It’s not as hard as you would think to get restitution for copyright infringement without hiring an attorney.
Having an attorney write a letter on your behalf is not the same as “hiring” an attorney. Most Junior attorneys will write a letter to the culpable party for free or a small fee just for the experience and they needn’t be a copyright attorney. Or you can write and send the letter yourself.
- You’ll need to prove you’re the owner of the work, which isn’t that hard.
- You’ll also need to have the address of the culpable party if you know it, but first check to see if their DMCA agent is listed here…https://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/list/a_agents.htm because you must contact a DMCA agent if one exists.
The attorney will send this as a “cease and desist” letter with an offer to purchase copyright use from you in order to continue use of your work. You determine what that’s worth to you. Either you or the attorney can send this as a certified letter ($6) with the return check being sent to the attorney’s office. Of course, you will then need to send them a document signed by you granting them use of your work.
Most of the time these folks know they’re in the wrong and if you’re fair with them they’ll gladly make right, rather than the headache of taking down your work. Depending how much money is at stake determines if you should move forward with a Copyright infringement lawsuit, but even then the first step I described above must have been taken.