Help Me Stop Being Judgmental

Decorating By vtcake Updated 8 Mar 2011 , 1:54am by scp1127

vtcake Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 6:30pm
post #1 of 32

I come on these forums a lot to get ideas. Sometimes there are harsh critiques on people's ideas and/or actions. I have found myself becoming too judgmental about certain things, so have been biting my tongue a lot.

I don't like being judgmental, it's not my business at all and I do want to sound like a kind person. But what does bug me the most is not newbies asking the same questions over and over, or people asking questions and not revealing where in the world they live or people asking how much should I charge.

It's people who write about their Dora cake or Toy Story Cake or some other restricted licensed character that totally ignores the copyright laws. I don't make those characters for money. That doesn't make me better than anyone else~I just am a scaredy cat of the consequences.

Even if others aren't scared of being caught, why do they still flaunt the cakes on here? To me, it's not just a slap in the face to the owners of the licensed characters, but also to those of us who follow the law.

I wish I could just read and look at the gorgeous cakes on here and not get ticked off. Help?

Soap box removed, will be flipped back over to store my overabundance of cake supplies.

31 replies
cathyscakes Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 6:48pm
post #2 of 32

I guess you need to just let it be. You don't know these people, have no stake in what they do, so just relax and just enjoy the forum. I try not to get mixed up in all of the squabbles on here, I come for the tips and beautiful cakes, could care less if they are legal or not. If they aren't concerned about consequences, I don't see why I should care. Sometimes I get wrapped up in the drama's on here, then I sit back and think, why do I care about this, there are more important things in life to be concerned with.

Sorelle Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 6:51pm
post #3 of 32

I just did a Toy Story cake for my nephew, but I used all toys no characters were made so I figure they got their $ the dang toys were $5 a piece. Anyway it was a gift I think when you are not making money on the cake it is not against the law.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 7:12pm
post #4 of 32

vtcake,

When I see a cake that might be a breach of copyright law I ask myself the following question:

How do I know that THIS cake represents a breach of copyright law?

THIS cake might be perfectly legitimate in that the baker hasn't sold it to the end user. The baker of THIS cake might even have gone to the trouble of getting permission to use the image in question. I know that there are allot of people out there breaking copyright law, but I do not know, unless I ask, if THIS person is one of them. And I am not going to ask because it is really none of my business.

Corrie76 Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 7:13pm
post #5 of 32

Another thing to keep in mind is that licensed characters are 100% legal to make if you are doing it for family and/or friends and NOT charging for the cake...the legal issues are only with licensed character cakes being SOLD without permission. One thing that helps is to say, "let me not assume" to yourself when feeling judgmental about other's work, many times we don't know the full story and have no right to stand in judgment of others when we don't know if they have sold a cake or given it away...also don't forget that some are ignorant of copyright laws and have no idea they are breaking the law in the first place...well, until they post their picture and get an "ear-full" from the cake police! icon_lol.gif

ChilliPepper Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 7:28pm
post #6 of 32

Copyright laws are broken by hundreds of people everyday - rip off sports shirts, scarves, keyrings, fridge magnets, handbags, shoes, character toys - the list is endless. Most of these 'law' breakers are very small fry and it would cost the judicials systems more to prosecute than they would ever gain. I personally think that there are much bigger things to fret about such as murderers, dope smugglers, drug barons, paedophiles, etc. etc.

And I've yet to meet a cake decorator who has not at some point 'broken' copyright law!

CP xxx

Kitagrl Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 7:41pm
post #7 of 32

A lot of these people are making them for family or friends. I would just ignore it...the less of other people's business I worry about, the better off I am!

I find it interesting that people use copyrighted items to do demo classes. I wonder if its because they do not want the student to be able to turn around and sell the cake for money?

Side note, off topic, sorry!

artscallion Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 7:55pm
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrie76

Another thing to keep in mind is that licensed characters are 100% legal to make if you are doing it for family and/or friends and NOT charging for the cake...the legal issues are only with licensed character cakes being SOLD without permission.




A little side tangent, and I'm not a copyright lawyer, and someone can correct me if they have other information, but I remember reading somewhere that money changing hands is not a necessary element of copyright infringement. It's not always about whether you make money. Sometimes it's about whether Disney lost a chance to make money because of what you did.

