Sapkowski (author of The Witcher universe) wants ~16 million USD from CD Projekt

not just business class...but they need to 'feel' less and 'think' more.

Those supporting Sapkowski are literally taking the idea of 'agreement' and taking a piss at it because 'feelings'.

The idea one can backtrack due to change of hearts on a legal binding agreement one wholeheartedly agrees on then, without being misdirected or duped, is ludicrous. This is just madness. It's like agreements doesn't matter...it's all about feelings.
it sounds fair to me.

Sounds like a remuneration depending on the value of the IP

The IP is now worth exponentially more than what it used to be and what he initially sold it for so he will be compensated for that.

This will go to court and the judgement will set a precedence for the future.

If Sapkowski won this suit, than Poland Authors can literally kiss their chance at anyone wanting to license their stuff in the future.

So many of you guys here are thinking in terms of 'moral' POV. The law is NEVER about 'morals'. The law is about 'fair'. This law literally just shits on any forms of legally binding agreements because of 'feelings'. It's literally an 'unfair' law.
Said law sounds like the opposite of what you are saying...it would side with Polish authors
 
Last edited:
The people that cheer on him to succeed don't understand how a business and licensing works whatsoever. It was his choice to get paid upfront.

It's like an actor would ask to be payed upfront because he has no faith in the movie to be successful enough to ask for % of earnings, and then change his mind when the movie did turn successful.

Suck it up Sapkowski.
 
Just pay the man, his work is basicly the reason CDPR is so succesful. CDPR loves telling people they are the good guys, why not do a good thing and pay him a fair share, I’m sure they can afford it.
He was paid a fair share that he already agreed upon.

The letter is borderline blackmail. After that, he definitely doesn't (morally) deserve anything else.
 
I never understand people wanting a one-time fixed sum instead of a lower sum + percentage of sales/profits. Granted, these kind of regrets are always in hindsight, but there's something about my principle that I would continuously like to profit from my work, even if the initial fixed-sum is much lower than without a percentage.
 
Whether or not it’s your concern, It is his IP. It is his art.


And legally he will get some money from it



I’m not siding with him...the guy seems like an ass and he did fuck up.

But he will get his portion.

CDPR defense force is something else lol
So you would consider all works based on a IP, the art of the IP creator? So the Wheel of Time books that were written by a completely different person than the IP creator, are the IP creators art?

I do not support the idea that works of art created by someone, even if the basis was created by someone else, is not their art. Especially in CD Projekts case, where they did all the (for lack of a better word) work. Sapkowski was hands off. CD Projekt fleshed out their take on the world, their take on the characters, their take on the story.
 
Laws do that all the time though, that's how most of consumer protection laws work.
like i mentioned in my previous post, the law isn't (and shouldn't) be about feelings and emotion. The law is about fairness. The law doesn't prejudice or discriminate between the large corporation and the little guys, in the eyes of the law, both entities are exactly the same. It's up to the lawmakers obviously to device/propose a law to help a little guys but that's the job of the lawmakers, not the law itself. Saying this however, lawmakers will do well exercise caution in trying to tilt laws to far into one side to the point that it seems unbalance.

In this case, i can't comment on that specific polish laws since i'm not polish but from where i came from, the idea that one can retroactively negates an original agreement is a slap on the very idea of an agreement in the first place.

Imagine me giving you a written cheque of a thousand dollar when i am a middle-class worker. That's the original amount i've agreed to pay you and you agreed to receive. You didn't cash the cheque. Years later, i became a millionaire and you decided to add 3 zeros at the back of that cheque and edit it to say a million because "i can afford it" and "you need the money".

What the hell?
 
If I lucked out and made a really good licensing deal for a franchise I really admired and wanted to adapt it to something else, and if it then became really successful and the original creator later regretted lowballing the original deal, I would have no problems giving him more money to share the success even if he isn't entitled to it. But that's just me.
You see I'm here as well but then I can understand him not getting anything since he has talked a lot of shit.
 
Last edited:
He was paid a fair share that he already agreed upon.

The letter is borderline blackmail. After that, he definitely doesn't (morally) deserve anything else.
The letter reads like a ransom note, but you must be joking if you consider 35.000 PLN "fair share". They'll settle and make it go away.
 
