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Drones 4 Charity - I'm looking for pilots with a licence

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jozii, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. Jozii

    Nov 1, 2014
    Likes Received:
    With all the negative media attention we see I was thinking about ways to help change the image of drones. I got the idea of making an aerial photo book and donating the income to a charity. With the power of social media and possibly the help of some drone related companies I'm hopeful that we could produce something that could generate a decent amount of money and possibly some positive media attention :)

    But I need help. First of all there's the legal issue of aerial image for commercial purposes. The majority of us are hobby fliers, including myself, so I would need the help from pilots with a permit for commercial use. If that's you, you can donate photos to the cause.

    Second, I have some other questions and concerns and I'm sure there are more things I haven't yet thought about. More about that further down. First, here's my idea:

    • - Drone pilots (that's you! :) ) submit photos to use in the book - I don't have the permit to.
      - I select my favorites - I can imagine around 20-25 photos to make a book of equally many pages.
      - Together we - myself, the photographers featured in the book, and possibly the community - select a charity we want the money to go to. When you submit your photos I will ask you to suggest a charity as well, and later we can have a democratic vote about it.
      - 80% of all the money earned will go to the selected charity. The rest will go to involved costs: primarily a website and potential advertising. Initially I will pay this from my own pocket, and should the project fail that's a risk I'm taking. Should the 20% exceed the costs any additional earnings would be split between everyone involved, as a thank you for the help.

    My questions and concerns
    Now, there may be some problems with this and that's why I'm writing here - to ask for your input!

    • 1. Would a photo book like this be legally OK, assuming all photos are taken within the boundaries of the local law and all photographers have a permit to use the photos for commercial purposes?
      2. What is required to run a charity? I'm a Swedish citizen living in the UK. A quick Google search gives A LOT of text and I've yet to dig deeper into it. The book would be sold online through a publishing company called http://www.lulu.com (because they're print on demand, I know them and their printing quality, and they have an excellent online store so no one needs to order a large quantity of books that might never get sold). The earnings would end up in my Paypal account and I would be responsible for what happens to it.
      3. Similar to the previous question, am I as an individual legally allowed to do this? Does it require a business or organization? Am I and the photographers involved allowed to earn money from the project (the 20%)?
      4. And finally, would there be enough interest from you guys, the photographers? It would take around 20-25 legal, high quality photos. Are there enough people with a licence able and willing to take part? If you fit the requirements, please get in touch and express your interest so I have a rough idea!


    I have a ton of promotional ideas like making a website, getting in touch with relevant companies (like DJI), sending press releases to relevant media, paid advertising (on Facebook for example), and good old fashioned social media promoting - if the book becomes reality, it needs attention in order to sell! :)

    Why should you turst me?

    This is a final concern I have. I am aware that as noble as this cause may be it could be interpreted as suspicious. Would the money really go to a charity in the end? Who am I and why should you trust me?

    All I can say is that I'm doing this because I think it's fun. I love the creative side of setting up the website, editing the book and organizing the whole project. Should it be successful and the 20% exceeds expectations, this would be split as a thank you between the donating photographers and myself, and the actual amount given to the charity would be significantly larger than what you or I would potentially earn.

    The actual book would be printed on demand through the website http://www.lulu.com, a site I've used many times in the past and which I know have good printing quality. They have an online book store so there's no economical risk for anyone involved printing a large quantity of books that are never sold, and should we wish to print larger quantities to sell at events or in book stores for example, this can be done at the printing price - lulu.com makes their money by taking a small commission from sales in their book store, but the author of a book can purchase copies at the price of what it costs to actually print it.

    So there you have it! Now I want your thoughts. Is there any interest in this idea? Are there any legal aspects I should consider? I'd be grateful for any feedback :D
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 8, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Jozii .. if you are US based and looking for legal commercial drone operators, you're going to have to look hard because there aren't very many. Here's a list from the FAA of all the Sect 333 exemptions they have given out so far.
    All (only 43) of the legal US operators are listed there and not many are members here - none have owned up so far.
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