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How to DMCA Subpoena without a Lawyer (pro se) and Save Thousands of Dollars
by Chris Wasshuber

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How to DMCA Subpoena without a Lawyer (pro se) and Save Thousands of Dollars by Chris Wasshuber

The DMCA subpoena is a tool that can help you identify an anonymous online copyright infringer. It is a cost-efficient arrow in your quiver against online piracy. It is the lesser-known sibling of the common DMCA takedown request.

I will explain to you how to use a legal tool, the DMCA subpoena aka section 512(h) subpoena, which few lawyers know about, how to effectively deploy it without the help of a lawyer and thereby saving you hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

With a DMCA subpoena, you can force an Internet service provider to share private account information, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, payment vehicles, and IP addresses - information you would otherwise not receive due to various data privacy laws.

The first time I used a DMCA subpoena I hired the services of a lawyer. It cost me more than $3000 to do so. On top of it, the lawyer claimed that I could not do this alone and that I needed to do this with a lawyer. He was wrong. I have seen other lawyers offer to do a DMCA subpoena for around $1000. This is still highly overpriced because, in the end, it comes down to filling out a form and some templates. Unless you want to hire a $1000-an-hour form filler who takes the information you provide to enter into a form don't do it. If you need legal advice then, of course, it makes sense to hire a lawyer. But the DMCA subpoena is highly formulaic and designed such that any normal person can do it themselves.

I will show you exactly what I did, the exact forms and papers I wrote and sent, the responses I received, and how I successfully subpoenaed information from an Internet service provider. The total cost to me was less than $60. For this publication, I will use as example the first DMCA subpoena I have done by myself. I subpoenaed the email provider Mailchimp. It is a good example because I did not do everything entirely correctly, nevertheless, it worked. With this, I am hoping to encourage you to give it a try even if you are not entirely sure about everything. Once you have read through this publication you will have a much better understanding of the process.

Of course, there are rules and regulations you need to follow, which I will explain in detail. But you do not need to have any degrees, you do not need a lawyer, and you do not need to be scared. It is a straightforward process. These instructions will help you a great deal to succeed.

  • Introduction & Disclaimer
  • What is a DMCA Subpoena used for?
  • What is a DMCA Subpoena?
    • Subpoena
    • DMCA Subpoena
  • When can I use a DMCA subpoena?
  • How to request a DMCA subpoena
    1. Send a DMCA takedown request
    2. Find the correct US District Court
    3. Prepare the necessary documents
    4. Mail the documents to the Court
  • What the Court will Return to You
  • How to serve the DMCA subpoena
  • Can anything bad happen to me?
  • Practical Considerations

1st edition 2023, PDF 19 pages.
word count: 4600 which is equivalent to 18 standard pages of text

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Nonfiction / Law / Intellectual Property

Nonfiction / Law / Practical Guides