So polish the law encourage authors to take the risk free upfront money when making a deal with their licence, then if it become successfull you lawyer up so that you get the more advantageous deal ?
 
I can really empathize with his frustration but unfortunately life isn't fair and capitalism doesn't work like this.

It's a shame to see someone make millions with the world and characters you created, but now he's paying the price of his lack of foresight.
 
The basic thing that you need to know right now is that Polish courts are absolutely unpredictable.

In case the deal specifically allows making one single game, CDPR's lawyers screwed up royally for not noticing earlier.

In case this will hang on "unfair compensation" clause, I would heavily doubt Sapkowski will get that cash. The ratio thing is a pseudo-precedent, but Polish law doesn't have de jure precedents, and at any rate, CDPR can argue the situation is different. AFAIK Metropolis or whatever the company who originally made a deal was called explicitly considered a percentage based deal and Sapkowski opted out thinking the thing will fail. If CDPR manages to establish this, one would really need to screw with definition of "fair" to consider this unfair.

Of course there is also an alternative option of court not being sideless. Aside from direct connections to either side, don't forget CDPR kept a lawsuit against the treasury office regarding the tariff thing with Optimus, the PC maker they took over in order to get into the stock market. I'd actually think this influencing the court's opinion is more likely than regular connections.
 
They weren't huge back then. They almost went bankrupt after the first Witcher game.
Yes, after. When the financial crisis hit. Sapkowski signed that deal 5 years earlier. They were huge in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and other Eastern European countries. They then pumped all their distribution business money into the game for 5 years.
 
I've been a fan of Sapkowski's work since 1990s, way before there were any games or before he got international recognition, but... His books are really good, but the man is a bit of a jerk.

He should be happy the games catapulted him into worldwide fame and got him the Netflix deal. Trying to wringe some skrilla out of CDPR now is just shitty.
 
it sounds fair to me.

Sounds like a remuneration depending on the value of the IP

The IP is now worth exponentially more than what it used to be and what he initially sold it for so he will be compensated for that.




The law sounds like the opposite of what you are saying...it would side with Polish authors

That sounds fair to you NOW.

An agreement was reached between all parties THEN.

So you are saying the original agreement shouldn't be enforced and honored?

Then why bother having a legal binding agreements if you can just change on a whim in the future?
 
AFAIK Metropolis or whatever the company who originally made a deal was called explicitly considered a percentage based deal and Sapkowski opted out thinking the thing will fail. If CDPR manages to establish this, one would really need to screw with definition of "fair" to consider this unfair.
CD Projekt signed a seperate deal. They didn't inherit the one reached by Metropolis.
 
He's a hypocrite and it was one of the reasons. He took the 10k.
There is nothing hypocrical about that, you are allowed to think something is a waste of time while still thinking you are owed money. ( not saying he actually is owed anything more than what he got in the contact).
 
Yes, after. When the financial crisis hit. Sapkowski signed that deal 5 years earlier. They were huge in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and other Eastern European countries. They then pumped all their distribution business money into the game for 5 years.
They filled a niche, and surely they weren't a "huge" corporation compared to their contemparies like the studio that made the mafia games and the media group Agora. That much is a stretch.

The last thing anyone would call netflix a corporation at its relative beginnings.
 
Didn't CDPR offer him the chance to renegotiate terms a while back? Like, I'm sure they realise they got the license for a song back then and after the series became big they offered him a chance for a bigger cut but he declined.

He’s doing it for a settlement that’ll be much less, and they’ll probably do it to save time and potentially money. Just get him to sign an NDA so he can’t keep running his mouth.
Yeah, this is hopefully the end result. Pay him a final settlement to stop running his mouth about the damn games. The dude seems so hateful and bitter, without even realising the popularity of the books have increased massively thanks to the games.
 
Large is relative. In either case the author refused to take royalties and took the lump sum and bounced. That's the point here. The rest is really a pointless discussion of the known details of the deal and the aftermath of multiple offers after that were refused.


No one even knew what the hell witcher was outside of eastern Europe. Their the reason the IP is even in the heads of millions upon millions. This isn't lord of the rings or Harry potter.
What does it matter how popular it was before? It does not change the fact that the games derive from his work and uses his lore and characters.
 
