Can You Use Copyrighted Material for Non Profit?

Can You Use Copyrighted Material for Non Profit?

Let’s say that your non profit fundraiser is in full swing, and you are showcasing a video with a montage of your most recent charity projects. The audience is interested and intently watching, but wait! Some of the footage, music and photos on the video are not ones you have obtained permission to use.  So, can you use copyrighted material for non profit? Read on to find out more. 

Can You Use Copyrighted Material for Non Profit? 

What is Copyright?

Copyright infringement is the act of copying, reproducing, displaying, or utilising another’s work without their permission. To avoid copyright violations, a non profit organisation should not use images, music, articles, or any other form of work that the charity did not create without obtaining adequate licenses and permits from the owners. If you are unsure about the rights and usage of creative content, it is advisable to seek legal assistance to determine if it infringes any copyright laws. 

Ways in Which Non Profit’s End Up Violating Copyright Laws

One of the most common ways non-profit organisations risk copyright infringement is by screening movies or television shows at fundraising events. While a movie night is a great way to collect donations and funds, you must always obtain permission from the copyright holder to screen the movie or show. Getting approval frequently entails paying a fee, and because there is a fee, many non profits attempt to use the copyrighted material for free.

What Is Using Public Domain Music?

‘Public Domain’ refers to creative work such as writing, art and music with no individual or legal entities. How does this happen? When copyright or other intellectual property restrictions expire, works enter the public domain and may be used for any purpose by anybody. In the United Kingdom, the copyright for sound recordings recorded in 1962 or earlier currently ends 50 years after the end of the calendar year of recording. For example, a sound recording recorded on October 3, 1962, will enter the public domain on January 1, 2013. Since ‘Public Domain’ content is free to use, it makes it a great idea to utilise these for your non profit events and marketing posts. 

In Conclusion

Whether it’s a movie, television show, or music you plan to use, if it’s copyrighted, do obtain the relevant licenses before using it at your events. Explaining and going into detail about your non profit might even help you get a royalty-free license from the artist or owner, as most people are keen on supporting a worthy cause.   

Looking for support with your next charity event? Sign up for the Ideal Life Project to connect with skill donors looking to find charities!

Looking to find a charity to donate to? If you’ve got a talent or skill that can be utilised, we are happy to connect you with a charity. The Ideal Life Project is committed to helping non profits with finding donors for charity.