Moons ago, the creator of The Witcher, Andrzej Sapkowski, contractually agreed to a set amount of money to let CD Projekt RED -- then a fledgling studio -- have at his IP as they saw fit. That contract was absolute, and the amount of money he agreed to, and received, is but a fraction of the actual success of the series of games from the developer. And in seeing his stories handled arguably better than he ever did, and thus being commercially successful, he's trying to get some more dollerydoos. But CD Projekt RED aren't buying it.
Because they already bought it. Moreover, as highlighted in the source news piece over at Eurogamer, he's successfully landed a Netflix series (who hasn't though), so his quest to seek out the reported PLN 60 million (AUD $22,717,827) comes with some question marks. CD Projekt RED openly released the claim, in an effort to maintain total transparency stating that "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". They followed this up, however, by stating they have no ill-will towards the claim and only wish to "maintain good relations with authors of works which have inspired CD Projekt Red's own creations". They intend to find a solution to the claim that benefits both parties, but whether or not Sapowski settles beyond his initial claim, or even at all, will remain to be seen.
We'll follow this one closely, but it should be noted the author has been salty about the situation with his IP's success in the hands of CD Projekt RED for a number of years, but the studio has hid nothing, and legally crossed every T and dotted every I. Where do you stand on his claims?
There was no guarantee that the games would be successful, They could have flopped and he would have not given a f*** about it because he got his $10k for letting them use his IP.
I can understand how he feels though, it's like selling a piece of jewelry for $200 then the person who bought it, sells it on for $2000 because it turns out it was valuable or someone really wanted it. But that is how life goes though. Perhaps he should have done a bit of research or asked someone who knows about video games before he signed it away, he could have gotten a bit more cash from the start.
I think CDPRs case is watertight and the guy will lose but perhaps they might settle with him just to maintain good relations. Hell, perhaps he could be a bit more involved with it or something.
His books are great, but for myself and the majority outside of Poland would never have read them had it not been for the games. Even after his increase in book sales and this new Netflix series he's still bitter he made the wrong bet. This whole situation reflects nothing but poorly on him.
I do think CDPR will give him abit of a payout from this but nothing close to what he is asking.
Rather than going down the avenue he has taken, he should take this as a learning lesson to enter into better contracts next time.
Bladerunner - It's more like some miner picks up a rough gemstone, sells it off for $200 and then starts whining when the jeweler polishes it up and sets it in some hand-crafted jewelry and it sells for $2000 at auction.
He only gave them a small part of the whole and was content with the price, but then starts whining when people appreciate the work someone else did to make it shine.
Everyone is missing a really important piece to this weird puzzle: The author is using a uniquely Polish law to ask for more remuneration:
In the event of a gross discrepancy between the remuneration of the author and the benefits of the acquirer of authorâ€™s economic rights or the licensee, the author may request that the court should duly increase his remuneration.https://segmentnext.com/2018/10/03/polish-law-say-against-andrzej-sapkowski/
The law tries to protect creators who are just starting out from getting royally f***ed by companies abusing their power. I'm not going to argue capitalistic ideologies, risk/reward arguments but it's important to note the author of The Witcher was given the choice between a lump sum payment or a percentage of sales.
I was stupid enough to sell the rights to the whole bunch. The offered percentage from the profits and I said No.
He's gone on record to say video games are dumb entertainment for idiots.
Yeah i read something on reddit (lol authoritative af) that said under this polish law hes legit got a good chance of winning