Is it okay to use copyrighted or trademarked images/designs/music etc if no money is gained?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it okay to use copyrighted or trademarked images/designs/music etc if no money is gained?

Say for instance, if an individual were making a music video, video game, or
comic book. And in that creation, they used an exact replication of another music
video, game, or comic book. A music video to a song that already exists, a game
that uses Pokemon and Pokeballs, or a comic that features Batman. In these
instances, as long as the creator is not collecting income from the created
source, is it legal?

Asked on October 13, 2019 under Business Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal. Copyright is the ability to control ALL uses of the copyrighted material, including its incorporation into another creative work, or the creation of derivative, adapted, etc. works based on it. No one else can use the copyrighted material, even if they do not "gain" money or "collect income" based on it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption