How to get restitution for copyright infringement


#1

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.


#2

Not commendable to anyone, though, who wants to be able to post here in the threads about not doing unpaid samples or work with a clear conscience, so better go with the “a small fee”. :wink:


#3

If you know of an attorney who will do anything at all for free whether he is a junior or not please message me about them.


#4

Sorry, I don’t know of any, I’m trying my best to not need any, too, I just quoted the opening post.


#5

Oh ok sorry. I didn’t know you were quoting someone.


#6

It’s called pro bono legal work.

Attorneys in some states are required by their Bar Association to do a number of hours of pro bono work. Also, Junior attorneys will often do pro bono work just to get their name out there.

I know this because I once worked as a paralegal with 3 Junior attorneys. Often, it was me drafting what is known as an “Attorney Letter”. I would simply pull text off a similar letter, and the attorney would review my draft and sign. It doesn’t matter what field of law they practice, it’s a generic letter that covers these 2 simple points…

  • Explaining the violation. In this case, Copyright Law.
  • How they can resolve the issue within a defined time frame. _ In this case, cease and desist, or purchase the rights to use._

They always chose to resolve the issue.

If you get restitution the attorney will probably expect you to pay him to draft the legal document granting the rights to the recipient. Which of course you should do.