I think the theory is that if it weren't for you giving the cake with the Nemo characters on it as a gift, your friend might have gone out and purchased a legal version of a Nemo cake somewhere else. So Disney, in theory, lost a sale because you made it unnecessary for that person to buy their product, and you did it by copying their licensed character.

Corrie76 Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 9:41pm
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrie76

Another thing to keep in mind is that licensed characters are 100% legal to make if you are doing it for family and/or friends and NOT charging for the cake...the legal issues are only with licensed character cakes being SOLD without permission.



A little side tangent, and I'm not a copyright lawyer, and someone can correct me if they have other information, but I remember reading somewhere that money changing hands is not a necessary element of copyright infringement. It's not always about whether you make money. Sometimes it's about whether Disney lost a chance to make money because of what you did.

I think the theory is that if it weren't for you giving the cake with the Nemo characters on it as a gift, your friend might have gone out and purchased a legal version of a Nemo cake somewhere else. So Disney, in theory, lost a sale because you made it unnecessary for that person to buy their product, and you did it by copying their licensed character.




I suppose that giving a copyrighted item away could, on a minor level, be considered infringement....but the bottom line with the whole copyrighting process is that you get paid by others to use your design in which they recieve payment for. The whole reason behind copyrighting is for others to not make money off your original design unless you grant them permission or get a cut of that money. Well, where's that "cut of the money" coming from if the product was given away for free, also, Disney or whoever else for that matter cannot infringe apon others for possible lost money, they have MUCH MUCH bigger fish to fry!

debbief Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 9:53pm
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrie76

Another thing to keep in mind is that licensed characters are 100% legal to make if you are doing it for family and/or friends and NOT charging for the cake...the legal issues are only with licensed character cakes being SOLD without permission.



A little side tangent, and I'm not a copyright lawyer, and someone can correct me if they have other information, but I remember reading somewhere that money changing hands is not a necessary element of copyright infringement. It's not always about whether you make money. Sometimes it's about whether Disney lost a chance to make money because of what you did.

I think the theory is that if it weren't for you giving the cake with the Nemo characters on it as a gift, your friend might have gone out and purchased a legal version of a Nemo cake somewhere else. So Disney, in theory, lost a sale because you made it unnecessary for that person to buy their product, and you did it by copying their licensed character.





Ive never heard it said this way. Im a hobby baker and Ive actually made several character cakes. All of them have been gifts so I naturally assumed it was legal. Since they were gifts, I asked what they wanted on the cake and they requested a character. If I were to say no I cant make that, they would have accepted something else. So in that case Disney or whomever, would not have lost money because the recipient would have settled on a non-character cake. So that makes me wonder, how can they prove they lost a sale just because someone made a character cake as a gift?

artscallion Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 10:18pm
post #11 of 32

I'm not really defending the position. I'm just passing on that I read it, most likely on this site.

Though it does make sense to me. Think about it. Do you think you would be able to paint a big picture of Donald Duck on your bakery wall? You aren't selling it to anyone or making money off of it. But Disney is losing money because you are using their image and they aren't being compensated. If you do it on a cake, people are getting use and enjoyment from their licensed image and Disney isn't being compensated. And if you are giving away their image, no one has any need to buy it from them when they can get it from you for free. I don't think it's about a proven loss of one particular sale so much as it's about you giving away for free something that doesn't belong to you. In general principle, that violates their ownership of it.

I don't agree that it's just about someone not making money off of someone's property. I think copyright laws are based on unauthorized use as much as they are unauthorized profit.

luckylibra Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 10:32pm
post #12 of 32

I had never heard or considered that it might be copyright infringement to make a cake and give it to a family or friend with Dora or Toy Story on them.. I have done both so perhaps it is me you refer to. I do not charge but I guess I should quit making them altogether.. thanks for the dose of rather unpleasant news.

Edited to add: Guess that means we can not do the beer bottle cakes either? or shopping bags, purses.. icon_sad.gif

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 10:56pm
post #13 of 32

vtcake, I can understand where you're coming from. I too used to get frustrated in those situations you mentioned. One time I realized it doesn't change a thing how frustrated I get over it. So I've stopped clicking on the links to threads that are titled "Dora the explorer" or "Buzz lightyear cake. . . HELP!!!"

