Question On Copyrights

Business By Ellyane Updated 27 Oct 2010 , 3:44am by jason_kraft

Ellyane Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 3:02am
post #1 of 20

Hi,
I'd love to know where to find information about licensed characters. I don't have a business running yet, but I hope to work up to that. My friend wants me to do a cake with the cat from Kiki's Delivery Service. I'm not sure where to start to get permission to do that. Any advice would be great!

19 replies
jason_kraft Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 3:16am
post #2 of 20

If you don't have a legal business and you're not accepting money (or any form of compensation) for the cake, you should be OK as long as you don't post a picture of the cake that can be traced back to you. Technically it's illegal, but the risk in this transaction is virtually nonexistent.

leily Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 12:54pm
post #3 of 20

you can purchase toys for copyrighted characters or "cake kits" from Bakery Crafts or DecoPac, but will need a business with tax ID number to order licensed character items from these two supliers. But i have also seen some online stores carry them, i thin www.oasissupply.com has them.

It is illegal to recreate the licensed image without written consent from the copyright holder.

Since i'm guessing there are not toys of this particular cat you would have to search who is the copyright holder and contact them, a google search should be able to get you that answer.

maybe the info is here on wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiki's_Delivery_Service

TexasSugar Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 1:23pm
post #4 of 20

Contact the company that the character comes from.

Ellyane Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 2:37pm
post #5 of 20

ok, so the movie was originally released in Japan, but in the US it was distributed by Disney. Has anyone worked with Disney before? Who do I contact?

jillmakescakes Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 4:44pm
post #6 of 20

Disney is a big fat NO. I have NEVER heard of them giving a copyright release.

In general, the best thing to do is to find the official website, go to the bottom and there is usually a LEGAL page, click there and contact the attorneys. They can point you in the right direction.

Ellyane Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 6:33pm
post #7 of 20

Thanks everyone.
My friend and I agreed that a generic black cat would be good enough. That's not copyrighted, right?

Ellyane Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 7:13pm
post #8 of 20

Thanks everyone.
My friend and I agreed that a generic black cat would be good enough. That's not copyrighted, right?

Ellyane Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 2:36pm
post #9 of 20

I'm a little confused -
I see lots of cakes based off other designs... Star Wars cakes, Toy Story Cakes, board game cakes... do all of these people get permission, or are they risking lawsuits?

endymion Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 3:33pm
post #10 of 20

You can make a character cake for your own child (or a friend's child) without a problem, so that accounts for some of the character cakes on CC.

Also, you can sell a plain cake and have the recipient place a purchased character figurine on top of it.

If anyone is selling character cakes where they have created the character out of gumpaste or drawn the character's image on a cake they offered for sale, it is indeed illegal.

Some people are unaware of this, however, so they may be doing it without realizing it's illegal.

Ellyane Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 3:42pm
post #11 of 20

But...
Confetti Cakes has a Monopoly cake on their website.
Charm City Cakes has several Star Wars cakes, and a Wonder Woman cake
I've seen grooms cakes with Nintendo characters...
Obviously these are intended for sale...
Is it that easy to get permission?

If there is a better place to be looking for this information, please let me know!

cakesbycathy Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 3:48pm
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellyane

But...
Confetti Cakes has a Monopoly cake on their website.
Charm City Cakes has several Star Wars cakes, and a Wonder Woman cake
I've seen grooms cakes with Nintendo characters...
Obviously these are intended for sale...
Is it that easy to get permission?

If there is a better place to be looking for this information, please let me know!




Generally speaking it's not easy to get permission, but it depends on the image you want to recreate. Forget about Disney and pretty much the Nick characters, too.
Many decorators do it without permission. I always have the client purchase the figures to put on top.

With Confetti Cakes and CCC - You are talking about big name cake decorators. Something tells me it's a heck of a lot easier for them to obtain permission. icon_rolleyes.gificon_wink.gif

leily Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 4:02pm
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

With Confetti Cakes and CCC - You are talking about big name cake decorators. Something tells me it's a heck of a lot easier for them to obtain permission. icon_rolleyes.gificon_wink.gif




Plus they're doing those cakes for the copyright holder most of the time too, so they're willing to give permission for that. Or at least the first time they do them. For all we know they still have to pay royalty fees to the copyright holder when doing them for other people, we don't know what their agreement is with the copyright holders.

cookielicious Posted 24 Oct 2010 , 9:53pm
post #14 of 20

The bakeries where I live (in SW MO) make licensed character cakes all the time. Just because it's illegal doesn't mean it doesn't still happen. My guess is that either they don't realize it's wrong or they do, but think they won't ever get in trouble for it. I'm a total rule follower, so I just don't do it- period. Usually there are ways to work around it by designing something similar.

