About These Licensed Cakes...

Business By CakeInfatuation Updated 12 Nov 2009 , 12:35am by CandyCU

CakeInfatuation Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 11:06pm
post #1 of 18

Is EVERY cake that you see on TV, magazines, monster jam, etc... all licensed? If so, how do you handle that hoards of people that want a specific cake?

I can't tell you how many people have e-mailed me about the Dora Cake on my blog, the Thomas Cake, the Monster Truck, or the Roary Cake...

I plan to run and hide from anything Disney... but what do you guys do about PBS shows, Nickelodeon, someone that wants a replica of their car... etc.... I know designers have even sued because someone made a replica of their purse design....

What is your standard response and where do you draw the line?

I want to get all this worked out... my kitchen inspection is next week and I want to know how to answer people when I open shop.

17 replies
prterrell Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 11:15pm
post #2 of 18

I would not sell anything that is a recreation of someone else's intellectual property.

For example, I would sell a generic princess themed, cake but NOT a Disney princess cake; I would sell a generic fairy themed cake, but NOT a Tinkerbell cake; I would sell a generic teddy bear cake, but NOT a Winnie the Pooh cake.

Anything based on a cartoon or TV show is verboten, UNLESS you purchase the licensed cake kits, and then you are limited to replicating the cake design that comes with the kit.

Echooo3 Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 11:28pm
post #3 of 18

See in my photos my "Minnie Wanttobe" cake. That was my solution to a request for a Minnie Mouse cake.

elvis Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 11:35pm
post #4 of 18

It makes it much easier if you are going to have a website-- just post your policy on your site--that you cannot make cakes of characters that have been copyrighted.

Most people understand this--and have run into it before with other bakeries. Some edible images are allowed--b/c you are paying for them and the company is getting it's share. The easiest thing is to have them buy a toy or figure at the store...or candle, etc. and decorate around that.

all4cake Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 11:50pm
post #5 of 18

I tell 'em straight up..."I can't do copyrighted characters without a release. Would you like to contact the company for a release? Make sure to have them email the release to me if you do. Otherwise, I'd be more than happy to create a cake to coordinate with the theme."

costumeczar Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 12:35am
post #6 of 18

I once emailed Nickelodeon and asked what their policy is, and they said no way, no how, no permission to use their characters. I think that most cartoons will be the same way. Remember the Disney just bought the Marvel catalogue, too, so they now fall under their umbrella.

I've had more luck emailing sports teams and colleges and asking about using their logos. They tend to say that you can do a certain amount of cakes per year royalty-free, but some schools have some strict rules about which of their logos you can use. You just have to ask, since they all do it differently.

all4cake Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 12:41am
post #7 of 18

HD directed me to Bakery Crafts... ^?^

CarrieBear Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 1:06am
post #8 of 18

I found this on a website once

"In the United States, copyright infringement (copying or using a design/character that is copyrighted) is a crime unless you have a copyright license from the creator. They only have to prove the act of copying was committed. They do not need to prove guilty intent. In other words, they do not need to prove you didn't know it was illegal.


If it is recognizable as a copyrighted character, even though the colors are different, it is still copyright infringement. "

cupcakeatheart Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 7:35pm
post #9 of 18

So how do you think Duff did the Charlie Brown halloween cake? Did he pay for the licensed rights? or are those characters not copy righted?

costumeczar Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:08pm
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcakeatheart

So how do you think Duff did the Charlie Brown halloween cake? Did he pay for the licensed rights? or are those characters not copy righted?




When you have a $1000 minimum for your cakes and the Food Network behind you, you can afford a fleet of attorneys to get you the licensing rights.

Texas_Rose Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:10pm
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcakeatheart

So how do you think Duff did the Charlie Brown halloween cake? Did he pay for the licensed rights? or are those characters not copy righted?



When you have a $1000 minimum for your cakes and the Food Network behind you, you can afford a fleet of attorneys to get you the licensing rights.




That's exactly what I was thinking.

Besides at that level, it's more like advertising for the Peanuts characters...and they're not as popular as they were when we were kids, they could probably use it icon_biggrin.gif

jillmakescakes Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 10:32pm
post #12 of 18

I can't tell you the amount of times I've had the "no copyright" discussion with clients. Some are OK with what we CAN do, others find the people that are willing to take the chance.

On the other hand, I've also contacted a number of places that I never thought would give me a release, but they did. For one sports team, I actually spoke directly with the copyright attorney for the team. He gave me the OK as the team isn't local to me and the couple were such big fans that they wanted the football themed cake as their anniversary cake! He also said it was just for this one cake!

all4cake Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 1:26am
post #13 of 18

like jillmakescakes stated, it is possible to get a one time use release...without having to pay a fee...just for requesting one. Sometimes, it's more difficult to acquire one due to timing, no contact info, your request getting lost in the spam box....

Because of the difficulty involved in attaining a release at times, depending on time frame given, I'll tell the customer, "I'd be happy to if you can have them send me a copyright release." oooooooor, I'll tell them it'll cost X amount extra for me to get a release. More times than not, they opt for a design to coordinate with the theme.

CandyCU Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 1:52am
post #14 of 18

Hello, a newbie here.

A couple of stupid questions, but... icon_confused.gif

What about the Wilton character pans? ... and ...
What if you are not a business (cake decorating as hobby only) and just making a character cake for family/friends?

Please help?

costumeczar Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 1:55am
post #15 of 18

The character pans are for home use only, no selling to customers. It says so on the packaging if you look at the small print. As long as you're just doing them for your own family or firends and not getting paid, or any other form of compensation for them you're fine.

homebasedbaking Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 2:43pm
post #16 of 18

I hope this post is not removed but there is a woman who creates personalized cake pans. I purchased one and was most happy with it and may even get others that I can use for special event cakes. Her business is called the cake pan lade, just google it; don't know if I can post her website, so I won't. Just an idea.

Mindy1975 Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 4:42pm
post #17 of 18

I get about one request every month or so for a liscensed character. I just tell them I can't do it. It gets me off the hook of doing those stupid character pans, and having to buy them as well. It is not worth the money to risk my business over a cake order. Why mess with it? I do sometimes make a cake with a back ground theme for the customer to put their own toy on top once they get the cake home, and that usually solves the dillema. The last one I did had an underwater theme all over it and the gal put a SpongeBob toy on it for her daughter. SHe was satisfied with it.

CandyCU Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 12:35am
post #18 of 18

Thanks costumeczar!

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