Do I need an attorney to submit a request for production?

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Do I need an attorney to submit a request for production?

I believe someone is using a copyright image of mine and selling it on-line. I have the particular item number of the image in question and would like to request all sales containing my image (product number) from the company. I am a student and cant afford a lawyer, and don’t think it would even be worth it. However I would be willing to submit a request for production on my own in the hopes of getting some answers.

Asked on September 11, 2011 under Business Law, Illinois

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The first question that needs to be asked is whether or not you you have a federal or state copyright of the image that you claim that someone has infringed upon and is selling online. If you do not have a copyright for the image you claim someone is infringing upon, you really have no basis for filing an action for copyright infringement.

The first thing that needs to be done assuming that you own a federal or state copyright on your item is to send the party allegedly ifringing upon your ownership rights a cease and desist letter.

Depending upon the response, a copyright infringement action would then be filed.

One the copyright infringement action is filed and served upon the other side, you the submit written discovery upon the other side consisting of, but limited to document production requests.

If you cannot afford legal representation, look into whether or not your county of residence has a "legal aid" program.

Good luck.

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Contact the U.S. Copyright office and see if they have any pro forma subpoenas that could help you. If that does not pan out, contact your civil court or small claims court (however much you think this is going to be worth) and file a lawsuit. Through the suit and during service of the notice of claim, file a subpoena for production of documents and have it served. You should be able to serve the request through your pro se court filing. If you cannot afford an attorney, contact your state bar and see if it has any pro bono programs or hotlines or could give you the names of firms that offer pro bono services (a certain amount) per year. Further, try legal aid as a last resort. This way, you would have exhausted all of your options in terms of locating counsel who could represent you at no cost.


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