I've also heard (while we're talking about the whys of copyrights) that another reason copyrights are there is to protect the quality of an artist's image/design. Just a short browse through CakeWrecks could help illustrate that point.

And I find the "everyone else is doing it" argument weak. Everyone else speeds. Does that mean everyone gets speeding tickets? Just those that get caught. And I don't want to get caught, so I don't speed.

luckylibra Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 11:03pm
post #14 of 32

Why do they sell Dora, toy story, mickey mouse..etc cupcake toppers and cake decorations at walmart, target and various other stores if using them to decorate a cake or cupcakes we are not selling is a violation of copyright laws? Seems odd to me.

artscallion Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 11:08pm
post #15 of 32

I'm not talking about toppers and things you buy. I'm talking about making your own image of Dora. When you buy something from Target, Disney gets paid. When you make your own Dora out of gumpaste, Disney gets nothing.

luckylibra Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 11:21pm
post #16 of 32

So would the images we make on the cricut also be ok since we bought the cartridge originally? Just trying to make sure I understand what I can and cannot use, thanks

artscallion Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 11:33pm
post #17 of 32

I remember a post on here that addressed that a while back. Folks were upset because cricut was marketing their machine as if you could become a professional by using it. But then they issued something stating that the images created were governed by copyright laws and not intended for uses that would violate that. Everyone here was up in arms about it.

I do know that the Wilton character pans are specifically sold for home use only. I believe it even indicates the rules on the pan package. Even though Wilton pays Disney for use of the Donald Duck image, they are only paying for Wilton's own use of it in creating and selling the pan. But when a customer then buys the pan from Wilton, Wilton does not pass on any of that money to Disney. So you cannot use those pans for other than home use and have no rights to use the image outside of copyright laws.

luckylibra Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 12:33am
post #18 of 32

Since I don't sell my cakes would "home use" include the cakes I make for family and friends or am I restricted to only what is consumed in my own personal home (parties all at my house.. icon_smile.gif)

Corrie76 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 3:30am
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

I'm not really defending the position. I'm just passing on that I read it, most likely on this site.

Though it does make sense to me. Think about it. Do you think you would be able to paint a big picture of Donald Duck on your bakery wall? You aren't selling it to anyone or making money off of it. But Disney is losing money because you are using their image and they aren't being compensated. If you do it on a cake, people are getting use and enjoyment from their licensed image and Disney isn't being compensated. And if you are giving away their image, no one has any need to buy it from them when they can get it from you for free. I don't think it's about a proven loss of one particular sale so much as it's about you giving away for free something that doesn't belong to you. In general principle, that violates their ownership of it.

I don't agree that it's just about someone not making money off of someone's property. I think copyright laws are based on unauthorized use as much as they are unauthorized profit.



Using Disney as an example, couldn't one argue, that painting Donald Duck on your bakery wall, making your daughter a Disney princess cake, or what ever other "dance around the copyright laws"....actually promotes Disney, makes others more aware of Disney, in a home-spun way, becoming part of a new generation's collective conscience of Disney as a product....if you think about it, all these things add up to FREE advertizing for Disney....in fact, if you think about the copyright situation from a different perspective, Aunt Sally, when whipping up a Mickey cake for Junior, should be charging Disney for advertizing and promotion! And probably Disney knows this, why else would they put themselves in a questionable position by selling products such as character pans that may lead people down the path of copyright infringment?

TiffySue Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:19am
post #20 of 32

all these things add up to FREE advertizing for Disney....in fact, if you think about the copyright situation from a different perspective, Aunt Sally, when whipping up a Mickey cake for Junior, should be charging Disney for advertizing and promotion! And probably Disney knows this, why else would they put themselves in a questionable position by selling products such as character pans that may lead people down the path of copyright infringment?[/quote]

thumbs_up.gif

Sorry Corrie76 this was supposed to show up as a quote.

Corrie76 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:57am
post #21 of 32

hey, I'm cool with it - as long as you didn't profit financially from posting part of my post in your post! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

tryingcake Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:31am
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by vtcake

I don't make those characters for money. That doesn't make me better than anyone else~I just am a scaredy cat of the consequences.

.




According to Disney, you cannot even make the cake for free - period! If you are making it at all, you are risking the same penalty as those who sell them. It's all listed on their website. Just Google Disney Copyright.

