How do we go about legitimately making cakes that feature characters such as Mickey Mouse, Dora, etc.
Either buy the Decopac kits, or go directly through the owner of the trademark. I've been contacting the local colleges and some pro sports teams to find out what I need to do to use their logos, and some are very flexible and some aren't. You just have to check on a case-by-case basis.
What if you're not being paid for the cake? Does that make any difference when using a character?
I am NOT a copyright attorney, but it's my understanding that if you don't sell the item it's okay. However, if you take money for the cost of ingredients only I'd bet that you'd be in grey territory, and some companies wouldn't be happy about it (I'm thinking Disney.)
If you make a birthday cake for your kids it's one thing, if you're giving cakes to the neighborhood kids in exchange for "contributions" that's something else.
My sister is a lawyer and gave me "non -official" legal advice. If you do it for friends or family, no money changing hands, then it is ok to do copyrighted images. If one cent is paid you can be in violation. SOme people and groups are easy to get the ok to do them, other (notably Disney and Warner Bros.) will sue for anything and everything if you get caught.
Be on the safe side, either gift it, or don't do it. It's not worth the immense hassle and fines that come with it if you get caught. Just my two cents of course
The reason I was asking is because I am going to enter a Halloween cake decorating contest at the end of the month. I want to do mine based on It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The cakes are going to be auctioned off to benefit a local charity.
Dorkfish~ I'm pretty sure, and I am by no means an expert, but I'm almost positive that since it is a donation and you would receive no payment for it, it's perfectly fine to do the Charlie Brown Cake. Donations and charity items don't count.
Thanks, goddessa. I was beginning to rethink my design!
And duchess, sorry I robbed your topic!
I'm bumping this because I have another question. What if you buy the cake pans of a character? Could you sell those cakes?
No the pans are sold "for home use only" and therefore you cannot sell them. It was explained in another post that the reason is that they cannot guarantee the quality of the design like they can with the decopacs.
Not if it's a copyrighted character and it's one of the pans that states "For Home Use Only".
See ButtercupMama's post on this thread: http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=6575436#6575436
Sorry, I didn't realize it had been addressed in another topic. I only have one character pan, and I bought it over 10 years ago, so I didn't realize it had said "for home use only"
Thank you for your answers! And sorry I ask so much. I'm learning!
I never realized those pans said that either, when I bought all of mine (and at one point, I probably owned 30 of them! ). When I bought most of them, the idea of selling cakes just didn't exist, so it didn't matter at the time.
Old dog .... new tricks .... yes it's possible!
Don't fret dorkfish...it's all good. I mean most of us don't do a topic search prior to asking a question, I know I don't, too much trouble to sort through and see if your question is actually answered. Ask on girl!
However, I do get miffed a bit if the same question is asked in the same forum within hours of each other and the first one who asked it's thread is right there on the first page of topics...I can understand if it isn't on the first page, but when it is right there, yeah that is annoying