Witcher Devs Playing Judge, Jury & Executioner With Alleged PiratesS

CD Projekt, the developers of the Witcher series, have been sending letters to alleged German pirates demanding over US$1,000 for having illegally copied the game.

Um, what?

Website TorrentFreak reported that through law firms the Polish developer sent "thousands" of letters to BitTorrent users, each asking for €911.80 in compensation for the accused having obtained a copy of the game without paying.

Not cool.

The problem lies not in the fact law-breakers are being pursued, but in the means of identifying these so-called pirates. While CD Projekt claims it is "100 per cent sure" that those being shook down "have downloaded our game illegally", they refuse to disclose how that information can be confirmed, or which company they are using to verify the claims.

A move for which there's probably a very good reason. As TorrentFreak pointed out, "CD Projekt's lawyers are also wrongfully accusing people who have never even heard of the game."

"After all, an IP-address doesn't identify a person, and Wi-Fi piggybacking is not unusual. But CD Projekt, who don't want to bug legitimate consumers with DRM, apparently take this collateral damage for granted."

This kind of threat-by-mail is the same used by Codemasters and Atari in 2007-2008, and which ended in farce, consumer rights groups attacking the move and a US judge labelling for what it is: a shake down.

DRM-Free Witcher 2 Cashes in On BitTorrent Pirates [TorrentFreak, via Eurogamer]