Polish author ‘Andrzej Sapkowski’ has threatened ‘CD Projekt Red’ with legal actions unless he’s paid a total of $16.1 million. ‘CD Projekt Red’ calls the threat ‘groundless’ and ‘almost laughable.’
Article 44 of Poland’s 1994
Polish copyright law states the ‘Andrzej Sapkowski’ is undoubtedly entitled to a share of the royalties earned in terms of sales from ‘The Witcher’ purely because of how much the company has profited. Citing ‘Poland’s’ Article 44 1994 copyright law, ‘Andrzej’s’ lawyers stated that, “article 44 may be invoked when the compensation remitted to the author is too low given the benefits obtained in association with the use of that author’s work.” In lament’s terms, the author is entitled to a share of the royalties, regardless of any agreements made prior if the company has earned such a large amount of money that the original amount paid to the author becomes minuscule. Lawyers of ‘Andrzej’ also stated the agreement that ‘Andrzej’ and ‘CD Projekt Red’ agreed upon only applies to the first ‘Witcher’ game and not future sequals. ‘CD Projekt Red’ denies this allegation.
“All liabilities payable by the Company in association therewith have been properly discharged,”
-‘CD Projekt Red’
‘Andrzej’ and ‘CD Projekt Red’s’ Agreement
Back when ‘Andrzej’ decided to sell the rights to ‘CD Projekt Red’ to recreate and reuse ‘The Witcher’ story, ‘CD Projekt Red’ offered him a share of the profit. He, instead refused the offer and stated, “‘No, there will be no profit at all – give me all my money right now! The whole amount.” So, in the end, the company paid him a sum of $9,600. In an interview, he did admit that what he did was ‘foolish’ and in hindsight, was idiotic.
In comparison, ‘The Witcher 3’ had total sales of $250 million. ‘Andrzej’ was only paid $9,600 by ‘CD Projekt Red’ because he demanded that they handed over the money immediately.
“I was stupid enough to sell them rights to the whole bunch, They offered me a percentage of their profits. I said, ‘No, there will be no profit at all – give me all my money right now! The whole amount.”
-‘Andrzej’ told ‘Eurogamer’