It was Codemasters that lost the license
You don't lose a license overnight. There are contracts and stuff.
That's right. Contracts between Codemasters and the game producers, which can in fact end overnight, if there are problems or if suspension clauses are invoked; I have no idea what actually happened. Might have been a pure calendar matter that Codemasters didn't follow up on. However, when a license to distribute is lost, the owner generally can call for an immediate halt to distribution. Happens all the time. There are movies that can't be released, music albums that have been withdrawn without notice, plays that are shut down for contract violations. People always get angry at the last guy holding the bag, but they are usually not the ones who caused the problem - shit rolls downhill.
GOG is not a holder of property. They may want to give more time, but if a distributor loses the right to distribute a game then a retailer may not continue to sell it. The goods at that point are not theirs to sell. People here go on as if there is a choice involved, and there isn't any.