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there are several lawyer who are in this business of controlling author's rights for their clients.
In these cases in order to reduce the costs it is vitally important to respect the short time period established for reaction. If you don't do so and don't even call the risk is high of receiving a preliminary court order (Einstweilige Verfügung) which makes the whole issue mor expensive. The lawyer cannot wait more that 1-2 weeks for your reaction without loosing the right to take preliminary court action in order to make sure that you won't continue violation the author's rights or will do it again.
However, never do sign the prepared form (Unterlassungserklärung) which comes with the lawyer's letter. Usually it goes further than necessary and may cut off possibilities to reduce costs of the lawyer and damages or reduce the risk in breaking the agreement of not repeating the violation (Vertragsstrafe) which may become even more expensive.
In any case, the fact that you may no have known that it is not legal to abuse author's rights will not help. No author is obliged to tell you even if you can access the information for free. It is just the other way round: The author has to give you explicit permission to use his work.
Thus, you should immediatly attend a lawyer near you doing intellectual property law (Urheberrecht) in order to check all the paper work. Talk about the costs beforehand, but you should calculate around 200 Euros. The money will be well invested.
Is it considered to be a criminal act?
Can you recommend one such lawyer?
this is only a civil case. It costs primarily money.
If you prefer a lawyer near your residence, make sure he actually has experience in intellectual property lawyer (Fachanwalt is not absolutely necessary).
What is your email please?
You can find it in my profile.
Were you paid or must i do something after rating?