Copyrighted/licensed Characters

Business By klutz Updated 19 Apr 2010 , 6:53pm by bonniebakes

klutz Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 7:53pm
post #1 of 34

I'm sure there's already a very long thread somewhere addressing this issue. I constantly tell customers that I cannot recreate any licensed/copyrighted image in cake; but then you get online and they're all over the place! Is there something I'm missing? I hate declining customer requests.

33 replies
TexasSugar Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 8:10pm
post #2 of 34

Just because a cake is done doesn't mean it is sold. So just note because you see a cake on here it doesn't mean that the person always sold it.

If you are seeing them in business sites then chances are they are a. doing it illegally (either knowing or not knowing so) or b. they have contacted the companys and gotten premission.

klutz Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 8:15pm
post #3 of 34

That's what I thought. And I can't even begin go imagine what a pain in the a** it would be to contact the companies.

TPACakeGirl Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 8:23pm
post #4 of 34

I recently did a "Cinderella" cake. I made the entire scene with the carriage, the grass, the stone path.... and the person I made it for supplied her own Cinderella doll which was put on by her after I gave her the cake.

leah_s Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 8:23pm
post #5 of 34

I will say that colleges/universities are very nice about it. I ask the grooms to get the permission and not a one has ever been refused. In fact the school's PR dept is impressed that he's actually asking. They just grant a "one time se" permission.

costumeczar Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 11:11pm
post #6 of 34

A lot of pro sports teams will also give permission for a limited number of cakes per year, but they generally don't want you to use the cakes on your website or for advertising purposes. So if you do see those as examples of something someone is selling, they're probably being done illegally. I have a file full of permission letters from colleges and sports teams, and they all have slightly different restrictions.

SallyBratt Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 4:43pm
post #7 of 34

I've posted about this before but here's a refresher.

I'm an illustrator/designer for a children's book publishing company. We have specific copyrighted characters in our books and I know that if you had one of our characters on your website or sitting in your bakery window and my publisher saw it you would get a 'cease and desist' notice. BUT if he knew you were doing a cake for a client but you weren't going to use it on your site or as a promo piece he'd be fine with it.

It's when you sell someone else's creation as your own or use it for your own promotional purposes that people tend to get upset. For the most part no one will say anything if you keep it on the down low.

klutz Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 5:04pm
post #8 of 34

Thanks for reposting for me SallyBratt. I know this topic is somewhere in the archives, but I don't have time to search through all of them.

Christina222 Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 5:51pm
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyBratt

For the most part no one will say anything if you keep it on the down low.




I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure this does not apply to Disney. They will go after you no matter how small you are if you sell a cake using their characters. Unless of course you are using a DecoPac kit. They are pretty serious about their property.

jojo76 Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 6:35pm
post #10 of 34

does anyone know for sure wether its ok to do a character cake if you put a brought toy on it and theme the cake around it?

kellertur Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 6:47pm
post #11 of 34

Copyright laws should be taken seriously. icon_smile.gif
There's a local baker here who's (beautiful) website has lots of cakes with themes/characters that are copyright protected. They have a note saying they can "make any cake from any theme" with prices listed. To me, this is risky business... The fines are just not worth it to me. If I can't get permission adn they want more than a "kit cake", I don't accept the order.

I think you can place purchased toys on a cake... please correct me if I'm wrong...you just can't make them out of sugar or draw or carve them for profit.

TPACakeGirl Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 8:06pm
post #12 of 34

I don't put any characters on my cakes. I do the scenery and then give the cake to the buyer that way. If they put a doll on it, that's on them. I can't be held responsible for what someone else did AFTER I gave them the cake.

whtrose02 Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 8:20pm
post #13 of 34

i was wondering about this too.. what about logos? etc like on purse cakes etc

leah_s Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 8:55pm
post #14 of 34

Can't do those legally either. Correction - not for sale anyway.

kellertur Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 11:27pm
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPACakeGirl

I don't put any characters on my cakes. I do the scenery and then give the cake to the buyer that way. If they put a doll on it, that's on them. I can't be held responsible for what someone else did AFTER I gave them the cake.




