A payment of 60 million Polish zlotys
Andrzej Sapkowski, the author of The Witcher novel series has come back to CD Projekt Red with demands for more money citing Polish copyright law. It’s all legalese and I’m only certified to practice Bird Law on a one square mile patch of dirt in northeast Philadelphia but I’ll try to translate where I can.
On October 1st, Mr. Sapkowski’s legal team filed a demand for further payment from CD Projekt Red citing Article 44 of Polish Copyright Law. Going off of the 1994 Act of Copyright and Related Rights this article states that:
In the event of gross discrepancy between the remuneration of the author and the benefits of the acquirer of the author’s economic rights or the licensee, the author may request the court for a due increase of his/her remuneration.
Mr. Sapkowksi’s team then demands a payment of 60 million Polish zlotys (~$16,143,353 USD) on the grounds that the standard royalty rate for use of an intellectual property is between 5-15%, and 60 million PLN equals around 6% of their reported 1 billion PLN profit from 2017.
The legal filing then makes a claim that the original terms of the contract might not even be legal any more as Mr. Sapkowski’s interpretation of the contract states that it only covered the first in a series of games, and that any further games or expansions would be “simply speaking, unlawful.” According to the filing, CD Projekt Red has 14 days to comply before legal paperwork will be filed: litigation will be initiated with no further requests or communications.
Despite the filing from Mr. Sapkowski’s team stating that they will not go public with this filing, the investors at CD Projekt decided to take it public. In their press release, CD Projekt states that they believe the filing is baseless as the terms of the original contract have been fulfilled but they are open to negotiations so long as previously agreed upon contracts remain intact. This could very well go to court.
If you’d like to read the full reports you can find them at the sourcing links below, all documents have been translated into English by the CD Projekt team from their original written Polish language.
Receipt of a demand for payment submitted on behalf of Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski [CD Projekt]