Disney Action Against School Shows That Small Nonprofit Fundraisers Don’t Fly Under Radar

Disney Action Against School Shows That Small Nonprofit Fundraisers Don’t Fly Under Radar

It’s no fun being the nonprofit board member or volunteer who tells others, “We can’t do that, it’s a violation of [someone’s copyright, or trademark, or other rights].” I’ve had to be that person, and the usual response is, “Oh, come on, we’re hardly making any money anyway,” or “You seriously think anyone is going to notice?”

Guess what. Disney notices.

It’s all described here, in “Disney fined a PTA for showing the Lion King at a fundraising event to benefit students.” The elementary school reportedly played a remake of The Lion King to keep kids entertained while their parents were holding a fundraising event that raised all of $800. 

No one has even figured out how this came to Disney’s attention. But the school got an email from Movie Licensing USA, which handles such matters for Disney, claiming the showing was illegal and demanding $250. Gulp.

In fact, I would have liked to add a Disney image to this post, but you know what? I think I just won’t.

Instead, I’ll direct you to more information on planning ahead rather than getting hit with a fine from a corporation too big to realistically fight: see How a Nonprofit Can Avoid Copyright Infringement When Holding Events.

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