Most other places have the same exact policies.

tryingcake Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:33am
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckylibra

Since I don't sell my cakes would "home use" include the cakes I make for family and friends or am I restricted to only what is consumed in my own personal home (parties all at my house.. icon_smile.gif)




Yep! That's exactly how it works. And no taking pics of the cake. Nope! Nada.. not one.

artscallion Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 11:58am
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrie76


Using Disney as an example, couldn't one argue...




Sure, you can argue that. But arguing it doesn't change the law. It only rationalizes to you why you feel it's okay to break the law.

scp1127 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 1:01pm
post #25 of 32

The law is the law. Copyright laws protect the original person or company who filed the copyright. It also protects consumers from inferior knock offs.

Disney does not need your marketing help.

If we did not have copyright laws, commerce would be greatly compromised. For example, a company spends twenty years perfecting the MRI machine. Two days after it is out, another company copies it and sells it for millions less. After all, they don't have twenty years invested. Do you think that is fair? The law is plain and simple. You cannot benefit from someone else's copyright.

This argument, just like other prominent subjects that debate the law make no sense to me. The law is not up for debate. Some people will always think the law is for everyone but them.

Picture this scenario... One baker loses a big sale by refusing to make a copyrighted character cake. Her rival gets the sale. The losing baker makes a phone call to the company that owns the copyright.

Another scenario... the music industry cracked down on illegal song downloads by tracking the illegal downloads on the internet. All a company would have to do is google their character and all of these cakes will pop right up. A lawyer could make good money doing this for a living by marketing the service to companies.

babapeela Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 1:44pm
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

This argument, just like other prominent subjects that debate the law make no sense to me. The law is not up for debate.




If that were the case, would you not be living in a dictatorship? Surely people debating the points and merits of a law is how change begins. Why would people bother campaigning for laws to change allowing them to bake from home, for example, if the law were not indeed up for debate?

ShandraB Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 1:44pm
post #27 of 32

I know this was mentioned earlier, but I have a question about using toys as toppers. Does anyone know if this is actually OK under copyright law? The copyright owner is paid for the toy, but many of them only use "certified" retailers, etc... which we would obviously not be. And this puts us in the position of re-selling the toy. Is that OK?

Would it be acceptable if the customer purchased the toy and provided it to us? Then we would not be selling anything but a cake that had appropriate designs and colors, etc...

What do you think?

vtcake Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 2:18pm
post #28 of 32

The only character cakes I make are for my grandchildren. I do consider that 'home use' as stated on the back of the Wilton pans, but that's because I've read a million times on different forums that that's acceptable.

Toys purchased and placed on top of a cake are ok, correct?, as the company already received compensation for them. I don't recall ever seeing 'not for use on cakes' on any licensed toy.

I don't mind looking at the licensed cakes because I love the different designs and inspirations for my own g'kids. But probably I should stop until it stops making me mad, lol.

I recently turned down making a transformer cake. The customer was ok, and said a generic robot would be fine.

Thanks for not blasting me, and for giving me some good suggestions, such as 'don't worry about it'. Truly, I do have enough to worry about in my own life w/o worrying about someone's cakes! I'll try to stop stomping my foot and whining 'it's not fair'.

That's funny about Disney paying US for advertising their characters! My husband called our daughter's senior photo place and made them print out another 8x10 of her, this time leaving off the name of their business which they had stamped across her hands. He said they should pay us for advertising.

artscallion Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 2:45pm
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by babapeela

Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

This argument, just like other prominent subjects that debate the law make no sense to me. The law is not up for debate.



If that were the case, would you not be living in a dictatorship? Surely people debating the points and merits of a law is how change begins. Why would people bother campaigning for laws to change allowing them to bake from home, for example, if the law were not indeed up for debate?




C'mon, do you seriously believe that anyone is suggesting that laws are unchangeable and cannot be debated?

Of course the validity of laws can be debated and people can work to change laws they think need changing. Everybody knows this. The point being made is that how (or if) you choose to follow an existing law is what's not up for debate. You follow it until you change it.

tryingcake Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 3:34pm
post #30 of 32

Yes, purchased toys are legal. As long as you buy them from a licensed to sell venue. Licensed character EIs are illegal if you make them at home... yep!! They are only legal when purchased from a licensed to sell that particular character venue. So, even the grocery store printing them out for you is illegal. The ones you buy pre-made, from the factory are legal.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%