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Published on January 17th, 2012 | by Dan

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CD Projekt RED Not Alone in Piracy Witch Hunts

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CD Projekt RED was in hot water for its harassment of software pirates over the past few months. The studio had been aggressively publicizing its efforts to hunt down each and every person who pirated The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings; however, they recently ceased these efforts completely, citing a desire to stay in the gaming community’s good graces as a factor. It now appears that CD Projekt RED wasn’t the only one using this intrusive method to come after pirates.

An apparent loophole in German privacy laws allows publishers to basically harass and threaten individual victims via letter for a paid settlement, and an investigation by Torrentfreak has dug up some information on what other companies are using the loophole. Among them are Atari, the local distributors for games by Lucasarts, Square Enix (Deus Ex: Human Revolution), Techland (Dead Island), and Codemasters. There are some very big names in there, and they were all threatening people with lawsuits of up to €800 (around $1020). Surprisingly missing from the list is common DRM and piracy whipping boy Ubisoft, who stopped the practice three years ago (opting to employ intrusive DRM in its games instead).

Now that several of these companies have been outed, we can only hope they follow CD Projekt RED’s example and cease these reprehensible practices.

 

Image courtesy of Pirates Hold

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nipnops

DanDan

I put the OO in Swagoo. One of the founders of KBMOD. I stream on Twitch as well as writing and editing for the website.


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  • nipnops

    Just no good here.

  • casserole

    I don’t get why you seem to be so against this, it does exactly what we all want. If done right it doesn’t harm the experience of the honest gamer but stops the pirates and deters potential scallywags from starting to pirate. Maybe the they were a bit strong in their application but it matters not to the people who actually bought the game, way better than DRM. They can continue in their reprehensible practices as long as they get the right people.
    Stand up for honesty not the rights of pirates!!!

    • That’s the exact issue: getting the right people. It’s been well-documented over the years that content owners have taken legal action against many innocent people in schemes like these. Determining an infringer’s identity with just an IP address can be extremely difficult, if not outright impossible. Trying to intimidate alleged infringers by sending them a settlement offer letter that’s tantamount to blackmail is NOT the right way for any company to go about protecting their intellectual property.

      • casserole

        I completely agree and I like the cut of your jibe but I still believe targeting the pirates is the way to go. I suppose we can hope that for the casual pirate the threat of these threats (?) is enough for them to reconsider their own reprehensible practices.

  • Clit Commander

    Yeah, I’m not sure what the point in these articles is.

    If you’ve either legally purchased the game, or have no intention of playing it, what’s to be upset about?

    Seems to me that the only people who should be afraid to check the mail would be people who didn’t legally acquire the game, and really, what moral high ground are you claiming when the publisher/developer wants to file suit?

    Since no one has asked, what is YOUR perfect solution? What would you have these companies do?

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