There would be no Witcher without him. I were CD Projekt right now, I'd settle for something I think is fair. IMO, It's not a good look to deny the original creator his due, even if he was an idiot more than 10 years ago. I would just feel slimy making money off someone else's property, while knowing he got stiffed.
 
What does it matter how popular it was before? It does not change the fact that the games derive from his work and uses his lore and characters.
He made that choice. Himself.

No one else.


Also the original poster made the point. So of course it doesn't matter to you.
 
If I lucked out and made a really good licensing deal for a franchise I really admired and wanted to adapt it to something else, and if it then became really successful and the original creator later regretted lowballing the original deal, I would have no problems giving him more money to share the success even if he isn't entitled to it. But that's just me.
No company is going to do that unless it becomes too big of an issue and they are forced to settle. It's really unfortunate to see you originally created become so popular and you not getting anything out of it but a deal is a deal. Also, a huge portion of Witcher's success is CD's efforts and not the story or lore.
 
If I lucked out and made a really good licensing deal for a franchise I really admired and wanted to adapt it to something else, and if it then became really successful and the original creator later regretted lowballing the original deal, I would have no problems giving him more money to share the success even if he isn't entitled to it. But that's just me.
Have you ever read an interview from the guy? He's a huge asshole. Considering he decided the terms of the contract himself and that he's spoken ill of games and CD Projekt Red ever since, I doubt anyone in their position would do what you say, and rightly so.
 
And that's why the law exists. To insure a mistake like that doesn't happen.
The law exists to make sure that people who turned down lucrative deals, and chose the reward over the risk, are allowed to change their minds when it turns out that they made a bad decision? What world do you live in?
 
And that's why the law exists. To insure a mistake like that doesn't happen.
It wasn't a mistake...how can a known choice. Be a mistake? it can only be a "mistake" in hindsight years after. Even though their were multiple offers refused after by him again abd the original deal had him dictating the terms.


I mean his own words hurt him really

"The game - with all due respect to it, but let's finally say it openly - is not an 'alternative version', nor a sequel. The game is a free adaptation containing elements of my work; an adaptation created by different authors"
 
Last edited:
Some incredibly insular views here.

Just because most people in the UK and US hadn't hears about this book series doesn't mean they didn't have some cultural cache in some parts of the world. Why the heck would CD Projeckt bother licencing it otherwise. Why not just make genric fantasy game?

The author's attitude is also totally irrelevant.

I'm trying to avoid talking about laws as I have no expertise but I would like to think there is some way to legally re-assess an agreement such as this. Otherwise a large company is shafting an individual creator because and many people are celebrating that because "he doesn't like games".
 
Some incredibly insular views here.

Just because most people in the UK and US hadn't hears about this book series doesn't mean they didn't have some cultural cache in some parts of the world. Why the heck would CD Projeckt bother licencing it otherwise. Why not just make genric fantasy game?

The author's attitude is also totally irrelevant.

I'm trying to avoid talking about laws as I have no expertise but I would like to think there is some way to legally re-assess an agreement such as this. Otherwise a large company is shafting an individual creator because and many people are celebrating that because "he doesn't like games".
The point is no one outside a few even knew what the Witcher series was. That's the point. An the big reason why the books and the games are known to the wider world. Is due to CD efforts to promote that work and the games. That's why it's relevant.
 
That sounds fair to you NOW.

An agreement was reached between all parties THEN.

So you are saying the original agreement shouldn't be enforced and honored?

Then why bother having a legal binding agreements if you can just change on a whim in the future?
Yes?

the creator may demand an appropriate increase in remuneration by the court."

By law it sounds like he can. Sounds fair to me for any author or artist whose works become something huge

This isn’t a common case and i can’t imagine a lawyer would take any case to court unless it was a substantial IP like this one. Now that it’s about to be a big TV show sounds like it might even help him.

I find it funny thinking some people here wouldn’t do the same thing in his position.
 
If I lucked out and made a really good licensing deal for a franchise I really admired and wanted to adapt it to something else, and if it then became really successful and the original creator later regretted lowballing the original deal, I would have no problems giving him more money to share the success even if he isn't entitled to it. But that's just me.
That may seem like the correct thing to do, but you would really just opening yourself up for being sued.

