Do I have to get a court subpena to get old news footage of myself?

Or can I use the freedom of information act or free public records search. The reason I need it is so I can review to see what it shows. I am trying to pursue a lawsuit but I need this news footage to see what it shows.

Asked on January 22, 2013 under Business Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The freedom of information act and similar state laws apply to governments, not private companies, so if you're looking for footage from a private company, it will not apply. You can and should do internet searches for the footage--if it comes up on the internet, you should be able to use it in litigation (though if it's copyrighted, which it presumably is, you could not reproduce, distribute, etc. it). If it  does not come up that way, you would have to initiate a lawsuit, then, in the lawsuit, use the mechanisms of discovery, including subpoenas, document production requests, and/or written interrogatories (questions) to get the footage.

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