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CD Projekt refuses $16 million demand from original author for continued rights

The Witcher Free

The Witcher developer CD Projekt has told original author Andrzej Sapkowski that the company will not pay additional fees to license his content.

In a notice issued to CD Projekt he demanded 60 million Polish zlotys (more than 16 million US dollars) from CD Projekt, Sapkowski also demanded a share of profits from games and other sales as royalties. This demand comes after a previous deal to purchase rights for a lump sum rather than royalties was previously completed between the game developer and the author. The firm representing Sapkowski claims that the original deal only accounts for the first game, and that a new deal needs to be reached to cover new games and expansions.

CD Projekt said the following as part of a statement on the issue:

In the Company’s opinion the demands expressed in the notice are groundless with regard to their merit as well as the stipulated amount.

The Company had legitimately and legally acquired copyright to Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski’s work, insofar as is required for its use in games developed by the Company. All liabilities payable by the Company in association therewith have been properly discharged. It is the Company’s will to maintain good relations with authors of works which have inspired CD PROJEKT RED’s own creations.

Consequently, the Board will go to great lengths to ensure amicable resolution of this dispute; however, any such resolution must be respectful of previously expressed intents of both parties, as well as existing contracts.

The law firm representing Sapkowski had the following to say about the case:

The brief analysis presented above in no way exhausts the pool of arguments and evidence in our possession. We are fully aware of the fact that the Author’s claim expressed herein is not a typical request, and that demanding payment of dozens of millions Polish Zlotys is not an everyday occurrence.

We nevertheless wish to assure you that the case has been under preparation for a fairly long time, and that the Author is fully aware of the scenarios which may unfold depending on your actions. Even more importantly, both we and the Author are determined and prepared to see this matter through to a fully successful conclusion.

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