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Does a 'written report under oath' need to be signed in front ot a notary? Copyright

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by Riceysoup, Jun 11, 2021.

  1. Riceysoup

    Riceysoup Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I recently got a sealed temporary restraining order from a court due to copyright issues (in short: sale of self-made fanwork but to a series I do not have copyrights for) and while the order does not ask for any compensation in money, they asked me to take down listings and stop selling and shipping them via any online channel that I operate. My main shop on Etsy got suspended for that and will only be unsuspended again if that court orders them to.

    Now that order asks me to deliver a 'written report under oath' that is documenting the steps I have taken to comply with their request to have certain items being taken down. The wording sounds a little bit off to me, if they asked for a sworn statement or a sworn declaration, it would have been clear to me that I need to sign the document in front of a notary. But for a 'written report under oath' is that basically the same thing? I do not mind paying for a notary if that means that this matter can be resolved before it becomes a whole lawsuit but if possible, I would not like to spend more money on it than necessary :)

    Another question related to this: They are asking for my full name and physical address and my financial accounts (even PayPal), is that allowed? I do not see why they need my financial account information, can someone explain to me why that would be needed? Or are they trying to scam me out of more information than necessary?

    Thanks in advance for helping me!

    Note: the court is in Illinois but I am a citizen in the EU/Germany. The reason they were concerned was because I am selling on a international platform and I ship to the US
     
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    If you don't respond to the case in Illinois, they will likely get a default judgment for whatever they claim is their damages. If you want to fight this you'll need a lawyer authorized to practice in that court. You can, however, expect your Etsy account to remain locked and possibly your goods interdicted at the border.

    There's not enough information in your post to advise you further.
     
  3. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You should ask "them" what they want to see. As to the other requests - no, you are under no obligation to comply. Please keep in mind that if you decide not to comply, it may prompt them to take further legal action. There is no way any of us can predict what the effect will be of any actions you take.
     
    Riceysoup likes this.
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    The OP hasn't indicated that there has been any "case" filed beyond a restraining order. The OP needs legal advice, as you indicated.
     
  5. Riceysoup

    Riceysoup Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you! Oh I am definitely going to reply and I have already done so by asking them some further questions and I don't think I am going to fight because I admit that their claim is right. I just wonder how to conduct the 'written report under oath' and if that requires a notary.
     
  6. Riceysoup

    Riceysoup Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you! I will e-mail them and ask for further specifications on what they want to see. I am okay with sharing my financial accounts but I wonder if sharing them could have any bad outcomes for me but at this point, I fear not sharing them would get me into bigger trouble. However, I have asked the attorney to explain to me why such details are needed
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Yes, it's the same thing.

    They are allowed to ask.

    My guess: they want to see how much money you made off your infringement to possibly seek monetary damages later.

    If your temporary restraining order (injunction, actually) was part of an ongoing lawsuit (you didn't say) then you may be obligated to reveal the requested information under Discovery rules.

    If it was a stand alone order you may have the option to decline but that could very well precipitate a lawsuit.
     
  8. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Well-Known Member

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    I don't think i would disclose any information about your financial accounts. Just information about what you were doing that was illegal. I think they are asking about your financial accounts so they will know what accounts you have. Then it will be easier for them to tag these accounts for any financial awards they seek.
     
  9. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    This is presumably federal. There won't be a TRO motion processed without a complaint.
    I suspect some of the information being asked for is also actually expedited discovery.

    Since the poster admits to committing the infringement (calling it fan art doesn't mean anything and frankly, it's not fan art if you're selling product based on it), the choice is to either answer or weather it out.
     
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  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough.
     
  11. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    In general a report under oath and a sworn statement are the same thing, but whether you need to have the document attested to by anyone, and if so whether that person must be a notary or some other official, depends on the exact details of the order (which I have not read) and importantly what court in Illinois entered the order. I assume it is likely a federal district court, but it matters a great deal if it is instead a state court. So that information is needed to answer the question.

    They would want that information to investigate what damages they might be able to seek for infringement. Whether you must provide that information depends on the details of the lawsuit. If the lawsuit is not yet concluded and they are asking this information as part of discovery in the case then you must provide that information or be subject to possible sanctions.

    I suggest you ask the US lawyer you hired to represent you in this about what obligations you have. If you have not hired a US lawyer to assist you, I would strongly recommend you do hire one.
     
  12. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Court orders don't "ask" for anything. The court has ordered you to do this, and that order carries the weight of law.

    I would say so.

    Not sure what you mean by "a whole lawsuit," but if you've been hit by a temporary restraining order relating to copyright infringement, you have been sued.

    Who are "they"? The plaintiff? The court? Obviously, anyone is "allowed" to ask anyone for anything. If the plaintiff has merely requested something, that is meaningless (outside of a properly served discovery request). However, if the court has ordered you to do something, of course it's allowed.

    Yes. The plaintiff can explain, as can your attorney. If this was part of the restraining order, it should be explained in the motion that the plaintiff filed in order to obtain the restraining order, and it also ought to be explained in the order itself. No one here can do anything but blindly guess.
     

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