" and then reappraise your comments.

Guest said:

"We're addressing only 100% confirmed piracy causes that are 100% possible to prove"

Wow - that's great technology. What's next? An unsinkable ship?

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