Along the same lines- using the character shaped cake pans and printing out pictures of licensed characters, copyrighted artwork/photos are a big no-no if you are selling cakes!!! The edible icing sheets with copyrighted images are such a pet peeve of mine!!!

This link is helpful: http://sdbytracy.com/copyrules.htm

vwolf Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 1:59am
post #15 of 20

I have read alot of the threads on here about copyrights, but I am still not clear on the edible images (I think they are made by Lucks) that you can buy at the cake supply stores, can you use them on cakes to sell? I just didn't know if since you are buying them from a retailer and they are selling them are they only for home use also?

leily Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 12:53pm
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by vwolf

I have read alot of the threads on here about copyrights, but I am still not clear on the edible images (I think they are made by Lucks) that you can buy at the cake supply stores, can you use them on cakes to sell? I just didn't know if since you are buying them from a retailer and they are selling them are they only for home use also?




Luck's images (Sold by Bakery Crafts and i think DecoPac) are allowed for resale use. You are purchasing an image the copyright holder approved of for use on cakes. If you printed your own edible image with a copyright item on it that would be illegal to use since the copyright holder did not approve it to be used for that use.

vwolf Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 8:22pm
post #17 of 20

Thanks Leily, I was really confused about that. It just seemed to me if you are buying them from a retailer then they should be okay to use on a cake to sell. I've just read so much on CC about the copyright thing, that I want to do the right thing. In fact a lady called me last week for a cake, she wanted a Lilo and Stitch image. I could have gotten it at my local cake supply store, but I didn't think I could do it and sell it to her. I suggested her buying a toy or whatever for the cake but logistically it wouldn't work out, so basically I lost the order.

tracycakes Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 10:26pm
post #18 of 20

I'm so sick of getting calls for Dora or Toy Story or even Barney. I won't recreate the image and I suggest the toy or cake topper. Rarely do I get the order, they end up going to one of the other shops in town that apparently don't care about copyright rules. I find it extremely frustrating but at least I do have my husbands full support and he tells customers the same thing.

p51baby Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 3:20am
post #19 of 20

Hi there, my first post, but I've been a lurker for a while but I would just like to chime in on this, hopefully it helps.

I did some anime/gaming character pastries and cakes at a comic convention the other time. I set up my pastry booth under an "artist exhibition" (where people would do fan art of anime/manga series) I asked about character art and copyrights with the convention organizers and they answered that so long as the characters are not copied directly from another artist's source (direct pictures printed on fondant etc) it was OK to re-create characters from the animated shows, movies, etc. I think this would apply to you as well as you are not mass producing the cake (and I doubt Studio Ghibli would come over and sue you from Japan!) I've seen many local companies do cakes of characters like Hello Kitty etc and I doubt they got license so if you keep it safe (eg. not post pictures online) it should be fine. Cheers and good luck on the Jiji cake! icon_smile.gif

-Ghibli pastry fan

jason_kraft Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 3:44am
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by p51baby

I did some anime/gaming character pastries and cakes at a comic convention the other time. I set up my pastry booth under an "artist exhibition" (where people would do fan art of anime/manga series) I asked about character art and copyrights with the convention organizers and they answered that so long as the characters are not copied directly from another artist's source (direct pictures printed on fondant etc) it was OK to re-create characters from the animated shows, movies, etc.



Unless the convention organizers were also the copyright holders for the characters in question, they cannot give you permission to use or copy someone else's copyrighted character for commercial purposes. An art exhibition might be a gray area since I'm assuming you didn't profit directly, but selling items commercially with pictures of copyrighted characters without express permission of the copyright owners is illegal, period.

Most foreign companies with well-recognized characters have a presence in the US to prevent infringement, and in fact there are companies they can hire that are dedicated to searching for infringing uses of copyright. BTW, Disney owns the copyright for many Ghibli works, and you don't want to mess with Disney.

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