Witcher Novelist Demanding $16M in Royalties from CD Projekt Red
Andrezj Sapkowski, author of the eight book Witcher novel series, has sent an "official demand" to CD Projekt Red for an additional $16M USD in royalties that would be added to payments he has already collected. Sapkowski originally made a deal with CDPR in the early 2000s to sell the rights to The Witcher. "The compensation remitted to the author is too low given the benefits obtained in association with the use of the author's work". The 'demand' is for 6% "of the profits obtained'.
According to PCGamesN, the legal precedent for the demand is Article 44 of Poland's Act on Copyright and Related Rights "which occurs in the event of gross discrepancy between an author's renumeration and the benefits accrued by the licensee". Sapkowski, the lawyers maintain, felt that the deal only covered "the first in a series of games, and therefore distribution of all other games, including their expansions, add-ons, etc., is simply speaking unlawful".
CD Projekt Red (via Eurogamer) has posted a response to the receipt of the communication from Sapkowski's legal team:
The Management Board of CD PROJEKT S.A. with a registered office in Warsaw, Jagiello?ska 74, hereby announces that on 1 October 2018 the Company received an official demand for payment filed by plenipotentiaries of Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski.
The notice indicates that Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski expects payment of additional royalties beyond what had been contractually agreed upon between himself and the Company. The contents of the notice are attached to this report.
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, i.a. 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.