If you are willingly giving him money for his work you are practically admitting to screwing him over in the original deal.
 
I may be wrong but he comes across as the type of guy who might've thought videogames were silly things and didn't took them seriously and thus denied himself the deal of his life because there was no way a videogame adaptation could ever eclipse his original novels.
 

werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Ideally, if you're doing a licensing deal, you would want to receive both a flat fee and royalties to cover your bases. I'm very curious if that was an option or if the only options offered were a flat fee or royalties.

As far as this particular case goes, it really depends heavily on 1) how clear the contract is on whether or not the licensing is for a single game or in perpetuity and 2) if the court decides the contract was a form of unfair remuneration.

As to why this particular individual would choose a flat fee over royalties, a quick trip to Wikipedia says that in the late 90s, a company licensed the rights to make a Witcher video game but ended up cancelling the game mid-development. So if that license had been purely royalties, he would have received nothing from the deal. And if you've already had one failed video game adaptation attempt, it makes sense to be more skeptical about future attempts.
 
Yes?

the creator may demand an appropriate increase in remuneration by the court."

By law it sounds like he can. Sounds fair to me for any author or artist whose works become something huge

This isn’t a common case and i can’t imagine a lawyer would take any case to court unless it was a substantial IP like this one. Now that it’s about to be a big TV show sounds like it might even help him.
What a shakey law. I wonder how it's done in court.
 
Some incredibly insular views here.

Just because most people in the UK and US hadn't hears about this book series doesn't mean they didn't have some cultural cache in some parts of the world. Why the heck would CD Projeckt bother licencing it otherwise. Why not just make genric fantasy game?

The author's attitude is also totally irrelevant.

I'm trying to avoid talking about laws as I have no expertise but I would like to think there is some way to legally re-assess an agreement such as this. Otherwise a large company is shafting an individual creator because and many people are celebrating that because "he doesn't like games".
People are celebrating because the guy is a bitter asshole that has always talk shit about CDPr and the medium.
 
The letter reads like a ransom note, but you must be joking if you consider 35.000 PLN "fair share". They'll settle and make it go away.
He's not joking.
Fair in this case doesn't mean what you think he's owed.
Fair means what he asked for. At the time, he asked for 10K, he got 10K. It's his fault he didn't trust the franchise enough to ask for royalties. He got what he asked for, so he got his fair share.

I don't understand why people think he should be paid more retroactively.

Of course, unless there's a law saying so.

And there is.
Polish law says otherwise. At the end of the day this is a Polish author suing a Polish company under Polish law.
Can you guys tell me more about this law?

I'll be honest with you: I doubt it's true as that would invalidate any form of contract, and it would mean anyone can get paid retroactively, regardless of what he signed.
I'm actually doing a game myself, and since I can't afford paying for professionals, I hired some guy from deviantart to make some things for my game. He refused royalties (and I can't blame him) and we agreed on a flat rate.
You're telling me that under this law, if by some elder god miracle my game becomes successful he can later sue me for millions even though he denied wanting royalties?
That sounds illogical. So basically contracts don't matter anymore?
 
The point is no one outside a few even knew what the Witcher series was. That's the point. An the big reason why the books and the games are known to the wider world. Is due to CD efforts to promote that work and the games. That's why it's relevant.
I have to correct you yet again. The Witcher books were known, and sold millions of copies across Europe. It's not "few". First you claimed CD Projekt was a tiny company, now that "few" people heard about The Witcher. What's the next hyperbole?
 
I'm trying to avoid talking about laws as I have no expertise but I would like to think there is some way to legally re-assess an agreement such as this. Otherwise a large company is shafting an individual creator because and many people are celebrating that because "he doesn't like games".
The law says that he has sold his property, it is a done deal. You should not go into your emotional arguments about large companies and individuals, because they are irrelevant.

And if you want to argue about what is fair, and what should be the outcome without considering the law:

The product was worth that minescule amount of money before CDPR spent 10 years working on it to the point where it is today. His books sold a lot more copies because the game made people interested in the books. Witcher (NOT Witcher the game) got the show deal with the Netflix. He thought that the property (game rights) was junk. CDPR made him a lot of money indirectly, and instead of saying that you for making the Witcher a brand it is today, he attacks CDPR.
 
Top