Getting License To Make Disney Characters, Etc

Business By duchess1120 Updated 8 Apr 2009 , 5:49pm by Chef_Stef

duchess1120 Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 5:04pm
post #1 of 14

Does anyone know how to get a license or whatever is needed to make & sell characters such as snow white or snoopy?

Also, how do you guys handle requests for characters if you're not licesned to reproduce them or likeness.


13 replies
foxymomma521 Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 5:29pm
post #2 of 14

My guess is you would have to cotact Disney directly, and from what I've read on here it is several thousand dollars to be able to obtain rights...
I don't really sell cakes, I find it too stressful and prefer to give them away so I don't worry about making liscenced characters... I have read that others just decorate to the colors/theme of the party and let the client add the liscenced characters themselves.
Good Luck!

PieceofCakeAZ Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 8:17pm
post #3 of 14

Here is where you find their requirements for consideration and by consideration they mean "we're picky about who gives us millions of dollars to use our stuff":®ion=0&ccPK=null

classiccake Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 11:44pm
post #4 of 14

Yeah, I don't think you really want to go there.

I make a scene or design that fits the licensed character, and then the customer purchases something to fit in. I have a picture on my photos of a square cake we made, and then added the figurines into the design.

The key...they BUY something to add...copyright issues are all about buying the product.

pattycakesnj Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 11:51pm
post #5 of 14

but what about the licensed character cake pans Wilton sells?

FairyPoppins Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 11:58pm
post #6 of 14

Character cake pans are for home use only. You cannot legally sell a cake made with a character pan.

foxymomma521 Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 12:04am
post #7 of 14
Originally Posted by FairyPoppins

Character cake pans are for home use only. You cannot legally sell a cake made with a character pan.

Yes, if you look closely it says that on the pan... are you getting a lot of orders for character cakes?

pattycakesnj Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 12:06am
post #8 of 14

what if you change one design color so it is not an exact match to the character?

jmt1714 Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 12:10am
post #9 of 14

using their character likeness and changing a color is still infringement.

classiccake Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 12:21am
post #10 of 14

If you can look at the cake and say, "Yeah, I know that is supposed to be Dora, the Explorer," (even though there are differences), then you are breaking the copyright law.

It is not worth the hassle of worrying about it. You might know the people who ordered the cake and think it is okay, but the problem is that the moms at that party will expect you to do that for them also, and it just snowballs. Just always say "No" unless you do..................!

Carolynlovescake Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 3:19pm
post #11 of 14

Here we go again....

Also just buying the rights to it is step A. Step B is Royalty fees. That means every time you produce the image you have to pay them.

And that's just for one character, there is no "blanket agreement" with most companies for being able to do "all characters. You have to have permission to do each character individually.

Royalty fees aren't cheap either with some of the well known copyright holders. And just because Baker A is Texas has authorization and pays $50 a use doesn't mean your royalty fee is also going to be the same. They may charge you more for a variety of reasons or they may charge you less. It's all nailed down in your contract by your lawyer and theirs.

tinygoose Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 3:39pm
post #12 of 14

I have said this to people. "A Dora cake? Love to. You get the copyright release, I'll make the cake." The one way around this is not to charge them, then it can be considered for home use.

indydebi Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 3:56pm
post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by pattycakesncookies

what if you change one design color so it is not an exact match to the character?

My neighbor works for Jim Davis, creator of "Garfield". She told me
one day that a guy tried making a blue Garfield, thinking that
changing the color would be ok, since it's not "exactly" like

The court system showed this gentleman the error of his thinking!

People like Mr. Davis are VERY protective of their creations!

Chef_Stef Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 5:49pm
post #14 of 14

Here's another handy first-hand story regarding recreating things that other companies own rights to.

I was visiting with my SBA lady the other day, and we were chatting about copyrights etc. She said her mom had been an architect, or whatever they're called when they 'draw' house plans or design homes for people. She drew a house for someone, and the front facade of the entryway (JUST the entryway, not the whole house) *RESEMBLED* the design of homes built by Local Builder XYZ Homes. JUST the entryway, mind you, and it was just *similar*, not exact...

Well. XYZ Builder called the woman and told her not only to cease and desist, but they also said, since she was a Sole Proprietor, that she had two choices: Close up and go OUT OF BUSINESS or they'd sue her and take everything she had anyway. She is no longer in business.

I'm going to post a big sign for myself right at my desk, so I see it when I'm talking to new customers, which says "NO COPYRIGHT STUFF", because you get chatting with some mom, and they want a 3-D Elmo cake for the first birthday, blah blah, and you're thinking, Oh sure I can do that...Here's your sign. Scary stuff

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