I'm making a video collage of photos from the internet of the California wildfires to ask for people's donations for the first responders. Will I run afoul with copyright laws in doing this, or will this be ok under a 'fair use' case, as I am not looking to profit, but rather collect donations for charity.


Collecting donations is profiting. Merely because those profits will be used in order to help someone/thing it doesn't change the fact that usage of the images would be benefiting an organization.

There's no such thing as "altruistic usage" which circumvent copyright infringements.

"Profit" in terms of unauthorized image use equates to any use which provides value. "Fair Use" refers to usage where nothing is directly gained from the use.

It certainly sounds to me as though the usage you describe would be unauthorized use and an infringement.

Charities, non-profits, and/or not-for profit organizations do not get "free reign" to use anything merely due to the nature of their business. They are bound to copyright laws the same as any other organization.

  • Thank you for the response. I will refrain from creating a visual platform for the cause then.
    – scotty
    Dec 6 '18 at 4:34
  • While it would be unauthorized use.. in many cases the odds of someone actually pursuing legal matters for such a cause would be slim. Not impossible, but most wouldn't want to be the "copyright holder not supporting first responders". Still, you should be aware there is possible liability.
    – Scott
    Dec 6 '18 at 5:00
  • OFFTOPIC: Better make a poster for a new president man, because this one is shaking hands with business, not the planet. How much ***** growth do we really need ?!
    – Lucian
    Dec 6 '18 at 8:44

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