I was flipping through a magazine and saw a print that caught my eye. Gave me a great idea for a mother's day gift. My design pays homage to the original print, but is not an exact copy. Are there copyright issues that come into play? I would appreciate any advice/guidance you could provide.
I don't think there are any copyright issues associated with copying a design. Especially if you aren't selling it. If there were, we'd ALL be in trouble.
I have heard otherwise, but I don't know how fine the lines are. If you change it from the original design, you are safer, but I don't know the exact rules. I know Nancy has her cookie designs protected and I imagine it would be the same for other designers, but I just don't know the exact rules.
From what Ive heard, like with Disney Characters, if you use the novelty pans and sell them then its a copyright issue. But if you do it free hand then its not.
But if you are copying a design from a magazine and adding to it, I dont think you will have the copyright police after you! Many people, myself included, have made cakes with copyrighted characters and have not had any problems. Most of my copyrighted material is for family members though. But if you go to websites that do a much bigger business, you can still see copyrighted material. Yesterday I was looking at one particular website and they had Scooby-doo, Spongebob, Strawberry and Star Wars all done in 3-D. They were really impressive too!
Thanks for the advice. This a local artist, Mary Engelbreit, and the cookies would definitely not be an exact copy of her print. What I want to do is to take my interpretation of the flowers in her print and make a cookie bouquet for Mother's Day. It sounds like I should be ok, so when I get my first test cookie bouquet done, I'll have to post a picture of it.
Unless I am off the mark, I would think you would be fine. You are not doing an exact copy and you are doing your interpretation of her flowers to make a cookie bouquet. As it is not a direct copy of her flowers, but inspiration from (again, unless I am wrong) I would think you are good to go. Mary Engelbeit has a distinctive look and I have seen cookies posted that were never intended to look like something she did, but it just happened that way due to the colors and look. That is just the way it worked out. I look forward to seeing your lovely creation!