I've done this also...this is why I always take a photo of the cake once it's finished and attach it to the slip that goes into my file cabinet. Cautious/Paranoid, sure. icon_wink.gif

cakelady_nikki Posted 16 Mar 2010 , 8:25pm
post #16 of 34

Thank you SOOO much. I am so glad this is all reposted. I just created a post about this and wasn't getting any interest yet. Thank you so much. Just like the originator I also see tons of cakes on this website and others and was wondering the same thing. I am aware of Disney being kind of strict but it makes me happy to know that you can call and ask other places with some success.

kellertur Posted 17 Mar 2010 , 12:23am
post #17 of 34

it's always better safe than sorry. icon_smile.gif

dalis4joe Posted 17 Mar 2010 , 1:13am
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Just because a cake is done doesn't mean it is sold. So just note because you see a cake on here it doesn't mean that the person always sold it.

If you are seeing them in business sites then chances are they are a. doing it illegally (either knowing or not knowing so) or b. they have contacted the companys and gotten premission.




I'm loving ur new profile pic girl!!!!

tesso Posted 17 Mar 2010 , 1:59am
post #19 of 34

here is a link about the other post on licensing/disney characters.

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6731753.html

Jeep_girl816 Posted 17 Mar 2010 , 2:25am
post #20 of 34

There's an all in one(cake decorator, wedding planner, rentals, etc) in my area that on her web site has TON'S of Wilton character pan cakes offered. Even brags "Choose from one of our many character cake pans and let us make you a custom cake!" I feel like saying "um they're not YOUR cake pans their Wiltons. I'm really not an obsessive play by the rules person but when you're a business and you have it blatantly advertised on your website that you pretty much don't give a rat's a$$ about the legality of what your doing, it annoys me. So obnoxious. Btw, I'm just a hobbyist and don't take money for my cakes, maybe someday when I'm good enough I'll open my own shop. Legally.

TPACakeGirl Posted 17 Mar 2010 , 2:48pm
post #21 of 34

I've noticed that several of the character pans on Wilton's website now have a disclosure stating that the pans are for home use only.

7yyrt Posted 17 Mar 2010 , 5:17pm
post #22 of 34

That notice has always been printed on the pans, but putting it on the website is new.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 12:36am
post #23 of 34

Jeep-girl, maybe you should forward that "home use notice" on the wilton pans to that bakery.

kellertur Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 12:54am
post #24 of 34

Rose_N_Crantz

Hi, I just wanted to mention that I love your avatar! I can almost hear his voice...very silly. icon_smile.gif

pj22 Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 3:48pm
post #25 of 34

So those character pans cannot be sold to customers in a business? I heard people say they are "selling the cake board and not the cake." How is that tackled? Is that ok?

costumeczar Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 4:50pm
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by pj22

So those character pans cannot be sold to customers in a business? I heard people say they are "selling the cake board and not the cake." How is that tackled? Is that ok?




No, that's not all right. That's just someone trying to get around doing something illegal by justifying it to themselves.

pj22 Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 5:38pm
post #27 of 34

That's what I thought... thanks for your insight! icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 6:01pm
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalis4joe

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar




I'm loving ur new profile pic girl!!!!




Thank you! icon_biggrin.gif

kellertur Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 6:19pm
post #29 of 34

Semantics applied to "the law" does not hold up in court. icon_wink.gif

Bannette Posted 19 Apr 2010 , 3:01am
post #30 of 34

Is there a way to obtain permission? How do the bakeries on the cake shows get licensing permission. I realize they get orders from the company directly but how do they permission for an individual? I was also told (after I made cakes for my kids) that it didn't matter if it was sold or not. That even the ones I have done for my kids could get me in trouble. I don't post the pics on my website and was hesitant to post them here.

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